Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | July 5, 2020

Scroll to top

Top

No Comments

Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 36

Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 36

| On 19, Feb 2020

Baseball takes little time off in between seasons, so neither can we. Follow along at Did the Tribe Win Last Night as we count down to March 26, when the Cleveland Indians host the Detroit Tigers for game one of the 2020 season. – BT

Countdown to Opening Day – 36 days

The well-travelled Tyler Clippard was on the move again this winter, heading across the American League Central Division from the roster of the Cleveland Indians to that of the Minnesota Twins after putting up good numbers for the Tribe in 2019.

Clippard, who celebrated his 35th birthday on Valentine’s Day, will look to pitch with his tenth different big league club in what could be his 14th season of Major League action. He cashed in after his performance with the Indians as the Twins inked him to a one-year deal for $2.75 million.

Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Clippard – Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

The veteran right-handed reliever and two-time All-Star (in 2011 and 2014 with the Washington Nationals) was a late signing by the Indians last spring, joining the club on February 23. Thought to be in the mix for a bullpen spot on the Major League club, Clippard was scratched from contention in mid-March after suffering a mild pectoral strain that was expected to keep him out for the first couple of weeks of the regular season.

Clippard agreed to head to the minors, putting in his first work there since 2009. He made three appearances for the Columbus Clippers and had his contract purchased by Cleveland on April 25. He was there to stay after that, as he became a viable workhorse in manager Terry Francona’s bullpen.

He limited opposing hitters to a .158 average in his first full month in May, working eleven times while scattering four runs. He allowed five runs in a similar eleven games in June and made his first start of the season, working as an opener for the first of three times on the year. He worked nine times in relief in July, striking out 12 and issuing no walks in 12 2/3 innings.

Clippard was on top of his game in August, when he allowed just three runs on six hits with three walks in 15 innings over eleven games (including one start). He struck out 15, limited opposing hitters to a .122 average, and put up a 1.80 ERA and a 0.60 WHIP for the month. His September included 13 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings with his first win of the season, a .162 average against, and a 0.97 WHIP.

His combined work for the year included a 2.38 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP when working as a reliever in 50 outings. He had an 8.44 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP in three starts for the Indians.

Clippard shared after signing so early with the Twins (December 20) that he was glad that the free agency process did not drag out as long as it had previously in his career as his future was decided this time before Christmas, according to his December interview with MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM. Previously, the earliest on the calendar that Clippard had signed as a free agent was February 8.

Clippard will now get a chance to face off frequently against one of his former clubs, thanks to the unbalanced schedule. He will look to build off of some of the better numbers in his career while with the Indians, including a 2.90 ERA that was his best since his All-Star season in 2014 (1.83) and a 0.855 WHIP that was his lowest single-season number since his other All-Star campaign in 2011 (0.838).

*** ** * ** ***

Jesus Aguilar occupied 36 for the Indians for a few cups of coffee over three seasons from 2014 through 2016, but he surrendered his claim to the digits when Cleveland designated him for assignment ahead of the 2017 season (before turning into a legitimate slugger for the Milwaukee Brewers). Another player with high hopes, but few chances with the Tribe while wearing the same 36, Yandy Diaz followed a similar path as Aguilar, dumped last winter to the Tampa Bay Rays as part of the three-team trade that sent Edwin Encarnacion to Seattle and both Carlos Santana and Jake Bauers to Cleveland.

The two former Tribe farmhands were teammates with the Rays for the second half of last season and have put together some decent numbers with an opportunity to play regularly. Aguilar was claimed by Miami this winter on waivers.

Production from three-sixes in Indians history has historically been minimal. Aguilar’s years with the number exceeded the majority of those to wear it for the club before him, but he hit just one double with a .172 average during his Indians tenure and was deemed expendible. Diaz played in 88 games over the 2017 and 2018 seasons with one homer and a .283 average.

A total of 52 players have reportedly worn the number for the Tribe in regular season action, but only a handful have spent more than a few seasons representing it on the field. One of the best to do so, without argument, was Gaylord Perry, who joined the Indians organization following the 1971 season.

Perry - Focus on Sports

Perry – Focus on Sports

A North Carolina native, the 6’4″ right-hander signed with the San Francisco Giants in 1958 and made his debut in 1962. He would work sporadically in both starting and relief roles over the next few years before making a name for himself for his results on the mound in 1966, winning 21 games with a 2.99 ERA while making his first All-Star team.

He averaged 38 starts a season over the next three years with an ERA in the mid-2.00s before making his second All-Star trip in 1970. He led the National League with 23 wins, 41 starts, and 328 2/3 innings pitched while finishing second in the NL Cy Young voting. The Giants, however, were willing to move him to Cleveland after the next season, sending the 33-year-old righty and shortstop Frank Duffy to Cleveland for younger left-hander Sam McDowell.

The Indians organization was not unfamiliar to the Perry family. Gaylord’s older brother, Jim Perry, was signed by Cleveland prior to the 1956 season and reached the Majors with the club in 1959. He led the American League in wins in 1960 and was an All-Star in 1961, but he was dealt to the Minnesota Twins in May of 1963 after five unsuccessful relief appearances to start that season. He, like his brother, would bounce back and forth between the rotation and bullpen, finally latching on as a starter in 1969 at the age of 33 in a 20-win season. He took home the AL Cy Young Award the following season, winning an MLB-best 24 games in 1970 while making his second All-Star team. He made it a third Midsummer Classic trip in 1971 and remained with the Twins through 1972 before spending a season in Detroit. He returned to Cleveland and was reunited with his brother in 1974.

The younger Perry, who had developed the reputation of a spitballer and used that status to instill doubt and anticipation in opposing hitters, made quite a few new fans during his first season on the shores of Lake Erie. He would post an AL-best 24 wins, a career high, and fired 29 complete games with five shutouts, a 1.98 ERA, and a 0.98 WHIP. It led to a fourth All-Star trip and later, the first Cy Young Award in Indians history.

He went 19-19 in 1973 in his Cy defense, leading baseball with his second consecutive season with 29 complete games. He finished fourth in the Cy voting in 1974, going 21-13 with a 2.51 ERA and 1.02 WHIP while working as the starting pitcher for the first time in his fifth All-Star Game.

Perry with Corey Kluber - AP Photo

Perry with Corey Kluber – AP Photo

The 36-year-old Perry was 6-9 through his first 15 starts for the Tribe in 1975 when the cash-strapped club shipped him to the Texas Rangers for Jim Bibby, Jackie Brown, Rick Waits and $100,000. The move was aided by ongoing relationship problems between Perry and then-Indians manager Frank Robinson.

Perry bounced around after that. He spent two and a half seasons with the Rangers before he was traded to the San Diego Padres. There, in his first season with the team in 1978, he took home another Cy Young, doing so at the age of 41 at year’s end. He was an NL All-Star in 1979 before he returned to Texas in a deal for Willie Montanez. The second stay in Texas was much shorter than the first, as he was traded to the New York Yankees in August of 1980 with the team in the hunt for the pennant.

He left the Big Apple after the season and spent his final three seasons with the Atlanta Braves, Seattle Mariners, and Kansas City Royals. His 22-year career concluded with a 314-265 record in 777 appearances with a 3.11 ERA, 303 complete games, and 53 shutouts.

Perry was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991 on his third ballot. He joined the Indians Hall of Fame class of 2012 and the Giants honored him in 2016 with a statue outside of AT&T Park. San Francisco had previously retired his number 36 in 2005.

Other notable 36’s in Tribe history (52 in total): Hal Peck (1948-49), Sam Jones (1951), Sam Dente (1954-55), Rick Waits (1975-83), Jamie Easterly (1983-86), Albert Belle (1989), Herbert Perry (1994-96), Tom Martin (1998-2000), Jeremy Guthrie (2005), Paul Byrd (2006-08)

Photo: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

*** ** * ** ***

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

Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 99 (Daniel Robertson)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 90 (Adam Cimber)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 88 (Phil Maton)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 77 (Jack Armstrong)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 76 (Tom Magrann)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 75 (Mike Walker)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 73 (Ricardo Rincon)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 72 (Jason Giambi)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 71 (Johnny Hodapp)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 70 (James Karinchak, George Kontos)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 69 (Luis Medina)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 68 (Jefry Rodriguez, others)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 67 (Aaron Civale, others)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 66 (Yasiel Puig, others)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 65 (Zach Plesac, others)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 64 (Tom Kramer, others)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 63 (Josh Smith, others)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 62 (Nick Wittgren, others)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 61 (Dan Otero, others)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 60 (Jhonny Peralta, others)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 59 (Carlos Carrasco)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 58 (Neil Ramirez, others)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 57 (Shane Bieber)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 56 (Cody Anderson)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 55 (Roberto Perez)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 54 (Hunter Wood)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 53 (Logan Allen)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 52 (Mike Clevinger)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 51 (numerous)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 50 (James Hoyt, others)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 49 (Tyler Olson, others)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 48 (Emmanuel Clase, others)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 47 (Trevor Bauer)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 46 (Jon Edwards, others)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 45 (Adam Plutko)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 44 (Nick Goody, others)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 43 (Josh Tomlin, others)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 42 (Mike Jackson, others)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 41 (Carlos Santana, others)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 40 (Bobby Bradley, others)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 39 (Oliver Perez, others)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 38 (Eric Haase, others)
Countdown to Indians’ 2020 Opening Day – 37 (Cody Allen, others)

Submit a Comment