The Columbus Clippers will kick off a special 2018 season on Friday night.
Huntington Park will play host to both the Triple-A All-Star Game on July 11 and the Triple-A National Championship Game on September 18, putting the home of the Clippers in the spotlight for some of the biggest games in minor league baseball in 2018. This season also happens to be the tenth anniversary of the Clippers move downtown from their old digs at Cooper Stadium.
Last season, the Clippers missed the playoffs, finishing second in the International League’s West Division with a 71-71 record. The team has a lot of new faces for 2018, looking to improve upon that mark under another year of Chris Tremie’s leadership. It will be year 13 as a manager for Tremie in the Indians’ farm system, including his sixth straight season at the helm in Columbus.
With ten days until the start of the regular season, the Cleveland Indians made their biggest camp cuts of the spring on Monday as eleven players were optioned, reassigned, or released by the club. The moves lowered the team’s spring training population at the Goodyear complex from 50 residents to 39.
Most of the moves were expected, but a pair were much more significant to the makeup of things come March 29 when the season kicks off. Yandy Diaz and prospects Eric Haase and Eric Stamets were optioned to Triple-A Columbus. Offseason additions Brandon Barnes, Preston Claiborne, Stephen Fife, and Neil Ramirez, in addition to returning minor leaguers Cameron Hill and Richie Shaffer, were reassigned to minor league camp. Veteran catcher Ryan Hanigan and outfielder Melvin Upton, Jr. were given their releases from their previously agreed upon minor league deals to search for jobs elsewhere.
Diaz and Upton were the most significant moves of the day.
Yandy Diaz has another golden opportunity this spring to kick down a door to the Majors and earn a spot on the Cleveland Indians’ Opening Day roster.
With several starters already ailing this Cactus League season, Diaz has a shot to break camp with the Indians just as he did a season ago. This time around, the moment may not be too big for him.
The Cleveland Indians may very well be building a contingency plan in the event that the club is unable to re-sign Carlos Santana.
While the Indians have already picked up the option on outfielder Michael Brantley, who could potentially factor in the first base mix for 2018, the club is also working to make sure that it has as many internal candidates as possible to pick up time at “the other hot corner”.
According to a Sunday news release by Nelson Medina Arnías on LVBP.com, the online home of the Venezuelan Winter League (Liga Venezolana de Béisbol Profesional), Indians utility man Yandy Diaz will work at least one game a week at first base while playing for Leones del Caracas this fall and winter.
Baseball sure is fun when you’re on the winning side of the ledger.
For the Cleveland Indians, it’s been nearly two straight weeks of good times. And while there was a holiday to celebrate Monday in Labor Day, it was no off day for the Tribe as they won their 12th straight ball game with a 5-3 win over the White Sox from Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.
The Indians (81-56) had some timely hitting, some good quality starting pitching from Trevor Bauer, and a bit of a tight rope act from the bullpen, but the club secured yet another win in formally knocking the White Sox (54-82) out of playoff contention while guaranteeing the south side club a losing season. Cleveland, meanwhile, has locked in a fifth straight winning season.
The Cleveland Indians appear to be in postseason form, which does not bode well for the last place Chicago White Sox as the Tribe visits Guaranteed Rate Field for four games this week.
The Indians (80-56) have won a season-high eleven straight games and have started their eleven-game road trip with a 7-0 start. A three-game sweep of the New York Yankees in the Bronx was followed by the Indians’ first ever four-game sweep of the Tigers in Detroit. The hot stretch has helped Cleveland open up a nine-game lead in the American League Central over the Minnesota Twins. The Tribe’s magic number has been reduced to 18 in the process. In addition to their eleven-game winning streak, the Indians have won 16 of their last 20 and 22 of their last 30.
Two first inning runs would be all the support he would get, but Trevor Bauer and the Cleveland bullpen would make the runs stand up as the Indians defeated the New York Yankees, 2-1, in game one of Wednesday’s doubleheader from Yankee Stadium.
Bauer and left-hander Jaime Garcia faced off against one another in the day’s first game and the Indians gave Bauer a pair of runs of support before he even took the mound. Francisco Lindor started the game with a single to right. He stole second after a fly out by Brandon Guyer and moved to third on a single to left by Jose Ramirez. A passed ball by Gary Sanchez allowed Lindor to score and Ramirez to move into scoring position and Yandy Diaz delivered the second run of the frame with a single to center.
If Corey Kluber wins the American League Cy Young award this season for a second time in his career, he may have his teammates to thank. For the second time this month, the Indians pounded Boston southpaw and assumed leader in the race for the top pitching award, Chris Sale, for seven runs and dealt him the shortest start of his career on Thursday night as Cleveland routed the Boston Red Sox, 13-6.
When Cleveland visited Boston earlier in the month, Sale was hit hard early for seven runs on eight hits by the Indians in a start that lasted just five innings. Sale, with a 5-7 career record in 28 appearances against the Indians, had a chance to get even, but the Tribe brought the bats in the regular season finale between the two clubs, making up some for mustering just four hits over the previous two games in a pair of defeats.
A quality start by left-hander Shawn Morimando sent the Columbus Clippers to an 8-1 victory over rival Indianapolis on Friday night.
With less than a month to go until the All-Star break, the Clippers have climbed back within two games of the .500 mark at 29-31 on the season. Their surge towards a winning record has been made possible by a 6-2 record in June. The bats in general have come to life for the Clippers over the course of the last three weeks, as since the final week of May, they have put up six runs or more in eight of the 15 games played.
A busy week of roster transactions continued on Tuesday as the Cleveland Indians made five roster moves prior to their game with the Tampa Bay Rays.
The biggest of the moves is the promotion of top prospect Bradley Zimmer to the big league club. The addition of the fourth-year pro, who can play both center and right field, became a necessity when Abraham Almonte was placed on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday with a right biceps strain.
Yandy Diaz got the phone call from the Cleveland Indians a little earlier than some might have expected when he was recalled earlier in the week to help the team replace Michael Brantley in the lineup for at least a few days on the turf in Toronto while he recouped from a sprained right ankle. An impressive hitting display by Diaz after his demotion to Triple-A Columbus on April 21 certainly merited that quick second look at the hot-hitting utility man by the Tribe.
The bat has normally not been the problem for Diaz during his professional career, but an inconsistent start with the stick and lingering questions about his ability to play an adequate defense at the Major League level left him in need of regular playing time somewhere, and such an opportunity did not exist with the Indians a few weeks into the regular season schedule.