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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | December 8, 2021

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Johnny Damon

Several Former Tribe Stars Highlight Next Batch of Hall Eligibles

November 21, 2017 |

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced on Monday the list of candidates on this year’s ballot for potential induction in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Several players with strong ties to the Cleveland Indians will make their first appearances.

A total of 33 candidates are up for the vote this offseason, including 19 players for the first time. The new class of candidates include several former Indians – Jim Thome and Omar Vizquel – as well as former Atlanta Braves stars Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones, New York Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui, and lethal left-hander Johan Santana. Read More

The Evolution of the Designated Hitter in Cleveland

December 30, 2012 | | 2 Comments

By Bob Toth

The Cleveland Indians have had a productive offseason. While they have acquired outfielder Nick Swisher and infielder Mark Reynolds via free agency, Trevor Bauer as a rotation piece of the future, and Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw to further solidify the bullpen, one position on the team has gone noticeably unfilled – the spot of the designated hitter.

There has been plenty of speculation on who the team would look to fill the role with. Could the team bring back veteran Travis Hafner on a performance-based contract, hoping he could finally stay healthy long enough to contribute for a full season? What about another return of Jim Thome to the roster, the 42-year-old slugger who seems unwilling to allow the Indians to begin construction of his eventual statue near Heritage Park at Progressive Field? Could the team look outside of those familiar faces and sign a Delmon Young, Carlos Lee, or Carlos Pena type of player on a similar short-term deal on the cheap, sacrificing hits, strikeouts, or age for a defensively limited or incapable player with a little pop?

A greater likelihood may be that Cleveland does not acquire a DH at all.

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Kansas City Royally Frustrates Indians Offense Again; Royals 5, Indians 2

August 1, 2012 |

By Christian Petrila

The Indians started August the same way they ended July: The offense couldn’t get going and it resulted in another loss as Kansas City took the second game of the three-game series, 5-2.

Just like the previous game, Kansas City drew first blood in the bottom of the first. After Alex Gordon flew out to center, Zach McAllister walked Alcides Escobar on four pitches. A seeing-eye single from Lorenzo Cain moved Escobar up 90 feet. With Billy Butler batting, the Royals put on a double steal. Carlos Santana’s throw to third ended up being a throw to Johnny Damon in left. Escobar scored and Cain moved to third on the error. Butler’s at bat ended with an RBI groundout to Jason Kipnis. He then got Mike Moutakas to ground out to Kipnis as well to end the inning. Read More

What Are the Tribe’s Trade Deadline Needs to Reach October?

July 13, 2012 |

By Mike Brandyberry

While the Cleveland Indians are just hours away from the beginning of the second half, many fans have turned their focus to the looming trade deadline just 18 days away. With the Indians in contention for the wild card and the American League Central Division, it’s expected the Indians will be buyers. Cleveland opens the second half three games back in the division and only one game behind in the wild card chase.

Cleveland has several needs that could be met in the trade market. The Indians need to add a right-handed bat to help stimulate an inconsistent offense and one that has floundered against let-handed pitching most of the first half. The obvious hole that could be filled is in left field, where Shelley Duncan, Johnny Damon and Aaron Cunningham have all struggled, however, another position that could be stabilized by some offensive production could be third base. Jack Hannahan has failed to produce offensively since his return from the disabled list and Jose Lopez’s aggressive nature at the plate leave him very streaky.

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Damon Looking To Still Make His Mark On and Off the Field

July 11, 2012 |

By Mike Brandyberry

It wasn’t the start Indians outfielder Johnny Damon wanted, so instead he is just focused on the finish.

Damon, who was signed by the Indians on April 17 with the hope to provide some offensive pop, was activated to the Tribe 25-man roster on May 1. Originally slated as the Tribe’s leadoff hitter, Damon struggled mightily.

Without the necessary six weeks of Spring Training to prepare for the season, he opened the year hitting .152, going 12-for-79. He swung his way out of the leadoff spot and back to the bottom of the order, where he platooned with Shelley Duncan. It would be easy to point to no Spring Training as the reason for Damon’s poor start, but he feels other factors were in play.

“I think it was probably more mechanical,” Damon said. “I felt good up there. I never felt like I was lost or anything. I felt good and I’m normally a slow starter regardless.

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Game Preview #82: Tampa Bay Rays (43-39) at Cleveland Indians (42-39)

July 5, 2012 |

By Mike Brandyberry

Yesterday the Cleveland Indians declared their Independence from the Los Angles Angels of Anaheim, defeating them 12-3 on the back of two three-run home runs, one each from Michael Brantley and Casey Kotchman. The Indians won the three game series and the season series from the Angels. Yesterday’s game also declared the halfway mark for the Tribe with 42 wins and two games back of the Central Division leading Chicago White Sox.

Today the Tribe opens their final series before the All-Star Break, hosting the Tampa Bay Rays. Josh Tomlin (4-5, 5.85 ERA) will take the mound for the Indians this evening.  Tomlin was credited with a win in last Saturday’s 11-5 victory over the Orioles. He pitched six innings, allowing five runs on seven hits, three walks and four strikeouts. Three of his five runs allowed were a product of a three-run Chris Davis home run. Tomlin is always susceptible to the long ball and it is a big reason he has struggled in June. Tomlin is 2-3, with a 6.89 ERA in his last six starts. He has not beat the Rays in two previous starts.

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Early Offensive Explosion Helps Tribe Take Series; Indians 12, Angels 3

July 4, 2012 |

By Mike Brandyberry

The Indians offense burst onto the holiday scene and exploded early to blow open today’s Independence Day game, winning the contest 12-3.

The Tribe burned the Angels’ Ervin Santana early and Derek Lowe was able to rebound from a bumpy June. Santana was unable to make it out of the second inning, as the Tribe tagged him for eight runs, while he only recorded four outs. Every Indians starter would record a base hit in the contest.

The Tribe started the July 4 fireworks in the first inning when Jason Kipnis drew a two-out walk. Travis Hafner made his return to the Indians lineup for the first time since May 23 and worked an 11-pitch walk of his own to set the table for Michael Brantley. Brantley lined a 338-foot home run down the right field line that just snuck over the fence. The ball was hit so hard, it barely got high enough to clear the fence. Brantley’s bottle rocket gave the Indians an early 3-0 lead in the first inning.

It appeared the Angels were ready to put a crooked number of their own on the board in the top of the second inning when Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo each lead off the inning. Alberto Callaspo grounded to second base, but with Trumbo running with the pitch, he beat the throw to second and Callaspo did the same at first to load the bases. The hit was ruled a fielder’s choice, but left the bases loaded with no one out.

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Game Preview #76: Cleveland Indians (38-37) at Baltimore Orioles (41-34)

June 29, 2012 |

By Mike Brandyberry

Thursday evening the Indians used three home runs and the return of Zach McAllister to snap their five game losing streak and defeat the Baltimore Orioles, 7-2. Johnny Damon homered in the second inning and Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera each followed later in the game. McAllister pitched five and two-third innings in his first start in the rotation where he is not just replacing an injured teammate.

Today, the Indians will send veteran Derek Lowe (7-6, 4.28 ERA) to the mound. After a fantastic start to the season, Lowe has lost his last three decisions and is 1-5, with a 7.41 ERA in his last seven starts. Lowe allowed three earned runs over six and two-third innings last Sunday in Houston, however the Tribe offense and bullpen gave him little help. The Indians were defeated 7-1. In order to be successful, Lowe will have to continue to induce groundballs and keep the ball low in the strike zone, especially considering the warm temperature and small ballpark.

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McAllister Shines In Return, Tribe Snaps Streak; Indians 7, Orioles 2

June 29, 2012 |

By Mike Brandyberry

The Indians did not just snap their five game losing streak, but did so by defeating a left-handed pitcher, something that has plagued the Tribe all season. Cleveland jumped on top early and used newly added starter Zach McAllister to carry them to a 7-2 win.

Cleveland jumped on top in the second inning when Jose Lopez led off the inning with a single to left and Michael Brantley walked. After Shelley Duncan popped out, Johnny Damon hit a three-run homer to right center field off Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen. The bomb gave the Indians a 3-0 lead and continued a productive June for Damon. He has hit over .290 since May 30.

The Tribe would extend their lead to 4-0 in the top of the fifth inning when Shin-Soo Choo hit an opposite field, solo home run.  The comfortable lead was enough for McAllister to work with. He was just recalled Thursday afternoon to replace Jeanmar Gomez in the rotation.

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There is a Power Outage in Left Field

June 24, 2012 |

By Robert Toth

Despite the two-run home run supplied by Johnny Damon in the Indians’ 8-1 win Wednesday versus the Cincinnati Reds, the veteran left fielder has been slow to provide the offense the team had hoped to acquire after signing the 38-year-old on April 17. Damon has struggled to reach, and then stay above, the Mendoza line, batting just .202 with three home runs and 13 RBI in 129 at bats.

Damon’s defensive exploits have not gone unnoticed either, as he has crashed into walls, taken bad routes to balls, made numerous underwhelming throws, and has been frequently lifted from his starts for defensive replacement Aaron Cunningham. Damon has finished just 13 of the 31 games he has started in left field on the season.

Damon came to town to provide the team with a veteran leader in the clubhouse who could platoon or even supplant 32-year-old Shelley Duncan in left field.Duncan, though, has been equally as underwhelming at the plate in his opportunities to play. Hitting just .195 on the season in 128 at bats,Duncanhas been a disappointment for a team craving a power-hitting, right-handed bat. His four home runs and 12 runs batted in have not nearly been enough, and he is averaging more than twice as many strikeouts as his platoon mate (36 to Damon’s 18).

Cunningham, the youngest of the trio to see frequent action in left this season at 26 years old, is with the team more so for his glove and legs than his bat. Cunningham’s .191 batting average is compiled of 13 hits in limited plate appearances, despite defending left field a total of 37 times on the season.

The numbers say it all – the Indians are not getting the consistent production they need offensively from their left fielders. So how do they fix it?

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Game Preview #69: Cleveland Indians (36-32) at Houston Astros (28-41)

June 22, 2012 |

By Mike Brandyberry

Wednesday evening the Indians completed a six game home stand and a three game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds with an 8-1 victory. Justin Masterson recorded his fourth career complete game and is showing every sign of being the ace of the staff again. The Indians were able to keep their one-half game lead over the Chicago White Sox. Both teams were idle yesterday.

Today, the Indians embark on the beginning of a three city, 10-game road trip. The first leg of the trip takes the Tribe to Houston to take on the lowly Astros. The Astros are in fifth place in the NL Central and 10.5 games behind first. They are in the midst of building a young team for a move the American League West division next season.

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Offensive Woes Have Held Tribe Back Before

June 20, 2012 | | One Comment

By Christian Petrila

The Indians and their fans know a thing or two about déjà vu. Seeing how quickly the offense went south in June 2011, the recent struggles should raise every red flag in the city, as well as a little panic.

The 2011 Indians had a cumulative batting average of .228 in June. They scored a mere 91 runs that month en route to a 10-17 record. They were 32-20 and held a five game lead on June first. By the end of the month, they were tied for first and went from 12 games over .500 to five games over. They were held to three runs or fewer 14 times. We all know how last season ended.

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