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...