The Indians on Friday announced that John Sherman, a Missouri-based entrepreneur, has been added as a minority investor and vice chairman.
Indians CEO and owner Paul Dolan has been seeking a minority partner for roughly the last year in part to help with the financial burden of owning the team and potentially increase salaries. Per a report from last year, Dolan was shopping roughly 30 percent of the team.
It’s still unclear what Sherman paid for his stake or what his ownership percentage will be. It’s also unclear exactly what effect Sherman will have on future payrolls.
“I am pleased to conclude the process and am thrilled to be partnering with John Sherman,” Dolan said via a release. “John has an impressive business track record and shares the community oriented values that we believe in. I am eager to have John join our ownership group.”
Sherman, based in Kansas City, is credited with developing two successful businesses, LPG Services Group and Inergy L.P.
“It’s an exciting time to be joining the Indians organization and ownership group,” Sherman said via a release. “It’s a strong, storied franchise with a great deal of promise this year and beyond. I look forward to working closely with Paul and helping him further the organization and team in any way that I can.”
As Danny Salazar rehabbed from elbow inflammation, the Indians elected to have him throw a couple of bullpen sessions but decided he didn’t need a rehab appearance in the minors. Rather, he started Thursday’s game against the Chicago White Sox and lasted only one inning, walking three and allowing three innings.
When asked if it was fair to say Salazar did need a rehab outing after all, Francona said it was a fair question to ask.
“And maybe we should have,” Francona said. “I don’t think Danny wanted to and that didn’t sway it, but I think we thought with the two weeks down and his bullpen was really good, but it’s a fair point.”
Salazar then threw a couple of simulated innings in the bullpen. The Indians need Salazar to be lengthened out for his next start.
“Having a -pitch inning and then coming back to start five days later, I don’t know if we were going to be in much better shape than we were yesterday,” Francona said. “So at least he has a certain number of pitches under his belt. I know the last 30 weren’t under game [conditions], or the last 40, but it was still up and down and he got to have some repetition.”
The Indians on Friday called up relief pitcher Shawn Armstrong and demoted Kyle Crockett to Triple-A Columbus.
Though, it’s not a demotion for Crockett based on his performance. The Indians were going to need to make a roster move on Saturday when Josh Tomlin returns from the family medical emergency list, and Crockett would have been unavailable to throw Friday night.
It’s possible that Armstrong will only be up for one day as bullpen protection and then be sent back down. Though one or both relievers would be recalled when rosters expand on Sept. 1.
“We’ve kind of talked to that group of Crockett and [Austin] Adams and those guys and tried to explain it as much as we can that, when you have a team that’s trying to win, there’s a segment of guys that have options that it can be revolving,” Francona said. “And they’ve handled it really well.”
Here are 14 Walk-Off Thoughts on the Indians’ 5-4 walk-off win against the Chicago White Sox Thursday night.
1. This was one of the Indians’ more improbable wins of the season. It began with Danny Salazar, back from the disabled list, only lasting one inning and allowing three runs, putting both the offense and bullpen in a bind. And it ended with Tyler Naquin’s walk-off sacrifice fly, even though he didn’t start the at-bat.
2. Tied 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth, Abraham Almonte doubled to open the inning. Roberto Perez then tried to bunt, but Jacob Turner’s first pitch hit off catcher Omar Narvaez’s glove and trickled away, allowing Almonte to advance to third. That meant Perez was no longer needed to bunt, so Indians manager Terry Francona called on Tyler Naquin to pinch-hit.
3. Naquin said he’s never been a part of a situation like that but responded, ripping a ball into center field easily deep enough to score Almonte and win the game. It was Naquin’s first walk-off plate appearance.
4. “Just always staying ready. Bottom line, being ready when your name is called,” Naquin said. “I want anybody to walk it off, but I was lucky enough to be able to do it myself. It's all about the opportunity to see the ball up and put a good swing on it.”
5. It was also Naquin’s first time receiving the minor beatdown that follows winning a game like that.
6. “It’s awesome. It's great,” Naquin said of the crowd charging at him. “But I know Nap's heading it, so it's a little scary.”
7. Said Francona, “That’s a heck of a way to start off the ninth inning [by Almonte]. It kind of changes things. Roberto’s going to bunt and then they throw the wild pitch and Tyler Naquin’s been sitting over there by the batting rack for a couple of days ready to hit. And that’s not the easiest thing to do, but we didn’t have to go find him. He was ready, and it showed.”
More: Josh Tomlin expected to return Saturday after tending to family matter
8. It was the Indians’ sixth walk-off win this season. And another good part of it was that Fox Sport’s Andre Knott received the Gatorade shower while interviewing Naquin after the game. Perhaps it was payback after he took out Mustard with a shovel during Wednesday’s race.
9. For Salazar, it was a clear command issue Thursday night. He walked three of the first four batters he faced and then allowed a bases-clearing double off the wall to Justin Morneau. After 34 pitches, Francona had seen enough.
10. After Salazar left the game, he went to the bullpen and threw for several innings. The Indians needed him lengthened out. It certainly means his next start will be more of a question mark. Said Salazar, "I was wild. That’s it. I was feeling great, just couldn’t find my pitch map."
11. Said Francona, “I don’t think it was mechanical. I just think he was rusty. You could tell that right from the very beginning, he couldn’t really find the plate. That was probably almost our worst-case scenario, is throwing that many pitches in the first inning. I was really getting concerned because of things we talked about before the game. So what we did was we sent him out to the bullpen, almost looked like a spring training game, which is not really our goal. But we had to find a way to get him lengthened out. So he went out and threw three more up and downs. Just because we didn’t want the start to go to waste, but we’re trying to win the game, we’re trying to protect him. Fortunately for him it worked out.”
12. It meant the bullpen needed to piece together eight innings of relief. Mike Clevinger led the way, tossing four innings and giving up a run. He also stabilized the middle innings for the Indians and bridged the gap to Dan Otero and then Andrew Miller in the ninth.
13.Said Francona, “First of all, I thought Clev was outstanding. He gave up a couple hits and one was at the end there. He was really good. So that was good. Even when the night starts off bad, you kind of have something to hang you hat on because he really did a good job. And then OT comes in, brought him in because we knew they were going to bunt and can get ground balls, and he did, but one snuck through. But then we kind of kept fighting back.”
14. Clevinger has started to show some positive signs after a couple rough starts earlier in the year. He also will continue to be in a bullpen role, provided Josh Tomlin is able to return by Saturday. Said Clevinger, “It’s getting more comfortable any time I get out there, any time I get a chance to get out there. Just getting in sync with what my plan of attack is, staying within myself, it’s all kind of coming together.”
The Indians received only one inning from Danny Salazar but came back to win in walk-off fashion in the ninth, beating the Chicago White Sox 5-4 Thursday night.
Abraham Almonte led off the ninth with a double against White Sox reliever Jacob Turner and advanced to third on a passed ball. Tyler Naquin, who entered the game to pinch hit with a 1-0 count after Roberto Perez no longer needed to bunt, then completed a grinder of a comeback with a sacrifice fly to center field to win it. It’s the Indians’ sixth walk-off win of the season.
It was also one of the Indians’ more unlikely wins this season. Indians starting pitcher Danny Salazar returned from the disabled list on Thursday, but his first outing back didn’t go as planned. Mainly, it didn’t last nearly as long as the Indians had hoped.
Salazar, who was on the DL with elbow inflammation, walked three of the first four batters he faced to load the bases with only one out. He found the strike zone against Justin Morneau, but he drilled a bases-clearing double off the wall in left field to put the White Sox up 3-0 early. Salazar retired the next two batters to end the inning, but already at 34 pitches, Indians manager Terry Francona had seen enough and pulled him from the game.To read more or comment...
Here are 17 Walk-Off Thoughts after the Indians’ 10-7 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.
1. The Indians’ bullpen lately has been among baseball’s best. Wednesday night, though, was a rough one for closer Cody Allen.
2. The Indians entered the ninth leading 7-5. Two singles (including an error on Francisco Lindor) and a walk loaded the bases. Dioner Navarro then blooped a ball into left field that Jose Ramirez got his glove on but couldn’t catch, making it 7-6. Then, the final haymaker: Adam Eaton took a curve ball and crushed it for a grand slam.
3. That’s about as tough of a night as you can have as a closer. The Indians’ Twitter account was probably swarmed with venting fans calling Allen the worst closer in the league. And it was a bad night, one that cost the Indians a win that would have pushed their lead in the AL Central even further.
4. Said Indians manager Terry Francona, “Yeah, we got two infield singles, a walk that you could see the umpire flinch like he almost called it, and then a flair right over third. And he’s not in a good situation. He’s facing a guy that hasn’t put the ball in play yet, gets ahead 0-2 and hung a breaking ball. That was pretty much the ballgame.”
5. To Allen’s credit, he was sitting at his locker waiting for reporters when the clubhouse was opened. “That’s baseball,” he said. “You’ve got to make pitches when you have to. Had a nice opportunity right there to kind of limit what was going on. Didn’t actually think that was a bad pitch to Eaton, he just put a good swing on it. That guy’s a good player. That’s kind of how the inning went.”
6. One of the side effects of having Andrew Miller is that every time Allen or Bryan Shaw make a mistake, “Why wasn’t Miller in the game?” will be the question asked by fans.
7. Francona addressed this in a way recently, saying that he won’t be able to get Miller warmed up every time another pitcher might fall into trouble. You’d “kill” the bullpen over time. Warming up Miller just in case the White Sox get to Eaton in the lineup, and so that he can face one hitter after he’s thrown three times in the last four days, isn’t going to work in the long-term.
8. Francona also said afterward that Miller, who threw two innings Tuesday, wasn’t available anyway.
More: Jason Kipnis putting together consistently productive season
9. To take it a step further, Allen had a 1.19 ERA and 12.19 K/9 in his last 30 games (hat-tip to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com for that one). He had allowed one earned run since the beginning of July. And Shaw has now had 25 scoreless appearances in his last 26. Those two, along with Miller, together have formed a three-headed monster lately. But, they won’t be perfect.
10. Said Allen, “It’s one game. Obviously it was a tough one, but it’s one ballgame. We’ll show up tomorrow ready to play.”
11. Francona would love to use Shaw, Miller and Allen every day. That’s not going to be possible, and repeatedly warming up pitchers who don’t enter the game isn’t going to help matters. That’s the balance managers have to find when handling a bullpen across a 162-game grind. It’s one of the reasons bullpens can shift so much from year-to-year, and why they seem like they can be on shaky ground at times.
12. Lately, the Indians bullpen had been borderline deadly—like when they grabbed a one-run lead against the Angels to overcome a 4-1 deficit they had all day and then didn’t allow another hit the rest of the game. Wednesday was a reminder that eventually, a relief pitcher is going to have to be waiting at his locker, ready to answer questions on a rough night.
13. Relief pitchers often have to deal with short memories, the thinking being that it’s a good thing to forget one bad outing and move on. But when evaluating relief pitchers, the opposite is true. Even though it won’t help cooler heads prevail Wednesday night.
14. Lindor’s error didn’t help matters. If he doesn’t make the throw, it’s possible the Indians get an out on the next play, if they had the force-out at second base available. Instead, it was an infield single.
15. Francona still will take Lindor’s aggressiveness. Said Francona, “Yeah, probably. But again, how many times have we seen him make plays where you don’t want to take his aggressiveness away?”
16. Brandon Guyer was acquired to hit left-handed pitchers but got the starter against a righty on Wednesday and responded, coming away with three singles including a go-ahed two-run single in the fifth. He’s hitting .462 since coming to Cleveland.
17. Said Guyer, “It's always fun, whether it's a righty or lefty, to get out there on the field. I love playing with these guys. It's a fun group of guys. It stinks we lost, though. That's all I can think about right now. But, we'll come back tomorrow and we'll be good.”
The Indians traded punches with the Chicago White Sox all night but couldn’t answer their last haymaker, giving up a five-run ninth to fall 10-7.
The Indians entered the bottom of the ninth leading 7-5 with closer Cody Allen on the mound. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out. Dioner Navarro blooped a single into left field that Jose Ramirez got his glove on but couldn’t catch, making it 7-6. Adam Eaton followed by crushing a grand slam to right field, capping the furious comeback.
The Indians made it interesting against White Sox closer David Robertson in the ninth. Mike Napoli walked and Lonnie Chisenhall singled, bringing the tying run to the plate with one out. Robertson, though, struck out Rajai Davis and induced Brandon Guyer to ground out to end the game.
The Indians had answered each rally prior to the ninth, as they were tied three separate times between the second and fifth innings.
Facing White Sox starter Anthony Ranaudo in the second inning, Chisenhall ripped a two-run home run down the right-field line, putting the Indians up 2-0.
After Tim Anderson tied it 2-2 with a two-run home run off the left-field foul pole in the top of the third, Carlos Santana in the bottom half of the inning drilled a solo home run to right field, his 26th of the season, one shy of his career high. Later in the inning Chisenhall added a two-out RBI single to right field to put the Indians on top 4-2.
Once again, the White Sox fought back in their next at-bat. Todd Frazier hit a two-run double off the wall in center field to tie it 4-4. J.B. Shuck then grounded a ball to the right side that went through Jason Kipnis’ legs for an error. Kipnis fired home to keep Frazier from scoring, and Roberto Perez threw to second as Shuck was caught in a rundown. Santana eventually tagged Shuck, but he fell while doing it, allowing Frazier to score and the White Sox to pull ahead 5-4.
Kipnis tied it in the bottom of the fourth with a sacrifice fly that followed singles by Guyer and Santana.
Guyer, who was acquired primarily because of his ability to hit left-handed pitching, received the start despite a right-hander on the mound and responded well. Against reliever Michael Ynoa in the fifth, Guyer delivered a two-out, two-run single to center field to give the Indians a 7-5 advantage. It was Guyer’s third hit of the night, all against right-handers, after he entered the game hitting just .204 against them (.358 against left-handers). The Indians needed one more from him in the ninth.
Carrasco finished with four earned runs allowed on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings pitched. Kyle Crockett finished the seventh inning and Bryan Shaw induced Jose Abreu to ground into an inning-ending double play to end the eighth, giving him 25 scoreless appearances in his last 26.
It looked to be yet another positive, smooth night for the Indians as they entered the later innings with the lead. That was until Eaton’s grand slam, and until a bullpen that had been among baseball’s best in recent weeks was roughed up for one of its worst nights of the year.
Here are 17 Walk-Off Thoughts on the Indians’ 3-1 win against the Chicago White Sox Tuesday night.
1. Corey Kluber continues to turn in terrific performances. Kluber allowed one run and seven hits in six innings and struck out seven Tuesday night.
2. He’s now won four consecutive starts and his last five decisions over his lsat seven starts. In that stretch, he owns a 1.65 ERA and has struck out 49 batters in 49 innings pitched. He last won five consecutive starts to end the 2014 season, when his second half powered him to the 2014 American League Cy Young Award.
3. Certainly, over the last seven starts, Kluber has looked like the ace the Indians want to see.
4. Said Kluber, “I don't know if it's easy to compare different years. The one thing is that, once I'm able to get on a routine and stick with it—we’re in a stretch right now where we're playing lots of games without a lot of off-days, so I'm pretty much pitching every fifth day. I usually tend to like sticking on that five-day routine.”
5. Said Indians manager Terry Francona, “The ball is coming out of his hand so crisp. And they made him work. He had to pitch out of some jams. They got his pitch count up. But, other than he threw two breaking balls in a row to Morneau that he hit for the home run… He looks like the tank's full, which is really good for us.”
6. Andrew Miller took over for Kluber and pitched two hitless innings in the seventh and eighth. And he needed just 16 pitches to do it.
7. Since giving up a home run to Minnesota’s Joe Mauer in his Cleveland debut, Miller has been borderline untouchable. He’s given up one run and two hits and stuck out 11 in 8 2/3 innings. He’s also now had consecutive two-inning outings, which has essentially shut the door leading to Cody Allen.
More: Indians OF Michael Brantley given timetable of four months following surgery
8. Miller has taken the Indians’ bullpen to that next level. Quipped one beat writer Tuesday night, after another swing-and-miss slider, “How are you supposed to hit that?” The bullpen is entering, “If they have the lead, and Miller and Allen are available, it’s over” territory.
9. Said Francona, “It's one thing to have his stuff, because his stuff's really good, but he doesn't mess around. He speeds them up with the breaking ball and he keeps firing strikes. Again, you bring him in when we do in the seventh and it doesn't necessarily mean you're going to keep him in through the eighth, but as long as he has a six or seven-pitch inning, there's no reason not to. And the good thing is, we didn't have to get Shaw up and have him sitting out there. So, it helps in a lot of ways.”
10. The left side of the Indians’ infield had a couple of nice plays. In the fourth, White Sox catcher Omar Narvaez hit a ball to third base that Jose Ramirez almost caught on a dive but instead short-hopped it. Ramirez righted himself and one knee fired to first to beat Narvaez to the bag.
11. Ramirez made another snag later in the game. He looks more comfortable at third base now that he’s playing there every day.
12. Said Francona, “I don't think he makes those plays before. And I get it, because he's going back and forth. And the brunt of his work was in the outfield, because he hadn't played there. But, now that he's just been there, you can see he's getting his legs under him. His reactions are quicker. The ball has more carry.”
13. Then, in the seventh, Lindor stole a hit away from Narvaez as well, though it required an Indians challenge. Lindor ranged toward third base and into shallow left field, fielded it and fired across his body to make the play.
14. Said Lindor, “Yeah, I thought I had a chance. As soon as I caught it I knew I had a chance. It was a catcher running. Napoli grabbed the ball. It seemed to me he was out, but I wasn't 100 percent sure. It was too close for me to be sure it was a definite out. Then I saw the replay and was like, ‘I think I got him.’”
15. Lindor put the Indians on top 1-0 in the first inning with a double that scored Jason Kipnis, who had doubled as well. He’s now hitting .355 at home this season, the best home average in the AL. In this homestand, Kipnis is hitting .526 with five extra-base hits and seven runs scored.
16. Ramirez has remained on fire at the plate in addition to his gains defensively at third base. He’s hitting .418 with eight doubles, four home runs, 10 RBI and 17 runs scored in his last 20 games.
17. Said Lindor on Ramirez, “Great. He’s great. He’s been great. He’s been playing defense, he’s been helping us on the base paths, he’s been helping us hitting. He’s been a huge part of us this year.”
Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber was stellar yet again, and the Indians downed the Chicago White Sox 3-1 Tuesday night.
Kluber (13-8, 3.15 ERA) entered the game on a torrid stretch similar to the one that helped him win the 2014 American League Cy Young and continued that trend, allowing one run in six innings and striking out seven. He’s now won his last five decisions across his last seven starts. In that stretch, he owns a 1.65 ERA and has struck out 49 batters in 49 innings. It was also his seventh straight quality start.
The last time he won five straight decisions was to end the 2014 season, the strongest Kluber has been, which also ended with him being named the AL’s top pitcher. He’s put together a similar streak, allowing nine earned runs in his last 49 innings pitched.
Andrew Miller took over in the seventh inning and, with the help of a couple of nice plays by shortstop Francisco Lindor, recorded two 1-2-3 innings. Since allowing a home run to Minnesota’s Joe Mauer in his Cleveland debut, Miller has now allowed one run in 8 2/3 innings and struck out 11.
Miller’s two hitless innings bridged the gap to Cody Allen in the ninth, who recorded his 23rd save of the season to improve the Indians to 16-13 since the All-Star break and 62-0 when leading after eight innings.
The Indians (68-49) grabbed an early lead against White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana (9-9, 2.85 ERA). In the bottom of the first inning, Jason Kipnis doubled to left-center and Francisco Lindor followed with a double to center field that was nearly caught by a diving J.B. Shuck, giving the Indians a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Rajai Davis walked and stole second base. He then scored on a single down the left-field line by Mike Napoli, who was thrown out trying to advance to second base but not after bringing Davis home.
The White Sox (56-62) finally got to Kluber in the sixth inning, when Justin Morneau blasted a solo home run to right field, cutting the Indians’ deficit to 2-1.
Kipnis added an RBI-single off Dan Jennings in the seventh, scoring Roberto Perez, who doubled to open the inning.
The Detroit Tigers also lost to the Kansas City Royals 6-1 Tuesday night, pushing the Indians’ AL Central lead to six games.
Indians outfielder Michael Brantley has been given a timeline of four months to recover from surgery to address chronic biceps tendinitis in his right shoulder, per the club.
Dr. Keith Meister and Dr. Mark Schickendantz performed the season-ending surgery, known as a bicep tenodesis, on Monday in Dallas. During the surgery, it was confirmed that Brantley’s previously repaired labrum was still intact and the remainder of the shoulder joint looked good.
Brantley will miss all but 11 games of this 2016 season after injuring his shoulder Sept. 22 of last year in Minnesota diving for a ball. The Indians hope Brantley will be able to ramp up his offseason program in 12-to-16 weeks, which would then allow him to have a regular spring training.
After a missed season, Brantley will turn his attention toward being ready for 2017.
“That’s part of the reason we wanted to try to do it now and give him a chance to, when he comes, [be ready],” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “Because he’ll need a good spring training. He’s got 20 at-bats this year. So having him not have to be behind in spring would be really big. I think that there’s a real chance that will happen.”
It was an on-going battle for Brantley as he tried to ramp up his hitting activities to return to the lineup. After his initial surgery last winter, he underwent an outpatient procedure to remove scar tissue and received two anti-inflammatory shots prior to Monday’s surgery.
Each time it appeared Brantley might be close to a return, he sustained another setback, and the process had to be repeated. It made for a frustrating, one-step-forward-two-steps-back rehab.
“So many times, he’d get into the batter’s box, like game situation, and that’s when he would feel it [after feeling good in the cage],” Francona said. “That’s why it was kind of confounding. I think on a number of [occasions], we had him looked at by like three different people. Just because he got so close, I think it was [difficult]. I was genuinely excited when he came back from Texas.”
Brantley has been a crucial piece to the middle of the Indians lineup and was an MVP finalist in 2014, hitting .327 with 20 home runs, 45 doubles and 97 RBI. Last season he hit .310 with 15 home runs, 45 doubles and 84 RBI. He totaled 10 WAR in those two seasons combined, per FanGraphs, the third-best mark among left fielders.
The Indians have operated this entire season with the prospect of Brantley returning. With that now gone, they’ll continue on with Rajai Davis, Tyler Naquin, Lonnie Chisenhall, Brandon Guyer and Abraham Almonte in the outfield. Almonte, due to his suspension for a failed drug test, is not eligible for postseason play.
“I think they care so much about him that it is a blow. It’s been one,” Francona said. “Again, I’m not even talking about on the field. We’re finding ways to get it done. That doesn’t mean we don’t miss him or don’t care. We have no other alternative.”
Marla Ridenour's 14 walk-off thoughts after the Red Sox notched a 3-2 victory over the Indians Monday at Progressive Field.
1. Right-hander Josh Tomlin is a competitor, a decent fifth starter and a high-character guy whom his teammates respect. But if the Indians make a deep run in the playoffs, he may not be a contributor.
2. After David Ortiz and Jackie Bradley Jr. took him deep Monday, Tomlin has given up 29 home runs this season, the most in the majors. He has allowed at least one home run in 12 consecutive starts, the longest active streak in baseball and the second-longest this season behind the Royals’ Chris Young, who achieved the dubious distinction in 13 straight. Tomlin also leads the majors with 42 home runs allowed since Aug. 15, 2015, when he made his season debut following right shoulder surgery.
3. In six starts since the All-Star break, Tomlin is 2-4 with a 5.83 ERA, as compared to 9-2 with a 3.51 ERA in 16 starts before it.To read more or comment...
Indians’ outfielder Michael Brantley underwent surgery on Monday in Texas, but a team spokesman said it started later than expected and an update won't come until Tuesday morning.
Brantley played only 11 games in 2016, most of his year spent rehabbing from off-season surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. In June he was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis.To read more or comment...