Results tagged ‘ Carlos Carrasco ’
The whole gang’s here and the first Spring game is only a week away. Players took part in a conditioning race that Francisco Lindor finished in a diving fashion!
-Photos by Dan Mendlik
Full-squad workouts begin on Tuesday, Feb. 24, but plenty was happening around the complex on Monday — including another new face, Brandon Moss, getting some work in.
–Photos by Dan Mendlik
Pitchers and catchers reported to Goodyear, Ariz., today, but as you’ll see, most of the squad is already in the house. They look pretty happy, too, don’t they?
–Photos by Dan Mendlik
Spring Training is right around the corner, and it’s time to start thinking baseball. Looking to build off two straight winning seasons, the Tribe is poised for a breakout season according to some prominent national baseball writers.
Bob Nightengale, of USA Today had some insight on what the industry has been saying:
Nightengale isn’t the only national writer giving this year’s Indians squad high praise. ESPN’s Dave Schoenfield and Buster Olney have both put the Tribe high on their list of teams this season.
Schoenfield ranks the Indians as his 4th overall team, and 1st in the American League in his annual Spring Training Power Rankings:
Most intriguing player: Corey Kluber beat out Felix Hernandez for the American League Cy Young Award, becoming one of the least likely winners in the award’s history. Simple question: Can he do it again?
Due for a better year: Jason Kipnis was an All-Star in 2013 and finished 11th in the MVP voting but suffered an oblique injury in April and played through it all season. He also hurt his finger working out in December and had surgery but is expected to be ready for spring training. After creating about 101 runs in 2013 he slipped to 53 in 2014. Expect a nice bounce back.
Due for a worse year: Michael Brantley hit .317/.385/.506 and finished third in the MVP voting. While I’m believing in most of the power uptick, he was a .277 hitter entering the season. He should be good again, but I would expect something closer to a 5-WAR season than a 7-WAR one.
I’m just the messenger: The Indians did not have a good defensive outfield in 2014, ranking 29th in the majors in defensive runs saved at minus-37. They ranked last in ultimate zone rating at minus-39.9 runs, so different metrics agree that they were lousy in the outfield. Have they fixed the problem? Not necessarily. The biggest culprit was David Murphy at minus-17 DRS; Michael Bourn was rated at minus-6 and Brantley at minus-3. Of the various subs, all rated below average except Tyler Holt. Bourn and Brantley are slated to start again in center and left, but right field is open. Considering Murphy didn’t hit either, it seems unlikely he wins the job on a regular basis. Brandon Moss can play out there and he’s rated at plus-3 runs over the past three seasons, but he’s also coming off hip surgery. Cleveland’s best bet is for better performances from Bourn and Brantley but don’t be surprised if Holt ends up getting a lot of time in the outfield.
The final word: Picking the Indians to win the Central isn’t really a radical pick — they won 85 games last season and 92 in 2013. The offense should be above average, especially if Kipnis and Moss are healthy. And while the defense is questionable (last in the majors in overall DRS), the young rotation has come together. Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, Danny Salazar and T.J. House should be an excellent five-man group, with depth from Floyd and Zach McAllister. Second-half stats aren’t always predictive, but the Indians had the best rotation ERA in the AL after the All-Star break. Jose Ramirez or rookie Francisco Lindor will be an upgrade defensively at shortstop. Brantley, Carlos Santana, Kipnis and Yan Gomes are right in their peak years. Go support your team, Cleveland.
Olney, who’s ESPN Insider article praises the new experiment of 6:10 start times, citing the ballpark’s location and keeping people in the city, is a good read for fans as well.
Think how much went badly for Cleveland in 2014. Jason Kipnis had a terrible, injury-plagued season, and so did Nick Swisher. Carlos Santana played himself off third base early in the year, and Asdrubal Cabrera struggled so much defensively at shortstop that the Indians moved him before the deadline so they could install Jose Ramirez. John Axford was signed to be the closer, but lost the job early in the year.
Despite all of that, the Indians weren’t eliminated until the final week of the season and closed with 85 victories, after winning 92 in 2013.
So 81 wins? This team is better than that, with Corey Kluber now leading the Indians’ staff, with Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer continuing to improve, with Cody Allen locked in at the closer, with Michael Brantley and Santana now established as lineup anchors, with Kipnis coming back and Yan Gomes ranking among the league’s best catchers. The defense, the worst in the majors last year, is going to be better.
The AL Central might be the best division in the majors, but as of this morning, I’m leaning toward picking Cleveland. Eighty-one wins seems well within their reach.
SI’s Fansided writer M. Carman highlights the Tribe as a prime dark horse to surprise the league http://fansided.com/2015/02/23/5-dark-horse-teams-2015-mlb-playoffs/2/
“Detroit is the near consensus favorite in the revamped AL Central. The White Sox have added a Jeff Samardzija and David Robertson. The less heralded Indians are ready to steal the Central crown.”
Hall of Famer, Peter Gammons also feels strongly about the Indians’ chances to compete this year. We think? These are his 4 teams that will make the LCS come October:
In case you need a reminder, pitchers and catchers report Wednesday!
Tickets: General admission tickets are $10, and available at Indians.com/TribeFest. Fans can guarantee autographs by bundling autograph tickets with their GA purchase – and they should do soon because autograph sessions are selling out quickly!
Parking: Due to events at Quicken Loans Arena on Saturday night and Sunday, parking could be both limited and costly. We have a limited supply of $3 parking spots available in the Gateway East garage: If you’ve already purchased tickets for Tribe Fest, call 216-420-HITS and they will add parking to your purchase for just $3. If you haven’t purchased tickets but will, add parking on to your purchase during the checkout process.
Who will be there?: Cy Young winner Corey Kluber, MVP finalist Michael Brantley, Silver Slugger Award winner Yan Gomes, Jason Kipnis, Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, Lonnie Chisenhall, Carlos Carrasco, Carlos Santana, Manager Terry Francona and plenty more!
Who will be signing when and where?: All player appearances are subject to change and will be announced shortly before each autograph session.
Promotional schedule announcement: We’ll announce our exciting 2015 promotional schedule on the main stage at Tribe Fest at Noon on Saturday – be there to find out what great stuff we have planned!
Text alerts: Sign up for event updates by texting TRIBEFEST to 38955 (msg/data rates may apply).
Win a trip to Goodyear!: ProTravel and Goodyear Ballpark are giving away a trip to Spring Training! Stop by their booth at Tribe Fest to enter.
Batting cages: Kids can swing like the pros in the batting cages at the ballpark (waivers required).
MLB Advanced Media table: Stop by the Club Lounge (where player photos will take place) to receive a free pair of Indians sunglasses – perfect for thinking of spring!
MLB.com Ballpark app: Make sure to download the Ballpark app from the iTunes store for Tribe Fest and for the 2015 season at Progressive Field! Check in to receive benefits such as:
- Check-in offers: KeyBank will be giving away fun stuff all weekend long to select people who check in on the Ballpark app
- Tribe Fest maps, information
- And plenty more during the season!
Tribe Fest Feud: You can win your way into a game of the feud! Four of our players will split up into two teams, and on Jan. 21, we will run a contest for four fans to win spots on those teams! Stay tuned…
Hashtag: Use #TribeFest on Twitter and Instagram all weekend long to have your Tweets or pictures featured on our big screen!
Twitter takeovers: We’ll have our crew taking over @Indians all weekend – Mark Shapiro on Saturday, and then Terry Francona on Sunday!
#TribeFest Social: In-person with chats with Trevor Bauer (Saturday) and TJ House (Sunday)
- Stay tuned to our Twitter account for how you can win!
ESPN Insider/FanGraphs took a deep dive into the Tribe rotation; here’s a link to the story that offers much more visual evidence as well. (The link is Insider only, so here’s the full text.)
Some of the traditional American League powers haven’t exactly had a banner few months as far as rotation strength goes.
The Red Sox couldn’t bring back Jon Lester and had to settle for midrotation guys Rick Porcello, Wade Miley and Justin Masterson. The Yankees lost out on Brandon McCarthy and might not have a single healthy, reliable starter. The Tigers (without Porcello) and Royals are still waiting to see what Max Scherzer and James Shields are going to do.
The White Sox added Jeff Samardzija but still have huge questions after him, Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. The Athletics bid Samardzija farewell, the Rays dealt Jeremy Hellickson to Arizona, and the Rangers haven’t done much more than bring back Colby Lewis yet again and gamble on Ross Detwiler.
For many of those teams, there are more questions than answers. So in the meantime, allow us to present one possibility for the best rotation in the American League in 2015, a group of pitchers that probably didn’t come to the forefront of your mind. Let’s talk about the Cleveland Indians.
To look at the Indians’ rotation right now, it might not seem like much after AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber. Here’s a look:
Kluber is a star, but the middle three are all prospects who have yet to live up to the hype and House is a soft-tossing lefty who has only 102 major league innings to his name. Carrasco has been kicking around the Cleveland system since 2009, when he was a part of the Cliff Lee deal, and he has been designated for assignment at least once. Salazar’s explosive 2013 debut gave hopes that he would be a 2014 star; instead, he was back in the minors by May. Bauer is a former No. 2 overall pick who was quickly pushed out of Arizona after personal differences and spent most of his first year with Cleveland in the minors attempting to iron out command issues.
Got all that? Now look at what those five players, three of whom were in the minors as late as May, did in the second half of the season:
Second half rotation numbers (rank in parentheses)
- ERA: 2.95 (2nd)
- FIP: 2.72 (1)
- WAR:11 (1)
- K% rate: 25.4% (1)
- %BB rate: 5.8% (1)
- HR rate: 6.9% (1)
The crew over at FanGraphs is high on the Tribe’s chances in 2015, calling our club the “far Too Early Sleeper Team” in a post today.
I keep thinking about the team that seems most likely, at this far-too-early date before any real offseason moves have been made, to make a move next year. You probably think I’m talking about the Cubs. I’m not talking about the Cubs. I’m talking about the Cleveland Indians. I was asked, during a live chat of one of the World Series games, whether I thought the Royals could hold off the Tigers in the AL Central next season. At the time, I said I thought Cleveland might be better than both, and now it’s time to put some words behind that feeling. In fact, let’s do this internet style. On to the <h3>’s!
Because good lord, that starting rotation
There’s a lot of ways to evaluate pitching, and WAR is both an acceptable and imperfect one. Let’s sort starting rotations over the second half of the season by that, and while second-half performance is hardly a guarantee of future success — it feels like we have that conversation about the Padres every year — I’m also not certain that enough people noticed just how good the Cleveland rotation was down the stretch. I’ve bolded each stat that they either led baseball in or came within 0.5 percentage point of doing so, which is more than close enough — and if not for Washington, they’d have ERA too.
Check out the entire post by clicking here.
Update: Corey Kluber and Michael Brantley finished fourth and seventh, respectively, in FanGraphs’ Player of the Year Award voting; the Tribe is the only MLB team with two players in the top 10.
Click here for details.
The Indians are well-represented in the 2014 edition of the GIBBYs, or Major League Baseball’s Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards.
The awards are given based on votes, media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans and the Society for American Baseball Research.
Those Tribe players nominated are:
- MVP: Michael Brantley
- Hitter: Brantley
- Pitcher: Corey Kluber
- Breakout player: Kluber, Carlos Carrasco
- Play: Michael Bourn catch, May 27
- Outfield throw: Mike Aviles, July 13
- Hitting performance: Lonnie Chisenhall’s 9-RBI night on June 9
- Aug. 5: Two balls on the field at Progressive Field vs. Cincinnati
- May 22: Chisenhall bunt single to right field
- Walk-off: Balkoff vs. the Tigers, May 21
- Cut4 topic: Jim Thome statue unveiling, Aug. 2