Results tagged ‘ Michael Bourn ’
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
Today was photo day in camp – It was a busy day for all players. After getting their glamour shots, it was time to go to work!
-Photos by Dan Mendlik
With six days left until the #TribeSpring opener, things were in full swing on Wednesday!
-Photos by Dan Mendlik
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 report date!
–Photos by Dan Mendlik
New to camp today: Bourn, Santana and more!
–Photos by Dan Mendlik
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.
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:
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, 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.
In case you need a reminder, pitchers and catchers report Wednesday!
Busy day around here: Tribe players visited Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital and UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, then took part in our Tribe Fest VIP events for our Season Ticket Holders.
Here’s a recap in Tweets:
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!
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