Major League Baseball will kick off the 2019 season with its earliest start ever (excluding international openers) as all 30 teams will take the field on March 28. Follow along with Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we count down the days until Opening Day 2019. – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 49 days
Sometimes, the wait is worth it. Such has been the case for southpaw Tyler Olson, who is expected to return to the number 49 for a third straight season with the Indians.
It wasn’t long ago that Olson was claimed by the Indians on waivers, a castaway joining his fourth different organization in six months and his fifth in 19 months.
In a season of firsts for Trevor Bauer, his most recent one not only hurt, but has proven costly.
The Cleveland Indians announced on Tuesday afternoon that instead of making his next scheduled start on Friday as hoped, Bauer had been placed on the 10-day disabled list (retroactive to August 12) with a small stress fracture in his right leg. The stint on the disabled list is the first of Bauer’s Major League career.
After acquiring a pair of new relief arms to shore up their problematic bullpen, the Cleveland Indians announced a handful of transactions in advance of their second half opener with the Texas Rangers on Friday.
Relievers Brad Hand and Adam Cimber, acquired on Thursday from the San Diego Padres for top prospect Francisco Mejia, were added to the 25- and 40-man rosters. The Indians also announced that minor leaguer Yandy Diaz was recalled from Columbus, while the contract of outfielder Melky Cabrera was selected from Triple-A for the second time this season.
One day after taking a line drive off of his right elbow, the Cleveland Indians formally placed Carlos Carrasco on the 10-day disabled list on Sunday morning. It would not be the only roster move of the day for the Tribe, as the club also placed reliever Tyler Olson on the disabled list with a left latissimus dorsi strain.
The Indians rallied back in a wild five-run fifth inning and never looked back on Monday afternoon as Cleveland held off the Chicago White Sox, 9-6, in a special Memorial Day afternoon start.
Adam Plutko returned to the mound for his third start of the month and his second since stifling the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, when he did not give up a hit until the seventh inning. In his second battle of the year with a team from Chicago, the effort would be extremely different than his six-plus innings of shutout baseball last week, but the end result would be the same for him and the Tribe.
The Astros overcame an early two-run deficit with three runs in the fifth and five more in the sixth off of Indians starter Mike Clevinger and a bad middle relief effort again as Cleveland fell, 8-2, to Houston in game one of a four-game set from Progressive Field.
The Indians were able to do some early damage against tough right-hander Charlie Morton, who brought a perfect 6-0 record to the table on Thursday and a win against the Indians last Friday, but the Tribe pitching was not able to make a pair of third inning runs hold up. Clevinger was good early, but a home run in the fifth gave Houston the lead and things imploded in a messy sixth inning that saw four different Cleveland pitchers take the mound.
Lance McCullers took a perfect game into the sixth inning and a pair of big extra base hits in the late innings powered the Houston Astros to a 3-1 win over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday night.
While the Indians avoided some of the more productive members of the dominant Astros starting rotation, McCullers reminded the Tribe that he is just as valuable a part of that pitching mix as the rest. Making his second career start against Cleveland, he was unhittable for much of the night and was locked in an entertaining pitchers’ duel with the Indians’ Carlos Carrasco, one decided late on some big extra base hits for the ‘stros.
Tyler Naquin has spent much of the last month and a half trying to prove that he can be a valuable contributor on the Cleveland Indians roster, whether it be in a starting role in right field for the time being or coming off of the bench. With an increased opportunity for playing time, he has come through with a big home run earlier this week and he extended his hitting streak to a season-high eight games on Friday with another key hit in the clutch, but the latter one will cost him some playing time.
Performing at a high level with a perfect opportunity to make a case to help out the Indians throughout the season, Naquin was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Saturday morning with a left hamstring strain. He suffered the injury running the bases after his big two-run double in the Indians’ six-run fourth inning of Friday night’s 10-9 loss to the Kansas City Royals.
Over the last two weeks, the Cleveland Indians have faced a harsh reminder of the significance that Andrew Miller has on the team’s success as the bullpen has floundered in his absence while he dealt with a left hamstring strain.
The relief staff can begin to settle back in to its old roles, or at least they can within a few more days, as the Indians activated their All-Star left-hander from the 10-day disabled list and placed fellow southpaw Tyler Olson on paternity leave.
Olson could be away from the club anywhere from one to three days as a result of his placement on the temporary list.
There have been games during the Indians’ current eleven-game homestand that they had no business winning and game one of Thursday’s doubleheader with the Toronto Blue Jays was one of them. Despite rallying back several times, Cleveland ended on the losing side of a 13-11 final to Toronto on a grand slam by Yangervis Solarte in the top of the eleventh.
On what was scheduled to be a busy day at Progressive Field for the Indians and Blue Jays Thursday, the long day was prolonged by a nearly two-hour long rain delay before the day’s festivities finally got under way. Instead of sticking to the script and playing a traditional nine-inning affair before jumping into game two, the two clubs decided that four hours and 47 minutes would be needed to determine a winner.
There was a time, around this point last season, in which many people thought All-Star left-handed reliever Andrew Miller may be the most indispensable player on the Cleveland Indians roster. Indeed, he is extremely important to the ball club and its fortunes. The 2016 MVP of the American League Championship Series remains one of game’s best bullpen arms and is probably the best hurler out of Tribe manager Terry Francona‘s very talented bullpen. However, with injuries to their star relief ace last year, the Indians learned that their season does not need to be derailed without the big southpaw they added at the 2016 traded deadline.
What the Tribe, instead, learned a season ago is that it has another very good left-handed relief option in Tyler Olson. Olson is not in the class of Miller, though few are. Olson, however, may be coming into his own as a Major League pitcher in his late 20s.
There was no fooling around this April Fool’s Day as offense was again the story from Safeco Field as Seattle and the Cleveland Indians combined for four home runs in a 5-4 slugfest that went in favor of the home Mariners.
While the long ball would tell the tale on Sunday afternoon, it was a two-out base knock that started the scoring on the day for the Indians against Mariners right-hander Mike Leake. After Edwin Encarnacion struck out looking to start the second inning, Lonnie Chisenhall singled to right and Roberto Perez worked a walk. A fly to left from Tyler Naquin left the inning in the balance, but Bradley Zimmer drove a sinker to left for an RBI-single to put the Indians on top, 1-0.