2018: Still Rallying Together
Tyler Naquin has spent much of the last month and a half trying to prove that he can be a valuable contributor on the Cleveland Indians roster, whether it be in a starting role in right field for the time being or coming off of the bench. With an increased opportunity for playing time, he has come through with a big home run earlier this week and he extended his hitting streak to a season-high eight games on Friday with another key hit in the clutch, but the latter one will cost him some playing time.
Performing at a high level with a perfect opportunity to make a case to help out the Indians throughout the season, Naquin was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Saturday morning with a left hamstring strain. He suffered the injury running the bases after his big two-run double in the Indians’ six-run fourth inning of Friday night’s 10-9 loss to the Kansas City Royals.
Over the last two weeks, the Cleveland Indians have faced a harsh reminder of the significance that Andrew Miller has on the team’s success as the bullpen has floundered in his absence while he dealt with a left hamstring strain.
The relief staff can begin to settle back in to its old roles, or at least they can within a few more days, as the Indians activated their All-Star left-hander from the 10-day disabled list and placed fellow southpaw Tyler Olson on paternity leave.
Olson could be away from the club anywhere from one to three days as a result of his placement on the temporary list.
Plenty could be written about the unpredictable and unusual schedule that the Cleveland Indians have this season. With that said, the Indians return home after a short five-game road trip for three games with the Kansas City Royals before jetting right back out of town for a much longer road trip than the recently completed one.
The Indians (18-18) salvaged an ugly road trip by taking the finale in Milwaukee on Wednesday afternoon after losing a close contest on Tuesday night. Cleveland began its brief five-game roadie with three straight losses to the New York Yankees. It continued a down May for the club, as they have gone just 3-6 after ending April three games up in the win column. Despite the downward trend in play, they have remained atop the American League Central Division, holding a game and a half lead over Minnesota. The Indians took two of three from Kansas City in a previous series at Progressive Field this year in a low-scoring set that saw the two clubs combine to score just ten runs in the three contests.
The Cleveland Indians completed their roster move involving Gio Urshela from last Friday, as the team traded the designated infielder to the Toronto Blue Jays for a player to be named later or cash considerations on Wednesday afternoon.
Urshela’s time in Cleveland ended on Friday, when his rehab assignment at Triple-A Columbus came to an end and the team needed to activate him. Rather than return him to the Indians’ 25-man roster and make another move, Cleveland elected to keep Erik Gonzalez in tow and cut ties with the 26-year-old.
The Indians will return to their one-time home of Miller Park (three games in 2007) this week for a two-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers. It will mark the first time the two clubs have met since 2015 and just the seventh time since the Brewers moved from the American League Central Division to the National League Central, turning the once-time rivalry into a sporadic interleague series.
The Indians (17-17) started their brief five-game road trip on the worst note, getting swept in the New York by the Yankees. To their credit, the Yankees have dismantled a handful of playoff caliber teams during their 14-1 tear through the American League in the last several weeks, as they have also beaten up on the Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota Twins, and Toronto Blue Jays in that stretch. Cleveland found some ways to lose over the weekend, as their bullpen has been fully exploited for the world to see. The offense has contributed, in bunches, of late but could not create any lead big enough that the Yankees could not prevail, especially with a bullpen now ranked second-to-last in the AL in ERA (5.51) and strikeouts (96) and third-to-last in holds (10).
Both players had the ability to refuse the assignment, per Article XX(D) of the collective bargaining agreement. Belisle has accrued far more than the minimum five years of Major League service time required to refuse an outright, and Beliveau (with just over two years of service time) had been previously outrighted during his career.
Beliveau accepted his assignment and will remain with the organization. He will report to Columbus and hope that the Indians will call upon him again at some point in the season. Belisle, however, has elected free agency.
The Cleveland Indians may have struggled to find the win column last week, going 3-5 against Texas, Toronto, and New York, but it was not due to the efforts of Francisco Lindor at the plate.
For his power-packed week of work for the Tribe, Lindor was named on Monday as the American League’s Player of the Week for games played between April 30 and May 6.
Grant, Lofton, and Murray will be joined by former Rookie of the Year and American League MVP Dick Allen and fireballer J.R. Richard as part of the fifth class at the Kansas City landmark. The museum, which opened in a new site in November of 1997 in Kansas City’s Historic District, will host activities throughout the day, including a news conference, a VIP meet-and-greet, and a dinner reception prior to the Hall of Game ceremonies.
The steadily evolving bullpen for the Cleveland Indians will be down an arm on Sunday, as the team optioned right-hander Ben Taylor to Triple-A Columbus.
In a corresponding roster move, the Indians recalled outfielder Greg Allen.
Michael Brantley‘s recent story is one rarely seen in sports. That is mostly because many athletes may have already quit before working back from two serious injuries to get back to an All-Star level.
A 2014 All-Star and MVP candidate, Brantley has been with the Tribe organization since a 2008 trade-deadline deal sent former Tribe ace C.C. Sabathia to the Milwaukee Brewers in a deal that was initially met with great ire among Cleveland fans. The left fielder made his Indians debut in 2009 and was a part of some pretty lousy teams from 2009-2012. He finally got his first taste of postseason action in the one-game Wild Card loss to Tampa in 2013. Brantley blossomed into one of the team’s brightest stars in 2014 and 2015, only to see the second of those seasons end a little early with a shoulder injury suffered while diving to make a play on fly ball during the campaign’s final weekend.
A Drake is coming to Cleveland Saturday, but not the one you might have been thinking of.
The Cleveland Indians announced on Saturday that right-handed reliever Oliver Drake had been acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers for cash considerations.
Drake, 31, had been designated for assignment by the Brewers on Tuesday when the club recalled Wade Miley from Biloxi.
A roster move that had been lingering since spring training was finally resolved on Friday afternoon, when in a handful of roster moves, the Cleveland Indians activated utility man Gio Urshela from his rehab assignment while on the 10-day disabled list and designated him for assignment.
The Indians also added another reinforcement to their bullpen, purchasing the contract of right-hander Alexi Ogando from Triple-A Columbus while designating left-handed reliever Jeff Beliveau for assignment. Cleveland will have seven days to trade, release, or place Urshela and Beliveau on irrevocable waivers, with the hopes of passing the pair unclaimed through the process so that they can return to Columbus.