Results tagged ‘ Michael Bourn ’
CLEVELAND INDIANS POST-GAME NOTES, APRIL 24 (Photos by Dan Mendlik and David Cleveland)
- Cleveland took the final game of this series by a final score of 5-1 and has won its first series since taking 2 of 3 from San Diego April 8-9.
- Today’s win signaled the Tribe’s second consecutive victory vs. a left-handed starter after starting the year just 2-5 vs. opposing southpaws.
- Indians have now gone 11-5 against the Royals here at Progressive Field dating back to September, 2012.
- The Tribe will now head west for a 6-day, 6-game road trip through San Francisco (3 games) and Anaheim (3 games).
- Notched his first career complete game this afternoon, allowing just one unearned run while striking out a career-high 11 batters (W, 9.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 SO, 101 pitches/75 strikes).
- Bested his previous career-high innings (8.2, July 31, 2013 vs. CWS) and strikeouts (10, 2x, last July 7, 2013 vs. Detroit).
- The Indians received 3 complete games from Justin Masterson in 2013, last coming on June 30, 2013 at Chicago-AL.
- Masterson owns the last 4 complete games turned in by Indians pitchers, as Kluber’s effort today was the Tribe’s first from a pitcher other than Masterson since Derek Lowe in May 15, 2012 at Minnesota.
- The last Indians hurler to turn in a complete game with at least 10 strikeouts and no walks was C.C Sabathia on September 7, 2005 at Detroit; first effort with those parameters here at Progressive Field since Orel Hershiser on June 5th, 1995.
- The last Indians pitcher to throw a complete game with at least 11 strikeouts, 0 walks and 0 earned runs was Len Barker (perfect game) on May 15, 1981.
o Just the 7th such effort by an Indians pitcher dating back to 1914
5 IN 5
- After notching just one hit through the first 4 innings, the Indians offense exploded for 5 runs on 5 hits and chased Kansas City starter Bruce Chen with 1 out in the inning.
- The Indians 5-run inning marked a season-best and signaled the first time the Tribe has plated 5 runs in a single inning since September 14, 2013 (T4th, 5 runs) at Chicago-AL; Tribe won 8-1
- The 5 hits in the inning matched a season high, previously accomplished in the 5th inning of a 7-2 victory vs. Minnesota.
- Knocked in the Tribe’s first run in the 5-run fifth inning following a Carlos Santana lead-off double.
- Brantley has hit in 5 straight games (7-17) and is now batting .333 (10-30) with 3 home runs and 9 RBI over his last 8 games.
- Batting .405 (15-37) with runners on base and entered the game ranked 6th in the American league with 18 RBI.
- Slapped a 2-run single with the bases loaded to push across the Tribe’s 2nd and 3rd runs of the 5th inning.
- Marked Murphy’s second bases-loaded RBI base hit of the homestand (emptied the bases w/ a 3-run double on Sunday vs. Toronto); he is now 3-4 w/ 9 RBI in bases-loaded plate appearances this season; a lifetime .350 (28/80) hitter with the bags full.
- Murphy leads the American League with a .533 average w/ RISP.
- Shouldered his second loss of the season after allowing all 5 Indians runs to score in the top of the 5th (L, 4.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R-ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 75 pitches/49 strikes).
- Chen allowed a lead-off single to Asdrubal Cabrera before retiring the next 11 batters he faced prior to the 5th.
- Chen entered this afternoon’s game 7-3 with a 4.29 ERA in 19 career outings (12 starts) vs. the Indians, including a 7-1 mark since 2010.
INSTANT REPLAY: Umpire crew chief Bill Miller initiated an instant-replay review on a play at home plate in the first inning of today’s game…Miller reviewed whether or not Kansas City catcher Brett Hayes was blocking the plate…Terry Francona elected not to challenge the out call at the plate; catcher’s positioning is not eligible for challenging by a manager.
Post-game notes: April 23
- Will enter Thursday afternoon’s finale against the Royals with a shot at a winning homestand, as the Tribe is now 3-3 on this 7-day stay against Toronto (1-2) and Kansas City (2-1).
- Won for just the second time this season when facing an opposing left-handed starter (2-6)…Tribe lefties went 4-for-9 with a pair of RBI against Royals southpaw JASON VARGAS.
- The Indians bullpen stranded a pair of inherited runners in the 7th inning (game was tied 3-3) and one more in the 8th (Tribe held 4-3 lead), extending a successful stretch of stranding 11 consecutive inherited runners.
- Cleveland relievers have stranded a Major League-best 32 of 35 (91.4%) inherited runners overall in 2014.
- Tribe bullpen has posted a 2.74 ERA (21 ER/69.0 IP) and .214 (54-252) avg. against overall this season, which includes a 1.93 ERA (4 ER/18.2 IP) and .212 (14-66) avg. against through 6 games of the current homestand.
ROYALS GO BACK-TO-BACK IN THE SECOND INNING
- SALVADOR PEREZ (1) & MIKE MOUSTAKAS (4) connected for back-to-back one-out solo homers to give Kansas City an early 2-0 lead in the 2nd inning…marked the first pair of back-to-back home runs for the Royals since July 4, 2013 vs. Cleveland (Lorenzo Cain/George Kottaras, 6th inn.).
- Kansas City entered tonight with the fewest home runs in the Majors (7)…Royals have homered 3 times against Cleveland after entering the series with just 6.
- Cleveland’s pitching staff entered tonight’s game having allowed the fewest home runs in the A.L. and 3rd-fewest in the Majors (12 HR in 20 games thru April 22).
- Took his fifth no-decision in as many starts this season (5) despite tossing his second consecutive quality start and third overall (6.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R-2 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO, 2 HR, 98 pitches/64 strikes)…last decision of any kind came on Sept. 2, 2013 vs. Baltimore; last victory came on Aug. 21, 2013 at Los Angeles-AL.
- Allowed both earned runs he permitted on a pair of back-to-back solo homers in the 2nd inning…had surrendered just one home run through his first 4 starts and 21.2 innings…allowed multiple home runs in the same outing just twice all of last season (June 3 at New York-AL & June 25 at Baltimore)…tonight marked just the fifth time in Masterson’s career to give up multiple homers in a start/appearance here at Progressive Field, first since Aug. 30, 2012 vs. Oakland (3 HR).
- Erased a 2-0 deficit with his 2-out, 2-run triple in the 2nd inning, scoring Cabrera and Aviles…was his first triple of the season.
- With an RBI-single on Tuesday vs. Kansas City, Bourn has now driven in 3 runs in his last 2 games after no RBI through his first 5 games of the season with Cleveland.
- Collected his team-best fourth stolen base of the season with one out in the 6th inning and then scored a game-tying run (3-3) on 2 subsequent Kansas City errors that occurred on the same play (E2/E8)…reached base on a one-out single off fellow lefty Vargas…also drew a walk in the 8th that helped push across the Indians’ fifth run.
- Broke a 3-3 tie with his 2-out, RBI-double to score Swisher (2-out single) and give Cleveland a 4-3 lead…has 10 RBI on the season, including 3 in this series against Kansas City.
- Notched his sixth multi-hit game of the season, tied with Swisher for most on the team.
- Provided Cleveland with an insurance run, delivering a one-out, pinch-hit RBI-single in the bottom of the 8th to make it 5-3 – the first pinch-hit or pinch-RBI for Cleveland this season…was Chisenhall’s second career pinch-RBI, the other coming courtesy of a solo home run on Aug. 29, 2013 at Atlanta…marked Chisenhall’s first RBI of any kind in 12 games this season and first since Sept. 21, 2013 vs. Houston.
- Notched his A.L.-leading 8th save of the year (8-for-9), converting 4 consecutive save opportunities in as many relief appearances since lone blown save on April 13 at Chicago-AL.
–Photos by Dan Mendlik and David Cleveland
POST-GAME NOTES: April 21, 2014
- The Indians took the series opener vs. the Royals, 4-3, and have now reeled off back-to-back victories for the first time since April 8 & 9th (G1); Tribe also improves to 5-2 in series lid-lifters this season.
- With another strong effort from the bullpen, the Indians were able to hold on for the club’s 2nd one-run victory of the season (first in Cleveland) and improved to 7-4 in games decided by one (2-3) or two (5-1) runs this season, this after going a combined 41-29 last season in games decided by one (30-17, 2nd-best in MLB) or two (11-12) runs…also marked the Tribe’s 5th victory of the season after trailing at some point during the game.
- Tribe’s bullpen has reeled off 10.2 consecutive scoreless innings after shutting out the Royals over the last 3.0 innings tonight; Indians relievers entered play today owning the 3rd-lowest relief ERA in the American League and have a 2.63 figure (18 ER/61.2 IP) after tonight’s effort…with another inherited runner left stranded tonight, the Indians bullpen has stranded all but 3 (25 of 28) inherited runners on the season – 89.3% success rate.
- The Indians offense recorded a season-high 7 extra base hits, collecting 5 doubles and a pair of 2-run homers; previous high of 5 was accomplished 3 times.
SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE
- The Indians and Royals entered tonight’s game a combined 6-0 in games started by their respective starting pitchers…the Indians and Royals each entered play with 3-0 records for both Zach McAllister and Jeremy Guthrie.
- With both starters factoring into the decision, McAllister has now matched his career-high win streak with 3 consecutive victories, while Jeremy Guthrie’s loss snapped a streak of 9 consecutive April victories dating back to 2012.
- With his 7th save in 8 chances, Tribe closer John Axford moved ahead of Royal’s door slammer Greg Holland for the American League lead in saves.
- Tossed his 3rd consecutive quality start in his 4th outing of the season, handing over a 4-3 lead to Marc Rzepczynski and the Tribe bullpen after a leadoff walk in the 7th (W, 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 98 pitches/70 strikes).
- McAllister’s 3rd straight victory matches his career-high win streak, accomplished twice in 2013 (last August 13-24).
- Over the course of the win streak, McAllister has allowed just 3 earned runs over 19.2 innings (1.37 ERA) dating back to his start on April 9th vs. San Diego; has notched 13 strikeouts as opposed to just 3 walks over the stretch.
- McAllister extended his streak of consecutive innings without allowing a home run to 31.0 IP dating back to last season (last HR allowed: Brandon Laird, 2nd inning on September 20 vs. HOU)
- McAllister’s ERA through his first 8 starts of the 2013 season (through May 18) was 2.65, which ranked 8th lowest in the American League.
- Gave the Tribe a 2-0 advantage with his 4th home run of the season against Guthrie in the top of the 4th.
- Paired with his second-inning solo shot in Sunday’s 6-4 win over Toronto, this marks the third time in Brantley’s career to homer in consecutive games, the others instances coming in 2011 (May 13 vs. SEA/May 16 at KC) and 2012 (July 4 vs. LAA/July 5 vs. TB).
- Including his 3-run shot on Monday, three of Brantley’s four home runs this season have come with the game deadlocked at 0-0 (April 13 at CWS/T4th & April 20 vs. TOR/B2nd).
- Brantley entered the game ranked 3rd in the American League with 16 RBI, and is now batting .400 (14-35) with runners on base.
- Put the Tribe back on top 4-3 with his 2-run homer in the bottom of the 6th after Nick Swisher doubled to lead off the frame.
- Over his last 8 games Kipnis has gone 8-26 (.308) with 2 homers, 3 doubles and 31 RBI;entered tonight’s game T2nd on the club with 9 runs scored.
- Paired with Brantley’s 2-run shot in the 4th, Kipnis’ longball marked the 3rd time the Indians have hit multiple homers in the same game this season; also April 4 vs. MIN (2) and April 12 at Chicago-AL (3).
CLEVELAND INDIANS (8-10) vs. KANSAS CITY ROYALS (9-8)
RHP Carlos Carrasco (2-0, 2.04) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (2-0, 4.34)
Game #19/Home #10 » Mon., April 21, 2014 » Progressive Field » 7:05 p.m. (ET) » SportsTime Ohio, WTAM/WMMS/IRN
- Bourn 8
- Swisher 3
- Kipnis 4
- Chisenhall 5
- Brantley 7
- Cabrera 6
- Giambi DH
- Murphy 9
- Gomes 2
- McAllister 1
THEY’RE GUARANTEED TO RAISE A SMILE
» The Indians snapped a 3-game losing streak on Sunday, taking the series finale from Toronto 6-4…MICHAEL BRANTLEY opened the scoring with a solo HR in the 2nd and a 2-out, RBI-double in the 4th; the Blue Jays held a 4-2 advantage until DAVID MURPHY connected for a 2-out, 3-run double in the 6th to take a 5-4 lead (4 of Tribe’s 6 runs scored with 2 outs)…JOSH OUTMAN (3-0) earned win to frontline a Tribe ‘pen that tossed 3.1 scoreless frames…JOHN AXFORD notched his 6th save.
» Sunday’s pivotal plate appearance marked the second 3-RBI extra-base hit off a lefty for Murphy in the last 9 days, as he also tripled with the bases loaded off White Sox southpaw DONNIE VEAL on April 12 at Chicago-AL (12-6 win)…for his career, Murphy is 12-for-34 (.353) vs. LHP with the bases loaded (ELIAS).
WINS & LOSSES
» At 8-10 (.444), Cleveland is 4 wins shy of the club’s high-water mark this season (+2G, twice, last 5-3 after G1 on April 9) and one loss shy of club’s low-water mark (-3G, 7-10 on April 20).
» Cleveland snapped a 3-game losing streak (matched longest of ‘14)…Tribe has lost 4 of 6 and 7 of 10 after starting the year by winning 5 of first 8…last pair of back-to-back wins came on April 8 & April 9 (G1).
» Cleveland is 1-2 to begin a 7-day, 7-game homestand against Toronto (1-2) & Kansas City (4 games)…Tribe finished recent weather-shortened 8-day, 6-game road trip at 2-4 thru Chicago-AL (1-3) & Detroit (1-1)…club went 3-3 on first homestand of season vs. Minnesota (1-2) and San Diego (2-1)…Tribe began the year with a brief 3-game road trip, during which Tribe took 2 of 3 from Oakland, improving to 27-9 against the A.L. West since start of 2013 campaign…Cleveland will end April with a West Coast trip.
» Tribe is below the .500 mark both at Progressive Field (4-5) and on the road (4-5)…team has gone 4-3 in night games, but 4-7 during the day.
Check out some great shots from our photographers at today’s batting practice!
- Photos by David Cleveland
CLEVELAND INDIANS (7-8) vs. TORONTO BLUE JAYS (8-8)
RHP Justin Masterson (0-0, 5.87) vs. RHP Drew Hutchison (1-1, 3.68)
Game #16/Home #7 » Fri., April 18, 2014 » Progressive Field » 7:05 p.m. (ET) » SportsTime Ohio, WTAM/WMMS/IRN
» Cleveland fell to Detroit 7-5 on Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park, earning a 2-game series split after taking Wednesday night’s opener by a narrow 3-2 margin…the Indians held a 3-1 advantage over right-hander JUSTIN VERLANDER entering the bottom of the 5th before the Tigers rallied for 4 runs in the inning to erase the lead – a rally highlighted by IAN KINSLER’s (4 RBI) 3-run HR off Tribe starter DANNY SALAZAR, who had held Detroit to a single run on 3 hits to that point…the series was shortened to a pair of games after cold temperatures and periodic snow showers forced the cancellation of Tuesday’s originally scheduled opener.
WINS & LOSSES
» At 7-8 (.467), Cleveland is one game below the .500 mark to match club’s low water-mark of the season (3rd time, also 5-6 and 6-7)…Tribe’s high water-mark of 2014 is 2 games above the .500 mark on April 4 (3-1) & April 9-G1 (5-3).
» Cleveland is set to begin a 7-day, 7-game homestand against Toronto (3 games) & Kansas City (4 games)…Tribe finished their weather-shortened 8-day, 6-game road trip at 2-4 thru Chicago-AL (1-3) & Detroit (1-1)…club went 3-3 on first homestand of season vs. Minnesota (1-2) and San Diego (2-1)…Tribe began the year with a brief 3-game road trip, during which Tribe took 2 of 3 from Oakland, improving to 27-9 against the A.L. West since start of 2013 campaign…Cleveland will end April with a West Coast trip.
» Tribe is an even 3-3 here at Progressive Field, but one game below the .500 mark (4-5) on the road…team has gone 4-2 in night games, but 3-6 during the day.
A.L. CENTRAL STANDINGS
» Cleveland holds 5th place in the A.L. Central standings, trailing first place Detroit (7-5) by just 1.5 games…the 1.5-game margin in the A.L. Central is easily the smallest in any of MLB’s 6 divisions…Tribe has spent 2 days in 1st place, 9 days in 2nd place, 4 days in 3rd place, 2 days in 4th place and one day in 5th place.
» The Indians are 3-6 against A.L. Central opponents (went 44-32 in 2013) and 4-2 outside the division.
» With the 2-game series split in Detroit, the Indians are now 2-2-1 in 5 series played so far this season (1-1-0 at home, 1-1-1 on the road).
» Cleveland improved to 4-1 in series openers in the Detroit series, winning 3 straight lid-lifters to start the year…Tribe fell to 1-4 in series finales yesterday afternoon.
» The Indians are set to host the Toronto Blue Jays for a 3-game weekend series here at Progressive Field, while the Tribe will head north to Rogers Centre for 3 more tilts in mid-May…the Indians held a 4-2 advantage over the Jays in 2013, taking 2 of 3 at each ballpark…Cleveland’s offense was held to 4 runs-or-less in 5 of the 6 meetings – including all 4 of the team’s victories – as the Tribe’s pitching staff registered a 2.95 ERA (18 ER/55.0 IP) and one team shutout vs. Toronto last season, including a 1.72 mark (9ER/47.0IP) in the 5 games in which Cleveland plated 4 runs-or-less.
» Cleveland has gone 50-33 (.602) all-time time against Toronto at Progressive Field, but just 4-6 vs. the visiting Jays since start of 2011.
JUSTIN & THE JAYS
» JUSTIN MASTERSON, tonight’s scheduled hurler for the Tribe, has gone 3-1 with a 2.83 ERA (13 ER/41.1 IP) in 6 career starts vs. Toronto, including 2-0, 1.30 mark (4 ER/27.2 IP) in 4 starts over the past 2 seasons (2 each in 2012 & 2013).
TODAY’S TOM SAWYER
» LONNIE CHISENHALL (4-4) picked up a career-high 4 hits as the Indians DH on Thursday, becoming the first player in the Majors this season to deliver a 4-hit performance from the No. 9 spot in the batting order…Lonnie also became just the 2nd Indians player over the last 4 seasons (2011-14) with a 4-hit game from the No. 9 spot, joining DREW STUBBS on May 3, 2013 vs. Minnesota (4-5, 3 2B).
» Chisenhall has now hit safely in all 7 games he has played this season, going 12-for-23 (.522) with 4 doubles and 5 runs scored…according to Elias, the only other Cleveland players over the last 80 years (since 1935) to carry a .500 batting avg. through their first 7 games of the season (min. 20 AB) were LOU BOUDREAU in 1948 (.517, 15-29), BILL GLYNN in 1954 (.522, 12-23) and SANDY ALOMAR JR. in 1997 (.581, 18-31).
» DH JASON GIAMBI (15-day DL, fractured rib) began a rehab assignment on Friday and has appeared in 3 games as the DH for Double-A Akron (0-for-8, 2 BB), most recently in Game 2 of Wednesday’s doubleheader vs. Trenton (0-for-2, BB, SO)…his next game action is TBD.
FLY BY NIGHT
» MICHAEL BRANTLEY carries a .397 (31-78) career avg. vs. Toronto (19 games) into this 3-game series, a stretch that includes 3 three-hit games and 2 four-hit games…Brantley has hit safely in 9 straight games against the Blue Jays, batting .531 (17-32) with 3 doubles, one HR and 5 RBI.
» Other notable career #’s vs. Toronto belong to: MICHAEL BOURN (.404, 21-52, 2 RBI), CARLOS SANTANA (.329, 27-82, 3 HR, 10 RBI) & DAVID MURPHY (.305, 50-164, 2 HR, 10 RBI).
TIME STAND STILL
» While the Indians are hitting just .229 (32-140) w/ runners in scoring position as a team – 8th in the A.L. – several players are hitting at-or-above a .300-clip w/ RISP, including DAVID MURPHY (.500, 6-12), MICHAEL BRANTLEY (.350, 7-20), RYAN RABURN (.300, 3-10).
» Cleveland is also hitting just .174 (26-149) with 2 outs, 2nd-lowest in the A.L., as Brantley (.333, 6-18) is the only player with a qualifying two-out batting avg. above the .300 mark…6 of Brantley’s team-leading 14 RBI have come with 2 outs…after finishing with the 6th-most two-out runs in the Majors last season (292 of 745, 39%), Cleveland has plated 19 of the team’s 69 overall runs with two outs (27.5%).
CLOSER TO THE HEART
» Cleveland rotation’s A.L.-high 5.18 ERA (46 ER/80.0 IP) is also 3rd-highest in MLB ahead of only Arizona (7.63) and Washington (5.21), as Tribe starters are averaging exactly 5.1 innings-per-start through 15 games.
» The Indians are 4-2 this season when getting at least 6.0 innings out of their starting pitching, while the rotation is 3-1 w/ a 1.58 ERA (7 ER/40.0 IP) and 37 strikeouts against just 5 walks in those 6 games…COREY KLUBER & ZACH McALLISTER account for 4 of those 6 outings (combined 3-0, 2.00 ERA, 2 BB, 25 SO in those 4 starts – 2 each).
» The Indians bullpen has been largely effective through the first few weeks of the season, posting a 3.04 ERA (17 ER/50.1 IP) and a .215 (40-186) avg. against, both figures 5th-lowest in the A.L.
» Tribe relievers have stranded all but one of 21 inherited runners thus far (95%), the best such percentage in the Majors this season.
» Cleveland (7-8 in 2014) was 5 games below .500 thru 15 games in 2013 at 5-10.
» The Indians have played 15 games without going to extra innings this season, one of 6 teams yet to participate in bonus baseball…the Angels and Athletics lead Majors w/ 4 extra-inning games each…Toronto has played one extra-inning contest (12-inn. 2-1 loss on April 12 at Baltimore).
» Cleveland’s staff has averaged 9.53 SO/9.0 IP (138SO/130.1 IP), 2nd-most in the Majors behind only Washington (10.22 SO/9.0 IP)…the Indians’ 138 strikeouts overall are 4th-most in the A.L. and rank 6th in the Majors.
» Cleveland is 5-3 this season in games decided by one-or-two runs…club’s 2-1 loss on April 9 vs. San Diego (G2) snapped a streak of 11 consecutive wins for the Indians in games decided by one-or-two runs dating back to 2013; had been longest such streak for Cleveland since an 11-gamer in June/July of 1974 (ELIAS)..
LOCAL GIRL WINS JACKIE ROBINSON ESSAY CONTEST
» Richmond Heights 7th-grader JORDAN EDITH will be honored before tonight’s game for her award-winning essay in MLB’s “Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life” educational program…Jordan’s essay on bullying won 2nd place among submissions for grades 6-8…in conjunction w/ Sharon Robinson, the daughter of
MLB pioneer Jackie Robinson, the program has reached more than 22 million students in the U.S. since its inception in 1997…tonight the Indians will also celebrate Jackie Robinson, w/ a 2-min. video tribute & a presentation to the team’s Most Valuable Diverse Business Partner as part of the Commissioner’s Office Diverse Business Partner program, which began in 1998.
THIS DAY IN MUSIC
» 1970: Steel Mill (feat. Bruce Springsteen) played in the Main Gym at Ocean County College in New Jersey; tickets cost $2.00…1985: Wham! became the first-ever Western pop act to have an album released in China…2013: Storm Thorgerson, best known for his work designing album cover art for artists such as
Pink Floyd (“Dark Side of the Moon”), Led Zeppelin (“Houses of the Holy”) and T. Rex (“Electric Warrior”), passed away at the age of 69 in England.
» Tomorrow, Saturday April 19, is “2014 Record Store Day”…participating Cleveland locations include Blue Arrow Records, The Exchange, My Mind’s Eye, Music Saves and LOOP.
Editor’s note: This Q&A with Indians President Mark Shapiro, conducted in Spring Training, has been republished here with the permission of Al Ciammaichella and The DiaTribe.
For the second year in a row, Indians team president Mark Shapiro was kind enough to take an hour out of his very busy spring training schedule and sit down for an interview with me in beautiful Goodyear, Arizona. Here’s a link to last year’s interview in case you missed it. We covered a wide variety of topics, including the difference in the 2013 and 2014 free agent market, Yan Gomes, ticket pricing, promotions, Francisco Lindor and of course, Justin Masterson and the breakdown in his long-term contract negotiations. The following is a lightly edited transcript of our conversation this past Friday.
Al Ciammaichella: This offseason was much quieter/different than last offseason. Were the moves you made last year looking forward to this year’s free agent class where you signed guys like Swisher and Bourn knowing this offseason would be quieter?
Mark Shapiro: We always have to take an opportunistic lens when it comes to free agency. When we look at free agency, if we’re dependent upon it to build our team, then we’re in a very difficult, if not impossible, spot. The reality is that we’re either looking for where the value is in the market or looking to be opportunistic. Last offseason there happened to be two guys that fit multiple year, positional needs for us at values we thought we could afford and who have some other special attributes, especially in the case of Swish, but really Bourn too, as a leader as well. They filled gaps we had in our system, where we felt like we didn’t have anyone coming up at all. And we also knew that this offseason there was a lot national TV money coming into the system and a lot less guys, so there were going to be more resources available, greater demand and less supply. So while it’s already a tough market, that was going to make it nearly an impossible market. So I look at last year as our chance to make a bigger splash in free agency, and this year was going to be “are there little things we can do?” I think we studied David Murphy, who I think is a good pick up for us. He’s going to improve both the defense, and give us a really good platoon and depth in the outfield.
AC: We talked a lot about levers last year, which became one of my new favorite buzzwords. How did you decide what levers to pull this year, with Murphy, and how did you decide which not to pull, with not bringing back guys like Ubaldo and Kazmir?
MS: Those decisions are never as simple as “do you want the player or not?” I think that the fan tends to look at it as “you didn’t want the guy.” We loved what Kaz did for us, we wanted him, but the level of risk involved with multiple years and the level of risk involved with those dollars just didn’t fit our payroll parameters this year with the natural, built in escalation of contracts. I think with Ubaldo, same thing. It ended up being a good deal for us, particularly in light of what we gave up, but it wasn’t the right fit for us this year. When you talk about levers, I think the neat things to think about from last spring to this spring are the evolution of a guy like Yan Gomes. Where all of a sudden, you look at Gomes and there’s a guy who leverages his ability to impact a game at more than just his position because of what he means defensively, what he means for his passion for making pitchers better, for helping to call a game. So I always like to think about, “where are the guys that can impact a game beyond objective statistics? Beyond just their own performance?” And Gomes is a guy who when he started to catch last year, I think that was one of the keys to our team really taking off.
AC: So when you traded for Gomes, and I could sit here all day and talk to you about Gomes, but when you traded for him, did you have any idea he’d be that much of an impact defensively? I’ve talked to some Blue Jays guys, and they were of the opinion that he was maybe a 3rd catcher while he was with the Jays.
MS: Any GM or front office guy who tells you he knows exactly what he was getting when he traded for a guy is just pounding his own chest. What you do is you try and find something you like, a defined attribute that you like about a guy. Even when we traded for Asdrubal or Shin-Soo Choo, there were always questions. We never thought they’d both be as good as they were, never. So when we traded for Yan Gomes, we thought that maybe he could catch, but really what he was, was right handed power, and a guy who could play multiple positions. That’s what we thought. When we got him, I think we did a smart thing, similar to when we traded for Justin Masterson. We didn’t know Masterson could start, but we knew he could be a dominant bullpen guy. But in our situation it’s important to maximize the value because we can’t go out and buy those things. So we put Yan back there, and right away Tito and the staff said “this guy’s got pretty special hands, he’s got some strength behind the plate.” When you go back and look at his career, whether it’s in Tennessee (in college) or in the Toronto system, he played behind Arencibia both places, and they had D’Arnaud there as well. So he was behind two of the best young catchers in the game and he never got to catch much. He just took right to it. He got better and better. He’s a worker, he’s smart, he’s tough, he has a lot of the attributes you look for in a catcher.
CLEVELAND INDIANS (3-2) vs. MINNESOTA TWINS (2-3)
RHP Justin Masterson (0-0, —) vs. RHP Ricky Nolasco (0-1, 7.50)
Game #6/Home #3 » Sunday, April 6, 2014 » Progressive Field » 1:05 p.m. (ET) » SportsTime Ohio, WTAM-WMMS/IRN
WINS & LOSSES
- After winning their 2014 home opener on Friday in come-from behind fashion by a score of 7-2, the Indians allowed Minnesota to even the 3-game series in a 7-3 loss on Saturday…Tribe fell behind early, as Twins jumped out to a 5-1 lead after 3 innings; Cleveland was down 7-1 before plating a pair of runs in the 9th…managed just a single run on 3 hits against Twins starter Kyle Gibson.
- Home Opener: Tribe was held scoreless thru 5.0 on just one hit against Twins starter Mike Pelfrey (first 12 batters retired in order) before erasing a 2-0 deficit with a pair of home runs in the 6th from YAN GOMES (solo) & NICK SWISHER (2-run)…Cleveland rallied for 4 more runs in the 7th to put the game out of reach.
- Cleveland is 1-1 to begin this 6-day, 6-game homestand against Minnesota (1-1) and San Diego (3 games)…club is coming off a brief 3-game road trip to open the season during which Tribe took 2 of 3 from Oakland, improving to 27-9 against the A.L. West since start of 2013 campaign…series win came despite plating 9 combined runs, 6 of those being scored in the 9th inning…second game of Oakland series was rained out, forcing a day-night DH on Wednesday…both Indians wins vs. A’s had same winning (Allen), losing (Johnson) and saving (Axford) pitchers…Friday began a stretch of 10 consecutive game dates before club’s next off day on April 14 in Detroit.
- Cleveland is 2nd in the A.L. Central standings, 1.5 games behind Detroit (4-0) & one half-game ahead of 3rd-place Kansas City (-2.0G, 2-2)…Tribe has spent 2 days in 1st place, 3 days in 2nd place and one day in 3rd place.
…AND IT LIVES IN MINNEAPOLIS
- The Twins are making their first of 3 trips to Cleveland in 2014, as the two clubs are set to meet 19 times…for the second consecutive season, all 3 of the Indians’ trips to Minnesota will take place after the All-Star break.
- Cleveland went 13-6 vs. Minnesota last season, going 6-3 at home and 7-3 on the road…since ‘94 re-alignment, marked just 3rd time for Tribe to beat Twins 13 times, also 2001 (14-5) & 2007 (14-4)…Tribe clinched a 2013 A.L. Wild Card berth at Target Field on the final day of the regular season, a 5-1 victory over the Twins to complete their 7th 4-game series sweep & cap a 10-game winningstreak to end the year.
- Saturday’s loss snapped a 7-game winning streak for Cleveland against Minnesota, which had been club’s longest since 2011 and 2 shy of Tribe’s all-time record against the Twins (9, 5/9/81-8/20/82…Cleveland has still gone 14-7 vs. Minnesota since start of 2013.
GET ON THE GOOD FOOT
- With the Twins’ 3-run rally in the first inning yesterday, opponents have now scored first in 4 of the Indians’ 5 games so far this season, although Cleveland has managed 2 come-from-behind victories in those 4 contests…additionally, Cleveland’s pitching staff has allowed 8 of its 19 total runs in the first inning…staff has a 14.40 ERA (8 ER/5.0 IP) in first inning, but a 2.08 ERA (9 ER/39.0 IP) from the 2nd inning on…in 2013, Cleveland went68-24 when scoring first, but 24-46 when opponents tallied first.
MY BACK PAGES
- Cleveland’s offense was active in the late innings once again Saturday with a pair of 9th inning runs before the rally fell short, this after scoring 3 runs in the 6th and 4 more in the 7th in Friday’s home opener…the Tribe has scored 13 of team’s 19 overall runs in the 7th inning-or-later…among A.L. teams in the 7th inning-or late, the Indians rank among leaders in runs (1st, 13), batting avg. (2nd, .322, 19-59), OBP (3rd, .386) and OPS (4th, .792).
- Cleveland has plated 9th-inning runs in 4 of the club’s 5 games so far (8 total runs)…OAK series: Indians broke scoreless tie w/ pair of 9th-inn. runs on Monday (2-0 win), avoided a shutout with one run in final at-bat of Game 1 Wednesday (6-1 loss) and then rallied for 3 runs in 9th of Game 2 for a come-from-behind victory (6-4 win).
- On rehab assignment at Triple-A Columbus, OF MICHAEL BOURN (15-day DL, left hamstring strain) was the starting center fielder in the Clippers’ 4-0 loss to the Indianapolis Indians at Huntington Park on Saturday, going 1-for-3 with a single in Game 1 of a doubleheader…reported no issues following the game and was around the Indians clubhouse this morning.
GARDENHIRE GETS WIN NO. 1,000
- Please join the Indians in congratulating Twins manager RON GARDENHIRE, who became the 5th active skipper – 60th all-time- to reach 1,000 career victories with Saturday’s 7-3 win over theTribe…TERRY FRANCONA (1,124) reached that milestone in2011 during his final season at the helm of the Boston Red Sox…the others are Bruce Bochy (1,535), Mike Scioscia (1,235) andBuck Showalter (1,164).
The Cleveland Indians today announced the club has signed C YAN GOMES to a six-year contract extension thru the 2019 season with club options for 2020 and 2021.
Gomes, 26, established himself as the club’s everyday catcher in the second half of 2013, hitting .294 (86-293) with 18 doubles, 2 triples, 11 home runs and 38 RBI in 88 games. The Sao Paulo, Brazil native also had a large impact behind the plate, as the club went 49-30 (.620) over his 79 starts at catcher while Indians pitchers recorded an ERA of 3.56 (281ER/710.0IP) when Yan was catching. He also threw out an AL-high 38.3% (18-of-47) of the runners attempting to steal while registering a .996 fielding percentage.
Yan was acquired from Toronto along with INF Mike Aviles on November 2, 2012 from the Toronto Blue Jays after beginning his professional career with the Jays in 2009. He made history with Toronto in May of 2012, becoming the first Brazilian-born player in Major League Baseball history.
MLB Leaders, Catcher OPS (Minimum 275 plate appearances)
- Joe Mauer, MIN — .901
- Jason Castro, HOU — .884
- YAN GOMES, CLE — .837
- Yadier Molina, STL — .836
Players under team control through 2016
- Cody Allen
- John Axford
- Michael Bourn
- Michael Brantley
- Lonnie Chisenhall
- Yan Gomes
- Jason Kipnis
- Corey Kluber
- Zach McAllister
- David Murphy
- Ryan Raburn
- Marc Rzepczynski
- Carlos Santana
- Danny Salazar
- Bryan Shaw
- Nick Swisher
CLEVELAND INDIANS (16-7-2) at CINCINNATI REDS (12-14-2)
RHP Carlos Carrasco (2-1, 5.59) vs. Alfredo Simon (1-2, 4.42)
Spring Game #26/Home #14 » Monday, March 24, 2014 » Goodyear Ballpark » 1:05/4:05 p.m. (MST/ET) » MLB Network, webcast
TODAY’S BROADCAST INFORMATION: Today’s “road” contest between the Indians and Reds will be aired lived on MLB Network at 4:05 ET…MLB Network will also air a live broadcast of the final game on the Tribe’s Cactus League schedule on March 29 at San Diego.
Today’s game can also be heard through a live online webcast which can be accessed by simply registering a username and password at http://www.Indians.com/webcast or MLB.com.
THE HOME STRETCH: With just 6 games remaining on the 2014 Cactus League schedule, the Indians are one win shy of their 2013 Spring Training total, and just 3 victories shy of matching the club’s best exhibition season since joining the CL in 2009…Sunday’s loss to the Angels marked the first time the Tribe has lost consecutive games all spring…the Indians have played 22 games in 22 days since Cleveland’s March 1 rainout at Camelback Ranch against Chicago-AL…Cleveland has still won 4 of its last 8 games as the club nears the season opener on March 31 in Oakland.
INDIANS RECOGNIZED BY BASEBALL ASSISTANCE TEAM: The Baseball Assistance Team, now in its 29th year, is a unique organization within the sports industry dedicated to confidentially assisting members of the Baseball Family through charitable contributions from corporations, foundations and individuals…B.A.T. strives to provide a means of support to people with financial, psychological or physical burdens…today, B.A.T. announced that the Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Phillies are the recipients of the 2014 Bobby Murcer Award in recognition of the team in each league whose players commit the most amount of money to B.A.T…the Baseball Assistance Team has awarded more than $29 million in grants to date, benefiting more than 3,100 members of the Baseball Family, including former Major League players, managers, coaches, scouts, umpires, athletic trainers and front office personnel.
LATEST ROSTER MOVES: Terry Francona announced this morning that RHP C.C. LEE and RHP TREVOR BAUER have been optioned to Triple-A Columbus, and INF/OF BRYAN LaHAIR and INF DAVID COOPER have been re-assigned to minor league camp…C LUKE CARLIN was informed that he will begin the season at Triple-A Columbus, but will remain with the Indians in Major League camp…the club also announced that RHP AARON HARANG asked for and was granted his release.
Tito also announced that OF MICHAEL BOURN will begin the season on the 15-day DL, and that the club informed OF NYJER MORGAN and INF LONNIE CHISENHALL that they will begin the season on the 25-man Opening Day roster.
TODAY’S TILT: The Indians and Reds are set to meet today for the fifth and final time this spring…after dropping the exhibition opener to the Reds by a score of 8-3, the Indians took the next two decisions from Cincy and went on to enjoy a ten-game stretch in which the club did not suffer a single loss (9-0-1)…in the most recent matchup between the Goodyear Complex-mates, Cleveland saw Cincinnati rally for a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth for a 5-4 walk-off loss…Cleveland is 12-10-3 against the club’s intrastate rivals all-time in Cactus League play…beginning with the inaugural 2010 campaign, the Indians won 5 straight and 6 of the first 8 meetings (6-1-1) here in Arizona, but are 6-9-2 over the last 17 times Cleveland and Cincinnati have locked horns…the regular season “Battle of Ohio” was a clean split (2-2) in 2013 as both teams swept 2-game sets at their home parks; this year’s version of the Ohio Cup will again feature a “home-and-home” as the 2 clubs will play four straight games against each other from August 4-7 – the Tribe will host the Reds in the first 2 contests followed by 2 games at Great American Ballpark…the Indians hold a 44-41 (.518) record all-time against Cincinnati in regular season play.