Results tagged ‘ Michael Brantley ’

Francona, Antonetti discuss Tribe after season finale

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Indians Manager Terry Francona and General Manager Chris Antonetti chatted with media on Monday, a day after the club’s season finale against Tampa Bay on Sunday. They addressed a number of topics, including offseason goals, positives from 2014 and more.

Skipper first …

MANAGER TERRY FRANCONA

It’s still hard today … We don’t have all the answers.

Couple things I do know: We were faced with w lot of challenges: Some health, some guys not quite doing what we thought they’d do. Through it all, we managed to compete all the way to the end. That wasn’t our goal; our goal was to win. … I was really proud of the effort, of the players, of the front office guys. We always seem to do it together.

This year, it wasn’t enough to get us over the hump and into the playoffs, but it helped give us our best chance.

When it’s all said and done, you never want to leave it on the field, to have regrets. If you do, you’re kicking yourself if you end up a game or two short. That’s opposed to leaving it all out there, and not really having any regrets. It wasn’t good enough for us but we have no regrets.

We’re happy with how some of the young guys did, but we still need to get better. I’m not just talking about going out and getting players … I’m talking about everything, putting players in the best position to win.

On the team’s defense

There were a number of reasons where we weren’t really clean. It was flat out making errors, to maybe not getting to some balls earlier in the season. We spent a majority of the season trying to unshoot our foot. That’s a hard way to play. What we talk about is the more work we can get done at high intensity, the better.

Re: positives of 2014

We are disappointed. The goal is to get to the Postseason and keep playing. But part of what excites me so much fi the effort our guys gave to get us to where we got.

Look at some of the core group we have in place:

  • Yan Gomes is a bona fide All-Star. There’s a lot to like there : his energy, his game-calling ability.
  • Brantley turned into one of the top position players in the league. And his impact goes far beyond the numbers.

On Corey Kluber

I don’t know if he’s going to win the Cy Young or not, but he should. Look at (Seattle’s) Felix (Hernandez) and you look at Kluber — If you took their names off of it and put their resumes side by side, Kluber would win the Cy Young. That’s the best endorsement I can give Klubes. The reason I say that is that I went and did it – didn’t want to be a homer. I actually felt like Kluber deserved it, and I didn’t know whose numbers was who.

There are three reasons why I’m so happy here: One is our players, I love the players. Another is the atmosphere Chris and his guys have fostered here, which I think is remarkable. The third one is, I just like the city.

I grew up around here, spent first six years of my life here. There are challenges ahead of us, but it’ll be more special when we figure it out and put it all together.

GENERAL MANAGER CHRIS ANTONETTI

It’s disappointing to not still be playing. Our goal is to win the World Series and to do that you have to be in the Postseason.

But stepping back from that, I couldn’t be more proud of our players and coaching staff and how they persevered. No matter how difficult the loss the night before, they showed up ready the next day. Tito, our coaches and players deserve a lot of credit for the way they handled things.

After you get past the disappointment of not making it and reflect back, there were a lot of positives this year – especially when you look at the development and progress for a lot of our younger players. We were alive on a really young roster to make a postseason push.

We had developments from Michael Brantley’s emergence as star, to Yan (Gomes), to Lonnie (Chisenhall)… Up and down, see progress they made. You see that and look forward and that’s incredibly exciting to us. We’ve never gone into an offseason in a better position of strength.

Our younger guys gained incredible experience. We asked a lot of them – to make the transition to the big leagues and the environment, and then make a postseason push. In exit meetings, a lot of guys referenced that experience. We’ll benefit from that.

This year obviously was not the script we drew up. We had some injuries, some inconsistencies from our veterans, and we placed a big burden on some of our younger guys.

There are a number of ways we improve this offseason:

  • The young guys who contributed this year can continue to progress
  • Our veteran guys return to health and perform the way they’re capable
  • And we’ll look externally and find ways we can improve

Re: Swisher’s surgeries

It’s important to get the surgeries out of the way, especially as we look to next year. Retrospectively, I don’t think we knew what he was trying to battle through and perform through. It’s easy to look back now and wonder if we could have done it differently, done the surgeries sooner. To his credit, he worked hard and tried to play through it for the team. Encouraging: He should come in to Spring Training ready to go and contribute the way we all know he’s capable of contributing.

On the positives from 2014:

In the rotation, look at the emergence of young, extraordinary pitching staff. We set the MLB record for strikeouts, which is an incredible accomplishment given youth. They’ll all be here for the foreseeable future. Look at the progress they made and where they go forward, it’s exciting.

Michael Brantley has emerged into what we believe is a star player in the league. Yan Gomes established himself as one of the best catchers in the AL if not baseball. Lonnie (Chisenhall put together a very good season especially for a young player. There were a lot of individual performances in all aspects of the club that are promising.

Our defense is an area we need to better in. It was better in the second half than the first half, but we have to be better there.

 

Photo gallery: Season finale victory over the Rays

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The Indians completed their 2014 season on Sunday, wit ha 7-2 victory spurred by the team’s young players — and some familiar faces, as well. Afterward, players thanked fans by handing out autographed gear … thanks, fans, for a great 2014 season!

–Photos by Dan Mendlik and David Cleveland

Photo Gallery: Batting Practice, Sept. 26 vs. Rays

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#Smooth200: The case for Michael Brantley as AL MVP

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You may have seen us tweeting #Smooth200 recently. Why? Because Tribe left fielder Michael Brantley has quietly built a case for AL MVP consideration after signing an extension with the Indians this past offseason.

With one game remaining, Brantley now has 200 hits, 45 doubles, 20 homers, 97 RBI and 20 stolen bases — he’s the only player with 200 hits, 40 doubles, 20 steals and 20 homers in a season in club history.

Among AL position players, he ranks:

  • 2nd in hits (200)
  • 3rd in WAR (7.0)
  • 3rd in average (.327)
  • 4th in OBP (.385)
  • T-6th in runs (94)

Meanwhile, to put Brantley’s 2014 figures into historical perspective:

  • Only six other players in MLB history have posted 200 hits, 40 doubles, 20 homers, 20 steals and 97 RBI over a full season: Larry Walker (1997), Ellis Burks (1996), Alfonso Soriano (2002), Chuck Klein (1932), Jacoby Ellsbury (2011).

More historical figures on Brantley’s season:

  • The only other Indians player with 200 hits, 20 homers and 20 stolen bases in a season was Joe Carter, who hit 29 homers, stole 29 bases and had 200 hits in 1986.
  • The last Indians player with 200 hits in a season was Kenny Lofton (210, 1996)

He’s also been clutch, with two walk-offs this year… May 19 vs. Detroit (to start a sweep):

And Aug. 3 vs. Texas to FINISH a sweep:

Saturday recap: Photos, video, notes of Corey Kluber’s latest gem

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Corey Kluber dominated the White Sox on Saturday, registering his third complete game of the season in picking up his 14th win (9.0IP, 5H, 1ER, 0BB, 8SO,104 pitches/74 strikes)… Moves into 17th place on the Indians single-season strikeout list with 223, passing Luis Tiant (219, 1967) and Gaylord Perry (216, 1974) on that list. More:

  • Has now allowed 2 or fewer earned runs in 13 of his last 16 starts and in 20 of his 31 starts overall (65 percent). He’s limited opponents to 4 or fewer earned runs in each of his last 29 starts, the longest such streak in MLB.
  • Marks Kluber’s third complete game this season with 0 ER and 8 SO or more… That’s the most such games by an Indians pitcher since Len Barker had 3 in 1981.
  • Kluber now has six starts this season in which he’s struck out 8 or more and walked 0 batters, the only Indians pitcher
  • His 18 starts with 8 SO or more tie him for 4th in Indians history (since 1914) for a single season (Score, 1956; McDowell, 1966-67).

HIGHLIGHTS

POST-GAME INTERVIEW

 

Photo Gallery: Batting Practice, Sept. 3

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–Photos by David Cleveland

Indians Homestand Notes: Fans’ guide to 11 games at Progressive Field

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The Indians return home for an 11-game homestand that’s part of a stretch of 30 games in 30 days. It begins with four games vs. Detroit (Sept. 1-4), three vs. the White Sox (Sept. 5-7), a makeup of June 18 rainout vs. the Angels (Sept. 8) and three vs. the Twins (Sept. 9-11).

  • Michael Brantley bobblehead (12,500 fans): Monday, Sept. 1
  • Sugardale Dollar Dog night: Friday, Sept. 5
  • Fan Vote Fireworks (Evolution of Pop Music): Friday, Sept. 5
  • Fan Designed T-shirt, courtesy of Cleveland Clinic (10,000 fans): Saturday, Sept. 6
  • Fireworks (tribute to Huey Lewis and the News), presented by FirstMerit Bank: Saturday, Sept. 6
  • KeyBank Kids Fun Day: Sunday, Sept. 7
  • Kids Run the Bases, presented by Cleveland Clinic Children’s: Sunday, Sept. 7

TRIBE PARK AND RIDE, PRESENTED BY SPORTSTIME OHIO, IS BACK!

Fans can leave the transportation to the Indians and SportsTime Ohio from area suburbs with the return of Tribe Park and Ride for a second season! Tickets are only $5! Full Tribe Park and Ride details, including dates and pickup locations, along with tickets, are available at Indians.com/ParkandRide.

One TPAR date remains:

  • Sept. 6 vs. CHW: Mentor (Lakeland Community College) and Strongsville (SouthPark Mall)

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Michael, Justin Brantley grow closer as younger cousin works way through Tribe system

Lake County Captains pitcher Justin Brantley (Tim Phillis photo)

Lake County Captains pitcher Justin Brantley (Tim Phillis photo)

Lake County Captains reliever Justin Brantley had a doctor in the stands during his outing on Monday, and it wasn’t because he was injured.

Justin’s cousin and Tribe outfielder Michael Brantley spent his day off at Classic Park, watching the Indians minor leaguer compete. Dr. Smooth was not so much there to coach his cousin as he was to cheer him on as a fan.

“I’m kind of almost watching a younger brother play,” Michael, 27, said. “Watching his development from just a year ago or two and how well he’s doing now and how successful he is now — it’s like watching your younger brother develop.

“He looked great out there, very composed. His mechanics were fluid; he wasn’t overthrowing the ball. He’s a competitor. I get excited when I watch him pitch.”

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Saturday recap: Photos, plus notes on Carrasco, Santana, Brantley

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The Indians moved to 3-1 through the first 4 games of this 5-game homestand against Arizona (1-1) and Baltimore (2-0, + 1 game), improving to 62-60 and two games over the .500 mark for the first time since August 4 (57-55)…marks Cleveland’s 9th shutout of the season and first shutout since a 3-0 win at New York-AL on August 9…the Indians are now 9-5 to begin the month of August and have won 5 of their last 6 since dropping 4-straight from 8/5-8/8…the win gives the Indians a 17-12 record vs. teams from the AL-East this season, making this the 7th time in the last 11 seasons that the Indians have gone .500-or-better vs. the AL-East since 2004…the Indians have 4 remaining games vs. the AL-East this season (1 vs. BAL and 3 vs. TB).

More notes:

CARLOS CARRASCO

  • Carrasco worked 7.0 scoreless innings and picked up his fifth win of the season and second win as a starter this year (W, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R-ER, 0 BB, 5 SO, 0 HR, 79 pitches/57 strikes)…after going 0-3 with a 6.95 ERA (17 ER/22.0 IP) through his first 4 starts of the season, Carrasco has gone 2-0 through 2 starts (12.0 scoreless innings) since transitioning back into the starter role…the last time Carrasco worked 5.0 scoreless innings in
    back-to-back outings was on June 7-June 13, 2011 (15.1 IP)…the last time Carrasco worked at least 7.0 innings was when he did not earn a decision, despite going 7.1 innings in a 2-1 loss vs. Kansas City on June 17, 2013…the last time he worked at least 7.0 scoreless innings was when he earned a 1-0 win at New York-AL on June 13, 2011.
  • Carrasco improves to 4-0 with a 1.84 ERA (6 ER/29.1 IP) in 10 appearances/3 starts vs. American League East opponents this season…Over the Tribe’s last 6 games dating back to August 9, Cleveland’s starting rotation has posted a 0.69 ERA (3 ER/39.0 IP).

CARLOS SANTANA

  • Delivered his 21st home run of the season, a 3-run shot to center field that put the Indians on the board 3-0 in the first inning…the home run marked Santana’s 92nd career homer, tying him with Sandy Alomar for 28th-most home runs in Indians history…with Santana’s first-inning home run, the Indians last 6 runs have come courtesy of the home run ball…Santana’s 92 career home runs rank 20th in the American League since 2010…Santana finished the game 2-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and 3 RBI.

MICHAEL BRANTLEY

  • Registered his 18th home run of the season, coming as a 2-run homer to right field in the fifth inning and giving the Indians a 6-0 lead…Brantley’s 2 RBI give him 80 RBI on the season as he becomes the only player in the American League with a batting average over .300, 18-or-more home runs, 10-or-more stolen bases and at least 80 RBI this season.

FanGraphs: Going Inside Michael Brantley’s dramatic, MVP-like improvement

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FanGraphs’ Jeff Sullivan recently took a deep dive into Michael Brantley’s leap to an MVP candidate; here’s the link for the whole story.

A snippet:

  • Between last year and this year, Michael Brantley has taken a mammoth step forward. But he’d already been making progress for a number of seasons, and now he’s reaping the benefits of discipline and controlled aggression. Brantley is still able to drop a single or a double into left or left-center. He’s also more able than ever to turn on a fastball and yank it into the right-field seats. There’s nothing dramatic here. There’s no swing overhaul. There’s no adjusted stance. Brantley always had the skills. Now he’s just figured out how to put them all together in the right way. The result’s been a guy who’s out-hitting Miguel Cabrera.

Brantley’s hit two walk-off homers this season, on May 19 vs. the Tigers (starting a sweep of the Tribe’s rival) and on Aug. 2 to beat Texas.

Guy’s been good.

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