Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | September 18, 2021

Scroll to top

Top

No Comments

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 10

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 10

| On 18, Mar 2019

While snow was falling again in northeast Ohio, sports fans moved another day closer to the start of the 2019 Major League Baseball regular season. Join Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we continue our crawl to Opening Day – BT

Countdown to Opening Day – 10 days

Jake Bauers will have some big shoes to fill this year as he attempts to replace some of the production that left town in the trade that brought him to the Cleveland Indians.

The left-handed hitting first baseman and outfield option made his Major League debut a season ago with the Tampa Bay Rays. The 23-year-old, who played first, left, and right for Tampa in his 96 games, struggled with the strikeout and hit for a low average just one tick above the Mendoza line, but a good walk rate and some significant flashes of pop give the youngster an intriguing upside.

Bauers was part of the same return that brought Carlos Santana back to Cleveland after one year in Philadelphia. The move cost the Indians designated hitter/first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, who had worn the number ten with the Indians during the previous two seasons. Also on the move in the trade were third baseman Yandy Diaz and pitching prospect Cole Sulser, who both landed with the Rays, and international slot money that was sent with Encarnacion to Seattle.

Encarnacion – Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

One of the big questions that the Indians had this spring was determining where Bauers would best benefit the club. While first base is his most logical destination, manager Terry Francona may have learned that it is better to keep Santana on the field at first than slotting him in as the team’s DH regularly. Santana has put the time in to develop into a first baseman after years behind the plate and the forgettable experiment at third base and his offensive numbers seem to reflect that keeping engaged in the game pitch by pitch offensively and defensively serves him much better than only being involved in the action every couple of innings at the plate alone.

With voids in the corner outfield spots, Bauers may likely be headed to left, where the team is looking to replace the production of long-time Indian Michael Brantley, who is now a member of the Houston Astros. Relying on the unproven Bauers as the replacement there may be a gamble, as his splits may lean towards him being more of a platoon option, but time will tell as the sample size on him at the big league level is still small. Francona could still utilize other outfield options in tandem with Bauers to try to maximize the positions, with the only lock in the outfield established currently being Leonys Martin in center. Plenty of other options for the corner spots remain in camp, with Greg Allen, Jordan Luplow, and Tyler Naquin still with the team. Bradley Zimmer is working his way back to full health for a return later in the season, and veteran Carlos Gonzalez is in Goodyear taking his physical before trying to get into regular season condition as soon as possible.

While Bauers will look to find his role with the Indians and prove that he is a regular MLB player, Encarnacion will begin a new phase of his career in the Pacific Northwest with the Mariners. The 36-year-old had brought something to the Indians that the club had lacked for much of the last two decades as a power-hitting threat from the right side of the plate. That void once again is opened, with no logical internal candidates to fill that role.

Encarnacion’s departure was largely a money move. The Indians owed him $21.7 million for the coming season, the high water mark of his three-year deal. They also were going to have to pay out another $5 million at the minimum for the 2020 season, if electing to decline the $20 million team option in his pact for his age-37 season.

There were some slight declines in his numbers a season ago. He appeared in 20 fewer games than the previous season, which easily could account for the lighter production in the extra base hit department. He struck out one fewer time than in 2017, despite having 90 fewer plate appearances, and he walked 41 fewer times than his career high 104 free passes in his first year in Cleveland. His batting average was 19 points lower than his previous career average, his on-base percentage was 18 points lighter, and his slugging was 25 points below his career .499 mark. The one number that definitely did not fall off was his RBI tally, as he matched his 2017 figure with 107, the third-best mark in the American League.

The Indians will replace a chunk of the 70 homers that Encarnacion hit in his two years with the club with the return of Santana and the expected contributions from Bauers, all while shifting some money around better over the coming seasons.

Other notable 10s in Tribe history: George Uhle (1936), Jim Hegan (1947-50), Vic Power (1958-61), Max Alvis (1962-69), Ray Fosse (1976-77), Pat Tabler (1983-88), Mark Lewis (1991-92), Alvaro Espinoza (1993-96), Coco Crisp (2002-05), Kelly Shoppach (2006-09), Yan Gomes (2013-16)

Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images

*** ** * ** ***

Miss out on our other Countdown pieces? Check out more Indians history below.

Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 99
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 90 – Adam Cimber
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 88
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 77
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 76
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 75
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 73
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 72
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 71
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 70
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 69
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 68
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 67
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 66
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 65
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 64
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 63
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 62
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 61 – Dan Otero
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 60
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 59 – Carlos Carrasco
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 58 – Neil Ramirez
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 57 – Shane Bieber
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 56 – Cody Anderson
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 55 – Roberto Perez
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 54
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 53
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 52 – Mike Clevinger
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 51
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 50
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 49 – Tyler Olson
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 48
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 47 – Trevor Bauer
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 46 – Jon Edwards
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 45 – Adam Plutko
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 44 – Nick Goody
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 43
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 42
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 41 – Carlos Santana
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 40
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 39 – Oliver Perez
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 38 – Eric Haase
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 37
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 36
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 35 – Ben Taylor
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 34
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 33 – Brad Hand
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 32
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 31 – Danny Salazar
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 30 – Tyler Naquin
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 29
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 28 – Corey Kluber
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 27
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 26
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 25
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 24
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 23
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 22 – Jason Kipnis
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 21
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 20
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 19
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 18
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 17
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 16
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 15
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 14
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 13 – Leonys Martin
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 12 – Francisco Lindor
Countdown to Indians’ Opening Day – 11 – Jose Ramirez

Submit a Comment