Stephanie Storm’s final thoughts on the Indians 6-5 loss Thursday, played four hours after the Indians made another trade just before Thursday’s 4 p.m. deadline, sending shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to the Washington Nationals for infield prospect Zach Walters.
1) A majority of Indians fans acted as if they were about to jump off the 480 Bridge when the Indians followed the trade of Justin Masterson Wednesday with one that sent Cabrera to the Nationals for another prospect. I get the anger. It’s just directed at the wrong thing.
2) Fans shouldn’t be mad that the team got rid of the struggling Masterson or the slumping Cabrera. The pair was likely going to walk away after the season once they became free agents anyway because neither were performing well enough for the Indians to extend them qualifying offers to stay.
3) So rather than get nothing for either of them, including an extra draft compensation pick, the Indians added more depth in the minors with two prospects they sent to Triple-A Columbus in outfielder James Ramsey from the Cardinals in the Masterson trade) and infielder Walters from the Nationals. I have no problem with that line of thinking. None what so ever.To read more or comment...
In trading veteran Asdrubal Cabrera to the Washington Nationals Thursday, the Indians have turned their shortstop over to youngster Jose Ramirez.
Well, temporarily at least.
While Ramirez is likely just keeping the position warm until the organization deems it time for the Francisco Lindor Era to begin, the last two months of the season provide the Indians front office the opportunity to get a good look at the Ramirez.
“We were able to make this trade because of our belief in Mike Aviles and Jose Ramirez," Tribe general manager Chris Antonetti said. "We feel very confident in both guys playing shortstop and maintaining a very high level of play at the position.”To read more or comment...
For the second time in as many days, the Indians traded a veteran player for a minor league prospect, Thursday’s moves coming an hour before Major League Baseball’s 4 p.m. (EST) trade deadline.
After underachieving starting pitcher Justin Masterson was shipped to St. Louis Wednesday for outfield prospect James Ramsey, Thursday slumping Tribe shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera was shipped to the Washington Nationals for infield prospect Zach Walters.
With Masterson and Cabrera set to become free agents at the end of the season, both could have walked away without compensation. Thus, the Indians made the trades for two high-level prospects that they hope will impact the big league club soon.
Walters, 24, is primarily a shortstop, but has recently seen time at a handful of infield positions. The switch-hitter batted .300 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI and had a .965 OPS at Triple-A Syracuse before recently being called up by the Nationals, where he’s spent 40 games (32 this year).To read more or comment...
Here are today’s starting lineups for Thursday's game between the Indians and visiting Seattle Mariners in the three-game series finale at Progressive Field.
2B Jason Kipnis
SS Jose RamirezTo read more or comment...
For the second time in as many days, the Indians have traded a veteran player for a minor league prospect.
After underachieving starting pitcher Justin Masterson was shipped to St. Louis Wednesday for outfield prospect James Ramsey, and hour before Thursday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline, Tribe shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera was shipped to the Washington Nationals for infield prospect Zach Walters.
Walters, 24, is primarily a shortstop, but has recently seen time at a few other infield spots this season. He hit .300 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI and had a .965 OPS at Triple-A Syracuse before recently being called up by the Nationals to make his major league debut.
Cabrera, 28, is a two-time All-Star, but is batting just .246 with 22 doubles, two triples, nine home runs and 40 RBI in 97 games with the Tribe this year.To read more or comment...
Stephanie Storm’s final thoughts on the Indians 2-0 victory over the Mariners Wednesday as new staff ace Corey Kluber proved why he’s more than ready to take over Justin Masterson’s old role with an exclamation mark - on the same day Masterson is traded to St. Louis.
1) How ironic is that Kluber’s best game of his career comes on the same day his buddy and next-door locker mate Masterson is dealt to the Cardinals for minor league outfield prospect James Ramsey?
Maybe not as much as you might think. Kluber’s been the Indians defacto ace most of the season anyway. Masterson hadn’t pitched like one since the season opener. Kluber may be quieter than most, but he played the yin to the goofy Masterson’s yang. Now, the leadership role is square on the shoulders of Kluber.
“We’re really looking for him to be a leader now that Masty is gone,” Tribe pitching coach Mickey Callaway said. “There’s a big void to fill there and I think Kluber is that guy. There is a little part of me that thinks he pitched like that because he knows he is going to step up and do what he needs to do to lead that staff.”To read more or comment...
The Indians owed it to Corey Kluber to make sure their starting pitcher earned a win Wednesday against the visiting Seattle Mariners.
Kluber deserved a victory in his previous start last Thursday in Kansas City in which he took a no hitter into the late innings but went on to lose that, then a shut-out bid on a crazy Ryan Raburn spiked ball allowed a run to score and John Axford dished up a walk-off hit in the 14th inning in a game in which Kluber dominated the Royals.
It’s safe to say the Indians were on a mission to make it up to their ace – even if meant beating one of the best pitchers in baseball in Mariner’s right-hander Felix Hernandez.
And that’s exactly what they did in handing Kluber two runs in the fifth inning, as the right-hander took care of the rest with a complete game, three-hit shutout that included eight strikeouts and ended in a quick 2-0 Indians victory.To read more or comment...
The look on Mickey Callaway’s face told Justin Masterson all he needed to know Wednesday afternoon about his future with the club.
While working out on an exercise bike in the bowels of Progressive Field, Masterson was summoned into a meeting with pitching coach Callaway, the pair walking into a room where Indians president Mark Shapiro, General Manager Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona were waiting.
“I said, ‘Uh oh. I’m either going to get beat or I’m getting traded somewhere,’” Masterson said.
The big right-hander soon learned it was the later, as the men explained Masterson had been traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for highly touted outfield prospect James Ramsey.To read more or comment...
The first game of the Indians-Mariners series at Progressive Field proved to be a game of opposites.
The Indians usually steady young right-handed pitcher Trevor Bauer didn’t make it out of the fifth inning.
he offensively challenged Seattle Mariners exploded for five runs, including the first four during a four-run fourth inning.
About the only aspect of the game that followed script was the visitor’s defense showing why its one of the best in the major leagues, helping lead the Mariners to a 5-2 victory.To read more or comment...
In a series in which so little went right for the unpredictable Indians over the first three games, it only made sense that they’d wrap up their exhausting 11-game road trip with a convincing 10-3 win over the Royals in which they seemingly could do no wrong.
After kicking off the three-city, 11-game road trip in giddy fashion by winning three-of-four games from the division-leading Detroit Tigers, the Tribe stumbled through a 1-6 rough patch. During the skid, starting pitchers rarely lasted beyond five innings, relievers dished up home runs to ignite late rallies, sloppy defense proved costly and a streaky offense either scored in bunches or not at all.
But that all halted on Sunday’s get-away-day, so follow along for some reading enjoyment as the Indians head back to Cleveland following the 5-6 trip and the reward of an off day Monday.
Pitching? Check.To read more or comment...
Here are today’s Indians and Royals lineups as the visiting Tribe wraps up their three-city road trip looking to avoid ending it with a series sweep by Kansas City.
2B Jose Ramirez
SS Asdrubal CabreraTo read more or comment...
Stephanie Storm’s final thoughts on the Indians 7-5 loss to the host Kansas City Royals.
1) Saturday night’s game was Friday’s night’s all over again. Tie game. The Royals Billy Butler slams an absolute bomb to left field off an Indians reliever. The two-run home run ultimately proves to be the game-winning margin. Royals win – again. Another Carlos Santana home run gone for naught.
2) The Indians are so bad right now, they can’t even lose in an interesting fashion. This, after beating the Division rival Detroit Tigers three times in the four-game series that kicked off this long, 11-game road trip. Boy, that series feels like forever ago. Since then, the Indians have gone 1-6 and will spend Sunday’s game trying to avoid finishing the road trip with the thud a four-game sweep by the host Royals.
“You can get overexcited about it, a little bit too happy and take the foot off the gas pedal,” admitted Zach McAllister, the Indians starter – and losing pitcher Saturday.To read more or comment...
The Indians offense handed starting pitcher Zach McAllister a 5-0 lead in second inning after batting around and sending 11 to the plate against Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie.
Fast forward two innings. With two outs in the fourth inning, the Royals had already caught up, retuning the favor with a four-run rally that completely erased the Tribe’s lead and reset the game.
The Royals went on to complete the rally in a 7-5 victory – marking the host’s third consecutive win in this four-game set against the pitching–poor Tribe, who look to avoid the sweep Sunday after in the final game of an 11-game road trip.
Worse than losing the five-run cushion and taking the loss, was the fact that the Royals caught up in a mere span of eight batters in a four-run fourth inning that featuring a two-out, two-run triple by Nori Aoki.To read more or comment...
Here are today’s pre-game notes and the Indians and Royals lineups for Saturday's game at Kauffman Stadium, the third contest of the four-game series:
2B Jason KipnisTo read more or comment...
Stephanie Storm’s final thoughts on the Indians 6-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.
1) The Ax Man cometh…and The Ax Man dishes up another big hit.
Just when it appeared that John Axford had fixed the delivery problems that cost him the Indians closer’s role in mid-May, back-to-back bad outings in Kansas City have left doubts that he may never get back to the dominating form that allows a team to entrust him such an important role.
Manager Terry Francona had increasingly begun to trust the lanky right-hander again “in high-leverage” situations as he calls them. Mind you, we’re talking about a late-inning set up role, NOT even the closer role. And wouldn’t you know Axford is struggling again.To read more or comment...
Just when it seemed John Axford had smoothed out the delivery problems that plagued him to the point of losing his closing role for the Indians in mid-May, back-to-back bad outings in Kansas City may have set back his progress.
Just as manager Terry Francona has begun to trust him the right-hander again in close games in a late-inning set up role, Axford has begun to struggle again. Before Friday's outing, Axford hadn't allowed a home run over his last 11 appearances.
Thursday, Axford gave up the game-winning hit in the 14th inning of the Tribe’s loss one-run loss.
Friday, he dished up a no-doubt, two-run home run to pinch-hitter Billy Butler that handed the Royals another victory, this one by a score of 6-4.To read more or comment...
Corey Kluber’s body language - and look on his face - said it all.
From the disapointment of losing a near-perfect game in the seventh inning, to the frustration of losing a complete-game shutout on a wacky defensive play inthe eighth, Thursday’s series-opener against the host Royals unraveled suddenly for Kluber and the Tribe.
After sitting down the first 19 batters the right-hander faced, An Omar Infante single up the middle erased Kluber's the no-hit bid. What came next in the eighth inning of the Royals 2-1, 14-inning affair isn't as easy to shrug off.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Indians left fielder Ryan Raburn dove after a ball down lofted down the line by Mike Moustakas. Raburn ran in and then slid in a desperate attempt to make the catch. But the ball glanced off his glove, rolled up his arm and then scooted away before settling at the base of the wall in foul territory.To read more or comment...
Here are the Indians and Royals starting lineups for Thursday night’s game, the first of a four-game series at Kauffman Stadium.
2B Jason Kipnis
LF Mike AvilesTo read more or comment...
The Indians wrapped up their three-game series at Target Field with a 3-1 loss to the host Minnesota Twins, managing just one run against spot starter Anthony Swarzak.
The right-hander got the start for the Twins in place of originally-scheduled right-hander Kyle Gibson, who was scratched from his start late Tuesday night while suffering from lower back soreness.
The Indians opened the afternoon’s scoring in the third inning. David Murphy led off with a single, was sacrificed to second by Roberto Perez and scored with two outs on newcomer Jose Ramirez’s double.
In addition to his bunting prowess, the rookie Perez also threw out a pair of runners at second base. When Perez teaming up with second baseman Jason Kipnis to nab the first runner of the game in Sam Fuld in the first inning didn't seem to serve enough warning about trying to run on him, his throw to catch Twins speedster Danny Sanatna with one out in the seventh did the trick.To read more or comment...
Here are today’s starting lineups for the Indians and Twins 1:05 pm game at Target Field – the final game of the three-game series.
2B Jason Kipnis
SS Jose RamirezTo read more or comment...
Stephanie Storm’s final thoughts on the Indians 8-2 victory over the host Twins in the second game of a three-game series at Target Field.
Danny Salazar is back with the Indians after a two-month stint in the minors and was effective enough in his first start with the tribe to pitch five innings and earn the win. But even in limiting the Twins to a fourth-inning run, the right-hander didn’t really seem like the dominating pitcher he was last year when he burst on the scene as a rookie.
“I thought he threw more breaking balls,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “But he left a couple (balls) over the plate, a couple up (in the strike zone). But that was more of the stuff that we had come to appreciate last year.”
Still, Salazar worked in and out of trouble in all but one inning – his final in which he sat down the side in order. In the four previous frames he worked with runners on base – including a big early test when he issued three consecutive walks to load the bases – with no outs.To read more or comment...
For all the trouble Danny Salazar tiptoed in and out of in his return to the Indians starting rotation Tuesday against the Twins at Target Field, the right-hander showed plenty of poise extracting himself without much harm each time.
Despite walking the bases loaded in the second inning, Salazar went on to limit the host to a run on six hits and three walks over five-plus innings of the Indians 8-2 victory. He also struck out six batters – three of which came in the second to strand the bases loaded - and threw 63 of his 92 pitches for strikes.
But even with Salazar’s gutsy performance in the win, the fact that he labored through five innings with base runners in all save for his final inning indicated the kid who shined in his major league debut last season isn’t quite back to form yet – even after a two-month primer in the minors.
Yet, it certainly helped Salazar to have some early run support to work with after the Indians offense staked him to a three-run lead in the second inning. Against Twins starter Yohan Pino, the Tribe’s batsmen quickly loaded the bases with no outs, all three eventually coming around to score.To read more or comment...
The Indians roster carousel continued to turn Tuesday, as the club made a roster move to call up a starting pitcher for the evening’s game for a second consecutive day.
A day after left-hander T.J. House was recalled to start, Tuesday’s move brought right-hander Danny Salazar back to the major league level after two months at Triple-A Columbus. To make room on the roster, right-handed reliever C.C. Lee was optioned back to Columbus.
Salazar burst on the scene in dramatic fashion last season and gained so much trust by the Indians brass he started the wild card game against the Tampa Bay Rays at the end of the season.
But Salazar hasn’t been the same since. After being brought along very slowly in spring training, he opened the season with a 1-4 record and 5.53 ERA in eight starts before being optioned to the minors May 16.To read more or comment...
Stephanie Storm’s final thoughts on the Indians 4-3 loss to the host Twins in the opening game of a three-game series at Target Field in Minneapolis.
1) The Indians will consider themselves lucky if they escape Monday night with their only loss being the game. In the bottom of the second inning, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera fielded a ground ball off the bat of Chris Parmalee awkwardly and promptly left the game with what was later announced as “lower back spasms.”
“He jabbed at the ball and locked up,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He couldn’t get it unlocked. He just couldn’t get it loose…When he came out, it started to loose up. A lot will be determined on how he wakes up in the morning.”
2) Call me a conspiracy theorist (I’ve certainly been called worse during 20 years in this business), but it initailly struck me as an interesting “coincidence” that not even an hour after Cabrera’s departure, the team announces that No. 1 prospect Francisco Lindor (who happens to be the Tribe’s shortstop in waiting for when Cabrera is either traded this season or walks away afterwards as a free agent) is promoted to the final minor league level.To read more or comment...
Indians manager Terry Francona tried his best to give super utility man Mike Aviles some rare playing time in center field .
The veteran skipper also hoped to give All-Star outfielder Michael Brantley a much-deserved night off after participating in last week’s All-Star Game here at Target Field.
Neither worked very well Monday night in the Tribe’s 4-3 loss to the host Twins Monday.
Francona’s good intent was dashed pretty quickly when shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera left the game in the second inning with back spasms. With Cabrera gone, Aviles took over at short and Chris Dickerson, who hit for Cabrera in the third inning, took over in center.To read more or comment...
Indians top prospect Francisco Lindor was promoted to Triple-A Columbus following the RubberDucks’ 2-0 loss to Richmond on Monday night.
The move comes almost exactly a year after Lindor was promoted to Double-A on July 13, 2013.
Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera left Monday’s game in the third inning with an apparent injury. The timing was purely coincidental, as Lindor’s promotion was decided on Sunday night.
“You never expect to go somewhere else,” Lindor said. “You work for it.”To read more or comment...
Indians fans might find their team’s outfield makeup a little unique tonight as the Tribe opens a three-game series against the host Twins at Target Field Monday. Here are tonight’s lineups and pre-game notes:
2B Jason Kipnis
SS Asdrubal CabreraTo read more or comment...
Indians right-hander Justin Masterson pitched five innings and gave up two runs on five hits in his first rehab start for Triple-A Columbus Sunday night, but got no decision as the Clippers fell to the Indianapolis Indians 7-5 at Huntington Park in Columbus.
On the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right knee, Masterson walked two and struck out six for the Clippers.
Indians manager Terry Francona said Sunday in Detroit that either Masterson or Zach McAllister would pitch Friday's road game against the Kansas City Royals. McAllister is also with the Clippers following a stint on the disabled list with a lower back injury. He pitched Saturday night against the Tigers in Comerica Park before being sent back down.
The decision on Friday's starter likely hinged on Masterson's performance Sunday and how his knee responds afterward.To read more or comment...
Eighteen final thoughts as the Indians failed to close out their first four-game series sweep of the season.
1. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com was in Detroit for much of the series and reported the Indians are looking for a top of the rotation starter to pair with right-hander Corey Kluber before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. He said talks with the Tampa Bay Rays are continuing about David Price, but a Rosenthal source put the Indians’ chances of landing Price at less than one percent.
2. It’s easy to see why General Manager Chris Antonetti is exploring the market. At the moment, the Indians have Kluber and Trevor Bauer and no one else dependable in the starting rotation. (Raise your hand if you thought coming out of spring training that Bauer’s name would have been mentioned in that sentence.) Their roster for the Tigers’ series had three starters (Kluber, Josh Tomlin and Bauer) and 10 relievers.
3. Justin Masterson is either hurt, distraught because he’s losing millions in his contract year or feeling the burden of what the Indians’ two- or three-year offer in spring training (reportedly about $14 million per year) would have meant not just to his family, but to the charitable causes he supports. He’s on the 15-day disabled list with right knee inflammation and pitched Sunday evening for Triple-A Columbus. He could have pitched his way out of the Indians’ future plans, unless he’s found to have a serious injury.To read more or comment...
DETROIT: Coming into Sunday, right-hander Josh Tomlin’s career ERA against the Detroit Tigers was the third-highest of any major league team he’s faced.
Unfortunately for the Indians, that trend continued.
Tomlin went jut 4 1/3 innings and surrendered four runs on six hits, including a two-run home run by Torii Hunter in the fourth, as the Tigers prevailed 5-1.
The Indians took the four-game series at Comerica Park 3-1 and headed to Minnesota as a three-city, 11-game road trip continues. The Tribe has yet to sweep a four-game series this season, but is 7-5 against Detroit after going 4-15 last season.To read more or comment...
Indians manager Terry Francona laid out the starting rotation for the next five games, starting with a three-game series that begins Monday in Minnesota.
Left-hander T.J. House will be recalled from Triple-A Columbus to pitch Monday against the Twins, followed by right-hander Danny Salazar (also to be called up from the Clippers) and right-hander Trevor Bauer. Right-hander Corey Kluber will open the three-game series in Kansas City Thursday, followed by right-hander Justin Masterson or right-hander Zach McAllister.
Masterson, on the 15-day disabled list with right knee inflammation, is pitching a rehab start today for the Clippers. McAllister was optioned back to Columbus after Saturday night's start in Detroit.
Game: 1:08 p.m. at Comerica ParkTo read more or comment...
Twenty-three final thoughts after the Indians recorded their first doubleheader sweep in Detroit since 1966.
1. Judging from the reaction after I posted that fact on Twitter, the magnitude seemed almost unfathomable to fans. In 1966, the Indians’ leading hitters were Rocky Colavito, Leon Wagner, Max Alvis and Vic Davalillo. That’s not just a generation ago, but another era of baseball.
2. The Indians have swept the last four doubleheaders between the two clubs. The Tribe (50-47) improved to three games above .500 and moved into second place in the AL Central Division, 4.5 games behind the Tigers.
3. Is the tide turning against a team that dominated the Indians last year, going 15-4? This season the Indians are 7-4 against the Tigers, 4-1 at Comerica Park.To read more or comment...
DETROIT: Right-hander Corey Kluber held the dangerous Detroit lineup to seven hits and catcher Yan Gomes recorded three hits and scored three runs on his 27th birthday as the Indians claimed a 6-2 victory over the Tigers in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday at Comerica Park.
Kluber (10-6, 2.95) fell one out shy of pitching his second complete game of the season. With two out and a run home, Tribe manager Terry Francona lifted him for right-hander Bryan Shaw after Kluber gave up the second of two ninth-inning doubles. He threw 114 pitches, 79 for strikes. He struck out 10 and walked one.
The game was the makeup of an April 15 contest postponed due to cold and snow.
The Indians improved to 2-0 on the three-city, 11-game road trip and boosted their record to 6-4 against the Tigers this season, 3-1 on the road. Last season the Tribe went 4-15 against the three-time defending American League Central Division champs.To read more or comment...
Twenty final thoughts after a big victory on Motown Night at Comerica Park, highlighted by two home runs by Jason Kipnis and an outstanding national anthem by The Four Tops.
1. If Trevor Bauer were testifying in court, the Indians right-hander would be one of those a lawyer would never ask a question without knowing the answer. And with Bauer, even if you thought you knew, he might surprise you.
2. A seemingly innocuous question about what Bauer did over the All-Star break after Friday's game resulted in an amazing tale for a major league starter.
3. Bauer said he stayed in Cleveland so he could prepare for what he considered an important starting assignment as the first Tribe pitcher to take the mound in the second half. But he couldn’t get into Progressive Field on Monday because he said they were setting up for a concert, Friday’s show featuring Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert and Florida Georgia Line.To read more or comment...
Right-hander C.C. Lee was recalled from Triple-A Columbus before Friday night's game against the Detroit Tigers in Comerica Park.
Lee will be enjoying his third stint with the Indians this season. He's recorded a 4.76 ERA in 11 1/3 innings of 13 games; batters have hit just. 167 with runners on base against him.
With the Clippers, Lee went 0-1 with a save and a 4.13 ERA in 24 innings of 20 games. In nine June appearances, he compiled a 1.69 ERA in 10 2/3 innings.
Trevor Bauer (3-4, 3.84) will start for the Indians Friday against right-hander Anibal Sanchez (6-3, 3.04).To read more or comment...
A look at the American League Central Division as play resumes today after the All-Star break (courtesy Cleveland Indians):
Third place, 71/2 games back
Games remaining vs. Kansas City, Detroit: 21
Games vs. teams at or over .500: 35
Detroit Tigers: 53-38
Games remaining vs. Cleveland, Kansas City: 17
Games vs. teams at or over .500: 41
Kansas City Royals: 48-46
Second place, 61/2 games back
Games remaining vs. Cleveland, Detroit: 16
Games vs. teams at or over .500: 30
August Fagerstrom's final thoughts following the Indians 3-2 victory at home over the White Sox on Sunday, the last game before the All-Star break.
1) Trevor Bauer is quickly turning into perhaps the most reliable arm not named Corey Kluber that this Indians team has. Bauer turned in the best start of his MLB career today, striking out 10 batters and not allowing a run in over six innings of work.
Out of Bauer's 10 strikeouts, eight came on his curveball. One came on a slider and one came on a 96mph fastball blown past slugger Jose Abreu.
2) Mike Aviles showed off an arm that even his teammates didn't know he had in the second inning. Aviles, playing left field, tracked down a fly ball in the corner before bouncing off the wall and firing a dart on the fly to first base, doubling off Conor Gillaspie. After the game, regular left fielder Michael Brantley joked that he taught Aviles everything he knows. Aviles wouldn't concede.To read more or comment...
The Cleveland Indians did a nice job encapsulating their first half in a 3-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox (45-51) on Sunday afternoon, the final game of the first half before the four-day All-Star break begins.
First, there was Trevor Bauer continuing to progress as a major-league starter, turning in his finest performance to date in his young major league career. Bauer, 23, set a career-high by striking out 10 batters over 6 2/3 innings of work. 74 of his 117 pitches went for strikes, impressive considering command has been Bauer’s Achilles Heel in his career. He walked three and allowed eight hits without conceding a run.
However, a lack of clutch hitting and quality defense looked like it was going to squander a quality pitching performance, as has often been the case this season.
At the time of Bauer’s removal from the game, which was met with a standing ovation and a cap-tip, the Indians (47-47) had scored just one run with 10 runners left on base.To read more or comment...
The Indians acquired pitcher Nick Maronde in a trade from the Los Angeles Angels for a Player to be Named Later or cash considerations. To clear a roster spot on the 40-man roster, Tribe designated hitter Jason Giambi was moved to the 60-day Disabled List.
Maronde is an interesting pickup for the Indians, as the 6-foot-3 left-hander was originally a third-round pick by the Angels in 2011. But after failing as a starter, Maronde still struggled after being converted to a reliever.
In a classic case of a player in need of a change of scenery, the Indians picked him up in the hopes they can turn him around with a little patience and make out in the end like they did with misunderstood pitcher Trevor Bauer.
Maronde will be sent to join one of the organization’s higher-level minor league clubs. However, there’s no word yet from the front office regarding which one.To read more or comment...
The Indians looked to have a caught a break Saturday afternoon when White Sox starting pitcher Scott Carroll exited the game with low back stiffness after five shutout innings.
But even with the 29-year-old rookie out of action early and the inconsistent White Sox bullpen taking over, the struggling Indians offense failed to produce a clutch hit with one out and the bases loaded in the seventh inning in a 6-2 loss.
“We had the opportunity,” Indians centerfielder Michael Brantley said. “But this is baseball. You’re not always going to capitalize.”
Carroll went on to earn the win to improve to 4-5, once again holding the Indians without an earned run for the third time in as many appearances this season.To read more or comment...
Here are the lineups and pre-game notes for today’s game between the host Indians and Chicago White Sox Saturday afternoon at Progressive Field:
2B Jason KipnisTo read more or comment...
August Fagerstrom's final thoughts following the Clevleand Indians 7-4 victory at home in a series opener against the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.
1) Early in the season, it seemed like every time the Indians would score a run in the early goings of a game they would come right back out and allow the opposition to match or trump whatever run total they just put up. Tonight, they were on the other side of that equation, answering Chicago in all three innings in which the White Sox scored.
"That was important tonight," said Tribe manager Terry Francona. "Kluber didn’t have his sharpest stuff tonight with his command. They had a lot of hits early but we kept answering. If you’re going to be down, coming right back is important."
2) We're dealing with small samples here, but Nick Swisher now has a seven-game hitting streak after tonight's performance, including three homers in his last five games. It's too early to say that Swisher has turned a corner, but given his track record, you had to expect him to start doing something soon. His .207 batting average, while still low, is the highest it's been since June 15.To read more or comment...
The Indians and White Sox took turns countering each other run-for-run early in the Tribe’s 7-4 victory Friday, with the visitors taking a 4-3 lead after four and a half innings. But just when it looked like the Indians wouldn’t answer for the first time in the bottom of the fourth when Asdrubal Cabrera was called out at second base for the third out of the inning on a stolen base attempt, the Tribe got a break.
And that’s all they needed to pull back to .500, improving their record to 46-46.
Tribe manager Terry Francona challenged the Cabrera play as replays showed the ball beat Cabrera to the bag, but shortstop Alexei Ramirez missed the tag on a sliding Cabrera. When the call was reversed after a short delay, the Indians took advantage of the new life. With two outs, Lonnie Chisenhall followed with a RBI single to score Cabrera and Nick Swisher smashed a two-run home run to put the Indians up by two runs - and they never looked back.
“I felt like I should have taken some powder and threw it up in the air,” Swisher said, in reference to the day’s earlier news that LeBron James announced his return to the Cavs.To read more or comment...
Here are the lineup for Friday's White Sox series opener at Progressive Field:
Kipnis 2BTo read more or comment...
On a night when New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter became just the sixth player in major league history to collect his 1,000th career multi-hit game and Ichiro Suzuki recorded career-hit 2,800th, the game belonged to the Indians offense and the feel-good story of rookie catcher Roberto Perez.
In his sixth professional season, the Puerto Rican native crossed a bunch of major league firsts off the list in a big-league debut – a memorable 9-3 Indians victory.
Perez’s big night began with his first hit and run scored in the Tribe’s go-ahead four-run seventh inning and continued with his first home run and RBI in the host’s two-run eighth inning.
But it gets better. Perez was so anxious throughout the night, he broke the only two bats he brought with him from Triple-A Columbus to Cleveland and had to borrow a bat from shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who swings a much lighter bat,To read more or comment...
Derek Jeter’s final memory of baseball in Cleveland won’t be a fond one.
For the second time in three nights, the Cleveland Indians came from behind, scoring nine runs from the seventh inning on to beat the New York Yankees 9-3.
Asdrubal Cabrera’s three-run triple in the seventh inning got the Tribe on the board and knotted up the score at 3-3. The next batter, Michael Brantley, roped a line drive into center field where Jacoby Ellsbury made a great diving catch. With Cabrera standing on third, though, the Indians took a 4-3 lead and Brantley notched his team-leading 61st RBI.
A night after playing 14 innings and using seven different pitchers, the last thing the Indians wanted to see was their bullpen in the game in the fifth inning, but that’s exactly what happened as starter T.J. House was only able to make it 4 2/3 innings.To read more or comment...
Stephanie Storm’s final thoughts on the Indians 5-4 14-inning loss to the Yankees Wednesday night.
1) The Indians handed starter Josh Tomlin a 3-0 first inning lead with which to work, but the right-hander couldn’t make the early lead hold up. He made two costly mistakes via a pair of two-out home runs to Mark Teixeira that accounted for three RBI.
The Yankees first baseman led off the fourth inning with a 369-foot shot to the right field bleachers to put the visitors on the board, 3-1. In the Yankees three-run fifth inning, Teixiera was responsible for two of the run thanks to his second homer – a 390-footer a little high up in the right field stands as New York took a 4-3 lead.
“I thought (Tomlin) was really good,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “The first home run to Teixeira was a breaking ball down that I thought was a good pitch. After he gave up that one to him, he stayed away with it. But a fastball came back up over the plate for the two-run homer. He’s going give up some hits, but he’s spread them out a little bit.”To read more or comment...
The Indians bullpen had gone 18 innings without allowing a run. One-third of those had come since Josh Tomlin exited Wednesday’s start after seven innings. That all ended when Jacoby took Vinnie Pestano deep in the 14th and the Yankees knocked off the Indians, 5-4.
Recent Yankees acquisition Brandon McCarthy didn’t kick off his career in pinstripes the way he might have liked. The Indians jumped on the 6-foot-7 right-hander for three runs in the first, though not entirely to his fault. After making a great diving stop, first basemen Mark Teixeira’s throwing error on a potential inning-ending double play kept the inning alive. The Indians capitalized with back-to-back singles by Lonnie Chisenhall and Nick Swisher, giving the Indians a quick 3-0 lead.
Teixeira made up for it not once, but twice, with home runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, each off Tribe starter Josh Tomlin. Tomlin has now allowed 12 home runs in as many starts this season.
Teixeira’s second home run gave the Yankees a 4-3 lead in the fifth, but the Indians answered right back with an RBI single by Carlos Santana to tie the score at 4-4, where it stayed until Ellsbury’s heroics nearly a full ballgame’s worth of innings later.To read more or comment...
Everyone around the basketball world seems to have an opinion on where LeBron James should play next. Wednesday, Indians manager Terry Francona threw his hat in the ring for LeBron to come home to Northeast Ohio.
“That would be really cool,” said Francona, whose a huge basketball fan. “Just because I am enjoying sort of being entrenched here, I would love it…I know I would plan my trips back to Cleveland a little more frequently.”
In fact, Francona shared a stoy about how watching James play helped him get though a particulary trying time as the former manager of the Boston Red Sox.
“I was in Miami a couple years ago when things were kind of falling apart in Boston, and I just went and hid,” Francona said. “I went and bought a ticket to a game just to watch him play - and it was worth it. It was great.”To read more or comment...
Here’s tonight’s starting lineups and pre-game notes for Wednesday's game – the third of the four-game series between the host Indians and Yankees.
2B Jason KipnisTo read more or comment...
August Fagerstrom's final thoughts following the Indians come-from-behind 5-3 victory over the Yankees at home on Tuesday:
1) Hats off to this Indians lineup for handing Masahiro Tanaka the worst loss of his short big-league career. The Japanese "rookie" has barely looked human for the majority of this season, but you wouldn't be able to tell after what the Tribe lineup did to him tonight. His five earned runs and 10 hits allowed were a season (thus, major league career) high. It was also the first time he's allowed more than eight hits in a game along with a homer and a walk.
"We don’t care who's out there," said Indians first basemen Nick Swisher. "We're a scrappy squad. We battle and we fight. It may not be pretty for the first six or seven innings, but we always find ourselves getting back in the game. You could put Cy Young out there and were going to fight, we're going to battle."
2) It was a game of ups and downs for Nick Swisher. In the fifth inning, he allowed Jacoby Ellsbury to reach via error for the second time in the game when a routine ground ball rolled right through his legs in Buckner-esque fashion. On one hand, this is the kind of thing that reinforces why Swisher has been the designated hitter in 13 of 17 games since returning from the disabled list. On the other hand, it makes you wonder if maybe he would have made that play were he seeing more time in the field.To read more or comment...
Any team this season in the major leagues that finds itself trailing the Yankees with right-handed pitcher Masahiro Tanaka on the mound might as well forget about any thoughts of a comeback. Just finish up the game and focus on the next day’s.
That’s because New York’s “rookie” and soon-to-be All-Star entered Tuesday’s game against the Indians at progressive Field with a 12-3 record, 2.27 ERA and armed with a devastating splitter that leaves his hand like a fastball, but ends up darting left or right on bewildered hitters.
But the Indians didn’t concede defeat Tuesday, despite trailing 3-0 after two innings and went on to claw back into the game and using two big home runs to secure a 5-3 victory against Tanaka.
Instead, they scratched out a run in the first and fifth innings on Michael Brantley doubles. Nick Swisher added a two-run home run in the sixth and Brantley a solo shot in the seventh to chase Tanaka – the Indians handing him season and career highs in hits (10) and runs (five).To read more or comment...
The Indians placed Justin Masterson on the 15-day disabled list before Tuesday's game with right knee inflammation. The move comes a day after Masterson lasted just two-plus innings in a start against the Yankees, allowing five earned runs on six hits, three walks and a hit batter. That marked the fourth time in Masterson's last five starts in which he was unable to last more than four innings. The move marks Masterson's first career trip to the disabled list, though he did miss a start at the end of June while dealing with the same knee issue.
Left-handed reliever Nick Hagadone was recalled from Triple-A Columbus to take Masterson's spot on the roster. This is Hagadone's fourth stint with the major league club this year, and he holds a 6.00 ERA in six appearances. His career ERA is 5.60 over 70 2/3 innings.
Catcher Roberto Perez was also promoted from Triple-A Columbus before the game. Perez receives his first call to the big leagues after hitting .305/.405/.517 with eight home runs and a stolen base in 53 games this season. Perez spent the offseason recovering from Bell's palsy, a form of facial paralysis that left him unable to close his left eye for monts.
Outfielder Tyler Holt was optioned back to Triple-A Columbus to make room for Perez. Holt appeared in one game with the Indians as a ninth-inning defensive replacement in right field.To read more or comment...
Tonight's starting lineups between the Indians and Yankees:
Kipnis 2BTo read more or comment...
Stephanie Storm’s final thoughts on Monday’s opener of the Indians/Yankees series at Progressive Field – the Justin Masterson edition.
1) You’re probably as tired of hearing about Masterson’s struggles on the mound as much as I am of writing about it. Yet, there’s no getting around it: The Indians have to do something with big right-hander who had another short outing - i.e. - he didn’t make it through three innings. Again.
2) Masterson is averaging just 3 2/3 innings over his last five starts. Over his last three, he owns a 13.00 ERA. Looking at the bigger picture, eight of his starts this season have lasted less than five innings.
3) His latest debacle led to a 5-3 Indians loss – all five runs coming via the five Masterson spotted them between three in the second inning and two more in the third.To read more or comment...
Justin Masterson just didn’t have it – again.
And this time being Monday’s start in the first game of a four-game series against the visiting New York Yankees. And this time may have been the last shot for the former Indians ace, who hasn’t been able to find the command for a majority of the season that previously made him an All-Star.
The 6-foot-6, 250-pounder, who may or may not still be trying to pitch though a sore knee, just can’t seem to get his long limbs moving in the right direction at the same time. That point has been driven home in ugly fashion repeatedly over the last month, as he’s averaged 3 2/3 innings over his past five starts.
In Masterson’s latest debacle that led to a 5-3 Indians loss, he spotted the visitors a 5-0 lead in only two-plus innings. His troubles started quickly in a second inning that went like this: back-to-back doubles to Brian McCann and Brian Roberts, an Ichiro Suzuki single, a Kelly Johnson walk, Francisco Cervelli being drilled in the left thigh and a mound visit by pitching coach Mickey Callaway.To read more or comment...
The Indians acquired minor league outfielder Chris Dickerson from the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday in exchange for a player to be named later or cash.
Although Dickerson has spent time with the Cincinnati Reds and Baltimore Orioles, he’d spent this season to date with the Pirates Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis, where he’d batted .309 (eighth best in the International League) and owned a .407 on-base percentage (third in I.L.).
To make room on the roster, the Indians designated veteran reserve catcher George Kottaras for assignment. All of the moves over the last two days were necessitated by yet another problem with Michael Bourn’s lingering hamstring issues.
The Indians veteran centerfielder has battled hamstring problems since the end of last season. Off-season surgery appeared to help initially, but Bourn suffered more issues toward of end of spring training in March and again twice already this season.To read more or comment...
August Fagerstrom's final thoughts on the Indians 4-1 win over the visiting Kansas City Royals on Sunday afternoon.
1) It's undeniable at this point. Corey Kluber is one of the best starting pitchers in baseball. A true major league ace. Up until this year, Kluber had been a guy whose peripherals looked better than his ERA, due to consistent hard contact. Not anymore. After today's near-complete game, Kluber's ERA sits at 2.86, a top-10 mark in the American League. His peripherals are even better. His home run rate is a top-25 mark among all major league pitchers. His strikeout rate is top-10. His walk rate is bested by only David Price. This guy is the real deal.
2) Jason Kipnis makes sense not only as the interim leadoff hitter during Michael Bourn's absence, but moving forward even once Bourn returns. Since Bourn came to Cleveland last season, he owns a .316 on-base percentage. That is not the kind of number you want atop your lineup. Having speed at the top of your order is important, but nothing trumps OBP in terms of lineup construction. It's not like Kipnis can't run, either. His 38 steals since the start of last season beat Bourn's 30. Bourn's profile as a singles hitter with speed plays much better towards the bottom of the order anyway, as it makes more sense to risk outs with your worst hitters at the plate than your best.
3) With a double and a home run, Yan Gomes bolstered his resume as an All-Star caliber catcher. By the numbers, Gomes has been a top-three offensive catcher in the American League and arguably the most valuable defensive catcher in all of baseball. Whether he actually gets voted in is another story, but he certainly has earned it with his well-rounded play.To read more or comment...
Corey Kluber continued to dominate major league hitting, striking out 10 batters over 8 1/3 innings while walking just one and allowing four hits (one home run). The win improves Kluber's record to 8-6.
The Indians got on the board in the second inning on a leadoff home run by Carlos Santana. The homer gives Santana 13 of the season, tying him with Michael Brantley for the team lead.
The next batter, Ryan Raburn, singled, and two batters later Yan Gomes added a home run of his own to give the Indians a 3-0 lead. The homer was Gomes' 10th of the season.
The Tribe added on in the fifth inning on an RBI single by Michael Brantley, scoring Jason Kipnis. Brantley now has 57 RBI for the year.To read more or comment...
The Cleveland Indians placed center fielder Michael Bourn on the 15-day disabled list with left hamstring tightness prior to Sunday afternoon's home game against Kansas City. He is scheduled for an MRI later today.
Bourn sustained the injury while rounding third base in the ninth inning of Saturday's 7-3 victory over the Royals.
Bourn required surgery on the same hamstring in the offseason after injuring it in the final game of the 2013 regular season. He then started the 2014 season the disabled list after experiencing tightness shortly prior to Opening Day. Though this is just the second disabled list stint for Bourn, it's now the fourth time the troublesome left hamstring has flared up in the last nine months.
Though it is the same hamstring, Bourn insists this injury is in a different area than the previous injuries. He says those were more on the inside of his leg, while this one is on the outside.To read more or comment...
Stephanie Storm’s final thoughts on the Indians 7-3 over the visiting Kansas City Royals Saturday night, as the Tribe jumped out to an early 6-1 lead and held off a ninth-inning rally to even the weekend series.
1) Rookie starting pitcher T.J. House picked up his first major league win after limiting the Royals to three runs on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings. House was so thrilled to finally notch a win in his seventh big league start, he didn’t mind being stuffed into a laundry cart, wheeled into the shower and doused with beer by his mischievous teammates.
“I’ll take it every time after a ‘W’,” said House with a dimpled grin, his black hair slicked back and still wet from the congratulatory beer shower.
The lineup card from the game and four of the evening’s baseballs had been put aside for House as keepsakes.To read more or comment...
All of the line drives that didn’t fall the previous night and frustrated the Indians batters to no end in Friday’s blowout loss to the Kansas City Royals, fell a plenty Saturday.
In addition to returning some of the Tribe’s hitter’s confidence at the plate, the 7-3 victory handed Indians rookie pitcher T.J. House his first major league win in his seventh start.
While current Royals starting pitcher and former Tribe first-round draft pick Jeremy Guthrie allowed six runs on 11 hits in just four-plus innings Saturday at Progressive Field, the lefty House tip-toed around base runners a majority of the way through his 6 2/3-inning outing while limiting the damage to three runs on nine hits.
After the Royals jumped out to an early 1-0 lead just two batters into the first inning, the Indians bats came alive against Guthrie with a trio of runs in each of the third and fifth innings.To read more or comment...
After flirting with a no-hitter last week in Seattle before settling for a career-best one-hitter, Indians starter Josh Tomlin struggled to even come close to repeating the feat Friday at a sold-out Progressive Field.
The right-hander held the Mariners to a fifth-inning Kyle Seager single in his last start on the road, but was tagged for five runs on 10 hits in just 5 2/3 innings in the Indians 7-1 loss to the Royals in front of the Tribe’s third sell out of the season.
"I didn't feel like I was fighting (control) that much," Tomlin said. "It's just I wanted to go in(side) a bit to try to get some guys off the cutter and I made a few mistakes.But I feel I made the right pitches for the most part.
Despite the double-digit hits, Tomlin kept the Royals in check by limiting the early damage to solo runs in the third and fifth innings. But in the sixth, he dished up a three-run home run to slugging third baseman Mike Moustakas - a blast into the right field bleachers that pushed the Royals advantage to five unanswered runs.To read more or comment...
Here’s the lineups for tonight’s game at Progressive Field that kicks off the first of a three-game weekend series between the host Indians and Royals Friday night:
Michael Bourn CF
Asdrubal Cabrera SSTo read more or comment...
Nineteen final thoughts as the Indians win a big three-game series.
1. Those who thought the Indians’ eight-game, three-city road trip was unusual don’t know the half of it. It ended Wednesday in Dodger Stadium with right-hander Trevor Bauer hugging left fielder Michael Brantley.
2. Brantley, playing center with Michael Bourn given the day off, came back to the dugout in the fifth inning angry after lining out to third base with one out and Asdrubal Cabrera on second. Miguel Rojas went to his right towards the baseline and laid out for the ball to make the stab. It was at least the third line-drive out for Brantley in a span of six games.
3. That prompted Bauer to make what may have been his first public display of affection towards a teammate, and it was caught by the Dodger television network SportsNet LA.“The past 10 or 15 days he’s hit a lot of balls hard right at people. I kind of felt like he could use a hug,” Bauer said.To read more or comment...
LOS ANGELES: Clutch singles by David Murphy and Mike Aviles in the eighth inning that left Dodger fans second-guessing manager Don Mattingly and booing reliever Brian Wilson helped the Indians pull out a 5-4 victory Wednesday at Dodger Stadium.
Murphy and Aviles also helped the Tribe take the series 2-1 against one of the hottest teams in the National League and end an eight-game, three-city road trip with a 4-4 record.
But it was not without drama in the bottom of the ninth, when the Dodgers put runners on second and third with two out off right-hander Cody Allen. MIchael Brantley caught Matt Kemp's fly ball to center field on the warning track for the final out.
After Wilson walked leadoff batters Michael Brantley and Carlos Santana in the eighth, Mattingly elected to leave in the right-hander. Wilson struck out right-hander Yan Gomes on three pitches. But left-handed hitting pinch-hitter David Murphy, who broke out of a half-month slump with three hits Tuesday night, singled to left field to tie the game 3-3.To read more or comment...
Here's what Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said about Tuesday night's 7-2-4 triple play by the Indians at Dodger Stadium that included two replay challenges.
After Michael Brantley caught a fly ball in left and his throw home nailed Dee Gordon at the plate, catcher Yan Gomes hesitated to bait Yasiel Puig to go from first to second, then threw to second baseman Jasn Kipnis to try to get Puig. Puig was called safe, but that was reversed after Tribe manager Terry Francona's challenge. Then Dodgers manager Don Mattingly challenged the call at home, but it was upheld.
Q: What did you think of the triple play?
Antonetti: "Glad we had replay. I’ve been consistent in supporting the increased replay. I know no system’s perfect, but it helped get two calls right last night. That’s ultimately the goal of the system. By and large that’s been the effect this year. I imagine there will be some tweaks moving forward. But we have a better system now than we had last year."To read more or comment...
Twenty-one final thoughts as I wonder what strange thing is going to happen to the Indians next.
1. The best part of the Indians’ replay-assisted triple play was the matchup of one of the fastest men in baseball, Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon, and one of the best defensive outfielders in the game, Indians left fielder Michael Brantley.
2. In the fourth inning, Gordon reached base by beating out an infield single to third, clocked in the press box at 3.72 seconds from home to first.
3. “That’s special, that’s something you can’t teach,” Brantley said of Gordon’s speed. “Look at his stolen bases (40, caught stealing only nine times). He had an infield single tonight that you very rarely see. Lonnie (Chisenhall) did a great job getting the ball out of his glove so fast and he beat it, no doubt about it. He can really run.”To read more or comment...
LOS ANGELES: History is nipping at the Cleveland Indians’ heels nearly every night.
Instant replay broke new ground Tuesday at Dodger Stadium when the Indians were awarded a triple play that included two manager challenges. Without Major League Baseball’s expanded replay system this season, the Indians would not have been awarded the third out.
The feat highlighted the Indians’ 10-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on an evening when Tribe right-hander Justin Masterson survived only three innings.
The Indians came into the game having been one-hit by the Seattle Mariners and Dodgers on consecutive nights. On Saturday, Indians’ right-hander Josh Tomlin threw a complete game one-hitter against the Mariners. But the fourth inning brought a play that rivaled anything that happened the previous three days.To read more or comment...
Tom Hamilton will be honored during a pregame ceremony for his 25 years as voice of the lndians on Friday, Aug. 1 as part of the Tribe's 20th anniversary celebration at Progressive Field.
During the game, Hamilton's calls for his all-time top 10 moments will be played throughout the park. They will also introduce the night's fireworks show, with a hits of 1994 theme.
On Saturday, Aug. 2, the Indians will unveil the new Jim Thome statue near Heritage Park and a replica will be given to 12,500 fans. Fireworks will have a Jim Thome theme.
Sunday, Aug. 3 will be the team's regular Kids Fun Day, along with Slider's birthday celebration.To read more or comment...
Thirteen final thoughts after the Indians make dubious history in Dodger Stadium.
1. The thing I’ll remember most about the Indians being one-hit in back-to-back games was that they got their only hit in the second game from instant replay.
2. That and the sound of broken bats.
3. Manager Terry Francona said the Indians had a couple shattered sticks – it sounded to me like a dozen against the Dodgers. Just as you can sometimes tell when a golfer hits a perfect drive from the sound the ball makes as it’s whizzing past your ear, the crack of a broken bat makes seems just as indelible.To read more or comment...