The Scout's View: Indians
SI asked big league scouts who have closely followed the playoff teams to help prepare these reports on the four League Championship Series participants. The scouts were promised anonymity in return for their candor, and here's what they revealed.
Posted: Wed October 7, 1998
OF Brian Giles is a low-ball hitter who likes the pitch in. INF Joey Cora is line-drive hitter who can turn on inside pitch or spray outside one the other way. INF Jeff Branson, lefty low-ball hitter, is good pinch hitter. OF Mark Whiten is still dangerous switch-hitting home run threat. C Einar Diaz, will chase almost any pitch and won't play much.
Jaret Wright, RHP
Charles Nagy, RHP
Bartolo Colon, RHP
Doc Gooden, RHP
RH Mike Jackson doesn't throw hard for a closer, but he locates fastball well and moves it in and out. Slider is hard and breaks late, murder on righties. LH Paul Assenmacher is no longer strike-throwing machine he once was, but gets by with sweeping curve that's key pitch. RH Paul Shuey has three plus pitches: fastball (92-96), splitter and curve that breaks late and hard. Probably has best stuff on the team, but control is a problem. RH Dave Burba is solid power pitcher with sinking fastball, good curve and cutter he breaks in on hands of lefties. RH Steve Reed relies on sidewinding curve that's murder on righties. Crafty RH Chad Ogea makes his living with changeup. Had terrific postseason last year but was beset by injuries this season. LH Jim Poole relies on curve. Only time he uses average fastball is to push hitters off plate and raise hitters' plane of vision.
Cleveland's starters are six-inning guys, so middlemen Assenmacher and Shuey become crucial. If Colon and Wright don't have command of their stuff, they will have trouble with disciplined New York hitters. Offensively, Tribe needs to have Lofton, Thome and Justice come through against lefties David Wells and Andy Pettitte to have a chance.
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