2017: This Year is Next Year
Last season, Jose Ramirez took the baseball world by surprise. After struggling for a couple of years to get his footing at the Major League Baseball level, Ramirez enjoyed one of the game’s bigger breakout performances in 2016.
Some feel he may have been the MVP of last year’s Cleveland Indians – a club that won an American League Central Division championship, the AL pennant, and was one run away from a World Series crown.
Statistically, Ramirez had a breakout season a year ago. He put up career highs across the board with a .312 batting average, 11 home runs, 76 RBI, 22 stolen bases, and 152 games played. Not only did he do all that, but he picked things up where others the Tribe was counting on faltered.
It will be a homecoming for Jason Kipnis this weekend as the Chicago area native was activated by the Indians from the 10-day disabled list prior to the start of their three-game series against the White Sox.
To make room on the 25-man roster, third baseman Yandy Diaz was optioned to Triple-A Columbus.
When the Indians and Chicago White Sox met a week and a half ago, Cleveland was reeling after a three-game sweep courtesy of the Arizona Diamondbacks. While the Tribe would claim a walk-off win over Chicago in the home opener, the White Sox took the next two games to start a tough 2-4 homestand for the Indians.
The Indians (8-7) turned things around quickly during their second road trip of the season, sweeping the Minnesota Twins in an abbreviated three-game sweep at Target Field during the week. Now, they will face a White Sox club that they scored just seven runs against during a rough offensive drought. The biggest issue for the club at the time may have been the lack of timely clutch hitting, as they were just 2-for-28 (.149) when hitting with runners on second or third base.
Editor’s note: Monday’s “Pitch Talks” event has been cancelled, according to the group’s Facebook page. No reason was given for the change nor was any announcement made about a rescheduled date in the future.
A speaker series that brings top baseball media to bars and clubs across North America is coming to the Grog Shop in Cleveland on Monday, April 24.
After a 2-4 homestand, it may just be time for the Cleveland Indians to hit the road and put their disappointing series against Chicago and Detroit behind them. They will start a four-game series in Minnesota with the Twins on Monday night to begin a seven-game roadtrip.
The Indians (5-7) will return to Target Field for the first of ten games there this season. A scuffling offense and a starting rotation unable to get the job done consistently have gotten the Tribe off to a poor record after a hot start in Texas, where they swept the first three games of the season before going just 2-6 since against Arizona, Chicago, and Detroit. The team has shown an ability to get runners on base with ease, but when it comes to the big hit, the Indians have been slow in the clutch department, hitting into too many double plays and failing to drive in runs in general.
In 2016, there were two distinct versions of Cleveland starting pitcher Danny Salazar. This year’s Indians need the one that pitched in the first half of last season in order to get their season going in the right direction and accomplish their mission of the ball club’s first World Series title in 69 years.
Salazar’s 2016 campaign, his fourth in the big leagues, got off to such a good start that he was named to his first All-Star squad. Soreness in his right forearm forced him to be spectator for the festivities in San Diego rather than a participant. That is really where his second half troubles began.
Before the Mid-Summer Classic, Salazar was brilliant, enjoying a breakout season. He had shown promise, with good numbers as a rookie in 2013 and then a promising 2015 campaign. However, he was hitting a special kind of level in helping the Indians be the surprise of baseball at the annual summer break.
After needing five pitchers (including utility man Michael Martinez) to finish the final seven and one-third innings of Thursday’s loss to the Chicago White Sox, the depleted Cleveland Indians bullpen will get a reinforcement in time for the weekend series with the Detroit Tigers. Reliever Nick Goody was recalled by the club on Friday from Triple-A Columbus and right-hander Shawn Armstrong was sent down to the Clippers after working a career-high two and one-third innings in the defeat.
The Cleveland Indians started the season with an impressive and dramatic three-game sweep in Texas. Since then, things have taken a turn for the worst as the club has dropped five of its last six and is struggling to score runs while limiting the damage.
They will look to turn around the early season woes and heat up the cold bats as they host the Detroit Tigers this weekend in a three-game set.
With Chisenhall ready to go, the Indians made one of those tough decisions on Thursday afternoon as they optioned center fielder Tyler Naquin to Triple-A Columbus.
While the Cleveland Indians’ road trip got off to a great start with a three-game sweep in Texas against the Rangers, the club was tripped up hard in its return to Arizona when it was dealt a discouraging three-game sweep at the arms and bats of the Diamondbacks.
The Tribe will look to get itself righted again and put that bad series in the rear view when it hosts the Chicago White Sox for three straight at Progressive Field this week.
The Indians (3-3) started the season with some impressive late inning dramatics in the heart of Texas, but back in the desert, they were met by a white-hot Diamondbacks team that contained the Tribe offense while putting up buckets of their own runs. The Indians were outscored 21-7 in the three-game set and were not in many of the games late.
The Cleveland Indians will get their first look of many at the Chicago White Sox as their American League Central Division foe comes to Progressive Field to open the 2017 home slate for the Tribe.
It was a busy and somewhat curious offseason for the Sox, who seemed to have the Benjamin Button complex and got younger and younger with each passing day. After finishing fourth in the Central with a 78-84 record in 2016, general manager Rick Hahn opted to deal off some of the older producers on the roster to begin collecting some younger talent, almost appearing to concede their fight for the division before the season began while looking ahead to 2018 and beyond.
A season ago, the Cleveland Indians made a habit of winning games late and in their last at bat. They had 11 walk-off victories. Wins of that variety can be both very stressful and very exciting for the fans. They can be galvanizing for a baseball team.
Winning in a late fashion can pump life into a ball club that a blowout win just can not. You do not see postgame Gatorade baths or pies in the face – though those are now banned – for players who hit a home run in the middle frames of a 9-2 victory, for example. However, hit an eighth- or ninth-inning bomb or get a big RBI in the final couple stanzas and the postgame celebration has some sizzle and entertainment.
In 2016, the Indians got to within one win of the World Series. They were known for being a tight-knit group that had each other’s backs. When the going got tough late, the Tribe really got going and was at its best. Late inning comeback wins seemed to forge a bond and a resiliency with the unit that nothing could break the squad.