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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | October 16, 2018

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Player Interviews

The Tall and Talented Triston McKenzie

June 1, 2017 |

The first thing you notice about Triston McKenzie is his size. He stands a spindly 6’5”, weighing in at only 165 lbs. When shaking hands with McKenzie you can feel the strength of his grip as his hand envelops yours. It is no wonder he has an intuitive feel for pitching that led the Indians to draft him 42nd overall in 2015.

Born in Brooklyn, New York his family moved to Royal Palm Beach, Florida, when he was young and he readily adapted to life in the south.

“I kind of like the setting down there a lot more, a slower lifestyle,” he said about growing up on the east coast of Florida. Read More

Justin Garcia – Learning from Experience and Routine

May 25, 2017 |

Last season, Justin Garcia featured a flowing mane of dark blonde hair. This season, he has it cut short. Either way, he has been a reliable arm out of the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats bullpen.

Garcia was born in Rowlett, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. He attended Weatherford College for two years before the Indians selected him in the 38th round of the 2013 First Year Player Draft. He is now in his fourth season in their farm system and enjoying every minute of being a professional ballplayer. Read More

The Grit and Success of Sam Haggerty

May 18, 2017 |

Observing Sam Haggerty on the field, there is a look of fierce determination, a scowl, that suggests he will do anything to defeat his opponent. As an observer of ball players you might describe him as tough, determined, or scrappy. That would be accurate, but incomplete.

The 5’11”, 175 lb. second baseman is the first High-A Lynchburg player of 2017 to win a Carolina League Player of the Week award. Originally drafted by Cleveland in the 24th round of 2015, this is Haggerty’s second full season assignment in the Tribe organization. He got into 100 games with Low-A Lake County last year, and played briefly with the Rookie level Mahoning Valley team after signing. Read More

The Unexpected Surge of Thomas Pannone

May 10, 2017 |

Thomas Pannone turned 23 years old three weeks and one day into the current minor league baseball season. This past weekend he was given a late birthday gift by the Cleveland Indians organization, a promotion to AA Akron after only five starts decked out in the new blue and lime green duds of the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats.

If Pannone was on your list of the most likely Hillcats player to get the first promotion to AA that would be a surprise. He is not ranked in the top 30 Indians prospects according to the 2017 Baseball America Prospect Handbook. They list Pannone as a left-handed reliever, just ahead of his new AA Akron teammates Luis Lugo and David Speer, and behind Hoby Milner, a Rule V pick since returned to the Phillies, and Edwin Escobar, a journeyman who never actually suited up for the Cleveland organization. Read More

Martin Cervenka – Making the Most of His Experience

May 3, 2017 |

At 6’1”, 175 lb., Martin Cervenka is a right-handed hitter who looks like he belongs on a ball field.

Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, he was the first Czech player to sign with the Indians organization. He has been playing baseball as a professional since he was 16. Now 24 years old, this is his first year at the High-A level.

“It was exciting for me,” he said about signing. “Ever since I was young I wanted to play pro baseball. Luckily I got the opportunity with Cleveland. It was just cool to have the experience.” Read More

Ka’ai Tom, A Calmness of Focus for Hillcats

April 27, 2017 | | One Comment

The Cleveland Indians made Ka’ai Tom a 5th round selection in 2015. He is one of two native Hawaiians on the 2017 High-A Lynchburg Hillcats roster, along with fellow Hawaiian outfielder Connor Marabell.

Baseball in Hawaii has a long tradition. Over 40 players from Hawaii have donned a Major League uniform – names that include Charlie Hough, Mike Lum, Kolten Wong, and Shane Victorino. Tom hopes to join that list of players someday. Like many players he got his love of baseball through his family.

“My dad, my grandpa, my uncle, all played baseball,” said Tom, “so it was kind of born into me, to carry on the family tradition of playing baseball.” Read More

Matt Esparza – Learning the Art of Pitching

April 19, 2017 |

Matt Esparza is a 22-year-old 14th round pick in 2015 by the Cleveland Indians out of Folsom, California.

“I think it’s going to be a unique experience,” said Esparza about earning his first Opening Day start. “I’m looking forward to it. I’m excited and hopefully there is a good energy for the team.”

Esparza, who stands 6’2” 195 lbs., will be a veteran anchor of the High-A Lynchburg pitching staff, along with returning fellow starter Thomas Pannone. Read More

Changes Mark the New Season for the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats

April 13, 2017 |

Baseball is a game of rhythms. In each season and each game there is an ebb and flow to its pace. A hitter adapts to a pitcher, a team adopts a new strategy, or a star player retires or moves on. All of these events produce change.

This year, the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats are all about change. In their third season as a Cleveland Indians affiliate, there are many new elements to the Hillcats, and not just the faces in the dugout. Over the winter, the playing surface was completely remade. The renovation was begun immediately after the 2016 season. The field was leveled, a state-of-the-art drainage system was installed, and new turf and a warning track were put into place. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 15 – Sandy Alomar

March 19, 2017 |

Join Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we dig through the archives in our countdown to Opening Day!

Countdown to Opening Day – 15 days

Some baseball players have a special connection with a city because of their outstanding talent. Some players have a special connection because of their outstanding personalities.

Former Indians catcher Sandy Alomar had both. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 25 – Jim Thome

March 9, 2017 |

Join Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we dig through the archives during our countdown to Opening Day!

Countdown to Opening Day – 25 days

When Indians legend Jim Thome was first called up to the Major Leagues, he, the Indians, and their fans all had no idea what a ride we were all about to be put on. In fact, even Thome worried about whether or not he would be able to stick around at first. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 29 – Andre Thornton

March 5, 2017 |

Join Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we did through the archives back to 2014 for our countdown to Opening Day!

Countdown to Opening Day – 29 days

Sometimes you can take a ballplayer out of Cleveland, but you can’t take the Cleveland out of the ballplayer. For former Tribe slugger Andre Thornton, it turns out that he’s still got a whole lot of Cleveland left in him and he has no intention of changing that. Read More

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 38 – Eric Plunk

February 24, 2017 |

Join Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we dig through the archives during our countdown to Opening Day!

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