Indians Head to Philly to Fight the Phillies
Bob Toth | On 29, Apr 2016
Last season, the Minnesota Twins gave the Cleveland Indians fits, winning 12 times in 19 games throughout the season. Heading into this week’s series between the two clubs, the Twins had yet to win a game against an American League Central rival and yet, when the Tribe visited Target Field during the week, the Twins took two of three from Cleveland despite coming in hot off of their three-game sweep in Detroit to start their nine-game road trip.
The Indians (10-9) will visit Citizens Bank Park in the City of Brotherly Love this weekend for a three-game interleague series, their second of the season against a National League East squad and their first on the road, so Cleveland fans will get the pleasure of watching Tribe starting pitching at the plate. The Indians lineup will take a hit, however, as the team will have to decide which one of Mike Napoli and Carlos Santana will be on the bench with the lack of a designated hitter in the NL park.
The Phillies (12-10) have played above expectations early on, despite being pegged as a potential 100-loss team in full rebuild. While their best years appear to be ahead of them, they have played much better after an 0-4 start to the season. They have won each of their last two series against Washington and Milwaukee and have four series wins on the year. Their last may have been their best, sweeping the talented Nationals in three straight in the nation’s capital.
PITCHING PROBABLES and GAME NOTES
Friday, 4/29, 7:05 PM ET – RHP Corey Kluber (1-3, 4.67 ERA) vs. LHP Adam Morgan (2016 debut)
Saturday, 4/30, 7:05 PM ET – RHP Trevor Bauer (1-0, 4.76) vs. RHP Jerad Eickhoff (1-3, 4.07)
Sunday, 5/1, 2:35 PM ET – RHP Danny Salazar (2-1, 2.35) vs. RHP Vincent Velasquez (3-1, 1.78)
TV – Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio (all games); Comcast SportsNet (Philadelphia)
Radio – Cleveland Indians Radio Network; 94 WIP (Philadelphia)
The Indians and Phillies have met 13 times since the advent of interleague play. While Philadelphia holds a 7-6 edge in the all-time series, Cleveland has outscored them by 17 runs. The Phillies are 4-1 at home and 3-5 on the road against the Indians.
The two clubs first met in 2002. They last met in 2013, when Cleveland took three of four, including splitting a two-game set in mid-May in Philadelphia and sweeping a two-gamer at Progressive Field three years ago this Saturday and Sunday.
In a random note, this will be the first time that former MLB manager Charlie Manuel has not been the manager in the contest. He had the honor of coaching on each side of this series, appearing in one series as Cleveland’s manager and in each of the last three as Philadelphia’s skipper.
Carlos Carrasco (SP) – 15-day disabled list (April 25) – strained left hamstring
Ross Detwiler (RP) – designated for assignment (April 29)
Tommy Hunter (RP) – activated from 15-day disabled list (April 29)
Aaron Altherr (OF) – 60-day disabled list (April 2) – March 2016 left wrist surgery
Cody Asche (OF) – 15-day disabled list (March 25) – right oblique strain
Luis Garcia (RP) – recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley (April 25); optioned to Lehigh Valley (April 29)
Matt Harrison (SP) – 60-day disabled list (April 2) – back injury
Mario Hollands (P) – 60-day disabled list (April 2) – recovery from April 2015 Tommy John surgery
Michael Mariot (P) – 15-day disabled list (March 25) – strained right ankle
Adam Morgan (SP) – recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley (April 29)
Charlie Morton (SP) – 15-day disabled list (April 24) – torn left hamstring
AL CENTRAL STANDINGS
One of the better young options on the Phillies roster is Maikel Franco, a 23-year-old third baseman who has appeared in parts of three seasons with Philadelphia. After a brief debut in 2014, he appeared in 80 games last season, hitting .280 with 22 doubles, 14 homers, and 50 RBI. He is off to a quick start again this season, hitting .284 over his first 21 games with three doubles, five homers, and 14 RBI.
…AND OLD FACES…
First baseman Ryan Howard, now 36, has not had a good start to his year, hitting .185 on the season. He has hit four homers and driven in nine, but leads the club with 21 strikeouts and has only one multi-hit game.
…AND FORMER FRIENDS OF THE FEATHER
The Phillies have a pair of former Indians farmhands in their bullpen this season. Jeanmar Gomez, a pitcher with the Indians from 2010 to 2012, is working as Philadelphia’s closer. The 28-year-old right-hander and former starter has six saves in six opportunities and has earned a pair of wins. He is joined by 6’6” left-hander Elvis Araujo, who had worked his way up to Double-A Akron, but was signed by the Phillies to a Major League contract following the 2014 season.
It was announced this week that Franco was one of a handful of players to come to an agreement with Fantex, a company built with the intention to sell securities to investors, based on the performances of professional athletes.
Franco has agree to sell ten percent of his future earnings for $4.35 million. His name joined the short list of players in baseball on board, including Jonathan Schoop (Baltimore), Collin McHugh (Houston), Yangervis Solarte (San Diego), Tyler Duffey (Minnesota), and Andrew Heaney (Los Angeles Angels), who was the first to link up with the company last September.
Fantex has indicated that all deals are contingent on the company getting financing to make the payments and include both future on- and off-the-field cash flows. Four professional golfers and an NFL wide receiver were also announced as part of the deal on Wednesday.
Rookie outfielder Tyler Naquin will bring an eight-game hitting streak with him into the series against the Phillies. He is hitting a team-leading .333 on the season. Jose Ramirez, who had been seeing frequent time in the lineup in left field with Michael Brantley on the disabled list, has hit in five straight, including three straight two-hit games.
Santana has hit in seven of his last eight games, including all three in the series with the Twins, when he was 6-for-12 (.500) with a pair of doubles and one RBI. In manager Terry Francona’s experiment with him at the top of the Tribe’s lineup, he is hitting .364 (8-for-22) with four doubles, a homer, and three RBI.
After taking Monday off, the Indians will return home for another short homestand as they welcome in the Detroit Tigers for a rematch beginning Tuesday night. The Phillies will hit the road to take on the St. Louis Cardinals from Busch Stadium.
Photo: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais