One week from today, Major League Baseball returns to Cleveland as the Indians host the Kansas City Royals in game one of 60 in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Follow along as Did The Tribe Win Last Night counts down the days to Opening Day. – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 7 days
Last season, the Cleveland Indians used the number seven in the first and last months of the campaign, but both of those players left the organization as free agents following the season.
The Cleveland infield and bench continued its shuffle on Tuesday afternoon, as the Indians announced that the contract of veteran utility man Mike Freeman had been purchased from Triple-A Columbus. Rookie shortstop Eric Stamets was optioned back to Triple-A to make room for Freeman on the 25-man roster.
It marked the second infield-focused move by the Indians in as many days. On Monday prior to the start of the club’s series against the Seattle Mariners, Cleveland activated second baseman Jason Kipnis from the 10-day injured list and formally designated utility man Brad Miller for assignment in a move that opened up a 40-man spot for Freeman’s arrival.
The Toronto Blue Jays were just what the doctor ordered to cure the Cleveland Indians’ early season blues. Carlos Carrasco bounced back from a rough debut with 12 strikeouts in five innings of work and the offense provided a season-high seven runs in a 7-2 defeat of the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon.
Carrasco handled most of the work himself, shutting down the Blue Jays until two runs in his final inning of work in the fifth. At that point, his teammates had paced him with four runs before tacking on three more in the next two innings.
No Wahoo, no runs, and no fun for the Tribe on Thursday as Minnesota’s Jose Berrios won an intense battle against Cleveland’s Corey Kluber, combining with reliever Taylor Rogers on a two-hit 2-0 Opening Day shutout from Target Field.
In a well-pitched game for both starters through six innings, the Twins capitalized on rare base runners in the seventh to take the lead and hold on for good. Kluber took a perfect game into the fifth and a no-hitter into the sixth. Three different relievers combined to throw a perfect eighth inning to keep the score at two runs, but it was too much for the Tribe to overcome in a tough day at the plate. While the Twins managed only four hits on the day, their pitching limited the Indians to just three batters over the minimum while striking out 13 in an Opening Day gem.
After a long winter of cost-cutting and public relations nightmares in Cleveland, there is finally some baseball to talk about as the Indians meet up with their chief division rivals, the Minnesota Twins, in their first official games without their Chief Wahoo on their caps and sleeves.
The latter would not be such an issue if Tribe players took the Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn approach to pitching, but players still wear caps and sleeves at this level, son.
The Cleveland Indians returned to routine offseason work following the announcement of the Yan Gomes trade with Washington on Friday, avoiding arbitration with four members of its 40-man roster while tendering contract offers to All-Stars Trevor Bauer and Francisco Lindor, as well as rehabbing pitcher Cody Anderson.
The Indians came to terms on Major League contracts for the 2019 season with relievers Nick Goody and Neil Ramirez, pitcher Danny Salazar, and infielder Eric Stamets. Reliever James Hoyt, who was acquired from the Houston Astros during the first week of July, was the only player eligible who was non-tendered, making him a free agent.
With ten days until the start of the regular season, the Cleveland Indians made their biggest camp cuts of the spring on Monday as eleven players were optioned, reassigned, or released by the club. The moves lowered the team’s spring training population at the Goodyear complex from 50 residents to 39.
Most of the moves were expected, but a pair were much more significant to the makeup of things come March 29 when the season kicks off. Yandy Diaz and prospects Eric Haase and Eric Stamets were optioned to Triple-A Columbus. Offseason additions Brandon Barnes, Preston Claiborne, Stephen Fife, and Neil Ramirez, in addition to returning minor leaguers Cameron Hill and Richie Shaffer, were reassigned to minor league camp. Veteran catcher Ryan Hanigan and outfielder Melvin Upton, Jr. were given their releases from their previously agreed upon minor league deals to search for jobs elsewhere.
Diaz and Upton were the most significant moves of the day.
Six members total between the Akron RubberDucks and Columbus Clippers earned the honor of playing in their respective league’s All-Star Games this week and several took advantage of the opportunity on a big stage to shine.
The International League faced off with the Pacific Coast League on Wednesday night from Tacoma, Washington. A four-run fourth inning by the PCL All-Stars would prove to be too much for the IL squad to overcome in a 6-4 contest. Columbus’ Richie Shaffer was one of the players to best utilize his time as his performance for the losing squad earned him the league’s All-Star Game MVP award.
All-Star games are the theme of the week as one day after Major League Baseball hosted its annual Midsummer Classic and several days after top prospects united for the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday, both the International League and the Eastern League will play their respective games on Wednesday night.
The Indians’ top farm affiliate, the Triple-A Columbus Clippers, have just two representatives in Tacoma, Washington, for the Triple-A All-Star Game between the best of the International League and the Pacific Coast League. Richie Shaffer received the early invitation through voting, but middle infielder Eric Stamets was also asked to participate as a reserve.
A quality start by left-hander Shawn Morimando sent the Columbus Clippers to an 8-1 victory over rival Indianapolis on Friday night.
With less than a month to go until the All-Star break, the Clippers have climbed back within two games of the .500 mark at 29-31 on the season. Their surge towards a winning record has been made possible by a 6-2 record in June. The bats in general have come to life for the Clippers over the course of the last three weeks, as since the final week of May, they have put up six runs or more in eight of the 15 games played.
The Akron RubberDucks roster received a big blow this week when the club placed outfielder Greg Allen and catcher Francisco Mejia on the 7-day disabled list with injuries. The moves will deprive the Akron lineup of a pair of its two more exciting players to watch.
The RubberDucks sat in the middle of the Eastern League Western Division pack heading into action on Saturday, winners of three straight to post a 15-17 record on the year, five games in back of the first place Altoona Curve while sitting in the fourth spot in the division.
The Cleveland Indians announced on Friday afternoon that the guest list for Spring Training at their Goodyear, Arizona, complex beginning in February has grown by eight.
The Tribe will welcome minor league pitchers Josh Martin and Tyler Olson, infielders Nellie Rodriguez, Ronny Rodriguez, and Eric Stamets, outfielders Greg Allen and Bradley Zimmer, and utility man Yandy Diaz to their spring camp on non-roster invites.
The eight will audition for jobs with the Indians while getting a good opportunity to warm up for the 2017 season against other Major League caliber competition.