Results tagged ‘ Zach McAllister ’
–Photos by Dan Mendlik
CLEVELAND INDIANS (4-1-0) vs. CHICAGO WHITE SOX (2-1)
RHP Zach McAllister (1-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Erik Johnson (0-0, —)
First Pitch: 3:05 p.m. (ET)
Radio: Indians.com webcast
SOUTHSIDE SHOWDOWN: The Indians and White Sox will take another stab at getting their head-to-head exhibition debut in the books as Saturday’s scheduled Spring lid lifter was washed away by afternoon showers…the two clubs will let that game slide and just play the remaining two contests already on the slate…the Indians went 2-1 against their Central Division foes in 2013 Cactus League play before going on to have a historically successful season against them in the regular season…the Indians hold a 6-2-3 record against the Pale Hose since the move to the Cactus circuit and were undefeated until a 7-1 loss in the spring series finale of 2012.
TRIBE BATTING NOTES: Through the first 5 Cactus League games, the Indians offense checks in with a .241 (39-162) batting average with 4 doubles, 2 triples, 27 RBI and a .383 SLG%…the Tribe ranks 3rd in the CL with 5 home runs and trail only 5 clubs for the Major League lead…Cleveland also leads the Cactus League with 22 walks and has stuck out just 32 times…INF Elliot Johnson went 3-3 yesterday and now leads the club with 4 base hits on the young campaign; his 4 RBI are also T1st on the club…OF Michael Brantley (3-4) and INF Erik Gonzalez (3-7) each round out the lineup with 3 hits…SS Francisco Lindor has gone 2-6 with a 3-run homer and 3 runs scored…INF/OF Ryan Raburn has already logged 7 total bases (.500 1 HR, 2 RBI) and has scored a pair of runs…CA Jake Lowery hit a grand slam in his only at bat of the spring.
TRIBE PITCHING NOTES: Tribe hurlers have combined to post a 3.60 ERA over the club’s first 5 games of the exhibition schedule and are limiting opposing batters to a Cactus League best .211 (35-166) average against…Indians pitchers have issued 36 strikeouts and allowed just 16 free passes through 45 innings…RHP Carlos Carrasco checkes in with a team-high 4.0 innings (1 ER, 1 BB, .214 avg) while his 3 punchouts are tied with RHP TREVOR BAUER and RHP C.C. Lee for tops on the club…RHP Preston Guilmet, RHP Zach McAllister, RHP Josh Tomlin, LHP Josh Outman and LHP Nick Hagadone have each logged appearances of multiple scoreless innings thus far.
Cleveland shut out Cincinnati 4-0 on Friday afternoon at Goodyear Ballpark, as the Tribe pitching staff permitted just 3 hits and a trio of walks.
Starter ZACH McALLISTER retired 6 of the 7 batters he faced – save for one free pass – before giving way to JOSH TOMLIN, who followed with 2.0 spotless frames of his own and a pair of strikeouts. Five Tribe relievers carried the torch, recording 3 outs apiece to protect a 2-0 lead that RYAN RABURN provided with his 2-run HR off Homer Bailey in the 2nd inning. The Tribe plated 2 more runs in the 6th on CARLOS MONCRIEF’s RBI-single when a throwing error on the play permitted a second tally to come home.
The Indians will play their first true road game of the spring on Saturday when the team travels to Camelback Ranch for a 3:05PM ET first pitch against the Chicago White Sox. RHP AARON HARANG is scheduled to get the start opposite LHP John Danks. The broadcast will be available on the Indians Radio Network (WTAM in Cleveland) and through an online webcast on Indians.com.
–Photos by Dan Mendlik
Tribe manager Terry Francona is in Cleveland this week for pre-Spring Training meetings, Tribe Fest and various other activities in the community.
He met with local reporters on Wednesday to discuss some Tribe-related topics. Here’s a sample of that chat:
Question: Did you ride the scooter today?
Terry Francona: Yesterday. (GM) Chris (Antonetti) picked me up today. I almost froze my (butt) off yesterday. My eyes almost froze shut.
Question: When do you get that itch to get back?
TF: Usually after Christmas. Things wind down for the holidays and at the start of January, you get that internal clock, it starts kicking in. You start talking to coaches, what drills you’ll run in Spring Training, etc.
Question: How do you organize players in Spring Training?
TF: I didn’t know what to expect last year, I don’t think anyone did. My expectations were never going to change, regardless of who was playing what position. We were just trying to win that day. There’s a process that goes into that; it starts in Spring Training. We’re pretty open and honest in Spring Training, and guys usually fall into three groups:
- Guys who know they’re going to play and are preparing for a lot of time
- A group of young kids that is trying to make a good first impression
- A group trying to make the team.
You try to be respectful of all groups. You form relationships with players, form an identity of the team.
Question: What do you think of the offseason so far?
TF: Getting David Murphy was a really good addition for us. We’re in a unique spot. No one’s sitting here saying we’re the 1927 Yankees, but we have guys in place that we want to pitch and play. We have Yan Gomes in place, we have Carlos Carrasco and Josh Tomlin who we want to see pitch.
So rather than going out and spending money on guys, we want to see our guys. We have Corey Kluber, Zach McAllister and Danny Salazar all for hopefully a full year. Again, we have guys in place. … Now we just have to figure out how well we can play.
Question: How’s Carlos Santana doing at third base?
TF: Carlos offered to go play third base in winter ball, and it sounds like he’s improving. Now, we aren’t going to make any decision today or at the start of Spring Training. If he can handle third, he gives us another option with our middle-of-the-order bats. We will give him a chance to play there in Spring Training.
Question: What’s the state of the roster?
TF: I think we’re pretty settled. Chris is always going to try to make us better, but if we go to Spring training tomorrow, I’m pumped. We’re not the type of team that can just throw the bats and balls out and someone is going to hit a three-run homer. It can happen. But we have to play good baseball to win, and that’s fun. We’ve proven that when we play that way, we can win.
Question: Do you like Santana in the cleanup spot?
TF: I did last year. Early on, we talked so much about his catching duties, I thought it was unfair to hit him cleanup. When he wasn’t catching, he was pretty good in that spot. He hits from both sides, he takes a walk. There’s not a lot not to like.
Question: You had success with Swisher in the No. 2 spot. Do you like that again for 2014?
TF: We wouldn’t make the lineup out yet. The season is so long; those things happen, whether it’s injures or someone is struggling. We’ll see. They have a way of working themselves out. I never make up batting orders in the winter. It’ll write itself out.
Question: Last year you took a chance on Scott Kazmir; this year you’re taking a chance on Shaun Marcum. Are you looking forward to seeing him?
TF: I think he’s a little bit behind where Kaz was last year. But I think it’s a good sign because when he’s healthy he competes his rear end off. He’s done it in the AL east.
Question: Re: the team’s versatility
TF: We want Jason Giambi on our team. We’ve said that until we’re blue in the face. To do that, you have to have the right guys on your team so it works. Having guys that are versatile really helped us last year.
Question: Re: Danny Salazar
TF: The sky is the ceiling for Danny. You don’t want to make too many proclamations on a guy who has had 8 to 10 starts. I can’t wait to see him after 35 starts.
Q: Re: Josh Tomlin
TF: He’s a strike-throwing machine. He’s going to give up the occasional homer because he’s around the plate. We really want to see him pitch. We think he can help us win. When you start thinking about the dollars you can allocate for pitching, I think we’d rather see these guys pitch.
Q: Re: the bullpen
TF: Always the big question: Whether the names are the same or not, you never know. Vinnie (Pestano) struggled last year, and Chris (Perez) had his struggles. Sometimes the names change, sometimes they don’t. Bullpens always make themselves over. You want to have guys in Triple-A because you know you’re going to have to make changes due to struggles or injuries. You have to know you have options.
Q: Re: Trevor Bauer
TF: He’s been very good, and it’s been very encouraging. He’s coming into camp this year closer to the pitcher he wants to be. Last year, it was a lot of experimenting and trying to get comfortable in his delivery. It was tough for him at times. He was very open with us on everything. He’s tried very hard this winter in trying to get comfortable. He’s sent video into (pitching coach) Mickey (Callaway) and the guys in Baseball Ops. Whether he makes the team out of Spring Training or not, we’re really excited about watching him pitch.
Q: Re: bringing Indians prospects to Spring Training (Six non-roster invitations to Spring Training were announced on Wednesday, including Francisco Lindor)
TF: With Francisco Lindor and Tyler Naquin, we’d rather bring those guys to Spring Training rather than older free agents that don’t really have a chance to make the team. It helps us as a staff to get to know these guys and see how we do things.
Q: Re: the starting rotation
TF: We want to see Carrasco pitch, he’s created a little deception with his delivery. But I don’t think we need to anoint our rotation. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Normally, in Spring Training, someone will get beat up. It happens. Go in prepared and get everyone ready to play.
I’ll take my chances with Danny Salazar, with Corey Kluber for the full year.
Q: Re: instant replay
TF: I’m still learning as we go. It’s going to be new for everyone. You can bet that the day it was announced that the day it was announced that 30 managers were scheming and using it to their advantage. With technology being what it is, I think we’re going in the right direction. Does it go flawless? Probably not. But we’re going in the right direction.
Q: Re: what’s next?
TF: I hope that was the beginning. We need to go get busy, and we have to do it the right way. It’s fun. Our guys go into doing it the right way.
Q: Re: September
TF: I wanted us to get there with a chance. If we could survive some of those road trips, and keep our heads above water, I thought if we had a chance, we could make a run at it. And we did. I didn’t know we’d have to win 10 in a row, but nobody lost. It was fun because we were doing with some guys who hadn’t done it before, some had. That’s what you’re dying for as a manager. You can’t wait to get to the ballpark. You’re tired, and you’re nervous, but it’s a great feeling.
Q: Re: the end of the season
TF: The playoff game stung. I had to talk to the team after the game and it was hard for me to do that. You have to do it so quick. It hurt. Season don’t wind down, they crash to a halt. There’s no better example of that than last year.
Players, alumni, manager Terry Francona on hand for autographs, photos and more; additional session added to improve fan experience
Fans can purchase opportunity to guarantee autographs this year; tickets on sale to Season Ticket Holders Dec. 5, to general public Dec. 6
The Cleveland Indians on Tuesday announced details for Tribe Fest 2014, presented by KeyBank, set for Progressive Field on January 25 and 26.
The second annual event will be expanded this year, with manager Terry Francona, current Tribe players including Mike Aviles, Carlos Santana, Danny Salazar, Yan Gomes, David Murphy, Corey Kluber, Zach McAllister and others, Indians prospects (including former No. 3 overall pick Trevor Bauer and 2012 top pick Clint Frazier), and several prominent Tribe alumni including, Kenny Lofton, in attendance for autographs, interviews on the KeyBank main stage and more.
In addition, more of Progressive Field will be open this year, including the 1994 Party Suite for autographs, Club Lounge, Kids Clubhouse and more. The Indians also plan to announce their 2014 promotions schedule and 2014 Hall of Fame Induction details on the KeyBank main stage during Saturday morning’s session.
Due to large crowds at last year’s first Tribe Fest, in addition to anticipated high demand this year after the Indians Postseason berth in October, the 2014 event will feature three sessions:
- Saturday, January 25: 10AM-2PM
- Saturday, January 25: 4PM-8PM
- Sunday, January 26: Noon-6PM
Admission for adults is $10 in advance and tickets are available online only, starting at 10AM Thursday, December 5 for Season Ticket Holders and 10 AM Friday, December 6 for the general public, at Indians.com/TribeFest. Kids ages 12 and under again this year can attend the event for FREE when reserved with the purchase of an adult ticket. There is a limit of two free children’s admissions per paying adult. Tickets for kids age 12 and under are $5 at the gate day of event.
This year, autographs can be guaranteed by purchasing an autograph ticket bundled at the same time with the general admission ticket online at Indians.com/TribeFest. Fans are limited to one guaranteed autograph ticket per person to allow for as many fans to get access to the players. Prices in addition to the $10 ADULT general admission ticket – kids tickets are free when reserved in advance — as follows:
- $10/ticket for Indians Minor League Prospect sessions
- $15/ticket for Indians Major League roster player sessions
- $20/ticket for Indians Alumni player sessions
Each Tribe Fest event features multiple autograph sessions, for which 250 tickets will be sold. Autographs for specific players are not guaranteed, just a space in line. If autograph sessions are not sold out, fans will be allowed to wait in line at their own risk for autographs, time permitting and on a first-come, first-serve basis.
In addition to interacting with players, young fans can hit in the Progressive Field batting cages (waivers will be required), take tours of the home clubhouse, listen to Q&As with Tribe broadcasters and players, and more. Concessions will be available in the Club Lounge, while KeyBank customers will have access through pre-event registration to an exclusive area in the Collection Auto Club at Progressive Field.
All player appearances are subject to change.
For complete event details, visit Indians.com/TribeFest.
Indians Vice President Ross Atkins took time from his most recent trip to the Dominican Republic – where, he kindly informed those of us back in Northeast Ohio, it’s about 85 degrees – to answer fans questions via conference call on Friday afternoon.
He also mentioned that Carlos Santana and Danny Salazar were in the Dominican this week at the Tribe complex. Atkins, who oversees all Minor League operations – the Indians just named Joe Wendle and Cody Anderson as the organization’s Minor League Players of the Year — opened with this primer on the offseason:
“This is an exciting time for us. The (Minor League Player of the Year) process is one that, of course, performance is going to have a large part. But we look at performance in many ways: In the minors, one thing that we often will put a little more time stock in is how they did it. Did they go about it the right way? Does he embody what we’re looking for in a future Indian player?
“There are no better examples than Joey Wendle and Cody Anderson. They understand the fundamentals and mechanics. We vote among player development staff and front office on those awards, and it was abundantly clear that these two represent the Indians very well, among a very good group of players.
“That (Wendle) beat out (shortstop prospect Francisco) Lindor suggests how good Wendle is. He’s already an incredible story; he does not have a huge pedigree. Cody, too, came from Feather River Community College. Similarly, he wasn’t a pitcher in college, or in high school; he’d pitched very little. They’re very confident players, and their confidence comes from work.”
Question: One of the players that stick out is (outfielder) Bryson Myles. Where will he start?
Answer: Bryson Myles is one of our best surprises. He will all but be in Akron. He’s a really interesting story: He was a football player who didn’t play a bunch of baseball and slipped a little in the draft. We were really excited about his athleticism. He worked at the right things, and that’s hard to learn: Not everyone enjoys learning what it takes to become a great base runner, and other things like that. Learning how to put all the information together and prioritize it is vital. For Bryson, it clicked midway through the season. He lost some playing time, and that was part of what made it click for him. His focus took up a notch. Then came confidence and then came results. He’s a very promising story.
Question: I think other intriguing guys are (pitchers) Ryan Merritt and Louis Head.
Answer: Merritt is interesting; there’s not many MLB players that are 6-feet, 165 pounds. We have no signs of him not being durable or not holding up; the strikeouts are there and the walks aren’t. He keeps the ball in the ballpark, and commands the ball better than anyone in our system.
Louis will be a reliever, and he’s had some success. He will have to outwork people and continue to get outs; that’s the nature of the beast with relief pitchers. (Editor’s note: Head played at all three levels in 2013, while Merritt finished the season with the fourth-best ERA in the Indians Player Development System.)
Question: When will Minor Leaguers report to Spring Training?
Answer: With us having a facility in Goodyear, a lot of guys come in very early, in January. We incentivize them for that. A lot of it depends on what position they’re in, where they are in their careers. We’ll have everyone there by March 9. Half of them will be there by Feb. 20. The reason for (some of the later arrivals) is that the MLB season is much longer than the minor league seasons in many cases, so some guys report later.
Question: What players with current MLB team do you model the minor league system after, in terms of work ethic, preparation and workout routine?
Answer: There are a few players that have evolved and that’s changed. (Former Indians outfielder) Grady Sizemore was at the pinnacle .(Former Indians outfielder Shin-Soo) Choo was a model. (Outfielder Michael) Brantley is a current incredible model for our young players to look to. (Second baseman) Jason Kipnis is an exceptional model. (Starting pitchers) Corey Kluber and Zach McAllister are off the charts from a work ethic standpoint.
Right now, Danny Salazar is a good model. He’s experienced a lot, being 24. He’s had Tommy John surgery, was signed out of the Dominican at 16. He didn’t come onto the scene as quickly as he would have hoped, but now he has and made a splash. He has all the intangibles. It starts with the player’s vision. He understands that and then follows through with the plan.
Question: What’s the plan for (2013 top pick) Clint Frazier?
Answer: He played half the season in Arizona. In his first at-bat, he hit a home run. He finished the year with an above-average OPS, was getting on base, hitting for power. He really took to center field, too; playing center as a pro is a little more demanding, with the pace of the game. He has it all, has all of the skills to do exceptional things. All of those other things, work ethic, will determine his route. It’s extremely difficult for a high school player to become a MLB player, because of expectations and demands. Sounds easy, but it’s very challenging. We have little doubt he’ll have a solid big-league career.
Question: What are our strengths at each level and what are our weaknesses?
Answer: Our system is balanced, especially with middle infield prospects and lower-level bats and position players. That’s where we’re strong. There are areas where we want guys to make strides forward. We feel very good about (Trevor) Bauer. Remember, he’s a year younger than Danny Salazar. He didn’t have the year he hoped for, but at 22, we’re still very encouraged.
We feel very good about some of the starters we have working their way up. They all have the intangibles. We have to have guys make positive strides each year; that’s what we had this year.
Question: What is the organization pushing (Lake County shortstop) Dorssys Paulino on?
Answer: We had him in Arizona this fall, and he’s been working on strength, conditioning and agility. His mobility and agility don’t match the strength he has, and that’s somewhat common in Dominican athletes. We’ve been working on his speed and agility. He’s going through a very rigorous offseason, and likely will start in Lake County again. He turned 18 last year; it was an adjustment to cold temperatures, 13-hour bus rides, and very little BP outdoors due to weather. That’s atypical, so it was an interesting spring for him. For a young Dominican player trying to find his groove, that’s not easy.
Question: Do you have an update on (2012 first-rounder) Tyler Naquin?
Answer: Tyler was among the group that was special to watch, with Joe Wendle and others. They were the leaders of the Arizona Fall League. He was at the forefront. One of the most encouraging things about him: He’s made an incredible adjustment and he did it in season; he’s spread out his lower half. There were some questions and he’s silenced them.
TribeVibe over the coming weeks will look back at the 2013 Indians season by month, with records, stats, top moments and more on which fans can reflect. April, though a slow start record-wise, provided some memorable moments, which you can watch below. All information and stats courtesy of Indians Baseball Information staff, unless otherwise noted. Photos by Dan Mendlik and Kyle Emery.
For previous monthly reviews:
THE FINE PRINT
- Monthly Record: 18-12
- Overall record: 29-25
- Home record: 14-5 (17-11 overall)
- Road record: 4-7 (12-14 overall)
- Weekend record: 5-3
- Overall weekend record: 9-7
- Standings: Second place, 0.5GB
- High-water mark: 26-17, May 20
TOP PERFORMERS — BATTING
- Michael Brantley: .311 AVG (32-103), 1 HR, 17 RBI, 11 R
- Yan Gomes: .370 AVG (17-46), 3 HR, 11 RBI, 10 R
- Jason Kipnis: .261 AVG (29-111), 7 HR, 22 RBI, 21 R, 12 BB, 5 SB
TOP PERFORMERS — PITCHING
- Cody Allen: 1.98 ERA (3 ER in 13.2 IP), 1 SV, 18 K, .116 opp. AVG
- Trevor Bauer: 1-1, 1.59 ERA (2 ER in 11.1 IP), 9 K, .175 opp. AVG
- Joe Smith: 1.80 ERA (2 ER in 10 IP), 10 K, .222 opp. AVG
- Zach McAllister: 2-1, 2.87 ERA (10 ER in 31.1 IP), 21 K, .279 opp. AVG
COMBINED BATTING/PITCHING STATS
- Batting: .256 AVG (259-1,012), 31 HR, 140 RBI, .323 OBP, .420 SLG
- Pitching: 4.40 ERA (131 ER in 267.2 IP), 33 HR allowed, 106 BB, 280 K
The Indians notched 11 walk-off wins in 2013, three of which came in April:
- May 17: Jason Kipnis launches a three-run homer in the 10th to give the Indians another walk-off win and begin a four-game sweep of the Mariners. On the home run front: The Indians were 10th in the bigs in homers, even though the team’s leader – Nick Swisher – hit a relatively low 22.
- May 18: It wasn’t glamorous, but Mark Reynolds’ fielder’s choice RBI gives the Tribe a second walk-off win in as many days. The Indians led, 4-0, in the eighth, but the Mariners his three home runs, including two solo shots in the ninth, to tie it up. The Tribe then loads the bases in the ninth. The daily grind: The Indians were 34-20 in day games, second best in MLB.
- May 20: Yan Gomes’ three-run homer in the 10th gives the Tribe a 10-8 win in a Monday matinee and features this great line from the Seattle TV broadcasters after the Mariners were swept – “I’ll race you to the airport.” Another Gomes nugget: The Indians were 49-30 in games in which Gomes was the starting catcher.
Ryan Raburn Player of the Week: Raburn won the award for the week of April 29-May 5, when he hit .591 (13-for-22) with four home runs, nine RBI, one double and five runs scored over five games. He became the first Indians player to garner the A.L. Player of the Week Award since Asdrubal Cabrera on April 11, 2011. Among Major League hitters for the period, Raburn led in batting average, slugging percentage (1.182) and total bases (26), was tied for first in on-base percentage (.591) and base hits, was tied for second in homers and was fourth overall in RBI.
Justin Masterson Player of the Week (May 13-19): Masterson started the week with his second complete game shutout of the season in the first game of a makeup doubleheader at Progressive Field vs. the Yankees. Among pitching leaders, Masterson was tops in the Majors in strikeouts and was tied for first overall in wins, ERA and innings pitched. For the week, Masterson pitched 16 innings without allowing an earned run, striking out 20.
Francona announced that all coaches were invited to return, with Mike Sarbaugh (moving to third base coach), Brad Mills (moving to bench coach) and Sandy Alomar (moving to first base coach) switching spots on the diamond.
Here’s a sampling of Antonetti and Francona’s comments.
Question: What do you think was the biggest accomplishment this season?
Chris Antonetti: Two things: Getting back to the postseason and re-establishing a winning culture was important for us. It’s a long process, and ongoing. But getting back to the postseason was meaningful to us as an organization. It didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but that was a good first step. The job Tito and hisstaff did to create an unbelievable environment from day one in Spring Training, set a tone.
Question: How important is it for you to continue that going into the offseason?
CA: Obviously we want to play in the Postseason year in year out. We want to progress through the Postseason. There are lots of things that have to happen for that to happen.
Q: How is (Nick) Swisher’s shoulder?
CA: All indications are that it’s fine.
Q: Any anticipated surgeries?
CA: We’re in the process of that right now; in a lot of cases guys just completed their exit physicals. We have guys lined up to assess some things that lingered at the end of the year.
Q: Any coaching changes?
TF: Mike Sarbaugh’s been coaching third the last few years. This isn’t a knock on Millsy; and Sandy’s passion is coaching first. We walked through it the other day and Sandy was fine with it. I was really proud of this coaching staff.
CA: I thought the coaching staff did a phenomenal job, with their commitment to putting each player in a position where they could be successful.
Q: When you took over, what was your biggest concern?
TF: I don’t think I ever thought about that. When we decided I was going to be the manager, we spent the rest of the afternoon talking about the team and moving forward. I don’t read a lot, but I did read that I was told we were going to sign free agents. The only thing I ever told Chris was that I would do my best with what I had.
Q: What’s your confidence level in the rotation?
TF: We have (Justin Masterson) coming back. We have Danny Salazar, and Corey Kluber, who’s gotten to a point where over his last 12 starts, he was one of the better pitchers in the league. Zach McAllister wants to be the best pitcher in the league, almost to a fault. Then we have (Carlos) Carrasco, and Trevor Bauer, who at some point is going to make an impact.
Q: Chris, can you speak about Ubaldo? He said he appreciated the organization’s confidence.
CA: With all of our free agents, they all made a favorable impression on us and we’d like to have them all back. How all the pieces come together, it’s hard to forecast at this point.
Q: Do you anticipate being as aggressive as you were last offseason?
CA: I think we’ll be aggressive in looking for ways to improve the team. How that plays out, I don’t know right now. I know we’ll be aggressive in trying to improve.
Q: What part of the team would you like to see strengthened?
TF: I think you want to get better every year. It’s hard to say. Year to year, you don’t know what (part of the team) will carry the same load or have the same effectiveness. In the second half of the year, our pitching was great. Our speed played a big role. When the time comes and we see the group we have, then we’ll get together in Goodyear and start over. It’ll be a little easier because when you have familiarity, it’s easier to get more work done.
Q: Do you think you’ll show up in Goodyear knowing that one guy is your closer?
TF: I think roles are important, but the way pitchers pitch defines roles.
Q: Do you think the attitude toward coming here in free agency has been changed?
TF: I think you’d like to have your players, when they’re talking to other players, tell them they like to play here.
CA: It was evident last offseason that players liked to play for Terry. I think that will continue.
Q: Is it essential for you to find that middle-of-the-order bat?
TF: It depends on how much pitching we have. You have to be one run better every night; however we do that, we have to figure that out. When Mark Reynolds was hot, that was a big plus. But after he left, we knew our margin of error was smaller – but that didn’t mean we couldn’t win.
CA: We’re going to look to improve every aspect of the team. On the position player side, we can bring back mostly the entire group that was fourth in MLB in runs scored.
Q: Do you think the attendance will hurt your ability to spend?
CA: There’s a lot that goes into that. Ultimately, those are decisions and information we’ll get a little bit later – what our payroll will be. That’s not defining to us. Our goal is to build a contending team and I’m confident we’ll have the resources we need to do that.
Q: The way everything came together late, did you feel that it could go further than one game?
TF: I tried to talk to the team when it was over. Nobody wanted it to be over. It stung. Whether it’s a week, two days, whatever – when the sting is gone, remember how much the staff cared about you guys. When you’re that fond of a group, you don’t want it to be over. You want to leave on your own terms.
Q: How much did Chris Perez’s performance at the end of the season complicate his situation with the team going into the offseason?
CA: Not that much. Chris has been a very effective closer for us and one of the most successful closers we’ve had here. We have a lot of decisions to make, not just with him.
Q: Carlos Santana said he didn’t necessarily like to (be the designated hitter). When a guy expresses that, how can you handle that?
TF: We talked to him today about similar things. Some of it will depend on the winter. We wanted to involve him in that. His bat and versatility are important.
Q: When you look at Swisher’s season, do you look at his shoulder injury as a part of it?
TF: I think he tried to do a little too much, whether it was being new or his contract. When he tried to dig himself out of it, I don’t think his shoulder helped him. Toward the end of the year, he turned it up; I think you’ll see more consistency out of him.
CA: In some of our most meaningful games of our season, he was our most productive hitter.
Q: How about Bourn?
CA: Michael cares so much and so deeply, that he may have tried to do a little too much. Plus, he switched leagues. What you’ll see next year from both is that they’ll be a little more comfortable with the league and organization.
TF: He’s so conscientious, that’s what you want. You don’t want players to kill themselves over things. Sometimes they try to do too much because of it, but I’d rather fight that than the flip side.
Q: Is Trevor Bauer ready?
CA: He’s still developing. He’s further along than at this time last year. I think we underestimated the magnitude of the changes he was undertaking in his delivery. We’ll have a much better sense of that come Spring Training. Trevor is committed to putting in the work this winter to continue his progress. He’s talked with (pitching coach) Mickey (Callaway).
Q: Were the changes he made working?
CA: It’s still a work in progress. Where he envisions his delivery being, we’re good with. But it’s still a work in progress.
Q: Do you view Carrasco as a starter?
TF: I think we need to exhaust every possibility with him as a starter; his arm is so big and his secondary stuff is there. We think he can help us most there.
Q: Did you get a sense from Jason Giambi what he wanted to do?
CA: I think he wants to play. He was proud of what he contributed and he wants to continue that.
Q: We may have forgotten what this ballpark is like when it’s out of control. What was that like?
TF: I don’t really pay a lot of attention usually, because when you’re in the dugout, you’re so closed off. … When they did the introductions, I was getting a kick out of it, like when they announced G. That was really cool. And when I got out there, it was LOUD. It was pretty cool. Those people are dying to do that. I never got caught up in (the attendance). The people who came were so into it, and that was great. Whoever comes to a game, we want to make them proud. And I think we’re making those strides.
Q: How did you sense the crowd?
CA: It was great to see the excitement in the ballpark and across the city. They embraced the team and it was a cool environment. The fans that were here throughout the season were unbelievable. They were passionate, vocal, intense and unbelievable.
Q: Do you think (Vinnie) Pestano will be able to get back to where he was?
CA: I think Vinnie has more determination than never to get back to the pitcher he was for so long for us. We have not lost sight of the contributions he’s made; we know it’s in there, and I have no doubt he’s going to work his tail off this offseason and come into Spring Training to assert himself as a dominant back-end reliever.
–TribeVibe contributor Joel Hammond
If you’ve been to a Tribe game or watched one on TV this season, surely you’ve noticed two unique rituals that occur occasionally during the game and always after victories: the low-five and high-five.
If you follow Tribe President Mark Shapiro on Twitter, you’ve seen a lot of photos after wins showing these rituals. If you don’t, check out the slideshow above. Those great photos, by Tribe photographers Dan Mendlik and Kyle Emery, got us thinking: How the heck did these things get started?
These are their stories. (Cue “Law and Order” noise.)
The low five
Up to July 22, when Nick Swisher most often hit in the cleanup spot in the Tribe order, Swisher was the one congratulating new buddy Jason Kipnis after Kipnis homered or otherwise scored while Swisher was in the on-deck circle. In case you forgot, Kipnis was red-hot for much of the first half, including June, when he was the AL Player of the Month on his way to an All-Star Game appearance.
Which means there were many low-fives given.
When Swisher was moved to the No. 2 spot in the order, roles were reversed: Kipnis waited for Swish in the on-deck circle – if you haven’t noticed, Swish has heated up in September, thus the commencement of many more low-fives.
“I’ll give Swish credit for coming up with the low five,” Kipnis said.
Said Swisher: “It’s just something he and I came up with to celebrate our success.”
The high five
This one has a little controversy surrounding it. Swisher didn’t necessarily claim invention of the high-five, but he hinted at it.
The high-five occurs in the post-game victory handshake line, as you can see from the photos in the slideshow above. Swisher and Mike Aviles, most often, are seen jumping – often with crazed, maniacal looks on their faces – to high-five Zach McAllister.
And while Kipnis was willing to give Swish credit for the low-five, he offered the proper back story on the high one.
“I started doing the high five as a way of getting back at ZMac and Justin Masterson,” Kipnis said. “They used to think it was funny to stand on either side of me during the National Anthem. (Kipnis is 5-11, McAllister 6-6 and Masterson 6-6.) Don’t let Swisher take credit for the high five.”
Swisher has a simpler reason: “We do it because (McAllister) is so (gosh darn) tall!”
–TribeVibe contributor Joel Hammond; photos by Dan Mendlik and Kyle Emery