While the offseason has been historically slow and the winter has crawled along at an even slower pace, we at Did The Tribe Win Last Night look ahead to the warmer days of the 2018 season by remembering Tribe players past and present.
Countdown to Opening Day – 65
There must be something in a number.
The number 65 has been worn by just four players in the 116-year history of the Cleveland Indians organization and in all four occurrences, it was donned by a pitcher. Twice it came on the backs of young starting pitchers trying to catch on at the Major League level. In the two other and more recent times, it has come on former starting pitchers who were converted to relief work late in their minor league careers.
The Cleveland Indians’ season may be over and the World Series nearly half way complete, but competitive baseball continues to be played at spots across the globe.
Eight different Tribe prospects are in Glendale, Arizona, working in Arizona Fall League play. Four more have headed to South America to work in the Venezuelan Winter League, while nine more have taken up temporary residence in the Caribbean while participating in the Dominican Winter League.
Three different Tribe position prospects and six pitchers are scattered throughout the six-team Liga de Beisbol Dominicano.
The Cleveland Indians bullpen depth took a hit on Saturday as minor league right-hander Joe Colon was suspended for the remainder of the season for a violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment program.
Colon tested positive for the banned selective Androgen receptor modulator LDG-4022. It marks the second consecutive season that Colon’s work will be limited due to a failed drug test. He missed the first 50 games of the 2016 season after a second positive test for a drug of abuse.
Concerns about Corey Kluber‘s three-inning effort on Tuesday night against the Detroit Tigers were confirmed on Wednesday as the Cleveland Indians announced that the right-handed pitcher had been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a lower back strain.
In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Joseph Colon has been recalled from Triple-A Columbus.
The Columbus Clippers have now lost five straight series, dating back to their three-game sweep of Indianapolis from April 10-12, and have fallen to 9-14 on the 2017 season.
Despite the rough opening month of the season, the Clippers are just three and a half games behind the Toledo Mud Hens in the International League West Division. The division has struggled as a whole, as only the Mud Hens are above the .500 mark to start the season. The Clippers are tied with the Louisville Bats and are a game and a half in front of the last place Indians, who are 7-15 to start the season.
As spring training wrapped up its final weekend in Arizona and Florida, the Cleveland Indians were busy working to finalize their 25-man roster to open the season. One big decision was made by the club on Sunday, as outfielder Austin Jackson has won an opportunity to start the season with the Indians.
The Indians announced several other moves in a press release early Sunday afternoon when several players were optioned or reassigned to minor league camp while four more non-roster invitees found out that they would not be on the roster to start Opening Day.
After nine innings of scoreless baseball, Minnesota’s Joe Mauer delivered a two-out walk-off single off of Joe Colon in the bottom of the 12th to give the Twins a 2-1 win over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday night.
In what turned out to be a well-pitched performance on both sides, early single runs from each club provided all of the scoring until the third inning of bonus baseball, when the Twins evened up the season series with the Indians at nine wins apiece.
Colon became the tenth Indians pitcher of the night in a bullpen game for Cleveland and retired James Beresford and Byron Buxton on just four pitches before the dangerous Brian Dozier stepped into the box and singled to center. Colon balked Dozier to second after a 1-2 pitch that Mauer fouled off and the lapse proved fatal for the Tribe as Mauer would work the count full before dropping a single into right to score Dozier from second with the winning run.
Mike Napoli’s solo blast to the third deck in left to lead off the fifth inning powered the Cleveland Indians past the Minnesota Twins, 5-4, on Friday night.
Napoli’s third homer in five games gave the Indians the lift that they needed after Danny Salazar could not maintain a lead after the Indians jumped on top after an early hole.
Minnesota got out in front in the first with two down. Joe Mauer drove a 1-2 pitch to left for his eleventh homer of the year to give the Twins an early lead. In the second, they tacked on another after a two-out error at second by Jason Kipnis. Brian Dozier continued his torrid second half with a double to left that scored speedster Byron Buxton all the way from first to make it 2-0.
The Cleveland Indians announced a handful of transactions on Thursday afternoon as the club took advantage of the September roster expansions.
The easy and expected moves were the activation of starting pitcher Danny Salazar from the paternity list and the formal addition of outfielder Coco Crisp after his acquisition from the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday.
The Indians added additional depth at the catching position with Yan Gomes on the 60-day disabled list by purchasing the contract of backstop Adam Moore from Triple-A Columbus. To make room on the 40-man roster for the seven-year MLB veteran, the Indians designated outfielder Collin Cowgill for assignment.
Three runs on a pair of home runs in the sixth inning spoiled an otherwise strong start from Indians starter Josh Tomlin as the Boston Red Sox defeated Cleveland 3-2 on Monday afternoon.
The two clubs squeezed the matinee into their schedules to make up for a postponed game from the first week of the season, giving David Ortiz one more taste of Cleveland. His farewell to the city at the plate was less than gracious.
Cleveland jumped out to a lead in the fourth against their former first round draft pick Drew Pomeranz. After the left-hander retired nine straight to start the ball game, Rajai Davis got the Indians on the board with a 3-2 homer to give Cleveland a 1-0 lead.
To paraphrase Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio broadcaster Matt Underwood, we waited two hours for that?
After a rain delay struck for more than two hours in the top of the eleventh inning, Minnesota loaded the bases in the bottom half and scored a walk-off victory on an error at home plate by Yan Gomes as the Twins defeated the Cleveland Indians in extras, 5-4.
The wait was hardly worth it for the Indians, who had their inning paused with two outs in the top of the eleventh by the expected thunderstorms that hit the Minneapolis region. Minnesota reliever Trevor May made easy work of Gomes after the delay with a one-pitch fly out to right before the Twins attacked rookie right-hander Joe Colon in the bottom half.
A sellout crowd at Progressive Field to support the first place Cleveland Indians while taking in beautiful weather, dollar dogs, and a postgame pyrotechnics display was treated to frequent fireworks throughout the night as the Tribe used five home runs and a stellar start from Corey Kluber to blow out the Bronx Bombers, 10-2, on Friday night.
After Kluber got a double play ball to get out of the first, the Indians bats went to work against New York’s rookie righty Chad Green. Carlos Santana left the yard with a shot to right and Jason Kipnis followed with a shot of his own to give the Indians a two-run lead two batters into the game. Francisco Lindor walked before Green got a pair of outs, but Lonnie Chisenhall gave Cleveland their third three-homer inning of the season with a clout to right to score a pair and give Kluber a 4-0 lead to work with.