The Indians traded outfielder David Murphy to the Los Angeles Angels Tuesday night in exchange for Double-A shortstop Eric Stamets.
Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti spoke with reporters following Tuesday's 2-1 loss to Kansas City.
Antonetti explained the reasoning behind the deal and how the recent six-game losing streak affected the club's long-term view.
[On Eric Stamets]
"He's a guy we've liked for a while, dating back to his days in the draft from the University of Evansville. He's a defensive-oriented shortstop. He's a really good defender at short and is developing with the bat. He's a guy that will add depth to our upper-level infielders in our system and a guy we're excited to have."
[On the current situation]
"I don't think we anticipated being in this spot, where we would be trading a veteran like Murphy, who is not only a contributing player on the field, but a great guy on the clubhouse and has been a big part of our team the last few years. This is the situation we're in now and there was an opportunity for us to get back a player we liked and also, as important, may provide an opportunity for a younger player to come up and get some at-bats."
[On how the losing streak affected the team's views on the trade deadline]
"A week ago at this point, we were looking at all options and actively pursuing ways to add players to our major league team that were short-term fits. I think our focus is a little bit more longer-term, though we're still discussing players coming back to our major league team, but only players whose control extends beyond this year. So, it's shifted our focus a little bit."
[On how things have changed]
"It's really disappointing. I don't think any of us expected to be in this spot. The most important thing is that we make something of it and play as well as we can for the balance of the season and make sure that we enter 2016 in a better spot than we are in right now."
Trevor Bauer has worked hard recently to limit home runs, something that he’s struggled with lately. He did well in that regard for eight innings Tuesday night, until Kansas City first baseman Eric Hosmer got the best of him in a 2-1 loss to the Royals.
Still locked in a 1-1 tie in the top of the ninth inning, Hosmer got a hold of a Bauer offering and drove it over the right-field wall for a solo home run.
Royals (61-38) closer Greg Holland (22 saves) entered in the ninth and got some highlight-reel defense to close the game. Roberto Perez grounded a ball back up the middle that was fielded by second baseman Omar Infante. Infante fielded it, flipped it with his glove to shortstop Alcides Escobar, who beat Perez to first with the throw. After Michael Bourn walked, Mike Aviles hit into a game-inning double play.
Bauer(8-8) threw a complete game, allowing two runs on five hits and striking out six.To read more or comment...
The Indians have reportedly traded outfielder David Murphy to the Los Angeles Angels.
Murphy was making $6 million this season with a $7 million club option ($500,000 buyout) for next season. The Angels had been in the market for outfield help and recently acquired Shane Victorino from Boston and David DeJesus from Tampa Bay.
Murphy this season is hitting .296 with five home runs and 27 RBI in 206 at-bats. The Indians had a log-jam in the outfield, as after everyday starters Michael Brantley, Michael Bourn and Brandon Moss, Ryan Raburn and Murphy were acting as a platoon. Once Nick Swisher returns from the disabled list, that'd be six outfielders. Murphy was also a left-handed bat on a team full of them.To read more or comment...
The Indians were pounded by the Kansas City Royals 9-4 Monday night.
Cody Anderson struggled again, giving up seven earned runs on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings.
Monday’s One Last Thing: Cody Anderson hasn’t been able to keep his fastball down, and that’s been the biggest difference between his four starts and his last two.
Anderson started off his career on a great note, becoming the first player in baseball’s modern era (since 1900) to throw at least 6 2/3 innings and allow no more than one run in each of his first four career starts. In 30 1/3 combined innings, he allowed only 17 hits and three runs.
He was of course going to come back to Earth, but he’s done so in a very sharp and severe manner. After allowing four earned runs and 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings in a loss to Milwaukee, Anderson was hit hard again Monday night.
The biggest difference between the first four starts and his last two: fastball command.
More: Jason Kipnis wants players to hold themselves accountable; trade deadline update
Anderson isn’t a strikeout pitcher with overpowering stuff. He works with leverage (Roberto Perez describes his pitches as “heavy” because of their downward movement) and control to induce weak contact, a stark contrast to the other four pitches in the rotation who could strike out 10-plus batters on any given night.
When he locates, everything works. When he misses, and especially up, hitters are going to be able to catch up to it and hit it hard.
It hurt Anderson early Monday night. Eric Hosmer drilled a fastball that missed up and away for a three-run home run in the first inning. An inning later, Omar Infante hit his first home run of the season in part thanks to another errantly high fastball.
That was the theme in Milwaukee as well.
“He had a tough time getting his fastball down,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He tried to go away to Hosmer and left it up, over, and we’ve seen Hosmer do that a few times. So that was a big damage early. He just mis-located a fastball on the next home run. But the last couple starts, he’s been up. When he locates [his] fastball down, and off of that with his changeup, he can always get by. And when he’s really locating, he can be really good. Just, the last two starts, fastballs up have kind of hurt him. That’s where they’ve done their damage.”
If Anderson can get back to his first-four-starts performance level, he’ll have the No. 5 spot in the Indians’ rotation all locked up for quite some time. Getting that fastball back down into the zone is the key.
“I’ve just got to get the ball down,” Anderson said. “When teams are aggressive, you’ve got to use your fastball and make sure that if you’re going to try to get ahead with a fastball, you’ve got to go down in the zone, maybe off a little bit and use that against them.”
The Indians said on Sunday and Monday afternoon that they wanted to start “attacking” the game. They might have been on the offensive Monday night, but it was an ambush, as the Indians were pounded by the Kansas City Royals 9-4.
The Royals almost immediately put the Indians in a significant hole and never stopped piling on. Against starting pitcher Cody Anderson, the Royals put two runners on base for Eric Hosmer, who blasted a three-run home run to the bleacher seats in left field for an early 3-0 lead four batters into the game. In the second inning, Omar Infante added a second home run in the second inning, this one a solo shot to the Home Run Porch.
The Royals (60-38) weren't done. In the fifth, Hosmer singled home a run and Kendrys Morales followed with a two-RBI double that made it 7-1 and, with the Indians’ offensive struggles as of late, just about put the game out of reach.
In the top of the seventh, facing relief pitcher Marc Rzepczynski, Lorenzo Cain and Hosmer each singled, setting up an RBI single to center field by Morales and an RBI-sac fly off the bat of Salvador Perez.To read more or comment...
Second baseman Jason Kipnis says the players in the clubhouse need to hold each other accountable.
Following Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox that completed a four-game sweep at home, the Indians held a lengthy team meeting. Afterward, Kipnis said players weren’t being held accountable, were playing like [expletive] and that, ‘It’s just not the way we’re going to do business around here.”
On Monday, he clarified those remarks to say that they had nothing to do with Indians manager Terry Francona. It's all on them.To read more or comment...
Friday’s trade deadline is fast approaching, and the Indians are now reportedly in talks that involve multiple teams.
Several teams are reportedly interested in Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez, and per Fox Sport’s Ken Rosenthal, the Indians are among them.
Gomez, 29, wouldn’t simply be a two-month rental, as he’ll earn $8 million this season and is under contract for 2016 as well at $9 million. This year, he’s hitting .266 with eight home runs and 42 RBI, enough for a 1.9 WAR. He had a 7.5 WAR in 2013 and a 5.7 WAR in 2014.
A deal for Gomez would likely mean, either this week or this winter, that Michael Bourn could be on the move. Bourn has struggled the last two years while also carrying a large financial burden. He earned a 0.6 WAR, or just over league average, last year and has a -0.4 mark this season. He’s owed $14 million next season and also has a $12 million vesting option for 2017.
The Indians might have to get creative to acquire Gomez and then move Bourn in order to find some financial flexibility. The Texas Rangers, San Francisco Giants and Houston Astros area also reportedly interested in Gomez.
Per multiple reports, the Indians are also in trade discussions that include outfielders David Murphy and Ryan Raburn. Murphy, specifically, has been tied to talks with the Los Angeles Angels.
Both Murphy and Raburn have played well this season, but the construction of the Indians’ roster isn’t ideal for an outfield platoon with Michael Brantley, Michael Bourn, Brandon Moss and when healthy, Nick Swisher taking up four spots already. Murphy, especially, is a luxury as a left-handed bat on a team full of them. Murphy and Raburn each have club options for next season.
It’s also been well reported that teams were interested in the Indians' young group of starting pitchers. Specifically, the Toronto Blue Jays were targeting Carlos Carrasco. Those talks, according to Shi Davidi of Toronto Sportsnet, came close to forming a deal but “fell apart near the finish line.”
Indians General manager Chris Antonetti said last week that the team would be willing to listen to offers, but that it wasn’t motivated to make a move at this time.
The Indians lost to the Chicago White Sox 2-1 Sunday, completing a four-game sweep at home in which they scored one or zero runs in three of the four games.
Following the loss, the team held a lengthy meeting in an effort to find a lost passion and to refocus.
"We spent some time talking about that, about what we want to be as a team and remembering some of the things that are meaningful to us and that it’s an honor to play this game," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Because there’s too much adversity in this game. We need to start attacking it better. I’m responsible for that. It’s not been going the way I want it to. That’ll change or I’ll probably die trying. But it’s going to change. It’s going to get better."
Second baseman Jason Kipnis echoed Francona's sentiments that something has to change. Below is a video, which is slightly NSFW.To read more or comment...
The Indians scored one or zero runs for the third time in four games and fell to the Chicago White Sox for the fourth straight day 2-1 at Progressive Field.
It took until the ninth inning for the Indians to get a run home. Facing White Sox closer David Robertson, Giovanny Urshela tripled to center field to open the inning. Carlos Santana struck out and David Murphy grounded out to make it 2-1. Brandon Moss then flew out to end the game.
White Sox (46-50 starting pitcher Carlos Rodon (4-3) threw 6 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and striking out nine. The Indians (45-52) had two quality scoring threats prior to the ninth. The first, in the third inning, had Brandon Moss and Roberto Perez on third and second, respectively, after they started the inning with a single and a double. Moss was then thrown out at home on a ground ball to first baseman Jose Abreu, and Jason Kipnis hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
In the seventh, Brandon Moss singled to put runners on the corners with two outs, but White Sox reliever Jake Petricka stuck out Perez to end the threat.To read more or comment...
The Indians are planning more renovations to Progressive Field this winter, which could include the removal of some seats and a new scoreboard.
Last winter, the stadium underwent $26 million in renovations that included seats being removed in the upper deck in right field, the addition of several area restaurant stands and other improvements.
Details of the upcoming renovations have not been finalized or announced, though Indians Senior Director of Communications Curtis Danburg on Sunday confirmed a Crain’s report that plans were in the works.
The Indians have already started to reach out to season-ticket holders who could be affected and have their seats removed, which could include those in the 200-level seats along the third-base line and some other areas. Per the report, seats could be taken out in order to open up the main concourse.To read more or comment...