The forecast in San Diego on Monday includes a little bit of Sunshine.
The Indians and Padres matched up for their third deadline deal in as many seasons on Monday as the two clubs swapped nine players, with Cleveland’s Mike Clevinger serving as the centerpiece of the deal.
Cleveland sends the right-handed starting pitcher, along with outfielder (and former San Diego State product) Greg Allen and a player to be named later, to San Diego for a haul of six players from the prospect-laden Padres, which is now cashing in on years of suffering for a big push to reach the new playoff format birthed out of the global pandemic. Coming to the Indians are Major League catcher Austin Hedges, outfielder Josh Naylor, and right-handed pitcher Cal Quantrill, along with three of San Diego’s top minor league prospects – shortstop Gabriel Arias, pitcher Joey Cantillo, and shortstop Owen Miller.
The Cleveland Indians have been the epitome of inconsistency this season. This weekend was a prime example of that as the Tribe dropped two of three to the Detroit Tigers in matchups that were on paper favorable for the second seeded club in the American League Central.
The Tigers, who were 9-14 entering the series, came into Cleveland in bad shape and left with a confidence boost after putting up 23 runs against the Indians’ vaunted pitching staff to bring an end to a 20-game losing streak against the Tribe coming into the weekend. Now, the Indians will have to contend with the first place Minnesota Twins over the next three days.
Triston McKenzie had a historic debut to remember as the 23-year-old right-hander allowed just one run on two hits with ten strikeouts and the Indians offense erupted for six runs over their final three innings at the plate to give Cleveland a 6-1 win on Saturday night from Progressive Field.
It was tough to predict how McKenzie was going to look on the mound for the Indians in the middle game of three against the Tigers. Making his first start in nearly two years after missing the entire 2019 season with a back injury, the young hurler got the call-up for the Indians and lived up to his billing as a top prospect in the Cleveland organization. He limited the Tigers to just two extra bases hits and a walk while striking out ten, putting him in rare company as just the 28th Major League pitcher to reach double digit strikeouts in his first big league appearance.
After a little extra use over the last couple of games, the Cleveland Indians bullpen was due for a break. Aaron Civale was up to providing that extra rest for his teammates, as he allowed just five hits in a complete game 6-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.
Civale packed his A-game for the Tribe’s series at PNC Park as he made his fifth start of the season in the middle game of three between the Indians and Pirates. He kept his pitch count to a minimum, surpassing his previous career high of seven innings with ease, while effectively using all four quadrants and commanding the bottom of the zone. The Pirates struggled to find their way to first base and only one time on the night did they get a runner into scoring position as Civale captured a big victory.
The Indians dominated the Tigers a year ago and picked up where they left off to start the first of ten encounters with Detroit in 2020 as Cleveland batted around in a six-run fourth on the way to a 10-5 victory from Comerica Park on Friday night.
The pitching matchup in the series opener from Detroit pitted veteran right-hander Ivan Nova against second-year righty Aaron Civale. The Indians were taking on the Tigers for the first time this season, hoping to carry over a little bit of its success from the previous campaign in the new, shortened slate.
One game removed from taking the night off at the plate, the Cleveland Indians bats burst out for six runs in the fourth inning to pace Zach Plesac and the Tribe to a 7-1 win on Saturday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field.
The Indians added to their quality start tally, posting their 14th in 16 games as Plesac provided Cleveland with six shutout innings on the mound. The bats needed a few innings to get going, but they ultimately did in a much-needed outburst at the plate, making up some for a scoreless performance the night before in a 2-0 loss to the White Sox in the series opener from Chicago.
It was great to see baseball back on TV, even if the whole experiment winds up being short-lived due to the nonstop life complications presented by the coronavirus.
Major League Baseball returned to the diamond on Thursday and carried on into the weekend as the 30 teams opened up their 2020 shortened schedules. Results were mixed – some teams saw poor pitching but great offensive work, while others struggled with the bat but pitched well. Errors and bad base running made their guest appearances, too. All were to be expected as teams kicked off four months of rust that was impossible to get rid of over a couple of weeks of Summer Camp.
With three games in the books, here’s a look back at some of the talking points of the first series of the season.
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 – 24 days
Domingo Santana will look to do something that his predecessor in the number 24, Carlos Gonzalez, was unable to do during a short stint in Cleveland a year ago – contribute consistently to the team’s success.
After a week of speculation and his sighting at the Indians complex in Goodyear, Arizona, the team announced formally on Friday the signing of free agent outfielder Domingo Santana to a one-year contract with an option for 2021.
According to MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal, the $1.5 million deal comes complete with $500,000 in roster bonuses for the 2020 season. There is a $5 million option in place for 2021 that could grow based on each roster bonus earned this year. Cleveland can buy out the option for $250,000.
To make room for Santana on the 40-man roster, the Indians have designated utility man Andrew Velazquez for assignment.