Posts By Bob Toth
The Cleveland Indians open the 2014 season with new expectations despite many questions. The Indians’ 25-man roster will look different than the group that won 92 games and lost the American League Wild Card game to the Tampa Bay Rays. While the roster may change and the expectations grow, Cleveland will need answer many questions this spring before opening the season in Oakland on March 31. Today, we look at one of the Indians’ young players who likely won’t make the roster but could impact the Tribe’s season before it ends.
It has been a long time since the Cleveland Indians developed a bona fide power hitter for their lineup through their own farm system.
Several big bats of the 1990s were home grown products, scouted and developed through the Indians’ minor league system. Familiar names like Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Brian Giles, and Richie Sexson all played in the minors for Cleveland throughout the 1990s and became prolific sluggers in the Majors. Two of the four, Giles and Sexson, put up the bulk of their numbers outside of an Indians uniform. The first decade of the 21st century failed to produce any legitimate sluggers within the organization.
Prospect Jesus Aguilar hopes to change that, and in the near future.
On the third day of May, Cleveland left fielder Dale Mitchell was still working his way into a regular spot in the Indians lineup.
Nearly two months later, he is one of the most feared hitters in baseball.
It is hard to pinpoint exactly what changed for Mitchell at the plate, but regular playing time certainly seemed to provide him with the eye and opportunity in the batter’s box.
August 30, 1948
Lots of early run support gave Indians Satchel Paige plenty of room to pitch, as Cleveland walloped Washington, 10-1, on Monday evening to earn a series win.
Paige (6-1), making his fifth start of the season for the Indians, was solid. He went the distance, keeping the ball out of a battered Cleveland bullpen for at least a day. He issued one walk with seven hits and allowed just one Senators player to cross home plate successfully. Washington logged just three of those hits prior to the eighth inning. He struck out five batters and lowered his season ERA to 1.66.
August 29, 1948
Cleveland squandered an early lead and a chance to make up ground in the division, as the Washington Senators took the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader by a 5-2 final.
The loss for the Indians, paired with splits of respective doubleheaders for both Boston and New York, left Cleveland two games in back of the Red Sox and a half-game behind the Yankees.
The Indians jumped on top in the second off of Washington’s Early Wynn.
August 29, 1948
Unaffected by the 90-plus degree temperatures in the nation’s capital, Bob Lemon limited the Senators to just three hits to record his second consecutive complete game shutout and his third in four starts, as the Cleveland Indians defeated Washington in the first of two at Griffith Stadium on Sunday, 6-0.
Lemon (18-11) remained locked in for the Tribe. He won his fifth decision of August while blanking the Senators for nine scoreless frames. He walked three and allowed three singles in the ball game. Six Senators took a seat via strikeout.
August 29, 1948
While in the thick of the pennant race in the American League over the last few weeks, the Cleveland Indians have begun to make it a frustrating habit to be charitable to some of the league’s worst teams.
In six recent games against the lowly White Sox and Senators, the Indians went 2-4.
What may be even more discouraging are the wins lost against the top teams in the American League because the relief corps is failing to provide any relief. Instead of gaining ground in the standings and saving close wins, the team has been repeatedly dealt devastating losses in potentially winnable ball games.
The weather in northeast Ohio this winter has given baseball fans the feeling that spring will never come.
The Cleveland Indians’ organization and several of its minor league affiliates have done plenty to give fans hope that warmer weather and baseball are closer than they appear.
After very trying and difficult to digest fall and winter sports efforts from the Cleveland Browns and the Cleveland Cavaliers, many Cleveland fans could benefit from a fresh start with a team that concluded its 2013 campaign with a ten-game regular season winning streak culminating in an American League Wild Card game at home.
The Cleveland Browns have dominated the airwaves in the city over the majority of the last month while the team searched for its new head coach, less than one year after the hiring of recently dismissed coach Rob Chudzinski.
On Thursday, the team announced the signing of former Buffalo Bills and New York Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine as the new head coach for an organization that has consistently struggled and of late has become the butt of jokes around the nation.
One of the key qualities that Browns’ owner Jimmy Haslem III was looking for in his coaching search was a proven winner. While Pettine has yet to lead a professional team as a head coach, the same could not be said about the Cleveland Indians’ dugout leadership provided by manager Terry Francona prior to his hire last offseason.
August 15, 1948
Cleveland’s Bob Lemon became baseball’s first 16-game winner this season behind an 8-0 complete game shutout of the White Sox on Sunday, completing the series sweep in Chicago.
Lemon (16-10) has shut out the Sox twice this season and has seven total on the year.
He allowed singles in the first and second innings and erased the runners on a caught stealing and a double play. In the third, he allowed a pair of two-out hits with no damage and, in the fourth, allowed the White Sox to load the bases with two outs before striking out Mike Tresh to end the inning.
August 15, 1948
Cleveland made three early runs stand and Bob Feller went the distance on the mound as the Indians defeated the Chicago White Sox in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader, 6-2.
The Indians were the recipient of some sloppy and careless baseball in the first inning against Chicago’s Bill Wight. After a pair of flyouts to start the inning, Lou Boudreau tripled to right center field. Wight walked Eddie Robinson and Joe Gordon to load the bases, and Larry Doby unloaded them with a double to left to give the Indians a 3-0 lead. Ken Keltner was walked and both he and Doby advanced a base on a balk by Wight. Catcher Jim Hegan was intentionally walked with first base open and Feller stepping to the plate, and the move paid off for manager Ted Lyons, as Feller struck out to prevent further damage.
News out of the Dominican Republic on Friday from ESPN Deportes added a little more mystery to the Cleveland Indians’ plans on the field for the regular season.
The former backstop has added the hot corner to the list of his job responsibilities this winter, hardly a new piece of information at this point in the offseason. Santana’s belief that he would receive more regular playing time at third base was much more the surprise.
August 14, 1948
The Indians did all of their scoring in their first at bats of the game off of Gettel. Dale Mitchell singled to center to start things off. Hal Peck reached on an error at second, as Don Kolloway had the ball go right between his legs. Lou Boudreau singled to right to score Mitchell with the first run.
A sacrifice from Eddie Robinson moved both runners up into scoring position. Joe Gordon punched a two-run double to left to make it 3-0 Cleveland. A groundout from Larry Doby moved Gordon to third, and Ken Keltner drove him in with a single to center. The eighth man to bat, Jim Hegan, popped up to second to end the inning with a 4-0 lead.