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Indians pitcher Bruce Chen announces retirement via Twitter Monday night

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 19, 2015

Indians pitcher Bruce Chen announced via Twitter Monday night that he was retiring from baseball.

Chen, 37, was trying to revive his career but had two unsuccessful starts for the Indians. He was designated for assignment last week. Instead of going back to Triple-A, he decided it was time to call it quits.

 

Today, I would like to announce my retirement. For the last 22yrs I have been doing what I love for a living. I feel blessed and fortunate

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Indians activate Mike Aviles, option down Austin Adams; Carlos Santana scratched from Monday lineup

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 18, 2015

The Indians announced Monday that Mike Aviles has returned to the team.

Aviles was dealing with the news that his 4-year-old daughter, Adriana, had been diagnosed with leukemia. Indians manager Terry Francona and the team told Aviles to take his time before coming back to baseball.

Aviles was on the medical emergency list and then the MLB restricted list. 

In a corresponding move, relief pitcher Austin Adams was optioned down to Triple-A after his third stint with the Indians this season.

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Indians, Carlos Carrasco fall to Texas Rangers 5-1

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 17, 2015

The Indians dropped Sunday's game and the series to the Texas Rangers 5-1 on the road.

Starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco (4-4) threw eight innings but took the loss, allowing five earned runs on seven hits and striking out nine.

Once again, poor defense hurt the Indians (14-22). The Rangers' first run came home after Nick Swisher—who played right field for the first time this season—missed cutoff man Jason Kipnis on a throw back into the infield on a Mitch Moreland double. Kipnis couldn't handle it well, which allowed Adrian Beltre to score to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. 

An inning later in the bottom of the third inning, Michael Bourn didn't get a good jump on a bloop single off the bat of Prince Fielder, which brought home Shin-Soo Choo from second base.

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Indians outlast Rangers 10-8 on Jason Kipnis' ninth-inning home run

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 17, 2015

Jason Kipnis continued to tear through the month of May, as he went 3-for-6 and hit a go-ahead, two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to lead the Indians to a 10-8 victory on the road.

It's the first time the Indians have won back-to-back games since the season opening series in Houston.

Scott Atchison picked up the win but was in line for the loss heading into the ninth inning. Atchison, pitching in a 7-7 game in the bottom of the eighth, allowed a solo home run to Robinson Chirinos that put the Rangers on top 8-7.

In the top of the ninth, the Indians (14-21) tied the game on a fielder's choice that Jose Ramirez beat out at first to score Lonnie Chisenhall—who doubled to open the inning—from third. Kipnis, up with two outs in the inning, then sent his fourth home run of the season to the upper deck in right field off of Rangers (15-22) relief pitcher Neftali Feliz.

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Indians offense, bullpen find groove in 8-3 win against Texas Rangers

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 16, 2015

The Indians' offense started fast and kept it going and the bullpen was strong after a shaky start by Bruce Chen in an 8-3 win on the road against the Texas Rangers Friday night.

Several Indians hitters got in on the act. Jason Kipnis continued his torrid May, going 4-for-5 with three runs scored. Michael Brantley went 2-for-3 with two RBI and two walks. Nick Swisher went 3-for-4 with three RBI. Brett Hayes hit his third home run of the season, a solo shot.

The Indians took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first off of Rangers starter Wandy Rodriguez (1-2) after Brantley doubled home Kipnis from first and Swisher drove in Brantley with a double of his own.

Trailing 3-2, Zach Walters' RBI single tied the score in the top of the fourth. An inning later, Swisher gave the Indians a 5-2 lead with a two-out, two-RBI single.

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Cardinals 2, Indians 1: Thursday's One Last Thing on 'The little things'

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 14, 2015
BournOut

The Indians lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 Thursday.

The loss dropped the Indians to 12-21 this season. It also means they haven't won back-to-back games since the second and third games of the season in Houston more than a month ago.

Trevor Bauer was terrific, throwing 7 1/3 innings pitched and leaving with a 1-0 lead. He also struck out 10 compared to only three walks.

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Indians’ faulty base running, bullpen lead to 2-1 loss to St. Louis Cardinals

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 14, 2015

The Indians were on their way to winning back-to-back games for the first time in more than a month. Three base-running blunders and four pitches from the bullpen, though, were enough to sink the Indians in a 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday afternoon at Progressive Field.

The Indians’ lone run of the game came off the bat of Michael Brantley, who hit a solo home run in the sixth inning off of Cardinals starter Michael Wacha. There could have been more production, but the Indians ran themselves off the bases.

In the second inning, Michael Bourn tripled to center field. Jose Ramirez tried to bunt to the right side to score him, but it was fielded by Wacha just off the mound. Bourn had already broke for home and was thrown out by several steps.

In the sixth, just after Brantley gave the Indians a 1-0 lead, two of the next three outs were mostly at the Indians’ own doing.

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Indians manager Terry Francona agreed with decision to pull Corey Kluber after eighth inning

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 14, 2015

After the conclusion of Corey Kluber’s 18th strikeout, which marked the end of the eighth inning Wednesday night, he stood at 113 pitches thrown. Indians manager Terry Francona had been ejected, so the decision was bench coach Brad Mills’ to make. He chose to keep in mind the long-term view for Kluber and decided that the team was better served not pushing the ace any further and bringing in the closer, Cody Allen. Allen recorded a 1-2-3 ninth with a strikeout.

Francona said he would have done the same thing and defended the decision.

“I didn’t send word up to Millsy what to do. I would have done the exact same thing and I think for very sound reasons,” Francona said. “For him to try to finish, you’re going to ask a guy to amp up for extra at 125, 100-something pitches. As a manager, you have to think of those things. If you could promise me he could have a six-pitch inning, yeah go ahead. … This was too easy a decision. I wasn’t down there but I never thought he was going back out.”

When Allen came out of the bullpen, the fans in attendance at Progressive Field booed, wanting to see Kluber finish the game and possibly reach 20 strikeouts.

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See what Indians GM Chris Antonetti had to say on Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, Yan Gomes, more

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 14, 2015
Antonetti

Prior to Wednesday’s game, Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti met with reporters to discuss top prospect Francisco Lindor’s readiness, Jose Ramirez’s struggles, Danny Salazar’s success, Yan Gomes’ absence and more.

Here are highlights of what he had to say.

On Ramirez:

“I'm encouraged by the way Jose continues to work, both offensively and defensively, to try to improve his performance. But, it's been a struggle for him. He's a young player that's going through an extended struggle in the Major Leagues in an environment where there's high expectations for team success. So, it's been a difficult thing for him to handle.

“[Last year] he was just playing the game with such joy and enthusiasm and carefree in some ways. I don't think we've seen that side of Jose as much, so maybe that’s some signal that it is weighing on him a little bit.”


On Lindor:

“There are a couple things with Francisco, as I've shared with you before. He's continuing to progress in Triple-A in some ways that are apparent to people on the outside, when you look at how he's performing and doing against the competition level that he's at, which he's holding his own, which is an encouraging sign for a young player. He's not yet to the point of dominating that level and that pitching, but he's progressing well in that respect. In terms of the other things and his development plan, and things that maybe aren't as readily apparent to people externally, he's made great strides in his mindset and his approach and his work and some of the other fundamental areas that he's working on in his game. He's progressing.”

“At some point, we still expect him to be a very good player for a very long time. The only question is when that will happen, and that timing isn't now.”


On the timing of Lindor’s promotion:

“I think we've seen it in the past where there's been times where we and other teams may have been expedient in that and maybe brought players before they were ready, and that may have set them back in their development timetable where, you bring them up for whatever reason and then they come up here, fail and then have to go back to the Minor Leagues for an extended period of time. Obviously, that wouldn't be ideal, either.”

On other options:

“Once Mike Aviles gets back, that'll continue to provide us a more reliable and veteran Major League player that's had success in that role. Maybe he can absorb a few more of those at-bats and playing time when he returns, which we're hopeful will be at some point on the road trip.”

On Lindor looking up, Ramirez looking down:

“It's possible. I think it would be human, if that were the case, where he was thinking about those things. But, that's part of being a professional player. That's part of learning. [If] you're in Triple-A trying to ascend to the Major Leagues, you have to figure out a way to compartmentalize that and still be able to perform. On the flipside, when you’re in the Major Leagues, there's going to be a guy in Triple-A waiting to take your spot, too. At some point in their development, every player in our Major League clubhouse has had to deal with those anxieties. Every player in Triple-A has had to deal with those anxieties.”

On Salazar:

“First off, Danny's as consistent or maybe more consistent than he's ever been with that work leading up to this start. What his focus and intensity is in his bullpen sessions, weight room, strength and conditioning, all of those things that don’t get readily seen, but that's what prepares people for success, I think that's been the foundation for Danny when he's come back to the Major Leagues. He's been incredibly consistent with that and that's led him to be able to do some of the things on the mound that he was trying to accomplish, specifically the way he's attacking the strike zone. He's able to execute his fastball more consistently to different quadrants in the strike zone when he wants to pitch down, and pitch down and away for instance for a strike to a right-handed. He's able to do that now.”

On the loss of Gomes:

“I think it's had an impact. Any time you lose a player of Yan's, not only the caliber of performer he is, but what he means to the team, his leadership on the field and in the clubhouse, it has an impact, no matter who you have to come in and replace him. It's been a loss, but every team goes through difficult situations and has to overcome them. We were fortunate that we have a very capable player and replacement in Roberto. And I think by and large, while he's still developing, i think he's done a very good job of that.”

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