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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | May 27, 2017

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2017 Spring Training

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 35 – Abraham Almonte

February 27, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 35

Will this be the season that the Cleveland Indians see all that Abraham Almonte can provide the club at the Major League level?

It may be cliché to say, but this spring camp may be the biggest one of the lengthy professional career for the switch-hitting outfielder Almonte, who joins a crowded outfield mix in Goodyear, Arizona, looking to latch on to a job as a platoon outfielder or bench piece for the reigning American League champions. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 36 – Gaylord Perry

February 26, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 36

Jesus Aguilar had occupied the number 36 for the Indians for a few cups of coffee over the last three seasons, but he surrendered his claim to the digits when Cleveland designated him for assignment during the offseason. Now a member of the Milwaukee Brewers organization, the 26-year-old slugger will hope that a change of location will be the move that he needed in order to stick in the Major Leagues for a more pronounced length of time.

Production from three-sixes in Indians history has historically been minimal, with Aguilar’s years with the number exceeding the majority of those to wear it before him. A total of 50 players have reportedly worn the number for the Tribe in regular season action, but only a handful have spent more than a few seasons representing it on the field.

One of the best to do so, without argument, was Gaylord Perry, who joined the Indians organization following the 1971 season. Read More

Host of Spring Invites Looking to be Tribe’s Next Winter Find

February 26, 2017 |

Over the last couple of years, the Cleveland Indians have done well in finding veteran free agents no one else wanted and watching them become diamonds in the rough, so to speak.

Dan Otero last year and Jeff Manship in 2015 were both free agent relievers the Tribe was able to bring to spring training on minor league contracts. Both had histories of past success but were trying to rejuvenate careers that had fallen off in the seasons before joining the Indians.

Both veteran relievers proved to be strong contributors to Cleveland’s bullpen. Manship spent two seasons with the Indians before being casualty of management deciding not to make him an arbitration offer this past winter. Part of the reason was the emergence last year of Otero, giving Cleveland a deep bullpen without Manship. Both hurlers were important parts of an Indians club that went to the 2016 World Series. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 37 – Cody Allen

February 25, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 37

Cody Allen is the closer of the Cleveland Indians. It is a nod that is deserved and should come without mention, but the mere presence of All-Star left-hander Andrew Miller forced manager Terry Francona to be clear with the media on his bullpen expectations for the coming 2017 season.

That Francona even had to specify the role for Allen, who has worked in the closer’s role for the club in some capacity dating back to his third season in the Majors in 2014, is yet another reminder of the lack of respect that the underappreciated right-hander gets around the league for the work that he does on the mound. Read More

Spring Fever in Cleveland Squelched by Cold Front Before First Spring Game

February 25, 2017 |

For northeast Ohioans, temperatures far above normal for late February have given Cleveland Indians fans a case of spring fever, as people flocked outdoors to enjoy the unpredictable weather of the region while dreaming of their return to Progressive Field to cheer on their defending American League champion ball club.

The timing for the temperature spike seemed almost perfect, as it coincided with the start of regular spring training contests in Arizona for the Tribe. The Indians open up their Cactus League schedule on Saturday afternoon with a 3:00 PM ET contest against their Goodyear roommates, the Cincinnati Reds.

Unfortunately for Clevelanders unable to take in the game from warm Arizona and Goodyear Ball Park, they were dealt a harsh reminder from Mother Nature that spring, summer, and regular season baseball were still a long ways away as strong overnight thunderstorms brought with them a return of cooler weather with threats of that dreaded white stuff. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 38 – Eric Plunk

February 24, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 38 days

There were 38 Cleveland Indians players to wear #38 as their jersey numbers prior to the 2016 season, so if the Tribe’s front office wanted to just be ironic, they could have chosen to never pass out the number again and retire it up in the mezzanine level at Progressive Field.

If they were going to retire #38 – not that they should – the man who deserves it the most is probably former reliever Eric Plunk. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 39 – Giovanny Urshela

February 23, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 39

Has the window of opportunity already closed in Cleveland for Giovanny Urshela? Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 40 – Bartolo Colon

February 22, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 40

There is something about Bartolo Colon that makes him beloved by fans across the nation and the world.

Sure, he has had a long and sometimes successful Major League career, keeping his name in the news during springs and summers since debuting with the Cleveland Indians in 1997. But now, many years removed from a slimmer, more dominating flame-throwing version of himself, Colon now looks like an everyman, resembling more of a middle-aged man who had let himself go and now is attempting to squeeze himself into a pair of baseball pants in some sort of midlife crisis.

Colon takes the brunt of the jokes for being out of shape and being a really, really lousy looker while standing in the batter’s box.

But the joke’s on you – the 43-year-old right-hander signed a $12.5 million deal in November to join the starting rotation of the Atlanta Braves, providing lots and lots of life experience and veteran leadership to a young team, now constructed by John Hart, a very familiar face for Colon from his time in Cleveland. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 41 – Carlos Santana

February 21, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 41

A career year could not have come at a better time for Carlos Santana, as his watchful eye at the plate and potent power in his bat helped to provide plenty of offense for the Cleveland Indians on their run to the seventh game of the World Series. It also made what already appeared to be an easy decision a no-brainer as the club picked up his $12 million option after the season to guarantee at least one more year of Santana at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario.

Santana’s worth was readily apparent as he wore multiple hats for the Tribe, serving as the team’s leadoff man against right-handed pitching and a middle of the order threat against left-handers as manager Terry Francona capitalized on the multiple tools that Santana brought to the plate every day. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 42

February 20, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 42 days

Major League Baseball retired Jackie Robinson’s number 42 across the game on April 15, 1997, on the 50th anniversary of his monumental breaking of the color barrier. Indians reliever Michael Jackson was one of 13 players who were wearing that number at the time and was allowed to continue wearing it, making him the last to call the number his own for Cleveland.

In 2013, the last of those original 13 players, Mariano Rivera, retired from baseball. Since 2007, the number has returned around the league for one day each year, thanks to the efforts in 2007 of 2016 Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr., who wanted to honor Robinson on the 60th anniversary of his debut.

Jackson not only has the honor of being the last to wear the number regularly for the Tribe, but he had some of the best seasons in Cleveland history by a player wearing the number. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 43 – Josh Tomlin

February 19, 2017 |

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Countdown to Opening Day – 43

The Cleveland Indians rode with their Little Cowboy deep into the sunset of the 2016 season.

Had it not been for the October heroics of the Indians’ fifth starter Josh Tomlin, Cleveland’s postseason dreams may have more resembled a daydream. With two-fifths of the starting rotation out for the majority or entirety of October and another two men dealing with injuries heading into or during the playoffs, Tomlin’s ability to pitch against some of the big names in the game helped the Indians participate in the postseason, rather than watch it from their respective couches. Read More

MLB Should Consider Moving World Baseball Classic to Safer Time of Year for Teams and Players

February 19, 2017 |

The concept of the World Baseball Classic is a good one. The execution of when it is played out could use some work.

Spring training is supposed to be an important time for baseball teams to gel together, get to know each other, learn how to play with and integrate new teammates, and get ready for the long grind of a 162-game regular season schedule to come in less than two months.

Every four years, the WBC robs teams and their players of that important time. Not only that, but it puts key members of a regular Major League Baseball roster at unnecessary risk of a preseason injury. Read More