Results tagged ‘ TribeSpring ’
Update: This post has been updated on March 24 to reflect Sports Illustrated selecting the Indians as a favorite to win the World Series.
Could MLB see another “Indian Uprising?”
Cleveland hasn’t won a World Championship since 1948 but boasts loads of talent, with leftfielder Michael Brantley, first baseman/designated hitter Brandon Moss, first baseman Carlos Santana and reigning AL Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber, who went 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 269 strikeouts last season.
Update: This post was updated on March 9 to reflect Jon Morosi’s ranking the Indians No. 4 overall in MLB.
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!
CLEVELAND INDIANS (16-16-2) vs. CINCINNATI REDS (12-19-2)
RHP Brett Myers (1-3, 11.25) vs. RHP Armando Galarraga (1-0, 3.38)
BROADCAST INFORMATION: This afternoon’s Indians/Reds broadcast will be available across the Indians Radio Network and on WTAM in the Cleveland market at 3:00PM ET…Indians.com will also carry the live webcast for paid MLB.TV subscribers.
AIN’T NO SUNSHINE: The Indians are set to play their 2013 Cactus League finale this afternoon against Cincinnati in what will be Cleveland’s 33rd ‘A’ game in the span of 37 days as a March 8 rainout preceded two scheduled off days (3/12 & 3/19)…immediately following today’s game, the club will fly to Toronto where they will open the 2013 campaign Tuesday, April 2 against the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre with a 7:07PM ET first pitch.
WORKOUT MONDAY IN TORONTO: The Cleveland Indians will hold a full-squad workout on Monday, April 1 in the Rogers Centre at 3PM ET…The clubhouse will be open to credentialed media from approximately 1:15-2PM ET…The team will hold a meeting at 2PM ET…Manager Terry Francona will be available to the media at 3PM ET in the dugout.
THIS AND THAT: Cleveland is 16-16-2 this spring, T7th in the Cactus League standings…club has now dropped 5 straight games following its 5-1 loss yesterday at Kansas City…last win came on March 23 at Seattle (10-5)…the Tribe won a spring-high 5 consecutive games to start Cactus League play this season (Feb. 22-25) and again won 5 straight from March 5-9…club is 7-8-1 at home, 9-8-1 on the road and 7-9-2 overall at Goodyear Ballpark, which includes 2 games vs. Cincinnati classified as road affairs.
24 Michael Bourn CF
13 Asdrubal Cabrera SS
22 Jason Kipnis 2B
33 Nick Swisher 1B
23 Michael Brantley LF
41 Carlos Santana CA
12 Mark Reynolds DH
8 Lonnie Chisenhall 3B
11 Drew Stubbs RF
39 Brett Myers RHP
6 Billy Hamilton CF
81 Derrick Robinson LF
9 Felix Perez RF
19 Mike Hessman 1B
36 Henry Rodriguez 2B
23 Denis Phipps DH
35 Konrad Schmidt CA
64 Kristopher Negron SS
36 Tanner Rahier 3B
58 Armando Galarraga RHP
CLEVELAND INDIANS (16-14-2) at SAN DIEGO PADRES (15-18)
RHP Justin Masterson (2-1 5.09) vs. LHP Clayton Richard (1-1, 6.59)
BROADCAST INFORMATION: This afternoon’s Indians/Padres broadcast will be available across the Indians Radio Network and on WMMS in the Cleveland market at 3:00PM ET…Indians.com will also carry the live webcast for paid MLB.TV subscribers.
SAY HELLO TO TERRi: First, he buzzed around Spring Training on his cherry red scooter. Then, he Harlem Shook it as a big baby. Now Terry (or should we say TERRi) plays an intelligent personal assistant on his player’s iPhones. In the first hours after its release, the video was viewed over 25,000 times on Indians.com and TribeVibe, and received significant buzz on Social Media with over 100 Re-Tweets and Facebook shares each.
YESTERDAY’S MOVE: Rule V Draft selection INF CHRIS McGUINESS has been returned to the Texas Rangers organization…the Indians 40-man roster currently stands at 39 players.
WELCOME TO THE SHOW: On Monday, LHP NICK HAGADONE, RHP BRYAN SHAW & INF/OF RYAN RABURN were told – barring injury – that they will open the year on the Major League 25-man roster. LHP SCOTT KAZMIR will be added to the Indians roster prior to his first scheduled start of Saturday, April 6 at Tampa Bay…the club also selected the contract of INF JASON GIAMBI from the Triple-A Columbus roster and placed him on the 15-day Major League Disabled List with a lower back strain (will be eligible for activation on 4/9).
FRIAR FACEOFF: The Indians are set to travel to Peoria today to face off against the San Diego Padres in the second of three straight games away from Goodyear…The Tribe played the White Sox in Glendale yesterday, and will travel to Suprise to battle the Royals before returning to Goodyear to conclude the 2013 spring schedule against the Reds on Sunday…Cleveland was outlasted by San Diego, 11-8, in the two club’s first meeting, March 2 at Goodyear Ballpark…the affair lasted three hours and 21 minutes and featured 30 combined base hits and 91 plate appearances…the Indians have gone 5-6 against the Padres since joining the Cactus League circuit in 2009, dropping 6 straight after winning each of the first 5 meetings…the Indians are 6-3 all-time against the Padres in regular season Interleague Play as the Tribe last stole 2 victories in a 3-game series in 2008…Cleveland and San Diego will not play in 2013.
24 Michael Bourn CF
22 Jason Kipnis 2B
41 Carlos Santana CA
33 Nick Swisher 1B
23 Michael Brantley LF
12 Mark Reynolds 3B
8 Lonnie Chisenhall DH
11 Drew Stubbs RF
82 Louis Hernandez SS
63 Justin Masterson RHP
2 Everth Cabrera SS
25 Will Venable RF
18 Carlos Quentin DH
23 Yonder Alonso 1B
14 Mark Kotsay LF
68 Jedd Gyorko 3B
5 Alexi Amarista 2B
24 Cameron Maybin CF
8 John Baker CA
33 Clayton Richard LHP
First, he rode a scooter all over Goodyear.
Then, he kicked off our “Harlem Shake” video with his, uh, best dance moves.
Now, Terry Francona has broadened his horizons into the counseling field, offering players Nick Swisher, Jason Kipnis, Vinnie Pestano and others advice on very serious matters.
It’s Ask TERRi. Enjoy.
CLEVELAND INDIANS (16-12-2) vs. OAKLAND ATHLETICS (13-12-3)
RHP Zach McAllister (1-2 5.02) vs. LHP Brett Anderson (1-0, 9.45)
TV: SportsTime Ohio Radio: Webcast (OAK feed)
BROADCAST INFORMATION: This afternoon’s Indians/Athletics game can be seen live on SportsTime Ohio at 4:05pm ET…the live audio webcast can be heard for free on Indians.com by simply registering a username and password at Indians.com/webcasts, Indians.com or MLB.com…those currently registered can enter their current usernames and passwords at any of the above links – today’s feed will come from the Oakland Athletics radio booth, as there will not be an Indians-centric webcast.
NIGHT MOVES: The Cleveland Indians yesterday announced the following roster moves relative to the Major League spring training roster:
* Optioned CA YAN GOMES & INF CORD PHELPS to Triple-A Columbus.
* Selected the contract of INF JASON GIAMBI from the Triple-A Columbus roster and placed him on the 15-day Major League Disabled List with a lower back strain (will be eligible for activation on 4/9)
* Designated OF EZEQUIEL CARRERA for assignment.
* Released RHP MATT CAPPS from his January 31 Minor League contract.
Also yesterday, LHP NICK HAGADONE, RHP BRYAN SHAW & INF/OF RYAN RABURN were told – barring injury – tthat hey will open the year on the Major League 25-man roster. LHP SCOTT KAZMIR will be added to the Indians roster prior to his first scheduled start of Saturday, April 6 at Tampa Bay and RHP CARLOS CARRASCO will spend the first six (6) games of the Major League season on the big league roster serving his August 2011 suspension.
MEETING FOR “A” FINAL TIME: The Indians are set to host the Oakland Athletics in Goodyear today as the two clubs will square off for the second and final time this spring…the Tribe traveled to Phoenix Municipal Stadium on February 25 and defeated the A’s 14-10, improving their record to 5-0 to start the spring….prior to this meeting the two clubs had not squared off since March 14, 2011…the Indians are 4-4 against the A’s since joining the Cactus League in 2009 and are 222-258 all-time in regular season play…the Tribe beat the Athletics just twice in 10 meetings last season…the two teams will meet each other 7 times in 2013 with 4 contests at Progressive Field (May 6-9) and 3 games in Oakland (Aug. 16-18).
CLEVELAND INDIANS (16-10-2) at CHICAGO CUBS (15-15-0)
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (2-0 4.91) vs. LHP Chris Rusin (2-0, 2.50)
TV: SportsTime Ohio/MLB Network Radio: WTAM/Indians Radio Network
BROADCAST INFORMATION: This afternoons Indians/Cubs game can be seen live on SportsTime Ohio at 4:05pm ET…the broadcast will be available across the Indians Radio Network and on WTAM in the Cleveland market at 4:00PM ET…the game can also be seen on MLB Network on delay…Indians.com will also carry the live webcast for paid MLB.TV subscribers.
SATURDAY’S RECAP: The Indians defeated the Seattle Mariners, 10-5, in Peoria as the two teams combined for 34 hits, including 7 hits from the Tribe’s top prospects in the form of SS FRANCISCO LINDOR (3-5, 3B, RS, RBI), 2B JOSE RAMIREZ (2-5, RS, RBI), CF TYLER NAQUIN (1-4, RS, RBI) and 3B TONY WOLTERS (1-2)…SCOTT KAZMIR (5.0IP, 13H, 5R/ER, 0BB, 5K, HR) spread around 13 hits in earning his first win of the spring as the Tribe bullpen combined for 4.0 scoreless innings, including a 1.0 innings, 3 strikeout outing from VINNIE PESTANO…RF MATT CARSON left the game in the 5th inning with a facial laceration and cervical sprain (he is day-to-day). CORD PHELPS (2-3) & JASON GIAMBI combined for back-to-back homers in the 3rd inning before the Indians broke the game open with 5 runs in the 6th inning.
HOSTING THE NORTHSIDERS: The Indians are set to play host to the Chicago Cubs for the third and final time this afternoon at Goodyear Ballpark…the Tribe defeated the Cubbies twice in six days earlier this spring (March 4 & March 9)…the Indians sit at 6-4 against the Cubs since joining the Cactus League in 2009…the Tribe and Cubs have split 14 meetings during regular season Interleague Play at an even 7-7 with the most recent series occurring in June 2009 in the Windy City…the two clubs will not meet in 2013.
CLEVELAND INDIANS (15-10-2) at SEATTLE MARINERS (18-8)
LHP Scott Kazmir (0-0 0.00) vs. RHP Blake Beavan (1-0, 3.86)
TV: MLB Network Radio: WTAM/IRN
BROADCAST INFORMATION: This afternoons Indians/Mariners game can be seen live on MLB Network at 4:05pm ET…the broadcast will be available across the Indians Radio Network and on WTAM in the Cleveland market at 4:00PM ET…Indians.com will also carry the live webcast for paid MLB.TV subscribers.
CAMP BREAKDOWN: The Cleveland Indians currently have 40 players in major league camp, which includes 10 non-roster invitees; this consists of 19 pitchers (4 non-roster, 2 DL), 5 catchers (2 non-roster), 10 infielders (3 non-roster) and 6 outfielders (1 non-roster)…the Indians had a total of 64 players in major league camp for the start of Cactus League play; which included 24 non-roster invitees in addition to players on the 40-man roster.
FRIDAY’S RECAP: The Indians fell 7-5 to the Arizona Diamondbacks last night at Goodyear Ballpark, committing a pair of costly errors that led to 4 unearned runs…JUSTIN MASTERSON shouldered the loss despite fanning 7 batters and surrendering just a single earned run over 5.0 frames…JOE SMITH and RICH HILL also chipped in 1.0 scoreless inning each out of the ‘pen…MARK REYNOLDS had the offensive highlight of the night, drilling a mammoth 2-run homer in the 6th inning that cleared the left-field scoreboard – his 3rd in Cactus League play…MICHAEL BRANTLEY also continued his productive spring at the plate, collecting a 2-run single in the 3rd inning to complement the 3-run homer he hit on Thursday; Brantley is now batting .419 (13-31) with 9 RBI.
SWEEPLESS IN SEATTLE: The Indians will look to earn their first victory against the Mariners in Cactus League play since moving to Goodyear in 2009…the Tribe take their 0-6-2 record against the M’s to Peoria today, looking to avenge a 5-1 defeat on February 27 in Goodyear…the Wahoos are 205-162 all-time against the Mariners including a 4-4 mark last season in 3 series, which included a 2-game set and two 3-game sets…this season, Cleveland and Seattle will meet 7 times with 4 coming at Progressive Field (May17-20) and 3 at Safeco Field (July 22-24).
1 Ezequiel Carrera LF
4 Mike Aviles 3B
46 Cord Phelps 1B
25 Jason Giambi DH
83 Matt Carson RF
6 Lou Marson CA
84 Francisco Lindor SS
86 Jose Ramirez 2B
88 Tyler Naquin CF
26 Scott Kazmir LHP
55 Michael Saunders RF
3 Robert Andino SS
28 Raul Ibanez LF
17 Justin Smoak 1B
15 Kyle Seager 2B
63 Jesus Monter0 CA
33 Casper Wells CF
7 Kelly Shoppach DH
77 Brad Miller 3B
49 Blake Beaven RHP