The Indians will need another starting pitcher next week.
Cleveland announced on Saturday morning that pitcher Adam Plutko and catcher Eric Haase had been optioned to Triple-A Columbus. The Tribe made a pair of moves with the vacated roster spots, recalling outfielder Greg Allen from Columbus while also purchasing the contract of left-handed reliever Josh Smith from their top farm affiliate.
The Tampa Bay Rays used four home runs, including one of an unconventional variety, to rout the Cleveland Indians by a 7-2 final on Thursday night in the series opener from Progressive Field.
The Rays (29-18) took an aggressive approach at the plate against Indians’ right-hander Adam Plutko to jump out to an early lead, then used the middle innings to tack on plenty of insurance while the Cleveland bats were baffled by left-hander Ryan Yarbrough, who was called up by Tampa prior to the game. He worked a career-high seven and one-third innings for his third win of the year. The Indians (25-24) dropped their fourth straight game on their eleven-game homestand and fell further in back of the homer-happy Minnesota Twins in the American League Central.
Previous results do not always predict future outcomes and that was the case on Saturday as Adam Plutko and the Cleveland Indians bullpen combined on a one-hit beauty over the Baltimore Orioles, 4-1, from Progressive Field.
The Indians have been looking for some answers in their starting rotation after losses of both Mike Clevinger and Corey Kluber have left the team a bit thin at the MLB level. While Jefry Rodriguez seems to have replaced Clevinger, Kluber’s spot was unsuccessfully held down in a pair of short starts by Cody Anderson, who was optioned back to Triple-A Columbus earlier in the week.
Plutko was recalled by the Indians prior to the game from Columbus, where he made a pair of conflicting appearances for the Clippers while looking to return from a right forearm strain suffered in the spring that had kept him on the shelf to open the year.
Columbus may open the International League schedule on Thursday night, but even more eyes will be on the club on Friday, when the Clippers will become Los Veleros de Columbus for the first of 397 Copa de la Diversión games scattered across the minor league landscape on the 2019 schedule.
In addition to the new nickname and colorful new jerseys and logos coinciding with their participation in the “Fun Cup” this season, the Clippers will also begin life anew with a new skipper at the helm, Tony Mansolino, who takes over for long-time Columbus captain Chris Tremie.
On a cool and rainy day in northeast Ohio, there was something comforting about seeing the Cleveland Indians back on the ball diamond once again.
A new look Tribe, returning one familiar face in Carlos Santana after purging several others in the offseason (including the loved-or-hated Chief Wahoo), will get its work in from Arizona this spring, with many roster spots up for grabs. In addition to a wide open battle for bullpen spots around closer Brad Hand, the Indians have a wildly uncertain outfield picture as well as a need to crown a utility man to start the season.
Major League Baseball will kick off the 2019 season with its earliest start ever (excluding international openers) as all 30 teams will take the field on March 28. Follow along with Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we count down the days until Opening Day 2019. – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 45 days
When it comes to starting pitching depth, the Cleveland Indians have had plenty in recent years, with a rotation jam packed with talented arms. That has proven to be a tough situation for Adam Plutko, the current wearer of the number 45 in Cleveland, to crack through.
The 27-year-old right-hander and eleventh round pick in the 2013 draft out of UCLA got his first extended look in 2018 when the starting staff was dealing with injuries throughout the year. Having proven himself at the minor league level and after putting up good numbers in his third stint at Triple-A Columbus, Plutko got a chance to join his former college teammate, Trevor Bauer, as one of the many starters used by the club a year ago.
For the second straight night, the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox needed eleven innings to decide a winner. And for the second straight night, it was the Indians who came away victorious as Greg Allen delivered a bases loaded single with one out to give Cleveland a walk-off win in the final home game of the 2018 season.
The early innings provided a back-and-forth contest as the Indians fell behind early before a big three-run outburst in the fourth. The lead lasted for just a batter, and then both offenses went silent until the Cleveland lineup found the plate one final time.
Baseball will get a playoff preview of sort over the weekend as the Cleveland Indians host the Boston Red Sox in three straight games from Progressive Field. The series may lack the usual buildup, however, as both teams have clinched and will likely be looking to rest up players in anticipation for the postseason grind.
The Indians (85-67) claimed a pair of wins in three tries against the Chicago White Sox in their second-to-last series against their young fourth place rival on the year. The team needed a walk-off grand slam in the second game of the series to claim a series win as they lost in extra innings on Thursday night. The Indians and Red Sox last met in the third week of August and each team won a pair of games, with Cleveland claiming the first two close contests before Boston earned 10-4 and 7-0 victories in the final games.
The Cleveland Indians rallied back from a 3-1 deficit with a seven-run inning, then held on to outlast the Toronto Blue Jays in a 9-8 final on Saturday afternoon.
The Indians guaranteed at least a series split with the Jays after a big fifth inning looked to tip the odds in the Tribe’s favor. The Blue Jays, however, did not back down, making it a game until the 27th and final out was recorded with the winning run at the plate and the tying run in scoring position.
The Indians are back on the road this weekend after a nine-game homestand as they head north of the border to Toronto to play four times with the Blue Jays.
The Indians (79-60) dropped their magic number to eight on Thursday when they completed a series win over the Kansas City Royals in a tight 3-1 victory from Progressive Field while the second place Minnesota Twins dropped their fifth straight in a 9-1 defeat against Houston. The pair of wins over the Royals brought the Tribe’s record during their nine-game homestand to 5-4, salvaging things some after dropping three in a row over the weekend.
The Indians’ offensive took the Labor Day holiday off, but the Royals did no such thing as four Kansas City homers off of Cleveland starter Adam Plutko and the Tribe bullpen led to a 5-1 shelling at Progressive Field on Monday afternoon.
Cleveland’s recent offensive woes continued as the club combined for just four hits. After eight shutout innings from the Kansas City staff, the Tribe scored a run in the ninth and brought the tying run to the plate with the bases loaded and one out, but no more would cross as the Royals sent the Indians to their third straight defeat to open the month of September.
The Indians and Royals will kick off their first of two September series with a three-game set from Progressive Field this week.
The Indians (77-59) dropped two of three in a tough series against the scrappy and young Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend in closely contested games. It marked the Tribe’s first home series loss since July 23-25 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Indians have been one of the better hitting teams in the second half of the season, ranking second in the AL with a .263 batting average and third in on-base percentage at .334 in that span. Cleveland was the only team in August to not record a triple, but the lineup tallied the fewest number of strikeouts of all 30 teams in those 31 days.