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 – 68
For the first time since 2008, the number 68 was back on the field for the Tribe and on the back of someone who was called upon to make big contributions when the team needed it the most.
Right-hander Jefry Rodriguez brought the number 68 out of pseudo-retirement last season as the Indians’ starting rotation began to crumble with what appeared to be an unending slew of injuries. He was one of three players acquired by Cleveland from Washington in the Yan Gomes trade and the only one with prior big league experience after pitching in 14 games for the Nationals in 2018.
The Cleveland Indians activated outfielder Tyler Naquin on Tuesday afternoon ahead of their three-game season-changing home set with the Minnesota Twins.
In a corresponding move, starting pitcher Jefry Rodriguez landed on the 10-day injured list with a right shoulder strain and upper back discomfort suffered during his last start on Saturday. The move was made retroactive to Sunday, June 2.
After a sloppy mess of a game on Friday night, the Cleveland Indians looked a little bit crisper on Saturday afternoon, using a pair of homers from Carlos Santana and Leonys Martin to pace the club to a 5-2 win over the Chicago White Sox from Guaranteed Rate Field.
The Indians needed to burn through five bullpen arms, but the quintet put up five innings of one-run relief with four strikeouts, two walks, and two hits allowed. They were thrust into earlier action as Jefry Rodriguez had to leave his start early with right lat tightness after allowing one run on two hits with three walks and three strikeouts in four innings of work.
The Boston Red Sox rolled to an easy 12-5 win on Monday afternoon, scoring ten straight runs in the middle innings after falling behind 3-0 to the Cleveland Indians.
Things started well for the Indians on Monday, but quickly took a turn in the opposite direction after the Red Sox got their first looks at right-hander Jefry Rodriguez. After two effective innings to open his afternoon, Boston piled up ten runs in a six-inning span to bury the hapless Tribe, which dropped below the .500 mark at 25-26 on the year while losing for the seventh time in the last eight games.
Runs in five of the first six innings powered the Oakland Athletics to a 7-2 win on Wednesday and a three-game sweep over the host Cleveland Indians from Progressive Field.
For the third time in as many days, an Indians starter struggled with command and for the second time, they were unable to pitch beyond the fifth inning. Jefry Rodriguez didn’t even make it that far, getting the hook after four innings with five runs already on the board and four walks helping pave the way for an A’s victory.
Dylan Bundy and the Baltimore bullpen limited the Cleveland bats to just three hits and a three-run Orioles third off of Indians’ starter Jefry Rodriguez proved to be the difference in a 5-1 win by the visitors on Friday night.
On the first fireworks night of the season, Indians fans had to wait until the postgame display as the bats were cooled on the mid-May spring night from Progressive Field. One night after scoring 14 against Baltimore pitching, the Cleveland lineup combined for just three hits against Bundy, who was able to keep the Indians off-balance with his off-speed options on the mound. The most important factor for Bundy was that he kept the Indians in the yard – something that he has struggled with over recent campaigns.
There was no last inning celebration this time at Oakland Coliseum, as the Cleveland Indians used a three-run home run from Roberto Perez in the sixth inning to break up a tied ball game and held on for a 5-3 win over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday afternoon.
After a pair of walk-off wins in their final at bats on Friday and Saturday in the first two games of the series, the A’s ran out of time and ran out of innings on Sunday, as the Indians finally survived the late inning heroics of the host club. Jefry Rodriguez was good again on the mound, filling in one of the holes in the starting rotation, and the bullpen worked three scoreless frames to give their young right-hander his first win of the season.
It would appear as though schedule makers have never dealt with inconvenient flight schedules. After a rain-delayed getaway day start on Thursday against Chicago, the Cleveland Indians hopped a late plane to Oakland to start a three-game trip to the Bay Area against the A’s this weekend.
Oakland (17-22) is coming off of back-to-back interleague series with Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, with the latter series starting a six-game homestand against state of Ohio. The matchcup with the Pirates over the weekend closed their road trip with a series loss, as they rolled the host club 14-1 on Friday before falling 6-4 and 5-3. Two shutouts highlighted their three games against the Reds, as they enjoyed a 2-0 no-hitter on Tuesday and a 5-4 win on Wednesday before Cincinnati fired a 3-0 shutout to avoid the sweep on Thursday.
The Cleveland Indians’ current homestand has taken an unpleasant turn as, for the second time in three days, the Tribe was shut out by a visiting club. This time, it was the Chicago White Sox, who rode a quality start from right-hander Lucas Giolito to a 2-0 victory from Progressive Field.
There were questions aplenty throughout the offseason as the Indians lost name after name from its productive lineup of a season ago, and those concerns have been brought back to the forefront again, even after injuries to two-fifths of the team’s starting rotation had taken some of the focus off of the under-producing starting nine. The offensive inconsistencies have equated to just one run scored over the team’s last 27 innings since Carlos Santana saved the team on Saturday night with an eighth inning two-run home run to capture a come from behind win.
As anticipated, the Cleveland Indians recalled pitcher Jefry Rodriguez from Triple-A Columbus on Tuesday ahead of his third start of the year. He will face the Chicago White Sox in the 6:10 PM ET start from Progressive Field.
To make room for Rodriguez on the 25-man roster, reliever Jon Edwards was optioned to Triple-A.
The Cleveland Indians will host the Chicago White Sox for the second time this season in a four-game series this week, ending nearly three weeks of activity strictly against nondivisional opponents.
The Indians (18-14) had a chance to really ruin the Mariners’ weekend, but they were shelled in a 10-0 two-hit shutout on Sunday to miss an opportunity to sweep the six-game season series from Seattle. In a bizarre statistical anomaly, the Indians were outscored by the Mariners, 21-18, in those six games this season, but posted a 5-1 record. The Indians will look to leave town at the end of the week with a winning homestand, something that the team can do if it can draw at least a series split with the White Sox this week. Cleveland trails Minnesota by two games in the American League Central at the start of the day Monday.
When a front office plans the entire offseason around purging money from the offensive side of the lineup because the team’s starting rotation is so dominant, the last thing needed is to lose one of those dynamic starting pitchers.
Two starts into his season, the Indians lost Mike Clevinger to an upper back strain. With injuries to top backup arms in the minors, the Tribe had little recourse but to call upon Jefry Rodriguez, who has only been needed for a pair of spot starts because of so many off days early in the 2019 schedule.
Now, the team is scrambling after ace Corey Kluber suffered a non-displaced fracture of the right ulna in his forearm after being struck by a 102 MPH line drive in Miami off of the bat of Brian Anderson on Wednesday night.