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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | October 17, 2017

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2013 Spring Training

Masterson Looking to Repeat Old Form in New Season

April 2, 2013 |

Repetition. In order to succeed as a starting pitcher, you have to repeat the same delivery, with the same motion, time and time again. In the case of Justin Masterson, repetition has not always been so easy.

Masterson takes the mound this evening for the Indians in his second straight Opening Day start, looking to rebound from an inconsistent season in 2012. The 6’6,” 250 lb., side-winding, right-hander could never find consistent mechanics in 2012, making that repetition all the more difficult to keep throughout even a start.

“It was totally frustrating,” Masterson said. “Whether it be tough luck, my own lack of concentration, it was frustrating. You go, ‘man I just pitched six innings and I had one bad inning and it looks terrible.’ That was the microcosm of the season itself. I had 28 good starts and six or seven bad starts and they really made a big difference. Even within those bad starts were just one bad inning, so it was like seven or eight bad innings all year.

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Milestone Watch: Indians Give Stat Rats Numbers to Cheer For

April 1, 2013 |

By Steve Eby

Did you know that the Major League record for inside the park homeruns was held by a former Cleveland Hall of Famer?

The former Cleveland Spider was named Jesse Burkett and was nicknamed “The Crab”, and he hit 55 inside-the-parkers during his Hall of Fame career from 1890-1905.  That ridiculous total has to make you wonder if baseball was played back in the 1800’s without fences, outfielders or maybe even 90-foot bases.

Nowadays, records like the one held by The Crab are probably safe forever, but that doesn’t stop baseball people from keeping track of every little detail and statistic from each and every game.  Milestones occur so often that we really only take notice when the accomplishment breaks a record or ends in at least two zeroes.

Several Indians on the 2013 team are poised to set their own personal milestones and/or have a chance to pass some names on either baseball’s or the franchise’s all-time list.  Some are obviously more impressive than others, but milestones are milestones nevertheless. Read More

AL Preview: Predicting the Cleveland Indians

April 1, 2013 |

It has been too long since there was a buzz around the Cleveland Indians. It has been a refreshing change of pace this offseason and certainly helped to provide some distraction during the winter. Over the course of the last decade and more, the Indians have sat back and watched other teams race to outspend one another to upgrade their clubs while being handcuffed by Cleveland’s small market label and the burdensome contracts of underperforming stars. This season, they did not sit idly by.

Maybe Tribe closer Chris Perez stirred up the pot enough during last season to open up the eyes of the front office brass. The team was just not going to contend amongst the best of the best in the American League without opening up the checkbook a little. Maybe the poor turn out through the turnstiles sent a compelling message. Maybe losing what remaining airtime they had on Cleveland-based sports talk radio shows to the lackluster Cleveland Browns showed them the general disinterest in the once national pastime.

Whatever the reason was, the team spent and spent a lot and appears to be all the better (and more competitive) for it. Maybe the Cleveland Indians are back again.

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The Bourn Catalyst

March 31, 2013 |

During Spring Training the DTTWLN staff will profile and examine the coaches and players that make up and are vying to be part of the 2013 Cleveland Indians—A Team With A New Direction. Today, we examine one the player that player that may be the catalyst to new heights for the Indians.

Catalyst (cat-a-lyst) noun: a person or thing that precipitates an event or change.

The definition easily could have said Michael Bourn.

In a winter of changes that saw the hiring of Manager Terry Francona, a mega three-team deal and the largest free agent contract in Indians’ history given to Nick Swisher, the catalyst for hope and optimism in the 2013 season might have ignited when the Indians signed Bourn on Feb. 15 at the beginning of Spring Training.

Season ticket sales jumped 40 percent the next day. Merchandise sold faster. Two weeks later, Opening Day tickets sold out in six minutes when they became available to the public. There was suddenly a new feeling and expectation around the Indians after Bourn signed.

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AL Preview: Indians All-Time Rivals Edition

March 31, 2013 |

With Spring Training underway throughout baseball, we will take a look at the offseason moves made by the other American League teams. Two teams will be reviewed each Sunday until the beginning of the regular season. Previous previews include: TEX/HOU; OAK/LA; SEA/TOR; BOS/NYY; BAL/TB; KC/MIN

By Bob Toth

The race for the American League Central Division last season was one of the better battles in all of baseball, even if it took a back seat to races in the AL East and West.

The Chicago White Sox surprised many around the league with a young roster built around a trio of power-hitting veterans and a rookie manager who found themselves still in the race in the final week of the season. The Detroit Tigers remained hidden in the weeds, waiting to pounce with a dangerous rotation and a single offensive contribution not seen in 45 years.

Heading into the 2013 season, both teams will return rosters very similar to those they fielded last year. Will it translate into similar results on the field, or will the other three teams in the division be able to unseat last year’s trend setters?

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Healthy and Happy, Perez Ready to Close Games for New Teammates

March 30, 2013 |

During Spring Training the DTTWLN staff will profile and examine the coaches and players that make up and are vying to be part of the 2013 Cleveland Indians—A Team With A New Direction. Today, we examine one of the players that are difference makers in how successful the Indians season will be.

Chris Perez was outspoken throughout the 2012 season, calling out fans for not buying tickets, citing a disconnect between the clubhouse and the manager, and even blaming ownership for the Indians second-half collapse. But as the 2013 season begins, the accountability rests at the feet of one group.

“Now it is up to us to take care of business on the field and show the front office what they did was appreciated,” the Indians closer Perez said. “We need to improve upon our play for sure.”

The sometimes controversial and critical closer is one of just ten players who remain from last season’s Opening Day roster to be slated for the active 25-man roster again on Tuesday. While the team contended for the first half of the season, Perez earned his second straight All-Star appearance in 2012. However, as the season slipped away, Perez’s ninth inning opportunities wilted in the August sun. He still finished with a career-high 39 saves to go with a 3.59 ERA in 57.2 innings and 61 games.

But while Perez had personal success on the field, the Indians had their worst month in team history going 5-24 in August, running themselves out of playoff contention. The team barely eluded finishing in last place, but ended the 2012 campaign with a 68-94 record, still the sixth worst record in Major League Baseball. With Manager Manny Acta dismissed the final week of the season, the Indians quickly hired Terry Francona, and the beginning of a new attitude took shape in the organization.

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Spring Stats Stay in Arizona When Tribe Heads to Toronto

March 30, 2013 |

By Mike Brandyberry

This afternoon, the Indians conclude their Cactus League play with their final game against the Cincinnati Reds. After 47 days of Spring Training, the Indians will board a plane this evening and leave the sunshine of Arizona for Toronto, where they open Tuesday evening against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Players like Scott Kazmir and Ryan Raburn likely have played their way onto the Indians’ roster from their strong springs, while others like David Huff and Ezequiel Carrera might have played their way off the roster. However, just like leaving the sunshine behind when they board the plane, players and managers alike leave Spring Training statistics behind as well.

When the Indians open on Tuesday in Toronto, roles for players have been defined and spring statistics have little to no affect upon determining those roles. According to Indians Manager Terry Francona, Spring Training is more about the process to prepare for the season than it is putting up numbers or impressive statistics.

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All-Star Cabrera Could Get Even Better With Improved Roster

March 29, 2013 |

During Spring Training the DTTWLN staff will profile and examine the coaches and players that make up and are vying to be part of the 2013 Cleveland Indians—A Team With A New Direction. Today, we examine one of the players that are difference makers in how successful the Indians season will be.

By Craig Gifford

Since an August call up to the majors in 2007, Asdrubal Cabrera has been a mainstay with the Cleveland Indians. What has not been a mainstay is consistent, winning, big-league-caliber talent around him. Much has changed for both Cabrera and Tribe since his rookie season.

That first year with the Indians, Cabrera was a contact-hitting second baseman. The Indians got to within one win of reaching the World Series before the wheels fell off against Boston.  Since then, Cabrera has transitioned back to his natural shortstop position. He has transformed himself into more of a home run, run-producing threat. He has also seen a great deal of losses pile up leading to the complete makeover of the team, leaving him as the only member left from that near-championship club.

Since 2007, Cleveland’s front office has spent quite a bit of time trading away soon-to-be free agents headed for big paydays. The team put more of a focus on developing young talent than signing Major Leaguers. That is until this past offseason when the Indians went on a spending spree. Read More

Beating Division Foes Could Be More Important Than Ever in 2013

March 29, 2013 |

By Craig Gifford

The importance of performing well within your division is a known necessity in Major League Baseball.  With 76 game, nearly half the 162 on the schedule, against intra-divisional opponents, taking care of business there is a great way to build a high victory total.

This year, in the American League Central, a strong showing against the other four clubs could be even more pertinent. The defending American League Champion Tigers are essentially the consensus favorite to win the division. There is not argument to that here. However, this appears to be a very good year for the Central’s runner up to earn one of the two wild card nods. Read More

Smith the Bridge to Bullpen Success and Maybe More

March 28, 2013 |

During Spring Training the DTTWLN staff will profile and examine the coaches and players that make up and are vying to be part of the 2013 Cleveland Indians—A Team With A New Direction. Today, we examine one of the players that are difference makers in how successful the Indians season will be.

By Mike Brandyberry

In many travels, a bridge is necessary to smoothly venture through rugged terrain. In the journey of a nine inning baseball game, Joe Smith has become that bridge for the Cleveland Indians.

Two seasons ago, Smith worked his way toward the back of the Tribe’s bullpen. Now, he’s comfortably settled in as a set up man in front of eighth inning man Vinnie Pestano and closer Chris Perez. Since 2011, Smith has become the pitcher to get the game from the starting rotation or front end of the bullpen to the back end guys.

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Indians Speedy Runners Could Rack Up Steals in 2013

March 28, 2013 |

By Ronnie Tellalian

With the offseason acquisitions of Michael Bourn, Drew Stubbs, and Mike Aviles, the Indians added a great deal of speed to their lineup. The stolen base is now a weapon Tribe fans will see used game after game as the Indians sprinters will be off to the races. Not since the 1990’s has the Cleveland lineup been filled with a number of stolen base artists, and the offensive production they add will surely be reflected in the runs scored column.

From a statistical standpoint, the value of the stolen base has varied greatly from year to year. This is due to the fluctuation in run scoring from year to year. From the 1980s to the 1990s, the stolen base held a good deal of value and fast runners racked them up at an unprecedented pace. That began to change in the late 1990s and from 2000-2012 the stolen base had begun to wane as a well-used offensive tool. From 1982-1999 Major League baseball players stole 3000 or more bases in all but two seasons, and those were the strike shortened years of 1994 and 1995. From 2000-2011, the 3000 mark was reached just once. The lower stolen base totals had a great deal to do with the increase in home runs and run scoring of that time period. Read More

Cleveland’s New #23: Dr. Smooth

March 27, 2013 |

During Spring Training the DTTWLN staff will profile and examine the coaches and players that make up and are vying to be part of the 2013 Cleveland Indians—A Team With A New Direction. Today, we examine one of the players that are difference makers in how successful the Indians season will be.

By Laurel Wilder

Michael Brantley makes a lot of things seem effortless. Dubbed “Dr. Smooth” by a few Cleveland sports writers in 2012, Brantley’s transitions in the outfield or in the batting order have occurred without much fuss. His steadily-improving Major League stats have furthered his smooth move from a solid minor league player to a promising big leaguer, despite setbacks like his 2011 wrist surgery or spring training forearm injury.

With his potential and abilities growing, Brantley’s smoothest achievement yet may come in restoring Cleveland’s faith in wearing the number 23. Ever since LeBron James took his talents to South Beach in 2010, his former number has become synonymous with betrayal and letdowns.

Brantley, however, seems to be on the brink of changing that. Read More