Results tagged ‘ Trevor Bauer ’
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
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
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!
ESPN Insider/FanGraphs took a deep dive into the Tribe rotation; here’s a link to the story that offers much more visual evidence as well. (The link is Insider only, so here’s the full text.)
Some of the traditional American League powers haven’t exactly had a banner few months as far as rotation strength goes.
The Red Sox couldn’t bring back Jon Lester and had to settle for midrotation guys Rick Porcello, Wade Miley and Justin Masterson. The Yankees lost out on Brandon McCarthy and might not have a single healthy, reliable starter. The Tigers (without Porcello) and Royals are still waiting to see what Max Scherzer and James Shields are going to do.
The White Sox added Jeff Samardzija but still have huge questions after him, Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. The Athletics bid Samardzija farewell, the Rays dealt Jeremy Hellickson to Arizona, and the Rangers haven’t done much more than bring back Colby Lewis yet again and gamble on Ross Detwiler.
For many of those teams, there are more questions than answers. So in the meantime, allow us to present one possibility for the best rotation in the American League in 2015, a group of pitchers that probably didn’t come to the forefront of your mind. Let’s talk about the Cleveland Indians.
To look at the Indians’ rotation right now, it might not seem like much after AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber. Here’s a look:
Kluber is a star, but the middle three are all prospects who have yet to live up to the hype and House is a soft-tossing lefty who has only 102 major league innings to his name. Carrasco has been kicking around the Cleveland system since 2009, when he was a part of the Cliff Lee deal, and he has been designated for assignment at least once. Salazar’s explosive 2013 debut gave hopes that he would be a 2014 star; instead, he was back in the minors by May. Bauer is a former No. 2 overall pick who was quickly pushed out of Arizona after personal differences and spent most of his first year with Cleveland in the minors attempting to iron out command issues.
Got all that? Now look at what those five players, three of whom were in the minors as late as May, did in the second half of the season:
Second half rotation numbers (rank in parentheses)
- ERA: 2.95 (2nd)
- FIP: 2.72 (1)
- WAR:11 (1)
- K% rate: 25.4% (1)
- %BB rate: 5.8% (1)
- HR rate: 6.9% (1)
The crew over at FanGraphs is high on the Tribe’s chances in 2015, calling our club the “far Too Early Sleeper Team” in a post today.
I keep thinking about the team that seems most likely, at this far-too-early date before any real offseason moves have been made, to make a move next year. You probably think I’m talking about the Cubs. I’m not talking about the Cubs. I’m talking about the Cleveland Indians. I was asked, during a live chat of one of the World Series games, whether I thought the Royals could hold off the Tigers in the AL Central next season. At the time, I said I thought Cleveland might be better than both, and now it’s time to put some words behind that feeling. In fact, let’s do this internet style. On to the <h3>’s!
Because good lord, that starting rotation
There’s a lot of ways to evaluate pitching, and WAR is both an acceptable and imperfect one. Let’s sort starting rotations over the second half of the season by that, and while second-half performance is hardly a guarantee of future success — it feels like we have that conversation about the Padres every year — I’m also not certain that enough people noticed just how good the Cleveland rotation was down the stretch. I’ve bolded each stat that they either led baseball in or came within 0.5 percentage point of doing so, which is more than close enough — and if not for Washington, they’d have ERA too.
Check out the entire post by clicking here.
Update: Corey Kluber and Michael Brantley finished fourth and seventh, respectively, in FanGraphs’ Player of the Year Award voting; the Tribe is the only MLB team with two players in the top 10.
Click here for details.
According to STATS LLC, Cleveland’s 13-3 record at home against the White Sox since last season is tied for second-best home record by a team vs. a divisional opponent behind only the Yankees’ 14-2 record against the Blue Jays at home.
More from today’s game notes:
Corey Kluber has collected a career-high 215 strikeouts across 29 starts this season – 3rd in the American League, trailing only David Price (232) and Max Scherzer (226) – and currently ranks in the top 10 among all qualified AL hurlers in each of the following statistical categories: wins (13, T10th), ERA (2.58 5th), innings (195.1, 4th), WHIP (1.13, 8th) strikeouts per nine innings (9.91, 5th), strikeout:walk ratio (4.67, 7th) and pitches per inning (15.1, 7th).
Prior to Kluber losing his last three starts, he had gone 47 consecutive starts without taking back-to-back losses (STATS LLC).
Although T.J. House did not factor into tonight’s decision, the Indians have gone a perfect 5-0 through his first 5 career starts here at Progressive Field.
With his 15th start of the season in tonight’s game, House joined Trevor Bauer and become only the 3rd duo of rookie pitchers since 1976 to make at least 15 starts in a season for the Tribe…House/Bauer join: Bartolo Colon (17) & Jaret Wright (16) in 1997 and a trio of Jason Davis (27), Billy Traber (18) & Ricardo Rodriguez (15) in 2003.
Last night was David Murphy’s 5th career walk-off hit, 4th in extra innings…all 5 have been RBI-singles, 4 of those coming with the bases loaded.
Cleveland improved to 11-7 in extra innings this season (7-5 at home, 4-2 on the road)…the club’s 19 extra-inning games (including suspended game of 8/31 at KC) are T2nd-most in the Majors with Philadelphia behind only Boston (20)…5 of Cleveland’s last 11 games have gone to extra innings.
Cleveland improved to 22-18 (.550) in one-run games with last night’s win, 3rd-best in the A.L. behind Baltimore (.596, 28-19) and Los Angeles-AL (.578, 26-19), also 7th-best in the Majors.
The Indians posted their 11th team shutout of 2014 Wednesday night, T4th-most in the A.L. and T10th in the Majors – also the Tribe’s 6th shutout since the All-Star break, tied with the Angels for 2nd-most of any team in the Majors behind Tampa Bay (8)…Cleveland’s staff has tossed 6 shutouts at home and 5 on the road.
The Indians, excluding the pending outcome of suspended game of 8/31 at KC, have won 7 of 10 and are 18-11 (.621) since August 1 (14-7 since August 9).
Cleveland has won 4 straight and 9 of the last 12 games started by TREVOR BAUER…coming off back-to-back scoreless starts, he is currently riding a career-high 15.1 consecutive scoreless innings streak dating back to the 2nd inning of his start on Aug. 19 at Min…since July 1, Tribe has gone 5-1 in six series finales started by Bauer.
Danny Salazar became the first Indians pitcher to toss a CG shutout against Detroit since Jaret Wright on June 1, 1998 at Tiger Stadium – the first to do so in Cleveland since Orel Hershiser on June 5, 1995…according to MLB, Salazar (24 years, 235 days) became the youngest pitcher in the Majors dating back to at least 1914 to shut out the Tigers with 9+ K’s and zero walks.
Cleveland has posted a 2.83 ERA in the second half, 3rd-lowest in the A.L. and Majors…that includes a 2.98 ERA (85ER/257.0IP) by the rotation(3rd in A.L./Majors…TB: 2.94, SEA: 2.98)and a 2.56 ERA (41ER/144.1IP) by the bullpen (5th in A.L./Majors)
Dating back to the first Mid-Summer Classic in 1933, the Indians have posted a sub-3.00 ERA in the second half on just 3 occasions: 1954 (2.49), 1968 (2.88) and 1972 (2.82).
With 590 total runs in 2014, Cleveland’s offense stands as the 9th-best run-producing offense in the Majors…that said, Tribe’s offense has been held to 3-or-fewer runs in 24 of club’s 43 completed games since the All-Star break, although Cleveland has managed to go 9-15 in those games overall thanks in part to an 8-6 record in decisions by one-or-two runs.