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Cleveland Indians to activate OF Nick Swisher from disabled list Tuesday, per report

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 4, 2015

The Cleveland Indians will activate outfielder Nick Swisher from the disabled list on Tuesday, per a report from MLB.com.

Swisher has been rehabbing in Arizona and with Triple-A Columbus after having surgery on both knees last season. Swisher spoke with reporters last week, saying he just needed to continue to build up his stamina.

Swisher played in back-to-back games with Triple-A Columbus twice this week and was in Cleveland yesterday to speak with Indians manager Terry Francona. He batted .375 with a home run in 24 at-bats at Triple-A.

And it now appears Swisher and the Indians feel he is ready to return to Cleveland.

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See how Cleveland Indians rank among highest percentages of soft, hard contact rates in baseball

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 4, 2015

FanGraphs has come out with some numbers based on calculating how often a pitcher gives up or a hitter gets hard or soft contact.

For pitchers, these numbers are essentially saying how often opposing hitters are squaring up the ball when making contact. And for hitters, it shows how often they are making good or bad contact.

And for the Indians, there's some good and bad news.

Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer has the second-best percentage of soft-contact induced in baseball among qualified players at 30.8 percent. Only the Philadelphia Phillies’ Cole Hamels, at 31.7, has been better.

Offensively, Brandon Moss has a 44.2-percent rate of hard contact being made, which is eighth in baseball. He also has a third-lowest Batting Average On Balls In Play among the top 15 in hard-hit contact percentage, which could point to him being a bit unlucky this season. However, his line-drive percentage of 19.2 percent isn’t terribly high, so much of that could be off-set. Essentially, when Moss hits the ball, it's been hit a long way.

The Indians have three hitters among the league leaders in soft contact made. Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall has the fifth-highest rate in the game with a 28.6 percent rate. Shortstop Jose Ramirez is 11th, at 25.4 percent. And first baseman Carlos Santana is 19th with 23.5 percent.

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Cleveland Indians rally after defensive miscues to beat Toronto Blue Jays 10-7

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 3, 2015

The Cleveland Indians made a number of defensive mistakes that led to a big inning for the Toronto Blue Jays but found enough offense to rally for a wild 10-7 win Sunday afternoon at Progressive Field.

Indians (9-15) starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (3-0) cruised through the first three innings until a couple of mental errors in the field led to a six-run fourth inning for the Blue Jays.

With runners on the corners and one out, Ryan Goins hit a sharp ground ball to Carlos Santana at first base. Instead of throwing to second to start the double play that could have ended the inning, Santana caught Kevin Pillar off third base. Santana ran across the diamond right at Pillar—Indians manager Terry Francona said after the game that was the textbook decision—but he never threw the ball, and Pillar beat Santana back to third. On the next play, Ezequiel Carrera topped a ground ball to Bauer, who looked toward home before throwing to first, but it was too late, costing the Indians another out.

Instead of the inning being over and the score tied 1-1, or at least having two outs, the Blue Jays (12-14) had the bases loaded with only one out and a 2-1 lead. Second baseman Devon Travis, up next, made it really hurt by crushing a grand slam to left field to blow open the game 6-1.

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Blue Jays 11, Indians 4: Saturday's One Last Thing on Corey Kluber and keeping hitters honest

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 2, 2015

The Indians took another hard loss, this one at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays, 11-4 on Sunday.

Corey Kluber was roughed up, allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits to go with two walks and three strikeouts in just five innings. He’s now 0-4 this season with a 4.62 ERA.

Saturday’s One Last Thing: Corey Kluber thinks he isn't keeping hitters honest enough.

Kluber hasn’t yet been at the same level last last season, and he’s still searching for his first win in 2015.

Through April, it didn’t seem to be much of a concern, as his numbers in the first month of the season compared to those from last April were almost identical (4.14 to 4.24 ERA, 37 to 34 innings pitched, 35 to 36 strikeouts).

So it appears as though Kluber starts slower than he finishes. That trend isn’t an issue in and of itself, but it’s magnified right now simply because the Indians aren’t winning or hitting.

Lately, each start has been a little rougher than the last for Kluber. He said after the game tonight he think it’s because he isn’t sequencing his pitches correctly.

“Not doing a good job of keeping guys honest,” he said. “For the most part, guys are hanging out over the plate. When they’re doing that, you’re kind of eliminating one half of the plate and when you do make a mistake, it’s magnified.”

Kluber added that he doesn’t think hitters have really changed their approach against him and that everything physically is feeling fine. He just isn’t doing enough to mix things up, whether it be pitch type, order or location.

Kluber was asked if his fastball command was where he wanted it to be—Indians manager Terry Francona cited that as maybe the biggest reason for Kluber’s tough night Saturday. Kluber said he’s thought the command has been OK but added, “It hasn’t been unbelievable but the biggest thing is not working both sides of the plate, not keeping hitters honest.”

Kluber might be a habitually slower starter, but the Indians will need him to figure things out sooner rather than later to right the ship. A lot of his advanced numbers are fairly similar as far as pitch selection, though he is giving up line drives at a higher clip (21.4 percent last year, 25.5 percent this season).

Perhaps it’s because he isn’t keeping hitters honest enough, as he says.

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Cleveland Indians routed by Toronto Blue Jays 11-4

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 2, 2015

Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber again struggled to show the same sharpness from last season’s Cy Young campaign, third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall made a costly error and the bullpen was roughed up in an 11-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays Saturday afternoon at Progressive Field.

Kluber (0-4) lasted only five innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits to go with two walks and three strikeouts. He entered the fifth inning with the score tied 2-2 but lost it after a single and back-to-back walks set up a two-RBI single by Blue Jays designated hitter Jose Bautista. Kluber was able to induce Edwin Encarnacion to ground into a double play and Russell Martin to ground out to end the inning and limit the damage.

In the sixth inning, though, the Blue Jays (12-13) didn’t go as quietly.

Outfielder Kevin Pillar opened the inning with a double to end Kluber’s day and bring in Marc Rzepczynski. A walk and a sacrifice bunt put two runners in scoring position. Former Indians outfielder Ezequiel Carrera hit a ground ball to Lonnie Chisenhall, whose throw to home plate beat the runner but was in the dirt, allowing the Blue Jays to take a 5-2 lead.

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Cleveland Indians CF Michael Bourn scratched from lineup with neck strain; Tyler Holt starting

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 2, 2015

Indians centerfielder Michael Bourn has been scratched from Saturday's lineup due to a cervical (neck) strain.

Bourn, after losing his helmet while running, slid hard into home plate during Friday night's 9-4 win against Toronto and slammed his head on the ground. Bourn was called safe but after a Blue Jays challenge was determined to have been tagged.

He was 9-of-23 since being moved down to the No. 9 spot in the order and had collected a hit in five straight games.

Tyler Holt, called up Friday after TJ House was put on the disabled list, will start in center field and bat ninth Saturday. Jason Kipnis will lead off.

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Michael Beaven’s One Last Thing: Indians open May with 9-4 win over Blue Jays

By Michael Beaven Published: May 1, 2015

CLEVELAND: It is May, and the Indians have a 1-0 record in the month following a 9-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night at Progressive Field.

Indians players and coaches left the ballpark feeling good following a frustrating April that concluded Thursday with a 7-14 record.

Jason Kipnis, Michael Brantley and Brett Hayes each welcomed the new month by hitting a home run to lead the Indians on a night when Blue Jays starter and Mark Buehrle and Indians starter Carlos Carrasco each struggled to pitch effectively.

Friday night’s One Last Thing: Turning the page on the calendar and embracing a new month.

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Indians 9, Blue Jays 4: Kipnis, Brantley, Hayes hit home runs in victory to open May

By Michael Beaven Published: May 1, 2015

CLEVELAND: The Indians welcomed the month of May with a potent offensive attack Friday night at Progressive Field.

Jason Kipnis, Michael Brantley and Brett Hayes each hit a home run as the Indians defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 9-4 before a crowd of 15,088.

The powerful hitting helped the Indians open May at 1-0 following a 7-14 April to begin a 2015 season full of high expectations.

Neither starting pitcher, Mark Buehrle for Toronto and Carlos Carrasco for Cleveland, was especially sharp, but the Indians offense allowed Carrasco (3-2) to get a win because they banged out 13 hits.

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Cleveland Indians place T.J House on 15-day DL; recall Tyler Holt from Class-AAA Columbus

By Michael Beaven Published: May 1, 2015

CLEVELAND: The Indians placed left-handed pitcher TJ House on the 15-day Disabled List on Friday with left shoulder inflammation and recalled outfielder Tyler Holt from Class-AAA Columbus to fill the spot on the Major League roster.

House, 25, lost his fourth consecutive start Thursday night when the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Indians 5-1 at Progressive Field. House has posted a 13.15 ERA over his first four starts of the season over 13 innings pitched. He has allowed 21 hits, 19 earned runs and 12 walks. He has seven strikeouts.

Holt, 26, was hitting .328 (20-for-61) for the Clippers with 12 runs, two doubles, one triple and four RBI in 19 games. He is eighth in the International League in on-base pct. (.438) and runs scored (12), and is tied for sixth in walks (12). He has appeared in games at all three outfield positions for manager Chris Tremie.

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Blue Jays 5, Indians 1: Thursday's One Last Thing on the Indians' April by the numbers

By Ryan Lewis Published: April 30, 2015

TJ House was solid for three innings and then feel apart in the Indians' 5-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays Thursday night.

House continued his poor start to the season. The offense did, too, leaving six runners stranded on base (five in scoring position) in the first three innings alone.

Thursday night's One Last Thing: The Indians' frustrating, rough, poor, inconsistent April by the numbers.

Just looking at the team numbers tonight. Here's where the Indians stand.

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