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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | September 20, 2017

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2017 Spring Training

Indians Finding Good Options, Tough Decisions For Lone Open Bullpen Spot

March 26, 2017 |

A lot of years it seems as though the Cleveland Indians go into spring training with countless veteran and minor league pitchers looking to fill the void of several open bullpen spots.

This 2017 spring camp is not exactly like a lot of years.

As in past offseasons, the Tribe did invite a good number of veterans looking for work, as well as young hurlers, to Goodyear, Arizona, for spring training. Part of the infusion of a large number of arms was due to the recently ended World Baseball Classic and the need to fill the void left behind by players going off to represent their countries in the event that goes on every four years.

Unlike past Februaries and Marches in the Arizona sun, there is not much of a void for the Indians to fill in a loaded bullpen that rates among the best in the game. There are a lot pitchers in camp looking for a job, but that opportunity is very elusive. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 9 – Erik Gonzalez

March 25, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 9

Indians utility man Erik Gonzalez got a bit of a scare on Friday when he was hit by a pitch in the right hand/wrist area. He left the game in the eighth inning, but the injury appears to be just a bruise. While he hoped to get back out on the field on Saturday, the team was opting to hold him out for a day.

For Gonzalez, this spring is a big one as he looks to crack the Opening Day roster for the first time as one of the bench options for the Indians. His odds increased substantially with the injury to second baseman Jason Kipnis, as the Tribe’s former All-Star will miss at least the first month of action and possibly a little bit more while dealing with an ailing shoulder. Read More

Indians Return Rule 5 Lefty Milner to Phillies

March 24, 2017 |

Any chances that Indians Rule 5 pick Hoby Milner would suit up for Cleveland this season effectively ended when the club signed free agent left-hander Boone Logan in February. As expected, a Phillies club with pitching deficiencies was not going to let the 26-year-old southpaw go for good as Milner was returned to Philadelphia on Friday.

To complete the exchange, the Indians received $50,000 in return from the Phillies. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 10 – Edwin Encarnacion

March 24, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 10

When the Cleveland Indians signed slugger Mike Napoli last offseason, there was hope, but no certainty, that he could provide the club with the powerful right-handed bat that had been lacking from the lineup for much of the 21st century.

The arrival of Edwin Encarnacion this winter on a three-year free agent deal with a club option for a fourth year in 2020 did not come with those doubts.

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Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 11 – Jose Ramirez

March 23, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 11

Which Jose Ramirez will the Cleveland Indians see in 2017?

Will it be Ramirez the third baseman, after filling that void on the field for the second half of last season for Cleveland? Will it be Ramirez the second baseman, helping to replace another injured player in Jason Kipnis as he did early last season in filling in for Michael Brantley? Will it be Ramirez the utility man, a role that he was expected to play in 2016 before the Tribe roster needed him in the lineup every day given his strong performance?

Two things feel almost certain – the addition of Edwin Encarnacion should prevent many sightings of Ramirez the cleanup hitter and that plenty of attention will be paid to how many times the hard charging Ramirez loses his batting helmet on the base paths. Read More

The Doctor is in as Brantley is Back in Action for the Tribe

March 23, 2017 |

The doctor is in for the Cleveland Indians and, this time, this diagnosis appears good.

Michael Brantley returned to Cactus League action on Monday afternoon with an encouraging performance against the Los Angeles Dodgers from Goodyear, Arizona. He followed it up with another appearance on Wednesday as the Indians dropped a 10-2 decision to Colorado at the Rockies’ spring home at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 12 – Francisco Lindor

March 22, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 12

One of the disappointing consequences of the World Baseball Classic for the Cleveland Indians has been losing the energy and excitement for baseball that Francisco Lindor seems to bring to the field with him every single day. It is an invaluable trait that his teammates undoubtedly miss and one that younger prospects in the farm system could have benefited from during the Tribe’s spring training festivities in Goodyear, Arizona.

Compounding that problem for the Indians has been the success of Team Puerto Rico in the WBC, which has kept Lindor away from the club for as long as the tournament allows. Lindor’s squad will play Team USA in the WBC Championship Game Wednesday night at 9:00 PM ET from Los Angeles, California, finally spelling an end of his absence from the Tribe’s camp. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 13 – Omar Vizquel

March 21, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 13

When using wins above replacement (WAR) to compare the players to wear the number 13 throughout baseball history, one thing becomes clear – Omar Vizquel has been not only one of the best to do so for the Cleveland Indians, but has been one of the best to wear it in Major League Baseball history.

Vizquel now is a painful sight to see in the Detroit first base coaching box when the Indians and Tigers match up 19 times a year. His name still comes up frequently in discussion among Cleveland fans, especially when watching Francisco Lindor flash the leather from Vizquel’s old shortstop position now or when considering the legitimacy of his Hall of Fame candidacy in a few years.

In the end, his spot in Cooperstown is no guarantee. Read More

Injury Bug Bites as Tribe Loses Pitcher Anderson for the Season

March 21, 2017 |

Goal number one for each team during the spring may be to survive the month and a half of preparation for the 162-game grind to come as healthy as possible.

While the focus for the Indians throughout this spring training camp has been on the statuses of former All-Stars Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis as they each get ready for the 2017 season, Cleveland was dealt a loss from an area of depth when pitcher Cody Anderson was lost for the season with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, in addition to a mild right flexor strain. Anderson, who shared that his arm had not felt right for a year, has opted to have the injury corrected through reconstructive Tommy John surgery, which will shelve him for all of the 2017 season. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 14 – Larry Doby

March 20, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 14 days

To this day, Larry Doby does not get the credit that he deserves for the doors that he helped open in Major League Baseball, professional sports as a whole, or for the American society over the course of his baseball career with the Cleveland Indians and others.

The Indians honored his efforts on the field by retiring his number 14 on July 3, 1994, making him the fifth player (Bob Feller, Lou Boudreau, Earl Averill, Mel Harder) recognized by the club in such a manner. The ceremony came almost 47 years to the date of his first game in a Cleveland Indians uniform. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 15 – Sandy Alomar

March 19, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 15 days

Some baseball players have a special connection with a city because of their outstanding talent. Some players have a special connection because of their outstanding personalities.

Former Indians catcher Sandy Alomar had both. Read More

Brantley Inching Closer to Major League Action With Eyes Toward Healthier 2017

March 19, 2017 |

There has not been a lot of good news for Michael Brantley and his injured right shoulder since a fateful, late-season attempt to dive for a ball at Target Field on September 22, 2015. Since then, he has undergone two surgeries, multiple setbacks and appeared in just 13 games. Things seem to be headed in a better direction for Brantley these days, however.

Two of those 13 contests he has played in since the initial shoulder woes began came at the end of the 2015 campaign. He missed 10 of the final 12 games that season. Last year, a comeback attempt lasted but 11 games as the one-time All-Star and MVP candidate could not get his ailing shoulder to a point where there was not pain when he swung the bat.

His 2016 numbers – 43 plate appearances, nine hits, two doubles and seven RBI – were more a tease for Tribe fans than anything else. It was a window view of the player the Indians missed during an otherwise unforgettable year that saw the club get so agonizingly close to its first World Series title since 1948. Read More