Kluber Makes Quick Work of Royals With Career Day; Indians 5, Royals 1... April 24, 2014 | Craig Gifford
Clint Baseball: Age and New Experiences Are Motivators for Frazier... April 24, 2014 | Laurel Wilder
Maybe Too Young, But He’s Not Too Old: The Benefit of Veteran Jason Giambi... April 24, 2014 | Laurel Wilder
The Kipnis Redemption; Indians 5, Royals 3... April 23, 2014 | Steve Eby
Three weeks into the 2014 campaign, the Carolina Mudcats are a stark contrast to last season’s squad not only on the field but also in the standings. While the talent level at Five County Stadium may seem tame compared to the star-studded team last year, the Muddies have viable prospects that, should the current form continue, could make progressions within the Cleveland system. Much of the success this term is coming from players who had some High-A ball experience in 2013.
“When you have guys that have been [in High-A baseball], it always helps,” Carolina manager Scooter Tucker said. “It brings something to the table. They become leaders to the younger guys. They can relate things they have already heard or known. On the field, the years of experience can translate into better baseball.”
Pick a player:
Player A: 9 games, 8 hits, 23 AB, 4 RBI, 3 SB, .348 BA, .484 OBP, .832 OPS
Player B: 4 games, 2 hits, 17 AB, 0 RBI, 2 SB, .118 BA, .211 OBP, .328 OPS
Easy right??? Now pick another player:
Player A: $875,000 in 2014
Player B: $13,500,000 in 2014
Also a no-brainer? Unfortunately, while the answers to both questions are easy, in baseball it seems the more expensive player is going to get the playing time ten times out of ten, regardless of the statistics.
In Danny Salazar’s last two starts he’s matched up against Justin Verlander and James Shields. In games that leave any starter a small margin of error, Salazar has failed to match either of the veteran, ace moundmen.
This evening it was Shields and the Royals showing the young, fireballer the progress that still remains in his development if he is to become an elite pitcher in the American League, someday. After three strong innings and a lead, Salazar was exploited by Kansas City the second time through the order, while Shields adjusted and got stronger as the game continued.
What resulted was a 8-2 Royals victory, but possibly more crucial, questions about Salazar’s place in the rotation and on the roster seem to at least be a discussion point moving forward.
When most baseball fans think of Steve Farr, images of the excellent reliever and closer in a Royals and Yankees uniform come to mind. Farr, who twice had seasons with sub-2.00 ERAs, actually could be viewed in a Cleveland Indians jersey when his Major League Baseball career began in 1984. He not only started his career on the shores of Lake Erie, but also appeared in the starting rotation more times than out of the pen in his rookie year. Ten years later, Farr very nearly ended his career with the Tribe, as well. In the middle, he entered the Tribe history books thanks to a young rookie named Jim Thome.
Farr was (no pun intended) far from an instant success in professional baseball. He was signed as an amateur free agent in 1976 by the Pittsburgh Pirates at the age of 19. He kicked around Pittsburgh’s minor league system, into the 1983 campaign, never getting above the Double-A level. The Pirates dealt the right-handed throwing Farr to Cleveland in June 1983 in a small deal.
When a player finds out that they won’t be moving up to the next level in the minors that can be disheartening. This can bring a sense of bitterness and resentment towards the team because they feel like they deserve to be promoted. This isn’t the case for hot hitting third basemen Giovanny Urshela.
Urshela was named Indians Minor League Player of the Week this morning for April 14-20. During the week, Urshela hit .353 (6-17), with a home run, nine runs batted in and a .950 OPS in five games. He had back-to-back multi-hit performances on April 17 and 18 at Bowie, including a game-winning, two-run single in the top of the eighth inning last Thursday.
Although he moved to Florida when he was 5 years old, Cleveland – and the Indians – was never far from George Christian Pappas’ heart.
Pappas was born in Parma, and his earliest memories involve the Indians’ new home at Jacobs Field, which opened when he was 2 years old. Pappas, now 22 and the communications coordinator for the Tampa Bay Rays, has authored a book, “A Tribe Reborn: How the Cleveland Indians of the 90s Went From Cellar Dwellers to Playoff Contenders,” published by Sports Publishing.
It’s a funny game, this game of baseball.
If Monday evening’s game was judged to determine the winner, it’s unlikely the Indians would have been declared the winner. However, Zach McAllister worked through trouble all night and the Indians offense had 11 hits to compensate for three errors in the game. The Indians punished former Tribe pitcher, Jeremy Guthrie, with two, two-run home runs.
While the Indians made follies around the field, keeping the Royals in the game, Kansas City made outstanding defensive play after another. Several defensive gems by the best fielding team in the American League kept them in the game all night. Meanwhile, Cleveland upped their team total of errors to 19, second to just Oakland in all of Major League baseball.
The American League Central Division is more up for grabs this season than any time in recent history and both the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals know it. After finishing two and three in the division behind the Detroit Tigers last season, each is hoping to stay in the thick of things early in the 2014 campaign in hopes that they can lay claim to the crown at season’s end.
Kansas City (9-8) comes to town for the first time this season for a four-game weekday series. They took two of three from the Minnesota Twins over the weekend. Jason Vargas pitched seven shutout innings and Mike Moustakas hit a two-run homer on Friday as the Royals blanked the Twins, 5-0. A five-run fourth inning on Saturday propelled the Royals to a fifth straight victory, a 5-4 final. Alex Gordon had three of their ten hits on the game. A rough outing on Sunday from rookie Yordano Ventura ended their win streak as they lost 8-3.
Cleveland (8-10) dropped two of three to the Toronto Blue Jays. They lost a heartbreaker on Friday night, 3-2, after loading the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but a liner by Michael Brantley was blocked by first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, who recovered to end the game. The Indians dropped their third straight game, their second such streak this season, in a 5-0 loss at the hands of Mark Buehrle on Saturday. The Tribe recovered on Sunday to claim a 6-4 come-from-behind victory, courtesy in large part to a two-out, three-run double by David Murphy in the sixth.