2018: Still Rallying Together
As expected, the Cleveland Indians activated starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco from the 10-day disabled list on Friday to make the start against the Oakland Athletics. In a corresponding roster move, the team has designated right-handed reliever George Kontos for assignment.
For the second straight weekend, the Indians and Athletics will make acquaintances as Oakland makes its sole trip to Cleveland this season.
The Indians (48-37) had a tough time during their series in Oakland, at least the first two before erupting for 12 runs off of the A’s bullpen late in a 15-3 rout in the series finale last Sunday. The Indians improved their winning streak to four straight by sweeping three in a row in Kansas City to wrap up its road trip with a 5-4 record. It is expected to be a busy weekend with favorable conditions for baseball in downtown Cleveland as the city hosts its first sporting event since the departure of NBA star LeBron James.
Ten games back with the Columbus Clippers proved to be too few for former member of the organization Melky Cabrera. The Indians signed the 33-year-old outfielder to a minor league contract for the second time this season, bringing back the experienced veteran as an insurance policy for their banged up outfield.
Cabrera was unsigned this past offseason despite a strong season offensively last year with the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals. He appeared in 156 games, putting up a combined .285/.324/.423 slash at the plate with 30 doubles, two triples, 17 homers, and 85 RBI in his split stay.
For the second time this season, Lonnie Chisenhall’s calves have taken him out of action.
The Cleveland Indians announced prior to their game with the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night that the 29-year-old free-agent-to-be was returned to the 10-day disabled list after suffering a left calf strain prior to Monday’s series opener from Kauffman Stadium.
The Cleveland Indians make their first trip of the year and their second trip to Missouri as they wrap up their road trip with a three-game series in Kansas City Royals.
The Indians (45-37) have had a tough start to their road trip, going 2-4 with an offense that was missing in action until the series finale in Oakland on Sunday, when the team used 13 extra base hits (including 11 doubles) to trounce the A’s by a 15-3 final. Cleveland is 25-13 against the AL Central this season, including a 4-2 mark against the Royals earlier this season in a pair of series at Progressive Field. The Tribe comes into the series with a nine-game lead in the division, the biggest advantage by any division leader in baseball.
With his clean-up hitter going through another epic April slump, Indians manager Terry Francona never fretted or showed concern over whether or not designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion could or would right the ship.
The crown jewel of Cleveland’s 2016/2017 offseason and post-World Series spending, the slugging Encarnacion was having yet another miserable first month to the season. The 35-year-old is actually known for slow starts, as April is historically his worst month, going back to his days with the Toronto Blue Jays. Yet some Tribe fans, even after seeing this in 2017 from the club’s No. 4 hitter, still wondered if the veteran was washed up. Some wondered if the Indians again struck out with a big-time free-agent signing if all they got was one productive season.
The Cleveland Indians will kick off a short west coast stay on Friday night when they begin a three-game series from Oakland Coliseum against the Athletics.
Cleveland (44-35) was cooled off in a tough matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals during the week, despite good numbers in interleague play this season and good results all-time against the Red Birds. They dropped the first two games of the series before salvaging the finale on Wednesday. Counting their 1-2 set in St. Louis, they have won eight of their last ten contests. The Indians enter the series with an eight-game lead in the American League Central over the Minnesota Twins.
For the first time since 2012, the Cleveland Indians will travel to the Illinois-Missouri border on the western bank of the Mississippi River to visit St. Louis and the city’s Cardinals in a three-game series from Busch Stadium.
The Indians (43-33) come in as one of the hottest teams in baseball, winners of seven straight after a pair of three-game sweeps over the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers to close out a 7-2 homestand. The interleague set between the Tribe and Red Birds will mark the first time the two clubs have met since 2015. The Indians have dominated the matchups over the years, but did lose that last series in Cleveland in May three years ago. In 23 contests all-time, the Indians are 15-8 against the Cardinals, including an 8-4 mark when playing in Missouri. Cleveland is 6-2 in interleague play this season.
Just as quickly, suddenly, and surprising as Tyler Naquin burst onto the scene and the Cleveland Indians radar in 2016, he fell off of it almost more rapidly and shockingly a season ago. After one good season and one miserable campaign, the Indians had no idea what to expect for Naquin’s third go-round for the ball club.
Luckily, for Naquin and the team, the outfielder’s third big league season has him squarely back as a solid member of the big league roster. So far in 2018, he is resembling the good version of himself of two years ago rather than the one every member of the Tribe organization would just as soon forget from last summer.
With one final series left to play before hitting the road for another long road trip, the Cleveland Indians will welcome the Detroit Tigers back to Progressive Field for the first time since sweeping them in four straight games back in mid-April.
The Indians (40-33) have found their winning ways again, sweeping the Chicago White Sox over the weekend for the second time at home this season. They are 4-2 on their current homestand, after dropping two of three against Minnesota to start play at Progressive Field after a long road trip. The Indians have outscored the Tigers by a 50-27 mark on the year and have posted a +47 mark in run differential this season, the fourth-best difference in the American League behind Houston, Boston, and New York.
Another day, another new face in the Cleveland Indians bullpen.
On Tuesday, the Tribe placed right-handed reliever Evan Marshall on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Replacing him on the 25-man roster will be right-hander George Kontos, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Columbus.
After not seeing each other for the first time this year until the very final days of May, the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox will meet up for the third time in the last seven series when the two clubs kick off a three-game series from Progressive Field on Monday night.
The Indians (37-33) will presumably be excited to face a different divisional foe this week, as they have had no answers for the Minnesota Twins this season, especially over their last two series against one another. The Tribe dropped two of three to the Twinkies over the weekend, avoiding the sweep with a strong 4-1 win on Sunday afternoon, as rookie right-hander Shane Bieber earned his first win with a tightrope act on the mound and his battery mate Yan Gomes drove in three with a bases loaded double in the third. The Indians come into the weekday series with a two and a half game lead over the Detroit Tigers for second place in the AL Central.