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 – 38 days
Eric Haase, who had worn the number 38 in a handful of big league appearances, has vacated the number for the Indians as he was a roster casualty this winter.
Eric Haase’s opportunity to break into the big leagues for good could come in Cleveland, but it won’t come as a member of the Indians.
The Indians announced on Wednesday that Haase had been traded to their woeful divisional foes, the Detroit Tigers, for cash considerations.
The cat had long since been out of the bag, but the Cleveland Indians made the news official on Sunday as the team announced the addition of free agent second baseman Cesar Hernandez on a one-year pact.
The other piece of news tied to the delayed signing announcement was somewhat of a surprise, however, as the Indians have designated catcher Eric Haase for assignment.
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.
For the third time this season, the Indians have cut bait with a veteran brought in during the spring to help out the thin offense.
Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez was designated for assignment prior to Wednesday’s game between Cleveland and the Oakland Athletics to make room for catcher Eric Haase. The 26-year-old, already on the 40-man roster, was needed in town after Roberto Perez left Tuesday night’s game with concussion-like symptoms.
While Perez passed the concussion tests, he will still be unable to play for several days, leaving just backup backstop Kevin Plawecki on the roster. In need of some extra insurance in the lineup while Perez is unavailable, Haase was recalled from Triple-A Columbus and Gonzalez was the roster casualty to make it happen.
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.
The Cleveland Indians will conduct their first full-squad workout today ahead of Major League Baseball kicking off the 2019 season. All 30 teams will take the field on March 28 with the league’s earliest start ever (excluding international openers). Follow along with Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we count down the days until Opening Day 2019. – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 38 days
The Indians seemed to be showing some faith in the catching depth in the organization since last July, trading away top prospect Francisco Mejia to the San Diego Padres at the trade deadline and All-Star backstop Yan Gomes to the Washington Nationals in November. The moves took the position from an area to strength to a sudden area of concern, as light-hitting defensive specialist Roberto Perez and #38 Eric Haase became the only two catchers on the 40-man roster.
Haase, 26 and a 2011 seventh round pick, spent the majority of his eighth season in the organization at Triple-A Columbus last season, his first full season with the Clippers (he played the final two games of the 2017 season there as well). One of the club’s big movers in the last couple of years, thanks in large part to the systematic emphasis on launch angle to help revolutionize the long ball in its most prolific increase since the steroid era, Haase has to feel good about where he stands in the front office’s eyes if they were willing to move the present and the future of the position to bring in All-Star closer Brad Hand and to free up money over the course of the next few years.
An Indians lineup composed of bench pieces, recent minor league call-ups, and players getting in routine work while returning from injury challenged the Tigers on Sunday, but a ninth-inning rally fell just short as Detroit claimed a 6-4 win in Cleveland.
The Tigers (61-88) took a series from the Indians (83-66) for just the second time this season, improving to 6-13 against the Tribe this season. Cleveland owned Detroit throughout the year, outscoring the division rival 116-47 for the season. The Indians rested all of the regulars on Sunday, one day after formally clinching the American League Central crown for the third straight season, but the backups did their best to try to bring Cleveland another win.
A four-run seventh inning gave the Tampa Bay Rays a 6-0 lead and their bullpen held on for dear life in the ninth to secure a 6-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday afternoon.
The Rays (73-63) won for the eleventh time in their last 13 games and took the series from the Indians (77-59) in the rubber match in a game that got away from Cleveland in a hurry in the seventh frame with the club already down 2-0.
Columbus’ Eric Haase stormed into the All-Star break with some big series last week against the Toledo Mud Hens and the Indianapolis Indians to conclude the first half of the Triple-A schedule. For his efforts, he was named the International League’s Player of the Week for games played between July 2 and July 8.
Haase played in all seven games during the week and had hits in five of the contests. He went 9-for-26 (.346) at the plate and added two walks to provide the Clippers with a .379 on-base percentage. Six of his nine hits during the week were for extra bases as he tallied a .731 slugging percentage. It earned him his second career Player of the Week award, coming almost a year to the date of his first win last July 8 while playing for the Double-A Akron RubberDucks.
The Columbus Clippers will kick off a special 2018 season on Friday night.
Huntington Park will play host to both the Triple-A All-Star Game on July 11 and the Triple-A National Championship Game on September 18, putting the home of the Clippers in the spotlight for some of the biggest games in minor league baseball in 2018. This season also happens to be the tenth anniversary of the Clippers move downtown from their old digs at Cooper Stadium.
Last season, the Clippers missed the playoffs, finishing second in the International League’s West Division with a 71-71 record. The team has a lot of new faces for 2018, looking to improve upon that mark under another year of Chris Tremie’s leadership. It will be year 13 as a manager for Tremie in the Indians’ farm system, including his sixth straight season at the helm in Columbus.