The excitement of the new season is not just contained up on the shore of Lake Erie, but is going strong in Columbus as the Clippers start their new season. This season marks their fifth year in their beautiful new ballpark, Huntington Park.
The Clippers ended last year by closely missing the playoffs, finishing with a record of 75-69. Last season was viewed as a disappointment, as their 2011 season was capped off by winning their second consecutive Governors Cup. This season however is viewed with the same sense of strong optimism that follows the Indians into the new season.
The Clippers this season are lead by a new manager Chris Tremie. Tremie played in the majors from 1995 through 2004, being a journeyman moving through six organizations. After his career was over, he started managing for the Tribe through the Gulf Coast Indians, working his way up to the Akron Aeros for the last two seasons and now the Clippers this year.
This Sunday Erik Pinkerman and Ronnie Tellalian discusss some recent minor moves made by the Indians, the decision making process and offseason strategy by the front office and guys who were not on the 2012 Opening Day roster, but will …
After a disappointing 2012 Cleveland Indians season the organization is at a crossroads to decide how to progress with the organization, not just for the 2013 season but several seasons to come. Decisions involve ownerships, the front office, managerial and coaching decisions and the players. For the month of October, we’ll look at how the Indians ended up in their current predicament, but most importantly, Where Do the Indians Go From Here. Today we analyze a player out of minor league options in 2013.
Matt LaPorta has been a swing and a miss, literally, figuratively and now statistically.
LaPorta was once a top prospect and thought to be a slugger of the future. After four disappointing stints at the major league level, his time in Cleveland has been tainted, and his future is uncertain.
Out of options for 2013, LaPorta either will need to be retained on the major league roster, traded or given his outright release. In order to return to the minor leagues, LaPorta will have to clear waivers each time, and despite his struggles, some team will claim him. In 2012 for the Indians, LaPorta played 22 games, moving back and forth from the big league club to Triple-A Columbus. He batted .241, hit one home run and slugged an embarrassing .328. Things were not always this bleak for the once hot prospect.
By Christian Petrila
It was a football-less Sunday in Cleveland, but the Indians more than made up for it by outslugging the Kansas City Chiefs err… Royals, 15-3.
The Indians struck in the second off of Kansas City starter, Luke Hochevar. Lonnie Chisenhall whiffed for the first out, but Jack Hannahan followed with a bloop single into left. After Brent Lillibridge popped out to shallow left, Casey Kotchman got a bloop single of his own to fall into right. “Laser” Lou Marson then slapped an RBI single to right field to score Hannahan and give the Indians a 1-0 lead before Jason Donald popped out on the first pitch he saw.
By Bob Toth
In a normal season, the return of Travis Hafner would have created some excitement for the Cleveland Indians’ fan base.
This season has been far from normal.
A September return by Hafner, the senior member of the Tribe in terms of years of service with the club, time in the major leagues, and age, instead cuts into the playing time of call-ups Russ Canzler, Ezequiel Carrera, Lonnie Chisenhall, Matt LaPorta, Thomas Neal, Cord Phelps, and Vinny Rottino.
What point does it serve playing Hafner at this point, anyways?
By Mike Brandyberry
Last night the Indians took the long road to defeat, using 10 relief pitchers behind starter David Huff and losing in 12 innings, 6-5. When Matt LaPorta forgot to cover first base on a ground ball to Jason Kipnis, the Twins Darin Mastroianni was able to score from second base on what should have been the final out of the frame.
The miscue becomes the most recent in a long list of Matt LaPorta blunders, but it could be the final nail in the coffin to his Indians’ career. The Tribe elected to invest in Casey Kotchman this season than let the centerpiece of the C.C. Sabathia trade have another season to try and grow at the major league level.
By Christian Petrila
The Indians rallied in the ninth to overcome sloppy errors and stun the Texas Rangers to avoid the sweep on Thursday night, winning 5-4.
After three and a half innings of silent bats,Texasfinally broke through. Zach McAllister got David Murphy to fly out to left. After that, though, Adrian Beltre – a thorn in the Indians’ side all year – singled right back up the middle. Nelson Cruz then blasted a double off the wall in right field and Michael Young drove inTexas’ third baseman with a single to right field. Then, to keep up with the Indians’ trend this last month and a half, what appeared to be an inning-ending double play turned into a Rangers run when Brent Lillibridge’s throw to first sailed about a foot over Matt LaPorta’s head at first and into the dugout. McAllister prevented further damage by striking out Geovany Soto to end the inning.
By Christian Petrila
I think it’s time to say the Matt LaPorta experience is just about over.
Since being recalled from Triple-A Columbus (again) on August 24, LaPorta has only played in six of Cleveland’s 15 games.