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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | September 24, 2020

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Posts By Mike Brandyberry

Cleveland’s New #23: Dr. Smooth

March 27, 2013 |

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 are difference makers in how successful the Indians season will be.

By Laurel Wilder

Michael Brantley makes a lot of things seem effortless. Dubbed “Dr. Smooth” by a few Cleveland sports writers in 2012, Brantley’s transitions in the outfield or in the batting order have occurred without much fuss. His steadily-improving Major League stats have furthered his smooth move from a solid minor league player to a promising big leaguer, despite setbacks like his 2011 wrist surgery or spring training forearm injury.

With his potential and abilities growing, Brantley’s smoothest achievement yet may come in restoring Cleveland’s faith in wearing the number 23. Ever since LeBron James took his talents to South Beach in 2010, his former number has become synonymous with betrayal and letdowns.

Brantley, however, seems to be on the brink of changing that. Read More

Roster Moves on Monday the First of Many

March 27, 2013 |

By Christian Petrila

One of the busiest offseasons in Indians history is winding down, but the roster shuffling is far from over for Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti.

The Indians announced their Opening Day 25-man roster on Monday, but anyone could see that the roster the team announced would be far from final.

The first order of business for Antonetti is to figure out how to add Scott Kazmir and Ryan Raburn to the 40- and 25-man rosters.

Kazmir was announced as the team’s fifth starter on Monday, but he still isn’t on either roster. However, he likely won’t be officially added to the roster until Apr. 6–the day of his first scheduled start.

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Pestano a Perfect Fit for the Indians Bullpen

March 26, 2013 |

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 are difference makers in how successful the Indians season will be.

By Bob Toth

Bullpens prove to be somewhat unpredictable and temperamental machines from year to year. They may function adequately as a whole for a time with no necessary attention needed. Sometimes, parts may show some wear and tear and need repair, putting more strain on the remaining pieces of the machine to shoulder the additional load. Other times, the parts may just need to be recalibrated from overuse and other pieces may break down altogether and need to be completely replaced.

In the machine that is the baseball bullpen, guys get overworked, they lose their mechanics, or they fight through injuries. The league may adapt, making them less successful if they are not able to make the necessary adjustments as quickly as possible.

The Cleveland Indians have a nice problem on their hands. They return three solid back end of the bullpen arms in Joe Smith, Vinnie Pestano, and closer Chris Perez. The three combined to be one of the more formidable units in all of baseball last season.

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Late Spring Trade of Lofton to Atlanta Changed Tribe’s Future

March 26, 2013 |

By Evan Matsumoto

It may have been his shining moment as a baseball player:

Kenny Lofton stepped into the batter’s box during Game 6 of the 1995 installment of the American League Championship Series only to see Seattle Mariners’ ace Randy Johnson returning his gaze. The mid-October air was chilled but alive—the Indians could clinch the series with a win or would be forced into Game 7 with a loss.

Clinging to a 1-0 lead in the eighth inning, Lofton dug in to face Johnson just moments after Johnson gave up a leadoff double to Tony Pena. With a man in scoring position, Lofton laid down a bunt that trickled up the third baseline. Lofton beat the throw to first. Two pitches, a stolen base and a 180-foot dash later, the Tribe was up 4-0.

The rest, as they say, is history. The Indians lost the 1995 World Series to the Atlanta Braves in six games. In 1996, despite claiming the best record in baseball, the Tribe was knocked out of the playoffs in the Division Series.

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Indians Name Kazmir Fifth Starter, Make Several Roster Decisions

March 25, 2013 | | 2 Comments

By Mike Brandyberry

The Indians made several roster decisions on Monday afternoon, including naming Scott Kazmir the team’s fifth starter. However, Kazmir will not begin the season on the team’s Opening Day 25-man roster.

Cleveland informed Kazmir he has won the fifth starter’s job, but will not be added to the Indians roster until his first scheduled start. They also informed Jason Giambi he has made the roster, but he will begin the season on the 15-day disabled list and will not be eligible to be activated until April 9, one day after the team’s home opener against the New York Yankees. Ezequiel Carrera was designated for assignment to make room for Giambi on the 40-man roster.

Kazmir will make his first start for the Indians on April 6 in Tampa Bay, the team that he had so much success with from 2004-2009. He was an All-Star with the Rays in 2006 and 2008 and led the American League in strikeouts in 2007. He struggled in 2010 with the Los Angeles Angels before being released in 2011. Last summer he pitched with the Sugarland Skeeters of the Independent Atlantic League.

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Santana Due for Monster Season in the Middle of Tribe’s Loaded Lineup

March 25, 2013 |

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 Steve Eby

When the Indians loaded up on offensive talent this season, nobody should have been happier—other than the fans, maybe—than Tribe catcher Carlos Santana.

The additions of Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher and Mark Reynolds should provide a major boost to the Indians lineup and Santana’s production as well, as the catcher is entering his prime years and age 27-season.  To start, Santana should no longer be the most feared bat in the middle of the Tribe order.  He also shouldn’t be the guy that opposing pitching coaches say to ‘pitch carefully’ to.  Santana should be just another one in a line of thumpers in the Indians batting order.  This should be the key ingredient for a breakout season for the former #1 prospect. Read More

Kipnis Loooking to Build Off Solid 2012 Season

March 24, 2013 |

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 Craig Gifford

The Indians took major strides toward improving their offense during the winter with acquisitions of Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher, Mark Reynolds and Drew Stubbs. However, if Cleveland’s offense is to truly take off this season it will need the continued development and improvement of key players from the 2012 lineup.

One of the most notable of those players is second baseman Jason Kipnis. Last year, his first full one in the majors, Kipnis looked like a seasoned veteran to start the season. He was nearly named to the American League All-Star team as his batting average hovered in the mid-.280s much of first three months. The second half of the year saw Kipnis trail off, batting just .233 post-Mid Summer Classic.

In all likelihood, the second half struggles were probably the result of a player taking the field much more often than he ever had in the past. The stress and rigors of a full Major League season often take a toll on first-year players. As it is, the overall numbers for Kipnis in 2012 were good for a young player; 14 home runs, 76 RBI and .257 batting average were a nice starting point. Throw in that he stole 31 bases and scored 86 runs and Kipnis proved to be a strong presence at the plate and on the base paths. Read More

AL Preview: Central States Edition

March 24, 2013 |

With Spring Training underway throughout baseball, we will take a look at the offseason moves made by the other American League teams. Two teams will be reviewed each Sunday until the beginning of the regular season. Previous previews include: TEX/HOU; OAK/LA; SEA/TOR; BOS/NYY; BAL/TB

By Bob Toth

Maybe the times are changing for the Minnesota Twins and the Kansas City Royals.

The Royals have not finished higher than third place in the American League Central Division since the 1995 season. At 70-74, they finished 30 games behind the Cleveland Indians that year. They have not finished above even since the 2003 season when they compiled an 83-79 record. Four times in the 13 seasons played in the 21st century the Royals have finished with 100 losses or more.

Minnesota has been in a funk the last two seasons. After posting winning records in nine out of ten seasons starting in 2001, including six different playoff births, the Ron Gardenhire-led Twins have faltered some, giving the skipper his first two seasons with a losing record.

Both clubs are young, built around several key offensive pieces. The Royals made far more noise in the offseason, and all indications are that their club is far closer to contending than the Twins.

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Forecasting the Indians 2013 Fantasy Baseball Seasons: Who to draft and who to avoid

March 23, 2013 |

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?

Will ace Justin Masterson bounce back from a bad year to resurrect his career with former manager Terry Francona?

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Lou Marson Locks Down the Backup Catcher Role

March 23, 2013 |

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 Ronnie Tellalian

Lou Marson has struggled at the plate in his short Major League career. His once fantastic defensive numbers took a big hit in 2012. The caught stealing percentage can be largely blamed on the starting pitchers lack of ability to hold runners at first, but Marson’s value lies in what he can do behind the dish, not at the plate. Regardless of his bat skills, few backup catchers in the Major Leagues could do a better job at filling his role.

Marson came over to the Indians from the Phillies in the Cliff Lee trade. At the time, Marson was a top catching prospect. He hit .314/.433/.416 at Double-A in 2008, and before the Lee deal he was hitting .294/.382/.370 with the Phillies Triple-A team. All signs suggested that Marson had great patience and could handle the bat; couple that with his defensive ability and the Tribe seemed to have a very good prospect in the wings. His defense showed right away as he caught base stealers at a 48% rate in 2009. His bat, however, showed a poor trend. His first full season as a backup in 2010 he hit an anemic .195. His career .220 average does not reflect the hitter he appeared to be when he first came to the Indians. Read More

Green Light a Sign of Change in Approach at the Plate

March 23, 2013 |

By Mike Brandyberry

Statistics and records don’t matter in Spring Training, but little things inside the game and how a team plays the game makes all the difference.

Thursday, the Cleveland Indians sent a subtle message to the American League they may be much more aggressive than they have been in seasons past. With two on and two out in the top of the first inning, Michael Brantley had a three ball, no strike count against the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Ian Kennedy. Brantley was given the green light to swing and drove the 3-0 fastball deep into the right field lawn beyond the fence, giving the Tribe an early 3-0 lead.

Brantley admitted later the green light on a 3-0 count was surprising and something he would not have seen in previous years. However, Indians Manager Terry Francona thinks it’s an opportunity to be aggressive if used correctly.

“When you have men on base, and you have a good fastball hitter, hitting, I think it’s great,” Francona said. “The idea is to put guys in position to do some damage and you saw what he did.”

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Tribe Rotation in Much Better Shape Than a Year Ago

March 22, 2013 | | One Comment

By Craig Gifford

Last season Cleveland’s starting pitching rotation was one of the worst in baseball. As spring training opened, off the heels of a strong winter for the Tribe, the prevailing thought was the starting five would be the unit most likely to prevent the Indians from playoff contention this year. However, as the preseason enters its final week, the rotation may actually be more of a strength than anyone could have imagined.

When the calendar flipped from February to March, the Indians’ starters consisted of a number one and two, Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez, who pitched far below expectations in 2012. Number three was $7 million free agent pickup Brett Myers. The Indians were hoping to convert him back to a starter following a season in which he pitched out of the bullpen. Read More