Results tagged ‘ Mike Aviles ’
–Photos by Dan Mendlik
With the caveat that yes, it’s Spring Training, we have some guys off to hot starts, which is always nice to see. Chew on these numbers on a lazy Sunday:
Michel Brantley, who’s led the team in batting average the last two seasons and signed a five-year extension in the offseason, is off to an 8-for-13 (.615) start.
Jason Kipnis is hitting .385 after a 2-for-4 day Saturday.
Mike Aviles has five hits in nine at-bats.
Elliot Johnson, looking to make the team as a non-roster invitee, is hitting .375 (6-for-16) with a team-high 5 RBI.
Ryan Raburn, who made the club out of Spring Training last year by playing well, is 6-for-10 with two homers. (Raburn will miss a couple days after running into the wall on Friday.
The hot starts extend to the pitching staff:
The Tribe staff as a whole has allowed 28 earned runs in 91 innings, for a 2.77 ERA.
Carlos Carrasco has allowed one earned run in seven innings, with nine strikeouts.
Trevor Bauer, competing with Carrasco for the fifth spot in the Tribe rotation, has struck out seven in five innings.
Corey Kluber has six strikeouts and has allowed two earned runs in six innings.
The Indians are back at it today from Goodyear Ballpark, taking on the Milwaukee Brewers at 4PM ET!
(Editor’s note: This post is written with tongue firmly planted in cheek. There is no controversy surrounding the new-look Goon Squad, only laughs and jokes and overall camaraderie between teammates.)
There’s a controversy brewing in the Tribe clubhouse.
Mike Aviles coined the “Goon Squad” last season – a group of so-called super subs who had a major impact in the Tribe’s Postseason run.
Just one problem: Yan Gomes had graduated to a full-time spot in the Tribe starting lineup. So what happens to his spot in the Goon Squad?
“He’s out! He’s an everyday guy now!” Giambi told 92.3 The Fan’s “Bull and Fox” show on Tuesday. “Raburn and Aviles couldn’t wait to kick him out.”
“I feel extremely disrespected when they tell me I’m no longer part of it,” Gomes told 92.3 The Fan’s “Bull and Fox” show on Monday. “There’s a motto: ‘Once a goon, always a goon.’”
Apparently not so in Cleveland. Gomes, upon learning this offseason of his boot from the squad, had an easy solution: “I guess we have to start an alumni group, ‘The Old Goons’ or something.”
Kidding aside, Giambi said the reason the quartet was so successful last year was that, while Manager Terry Francona made sure they were in the lineup and remained fresh, the players accepted their roles and embraced the impact they can have.
“I’d never been in that role; I’d always been an everyday player,” Giambi said. “But (in Colorado) we had the same thing. When guys accept this role, they can make a big impact. I get over here, we started the same thing; the Goon Squad was bigger than the starters, we didn’t let the starters in!”
GOODYEAR, Ariz. – In his role as the Indians Director of Baseball Information, Bart Swain already has a pretty unique role.
He and our Assistant Director of Baseball Info, Court Berry-Tripp, travel with the team and serve as the direct liaisons between the players and the front office, media and fans.
But Swain has made the role even more unique: When called upon, he throws Batting Practice to the players, something he began in the 1996 season and that stuck after former Indians Hitting Coach Charlie Manuel saw him do it and apparently thought he was good enough to keep on.
“I’ve thrown BP since high school,” the 44-year-old Elyria High grad said last week in Goodyear. “I played in high school, but I wasn’t very good. This was a way to make myself useful.”
Swain joined the Indians in 1992 and worked for two years as an intern in the Media Relations department. He moved into the Director role in 1995 and has been there since.
Players like to give Swain a hard time about his throwing, but it appears he’s serviceable, at least, in the role. Tribe infielder Mike Aviles, for one, was glad Swain was around during last year’s Tribe Fest; Aviles had just been traded to Cleveland and was in town and looking to hit.
“He said, ‘I’ll throw,’” said Aviles, who is with his third big-league team. “I said, ‘I thought you were the PR guy.’ He’s the only PR guy I’ve been around who does it and it’s pretty cool.”
OK, but how does he throw?
“It’s not that bad. It’s actually pretty good,” Aviles said. “He has his days. Sometimes he’ll let loose a changeup and is in the ground… He gets his momentum back though.”
Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall was equally back-handed when complimenting Swain.
“He’s better than he was,” Chisenhall said with a good-natured smile. “He throws a solid BP. He can get out of sync a little bit, and he’s not in the upper echelon of BP throwers. But if you have to hit, he’ll do.”
GOODYEAR, AZ – Moms and dads, rest easy: You have kindred spirits in many members of the Tribe 40-man roster.
Eighteen players in that group have children, and like you, face the day-to-day challenges involved with working a full-time job while raising young kids. That group includes starting pitchers Justin Masterson, whose wife, Meryl, had twins in the offseason, and Corey Kluber, whose wife, Amanda, also gave birth in January. Yan Gomes’ wife, Jenna, is expecting.
Those players are gearing up for another season, when the parenting becomes more complicated. During the season, players arrive at the ballpark around Noon or 1pm for home games, and stay until 11pm or later. When the team takes road trips, the players often are gone for 10 days or more.
That can stressed-out moms and dads who don’t get nearly enough time with the kids.
“It’s tougher for the wives,” said Kluber, who has two daughters, Kendall and Kennedy. “It’s challenge for them, because for the most part, they’re handling a lot of the duties with the kids for much of the season.”
Amanda Kluber and the couple’s daughters will move to Cleveland from their home in Jacksonville, Fla., for the season, but even that doesn’t offer much respite from mom duty, Corey said: The moms don’t get much alone time with their husbands at the ballpark.
Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall and his wife, Meredith, have a 2-year-old son, Cutter, and are expecting another boy in April, shortly after Opening Day. And like Kluber, Chisenhall says it can be difficult to find a happy medium between work and family.
Not only do the players spend a lot of time away from their families during the season, but when they are at home, they’re tasked with getting enough rest so they can be in the best shape possible for the next day at the ballpark.
“It’s challenging at times, especially on her. You leave for extended periods of time,” Chisenhall said. “Hat’s off to all the wives and moms who stay home; Meredith has a 2-year-old boy who is … active. Sometimes he’s great sometimes he’s a handful.”
For Mike Aviles, who with wife, Jessy, has three daughters – Kyla, 9, and 3-year-old twins, Adriana and Mayia – he says at times he knows the other 24 guys in the clubhouse better than his girls.
“This is a great life, and I wouldn’t change it for anything,” Aviles said. “On the outside looking in, I don’t think people realize how much we’re away from our families.”
The players’ busy schedules and lack of “us” time at home makes them appreciate the offseason even more, when they’re able to escape for a few months to enjoy more downtime with their kids – and give their wives a break.
The Klubers head back to Jacksonville, Fla., while the Chisenhalls are back to North Carolina and Aviles & Co. back to Utah. Family time commences.
“That’s how I look at it, a way to make up for lost time during the season,” Corey Kluber said. “I throw and work out, but I don’t have many other commitments, so I’m able to enjoy it more with (the kids).”
Oh, how Terry Francona values versatility among position players.
Carlos Santana is working on his skills at third base to further expand his versatility, while Nick Swisher (first base, right field and DH), Mike Aviles (shortstop, second, third), and Raburn and newcomer David Murphy (who has seen time at all three outfield positions) all offer Francona the ability to alter his lineup each day.
That versatility paid off last year, allowing the second-year Tribe skipper, for example, to keep Jason Giambi – a full-time designated hitter – around. And, well, we all know what that did for the club during its postseason push:
So as Francona and the other Indians coaches examine this year’s group of players in camp and analyze how best to put a final roster together, Francona again is thankful for that versatility.
He was asked before Saturday’s game was canceled due to rain if Nyjer Morgan, who Francona has said has impressed him thus far in camp, could make the roster in a bench role similar to what Ryan Raburn assumed last year out of camp. And while Francona is loath to predict anything or commit to anything this early, he said versatility will be key.
“Sure, Morgan could make the team (in a bench role),” Francona said before Saturday’s game was canceled due to rain. “But that would be because of other versatility. We have to balance all of those things when we put our roster together.”
More generally, Francona is pleased so far with the early impressions made by new faces in camp and those in competition for the final roster spots.
“Every day I like when guys do good things, so you can talk about them,” Francona said. “That’s basically why they’re here. I love to brag about a lot of them. Then we’ll make decisions and be really conscientious about making the decisions best for our team. It will be what’s best for the team.”
The Rosey Report: Spring Training edition is back after another Tribe W on Friday over the Reds. Today’s guests include MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, Mike Aviles — taking Rosey on a tour of the Tribe clubhouse — and, as usual, snippets from Terry Francona’s daily media briefing.
Tune in by clicking the Play button below!
–Photos by Dan Mendlik