Results tagged ‘ Cleveland Indians ’

Tribe’s Spring Training trucks are officially en route to Arizona

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Just as Punxsutawney Phil predicted just three days ago, spring should be upon us shortly.

And for the Indians, the first sign of spring is Truck Day, the long awaited departure of our supply-filled trucks that have a final destination of Goodyear, Arizona.

That day was today.

This morning, the trucks loaded up with all the necessities, and departed Cleveland about noon. The trucks are expected to roll into Arizona by Tuesday.

Hang on, Tribe Town – there are just 12 days until pitchers and catchers report, and only 59 days until Opening Day!

-Photos by Dan Mendlik

Cleveland Indians players reunite for Tribe Fest weekend, but first: mini-camp

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As Tribe Fest is coming up on Saturday, all of the Indians players are flocking back to Cleveland from their off-season sites in preparation for the big event.

So, with most of them here – Michael Brantley, Corey Kluber, Jason Kipnis and Yan Gomes decided to get the guys together for a player-orchestrated mini-camp at The Force in Westlake, Ohio.

The guys stretched, ran some drills, played catch and took some BP while they were at it – getting excited for Spring Training since it’s right around the corner!

–Photos by Dan Mendlik

Baseball Prospectus has Zimmer, Aiken, and Frazier as top Tribe prospects to watch

OF Bradley Zimmer

Behind every solid baseball team are some “stupid-good” decisions, right?

Well, at least that’s what the folks at Baseball Prospectus are telling us.

Baseball Prospectus released their latest list of who they believe to be the top ten Tribe prospects. The article refers to the state of our system as being based on some “stupid-good drafts” and “one-sided trades” that have “turned this system from a bottom feeder into one of the deepest in the American League”.

Here’s who BP has listed as our “Top Ten”:

  1. OF Bradley Zimmer
  2. LHP Brady Aiken
  3. OF Clint Frazier
  4. LHP Justus Sheffield
  5. 1B Bobby Bradley
  6. RHP Rob Kaminsky
  7. RHP Triston McKenzie
  8. LHP Juan Hillman
  9. C Francisco Mejia
  10. OF Mike Papi

For more specifics on each prospect, notable omissions, and five who they call “just interesting”, click here.

-TribeVibe contributor Missy Perez

FanGraphs has Indians projected to end 2016 atop the AL Central


It’s that time of the year again.

Yes, winter and snow. Yes, the start of a New Year. Yes, the desperate attempt to keep up New Years resolutions that you’re already starting to struggle on even though it’s only coming up on two weeks since the first of the year.

But that’s not what we’re talking about.

The time that we’re referring to is… time for people to start predicting what’s going to happen in the 2016 baseball season, though we all know how way-too-early predictions can sometimes turn out.

However, we’re still pretty excited to hear that FanGraphs has the Indians projected to win the AL Central, ending the season with a projected 85-77 record.

Sure, at this point, projections don’t mean much… But, it’s still always good news to see other people have faith in our Tribe, too.

For more in-depth charts and the whole FanGraphs projection, visit the list here.

-TribeVibe contributor Missy Perez

Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco: a vital weapon in the Tribe’s rotation


The Tribe’s starting rotation has been getting a lot of coverage lately, especially with the new year rolling around and everyone starting to gear up for the 2016 season.

One man who has been no stranger to the attention is Indians right-handed hurler Carlos Carrasco.

Carrasco has really emerged in the past year and a half as one of the strongest starting pitchers in baseball, gaining a strong command on the mound, and intimidating batters with his impressive arsenal of different pitches.

FOX Sports and Baseball Prospectus writer Matt Trueblood highlights Carrasco and his dominance by analyzing his crippling pitches in his latest column. From Trueblood’s story:

The first thing that jumps out, in perusing Carrasco’s profile, is the depth of his arsenal. He has five distinct pitches: a four-seam fastball, a sinker, a slider, a changeup and a curveball. Each has a distinct role in his approach to opposing hitters, and notably, he threw each with some substantial frequency in 2015. His curve, the least vital weapon in his repertoire, still made up nearly eight percent of the pitches he threw last season, and batters who fell behind in the count against Carrasco (the poor souls) saw the pitch almost twice that often.

Trueblood dives deeper into Carrasco’s success and emergence by specifying his pitches and the statistics on each one separately in his article.

For more on the dynamic development of Carrasco, you can read Trueblood’s column here.

-TribeVibe contributor Missy Perez

ESPN’s Buster Olney names Cleveland Indians the no. 2 starting pitching rotation in top 10 list


From top to bottom: Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar

We know we have a pretty special starting rotation looking forward to the 2016 season, but we’re not the only ones who think so.

ESPN’s Buster Olney named the Tribe’s starting rotation as number two on his MLB’s top 10 rotations column – second only to the New York Mets. From his column:

Rotation candidates: Corey KluberCarlos CarrascoDanny SalazarTrevor BauerCody AndersonJosh Tomlin

One rival evaluator attached the Indians to the Mets in assessing what’s ahead of them in the next few years. “No matter what else happens, that starting pitching gives them a chance to win,” he said. “They might have holes in their lineup, but the pitching is their equalizer.”

Last season, Indians starters led the majors in strikeouts, averaging almost one per inning (969 in 979 1/3), and they held opponents to a .235 batting average, the lowest in the AL. Kluber had a strange, luckless year in 2015 after winning the Cy Young Award in 2014, and the Indians can reasonably expect that the 29-year-old will have a better season in 2016.

The difference between very good and great for the Indians’ rotation might be Bauer, who can drive teammates crazy with his inconsistency; he had 10 starts in which he allowed five or more earned runs, and 12 in which he allowed zero or one earned run. If Bauer takes another step forward — and the rotation stays relatively healthy — the Indians’ rotation could propel Cleveland to a postseason berth.

Click here to read Olney’s whole list (ESPN insider subscribers only).

-TribeVibe contributor Missy Perez

Cleveland Indians players Michael Brantley, Cody Allen and Danny Salazar will appear at Tribe Fest presented by KeyBank on Jan. 30


Fans can purchase opportunity now to guarantee autographs with current roster players, alumni scheduled to attend

2016 event moves to Aloft Cleveland Downtown in Flats East Bank, with restrictions in place at Progressive Field due to ongoing renovations

Cleveland, OH—Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Brantley and pitchers Cody Allen and Danny Salazar are scheduled to appear at Tribe Fest 2016, presented by KeyBank, set for January 30 from 9AM-7PM.

New this year, the event will be held at Aloft Cleveland Downtown. As renovations continue at Progressive Field, space restrictions are in place that made holding Tribe Fest at the ballpark untenable this year. Due to the location change, space and ticket availability at Aloft will be limited. Fans are encouraged to get their tickets as soon as possible.

Brantley, Allen and Salazar join current roster players Corey Kluber, Jason Kipnis, Yan Gomes, Francisco Lindor, Lonnie Chisenhall, Bryan Shaw and others. (Player appearances are subject to change.)

Cleveland Indians alumni Mike Hargrove, Carlos Baerga, Ellis Burks and Jaret Wright will join current roster players.

Cleveland Indians announce 2016 Player Development staff assignment

From left to right: Chris Premie (AAA Columbus), Dave Wallace (AA Akron), Mark Budzinksi (High Class-A Lynchburg), and Tony Mansolino (Class-A Lake County).

From left to right: Chris Tremie (AAA Columbus), Dave Wallace (AA Akron), Mark Budzinksi (High Class-A Lynchburg), and Tony Mansolino (Class-A Lake County).

CLEVELAND, OH – The Cleveland Indians today announced the organizational staff alignment within the Player Development System for the upcoming season.

CHRIS TREMIE (AAA Columbus), DAVE WALLACE (AA Akron) and MARK BUDZINSKI (Single-A Lynchburg) all return at the top three organizational levels while TONY MANSOLINO takes over the helm of the Single-A Lake County Captains after coaching the last five seasons between Mahoning Valley, Lake County and Lynchburg. All four full season clubs posted winning records last season as Tremie led the Triple-A Columbus Clippers to their third International League title since 2010.

With TRAVIS FRYMAN moving back into an advisor role, EDWIN RODRIGUEZ will manage the Short-Season A Mahoning Valley Scrappers. Rodriguez, 55, has been in professional baseball since 1980, managed the Florida Marlins in 2010-11 and has been a member of the Indians family since 2012, managing Class-A Carolina in 2012 and AA Akron in 2013.

JOHN McDONALD moves into the role of Infield Coordinator after rejoining the Indians organization last season as a Special Assistant to Player Development. In this position, “Mac” will serve as the primary resource to Minor League coaches in the implementation and monitoring of individual infielder player plans. The slick-fielding shortstop enjoyed a 16-year Major League career from 1999-2014, including 293 games with the Indians from 1999-2004 and again in 2013.

ALEX ECKELMAN moves back into the front office as Assistant Director, Player Development after serving as the club’s Advanced Scouting Coordinator the last four seasons since 2012. Eckelman joined the club in 2010 after wrapping up a nine-year professional career in 2005 and enjoying a Hall of Fame career at Ohio State from 1994-1997. As Assistant Director, Player Development, Alex joins Eric Binder in assisting with the leadership of the Player Development staff and the design and creation of its programs, policies, and curriculums. Eckelman will oversee the player-plan process for all of the organization’s non-pitchers.

JULIO RANGEL has been a member of the Indians organization since 2007, working in mental skills and cultural development early on in his tenure with the Indians before spending the last several seasons as Lower Level Pitching Coordinator. As Assistant Field Coordinator he will assist Tom Wiedenbauer in all phases of coordinating and overseeing the Indians Player Development operation. Julio will also oversee the Player Development implementation at the club’s new Dominican Academy.

BRUCE CHEN concluded his 17-year Major League playing career in 2015, making two starts with the Indians last May after signing with the club in February. The native of Panama City, Panama will assist all organizational players in the transition to professional baseball with a particular focus on Latin-born players. Chen pitched for 11 teams in his career and posted a career record of 82-81 with a 4.62 ERA in 400 Major League games from 1998-2015.

TIM LAKER returns to the organization after spending the last five seasons as a hitting instructor in the Chicago White Sox organization. He spent three seasons coaching with the Indians, 2007-2009, as Minor League Manager and Catching Coordinator after retiring as a player in 2006 before moving on to manage in the Seattle organization in 2010. He played professionally for 19 seasons from 1988-2006 and appeared in 282 Major League games over 11 years, 1992-2006.

STEVE McCATTY spent the last seven seasons as the Major League Pitching Coach of the Washington Nationals. He was also the Pitching Coach of the Detroit Tigers for three seasons, 2003-05, before joining the Nationals organization in the same position at the Triple-A level. He is entering his 36th season in professional baseball, posting a Major League record of 63-63 with a 3.99 ERA in 221 games/161 starts with Oakland from 1977-85.

MATT BLAKE will assist Pitching Coordinator Ruben Niebla as a leader of the organization’s pitching coaches as it pertains to understanding and implementing organizational philosophies, systems and processes at the team and individual level. Blake was the Pitching Coordinator at Cressey Sports Performance, an elite training center in Hudson, MA for pro and college players, and held a similar position for Yarmouth-Dennis in the Cape Cod League. He also founded his own company, Elite Pitching Development, in 2009.

Bradley Zimmer, Clint Frazier atop Baseball America’s rankings of Cleveland Indians top prospects

Bradley Zimmer hits a RBI triple in his Cactus League debut.

Bradley Zimmer hits a RBI triple in his Cactus League debut.

Cleveland Indians outfielders Bradley Zimmer and Clint Frazier are atop Baseball America’s 2016 list of top prospects in the organization.

The magazine, considered the pre-eminent source of news and analysis in the minor leagues, releases a top 10 list for all organizations. Says BA:

(President of Baseball Operations Chris) Antonetti and (General Manager Mike) Chernoff have a strong farm system to work with as they look to fine-tune the major league roster. Bradley Zimmer, the 21st overall pick in 2014, excelled in his full-season debut and reached Double-A Akron. Bobby Bradley, a third-round pick in 2014, led the low Class A Midwest League with 27 home runs.

The Indians added another premium talent in the 2015 draft, when they selected lefthander Brady Aiken with the 17th overall pick. The No. 1 overall selection in 2014, Aiken failed to work out a deal with the Astros after a post-draft physical led to a disagreement about the health of his elbow. He had Tommy John surgery in March, but the Indians signed him for a little more than $2.5 million.

Check out the rest of the Tribe’s top 10 list by clicking here.


The best exchange you’ll probably see on Instagram today ft. Cleveland Indians infielder Jason Kipnis’s high school football days

We all know Jason Kipnis is a 12-sport star.

And now we have more proof of his football prowess, via an obscure November story from the Chicago area recounting Libertyville (Ill.)’s 2004 state football championship run.

The article highlights Libertyville defensive back Kevin Burns, who later went on to play for the University of Dayton.

It doesn’t fail to mention the only touchdown Burns allowed on defense that year, what he refers to as a “broken play”. A “broken play” that resulted in a 64-yard touchdown pass caught by none other than Glenbrook North High’s wide receiver…someone you may be familiar with, a young man named Jason Kipnis.

So naturally, Kip caught wind of the article – which led to one of the best reunions and exchanges on Instagram that we’ve seen in a while.

kip insta

Kipnis started the conversation by posting a screenshot of the article to his account, vocalizing that he hoped Burns would see his post and comment.

And it didn’t take long for friends of Burns to bring it to his attention…

Friends of Burns commenting

Then, finally, what we’d all been waiting for – the first, very profound communication from Burns himself.

Burns enters the convo

And, as expected, next came the fun part: the trash talking, which began shortly thereafter.

trash talking begins

Burns fires back

Next came one of our favorite parts of the whole exchange, the assurance from Burns that there’s a tape of said play which should be blessing the Internet very soon.

video coming soon

We don’t know about you, but we’re pretty excited to see video proof of the time Burns got burned… at the hands of Jason Kipnis, of course.

If you want to read more about the 2004 Libertyville state champs, CLICK HERE.

–TribeVibe contributor Missy Perez


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