Results tagged ‘ Jason Kipnis ’

PHOTO GALLERY: Kluber’s live BP, Carrasco the groundskeeper, March 1

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Today’s photos include Corey Kluber’s first live BP session of the Spring, Carlos Carrasco driving a golf cart, Terry hitting more fungoes and Carlos Santana making more friends. Good day.

–Photos by Dan Mendlik

PHOTO GALLERY: Live at-bats today in Indians Camp, Feb. 28

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The morning started out with a little rain, but didn’t hold the squad from getting in a good day’s work. Nick Maradone, Nick Hagadone, Carlos Carrasco & Danny Salazar all faced live hitters as the guys prep for Tuesday’s spring opener.

-Photos by Dan Mendlik

Fun times at Indians Photo Day

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We brought the Twitter Mirror to Photo Day and managed to capture some pretty stellar selfies. Flip through our slideshow to enjoy the return of a rally stache, a Cy Kluber stare down and some GQ worthy poses.

PHOTO GALLERY: Busy day at Spring Training — signings, hitting and fielding!

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With six days left until the #TribeSpring opener, things were in full swing on Wednesday!

-Photos by Dan Mendlik

PHOTO GALLERY: Full-squad workouts begin and Lindor wins the race, Feb. 24

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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

Pre-Spring injury updates: Jason Kipnis, Nick Swisher, Gavin Floyd, Brandon Moss, Ryan Raburn, Giovanny Urshela

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The Indians medical staff released the following updates on Thursday, regarding some rehabbing Indians players:

2B Jason Kipnis (left ring finger extensor repair)

Responding as expected following left ring finger extensor tendon repair.  Currently unrestricted with defensive work and throwing.  He is working through a return to hit progression, currently at the front-toss phase of cage-hitting.  Expected to resume hitting on the field within the first week of spring training and should be available for game activity shortly after games begin in early March.

1B/OF Nick Swisher (bi-lateral knee surgery)

Comes into camp unrestricted with hitting and throwing.  Currently on a structured running and agility progression designed to allow his knees to accommodate to the increased volume and intensity of spring training.  Scheduled to begin outfield specific work and base-running in 2 weeks.  Expected to resume game activity in mid-March.

RHP Gavin Floyd (right elbow olecranon internal fixation)

Currently throwing bullpens and building up volume and intensity.  Will follow a structured bullpen and live BP schedule, very similar to the rest of the pitchers, but individualized to monitor his recovery with respect to his elbow medical history.  Expected to resume game activity (potentially a non “A” game environment to start) by the second week of March.

OF Brandon Moss (right hip labrum repair)

Currently completing a hitting and running progression post right hip surgery (labrum repair).  Continues to hit all of his goals in terms of his physical assessment and functional performance.  Currently completing overhand-toss hitting and building up his sprint work.  Expected to begin position-specific running in 7-10 days and begin hitting on the field at the end of February or early March.  Expected to resume game activity in mid-March.

OF Ryan Raburn (left knee surgery)

Completed rehab and off-season S&C work.  Comes into camp mostly unrestricted. Will monitor his work load early as his knee adjusts to increased volume and intensity. Expected to be available for game activity when games begin.

INF Giovanny Urshela (left knee PCL sprain)

Giovanny had completed his rehab from his left knee PCL sprain and has tolerated all baseball activity well.  He will be unrestricted in terms of all baseball activity at the start of spring training.  Will monitor his overall activity early on as he adjusts the increase in volume and intensity of activity.

PHOTO GALLERY: Pitchers and Catchers report, Feb. 18

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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

What national media are saying about the Cleveland Indians — Spring Training edition

Update: This post has been updated on March 2 to reflect more national media picking the Indians to do big things.

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.

CBS Sports has the Tribe No. 5 overall in its Spring Power Rankings.

They could stand to avoid another slow start. Throwing out a bad April, the Indians went 74-60 last season. The defense should be better, as should Jason Kipnis at the plate. Carlos Santana not trying to play third base will help him avoid a slow start and Carlos Carrasco’s hot finish looked pretty legit.

Grantland’s Jonah Keri, meanwhile, has the Indians No. 5, too:

Now this is a bandwagon I will not be trying to slow down. Put it this way: Last year, the Indians won 85 games despite an injury-plagued Jason Kipnis flukishly hitting like a 75-year-old Rey Ordonez and the combination of first baseman Nick Swisher, utility man Mike Aviles, and outfielders Ryan Raburn, Michael Bourn, and David Murphy providing nearly 2,000 plate appearances worth of sub-replacement-level performance. Three of those five guys have been relegated to bench duty this year, while Bourn and Swisher still look to be significant contributors, albeit on a short leash. The addition of Brandon Moss plus a healthy Kipnis could significantly boost results for a team that finished seventh in the AL in runs scored and ninth in homers last year. Meanwhile, the rotation includes defending Cy Young winner Corey Kluber alongside not one, not two, but three starting pitchers who look like prime breakout candidates: Trevor Bauer, Danny Salazar, and Carlos Carrasco. Combine the revitalized offense with a potentially fantastic group on the mound and you have an extremely dangerous club — one that might very well end Detroit’s AL Central reign.

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:

Big offseason moves: Acquired 1B/OF Brandon Moss from the A’s for 2B Joe Wendle; signed RHP Gavin Floyd.

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.

Prediction: 90-72

Olney, whose 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:

MLB.com National writer Tracy Ringolsby likes the Indians philosophy of standing pat, on a team that has promise. In a division where there’s been a lot of player turnover, the Indians are content.

http://m.indians.mlb.com/news/article/110959426/tracy-ringolsby-after-standing-pat-indians-ready-to-contend

In case you need a reminder, pitchers and catchers report Wednesday!

Fans’ guide to Tribe Fest 2015: event FAQ, social media plans and more!

 

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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!

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

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’s Olney high on quintet of Tribe players

Brantley

ESPN Insider Buster Olney has completed his annual positional rankings, and Indians players fared well: Michael Brantley was the top-ranked left fielder, while Yan Gomes, Jason Kipnis, Corey Kluber and Cody Allen also rated highly. (Olney factored in more than just the 2014 season, hence Kluber’s ranking.)

Since Olney’s blog is an Insider blog, some Tribe fans may not have access to it; here’s a link and Olney’s reasoning behind placing our guys where he has:

Left fielders

No. 1 — Michael Brantley: He was a working definition of consistency in 2014, with 200 hits (Jose Altuve was the only other player to reach that mark), 67 extra-base hits, 52 walks and 56 strikeouts, plus 23 stolen bases in 24 attempts. His OPS before the All-Star break was .901, and afterward it was .876. In September, when the Indians were making one last push for the postseason, he posted a 1.022 OPS. The only position players who scored higher in Fangraphs’ WAR last season were Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen. Brantley finished third in the AL MVP vote, exactly where he should’ve finished.

Starters

No. 8 — Corey Kluber: He doesn’t have the long track record of other starters on this list, but it’s hard to overstate how dominant he was last season, with a breaking ball that confounded hitters who were so often behind in the count. Check out these highlights — the run of his fastball, the spin of his breaking ball — from a start he made in July. After the All-Star break, hitters had a .555 OPS against Kluber, third-best in the majors.

Catchers

No. 7 – Yan Gomes: Gomes is perhaps the majors’ most underrated catcher, and Indians GM Chris Antonetti deserves a ton of credit for making a deal with the Blue Jays for him. The 27-year-old product of Brazil took over from Carlos Santana in the summer of 2013 because of what he can do defensively, and Gomes is really good offensively as well, having posted an .826 OPS in 2013 and .785 last season.

Gomes scores well in the pitch-framing numbers, and deserves a share of the credit for the staff-wide improvement of the Cleveland hurlers.

Relievers

No. 9 — Cody Allen: A big swing-and-miss reliever, Allen held opponents to a .601 OPS last season. He’s entrenched as the closer in the Indians’ bullpen.

Second basemen

No. 6 – Jason Kipnis: There’s no getting around it: Kipnis had a terrible season in 2014, posting a .240/.310/.330 slash line, and his extra-base hits plummeted from 57 to 32. But we’re giving him a mulligan, given his age (27) and the fact that he suffered an early-season oblique injury that seemed to put him in a hole from which he never climbed out. Maybe he got caught up in the effort of trying to make up for lost time and simply fell into bad habits. Justin Havens sent along these notes:

In 2013, Kipnis posted a .754 slugging percentage on fly balls, with 14 home runs and 9.5 percent of his fly balls turning into homers. Bizarrely, in 2014, he slugged just .301 on his fly balls, with only 4.3 percent (5) of them going for a home run. Perhaps most telling, his average fly ball distance dropped from 290 feet in 2013 to 270 in 2014. How good Kipnis is centers largely around which performance against left-handed pitchers is “real.” See below (chase rate is defined as percent of pitches out of the strike zone that result in swings):

2014: .208 batting average, .244 slugging, 30.1 percent chase rate
2013: .308 BA, .480 slugging, 18.8 percent chase rate
2012: .215 BA, .282 slugging, 21.2 percent chase rate

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