Baseball takes little time off in between seasons, so neither can we. Follow along at Did the Tribe Win Last Night as we count down to March 26, when the Cleveland Indians host the Detroit Tigers for game one of the 2020 season. – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 88 Days
Reliever Phil Maton added his name to the exclusive club of 88s in Tribe history when he took the mound for Cleveland on August 15 of last season. He joined a short list of previous members of that group, which included utility man Rene Gonzales (1994) and fellow reliever Josh Outman (2014).
Jason Kipnis enjoyed his return to Citi Field, but the rest of the Clevelanders in town could not say the same as the New York Mets spoiled the Indians’ first trip to the ten-year old ball park with a 9-2 win on Tuesday.
A day off did little for the Tribe after splitting a tough four-game series against the crosstown Yankees over the weekend. A 15-minute hop across the city brought the Tribe to Queens as Cleveland knocked off one of two remaining ball parks across the 30-team league that it had yet to play in (Atlanta’s SunTrust Park is the last active stadium remaining that the Indians have yet to play at). Kipnis, who represented the American League there in the 2013 All-Star Game, had two of the Indians’ six hits and scored both runs in his first game there since that Midsummer Classic, but the rest of the offense was held in check despite plenty of opportunities with runners in scoring position against Mets pitching.
The on-going injury concerns for Indians pitcher Danny Salazar continued on Thursday, when he was removed from his first start off of the injured list in his first action since 2017 with a groin strain. After being evaluated by the team training staff on Friday, he was placed on the 10-day injured list.
Also joining Salazar on the injured list was left-handed reliever Tyler Olson with a non-baseball medical issue. Olson is dealing with the shingles.
The Indians added to their relief pitching depth on Friday afternoon with the acquisition of right-hander Phil Maton from the San Diego Padres.
Maton was dealt by the Padres on Friday as the team looked to call up hard-throwing 20-year-old right-hander Andres Munoz from Triple-A El Paso. The Indians shipped international bonus pool money to San Diego for Maton’s services, which freed up the roster space needed for Munoz.
It marked the second time in as many weeks that Cleveland has picked up minor league depth at the top farm level, following the team’s acquisition of utility man Andrew Velazquez from Tampa Bay the week earlier.