This season has not gone exactly according to plan for Lonnie Chisenhall. Most saw this as his breakout season where he would hit the ground running for the Tribe but that has not been the case. During his time in Cleveland this season, Chisenhall struggled heavily earning only a .213 batting average with just three home runs and 11 RBIs in 26 games played. While some might see these stats and be willing to pass on Chisenhall, his work this season in Columbus proves that would be a poor decision, as he has a batting average of .371 with five runs, 14 RBIs and 23 hits in only 62 at bats during his 15 games at Triple-A.
Tuesday night Lonnie Chisenhall crushed a home run in the bottom of the fourth inning off Roy Halladay. It was his only hit of the game, but the Indians went on to win in impressive fashion 14-2. The home run was the third on the season for the Tribe’s young third baseman. The blast pushed his slugging percentage over .400 and his batting average climbed to .222. The season is young, but Indians fans are hoping Chisenhall can put together a solid season and develop into the player that the Indians know he can be.
Chisenhall was once a highly touted prospect, as valued as Jason Kipnis, who rose to the Majors at light speed. A 2008 first round draft pick by the Indians at age 19, he made his Cleveland debut at just 22 years old. The future looked incredibly bright for Chisenhall, but injuries and struggles at the plate have stunted the development of what was once a top organization prospect.
If the Indians scored any more runs two at a time, they would have needed an ark on Tuesday night.
The Indians touched up Roy Halladay for three home runs and eight runs on their way to hanging seven home runs on the Phillies in a decidingly 14-2 victory at Progressive Field. Zach McAllister controlled the Phillies bats for seven strong innings, carding the Tribe’s third straight quality start.
Cleveland struck in the first inning for the third straight game. With one out in the inning, Jason Kipnis singled to center field and promptly stole second base. Asdrubal Cabrera grounded out to first base, moving Kipnis to third before Carlos Santana hit a mammoth home run that just hooked around the right field foul pole. The two run blast was Santana’s fifth homer of the young season, making the score 2-0 Tribe.
While much of the country watched closely as their favorite NFL teams stocked up this weekend on new prospects who could pay immediate dividends on their respective football teams, it is easy to lose track of players and drafts in Major League Baseball due to the expansive minor league system utilized in the sport.
It has been five years now since the drafting of the class of 2008. One of the more intriguing players to watch for the Cleveland Indians from that class this season will be Lonnie Chisenhall.
The former first round pick (29th overall) in that 2008 draft, Chisenhall made his first Opening Day roster for the Indians this season, after appearing at the major league level in each of the previous two years. He was given the starting nod after the team parted ways with Jack Hannahan after the completion of the 2012 season. Hannahan had been presumably keeping the seat warm at the hot corner for Chisenhall for the last two years.
Chisenhall is one of several players worthy of note in the Cleveland organization that has ties to the 2008 draft class.
This game was a game of patience. Both teams seemed poised and collected at the plate, waiting for their pitches and making the pitchers work but it was the Indians who took advantage of their opportunities the best and earned a 3-2 victory.
It seemed clear coming into this game that both teams were willing to give the starting pitchers a chance to work themselves into trouble with walks and then try to take advantage. Both starting pitchers, Justin Masterson and Dylan Axelrod, struggled to find the strike zone consistently producing heavy pitch counts and walks that led to runs.
The Indians fell behind early Friday evening and were never able to catch up, losing 3-2 to the Houston Astros.
All five runs in the game were scored on the home run ball. Brett Myers was stung by two home runs on the evening, while Lucas Harrell was only struck for one home run. The extra long ball turned out to be the difference in the game.
The Astros jumped on top in the bottom of the second inning, when with one out, Carlos Pena walked. J.D. Martinez then homered to right to give Houston a 2-0 lead. Rick Ankiel followed with a solo shot to make it back-to-back homers and give the Astros a 3-0 lead. The two homers were Myers’ ninth and tenth home runs allowed this season, respectively.
As of Monday afternoon, the Indians have a need to fill. It’s not a starter, not a hitter, not a coach.
The Indians are in need of someone with superior facial hair.
On Monday, the Indians shipped 26-year-old pitcher Eric Berger to the Houston Astros in exchange for catcher Chris Wallace. While Berger never made it to Cleveland in his time with the team, he did have a major league moustache.
The southpaw’s claim to fame was his moustache, which was reminiscent to the one Rollie Fingers became famous for back in the 1970s. It was a phenomenal show of facial superiority that few others throughout the Major Leagues could even compete with. Fortunately, the Indians have a few candidates who can certainly take Berger’s spot as Cleveland’s master of the moustache.
It is the first Sunday baseball game of the year and the Indians were looking at a pretty big game at this early stage in the season. After being shutout in the previous two matchups against the Rays, the Tribe needed to win today’s matchup and prevent the extension of this three game losing streak and avoiding the sweep.
Justin Masterson took the mound for the Indians against last year’s Cy Young winner, David Price for the Rays. What unfolded was an ace-like start for Masterson, and a hungry Indians offense routing the Rays 13-0.
The Indians’ bats seemed to come alive early against Price. Michael Bourn led off the game with a double, and later with one out stole third base for his first steal of the season, but Ryan Raburn struck out and Nick Swisher flew out to center to end the threat.
Compiled by Bob Toth
It has been too long since there was a buzz around the Cleveland Indians. It has been a refreshing change of pace this offseason and certainly helped to provide some distraction during the winter. Over the course of the last decade and more, the Indians have sat back and watched other teams race to outspend one another to upgrade their clubs while being handcuffed by Cleveland’s small market label and the burdensome contracts of underperforming stars. This season, they did not sit idly by.
Maybe Tribe closer Chris Perez stirred up the pot enough during last season to open up the eyes of the front office brass. The team was just not going to contend amongst the best of the best in the American League without opening up the checkbook a little. Maybe the poor turn out through the turnstiles sent a compelling message. Maybe losing what remaining airtime they had on Cleveland-based sports talk radio shows to the lackluster Cleveland Browns showed them the general disinterest in the once national pastime.
Whatever the reason was, the team spent and spent a lot and appears to be all the better (and more competitive) for it. Maybe the Cleveland Indians are back again.
By Kevin Schneider
As the Indians’ new additions gel with last year’s holdovers, it’s also time for fantasy-baseball owners to fine tune their draft strategy.
This draft promises to be an intriguing and perhaps hard-to-predict one for Tribe fans. Questions include:
How will speedster Michael Bourn’s stats hold up in a switch to the slugger-heavy American League?
How will new Indians darling Nick Swisher adjust from being a good player on a powerhouse team to being the big fish in a smaller pond?
During Spring Training the DTTWLN staff will profile and examine the coaches and players that make up and are vying to be part of the 2013 Cleveland Indians—A Team With A New Direction. Today, we examine one of the players that will need to take their game to the next level if the Indians plan to contend in the American League Central Division this season.
By Mike Brandyberry
What a difference a year makes.
A year ago, Chisenhall was fighting for a job with Jack Hannahan and struggling. Eventually, the job was lost and he started the 2011 season in Triple-A Columbus. This spring however, Chisenhall entered camp as the Tribe’s starting third baseman. This time year, there is no competition.
“It makes all the difference in the world,” Chisenhall said during an interview on Spring Training Daily. “I’m coming in this spring, making sure I get my work in and taking care of my body, so it’s a different mindset coming in. I’m not looking over my shoulder. I still have to play hard and play the game the right way.”
During this week’s podcast Ronnie Tellalian, Mike Brandyberry and Steve Eby talk about players having outstanding Spring Trainings including Lonnie Chisenhall, Ryan Raburn, Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir and what roles they will have come Opening Day. They also discuss …