After a painful road trip against the Yankees, Tigers, and Rangers, the Cleveland Indians return home for their final nine home games of the month of June, beginning with a series against the Washington Nationals on Friday night.
The Nationals (33-32) come to Progressive Field for the first time since 2010. A projected playoff team by many prior to the season, Washington has struggled to stay above the .500 mark throughout the season. They were 13-14 after April, 28-27 after May, and improved to 5-5 in June with a win on Thursday.
The Indians (32-33) said goodbye to a season-worst eight game losing streak that began on the final day of their previous homestand. After being swept by New York and Detroit, they took two of three from a struggling Texas team during the week. The Nationals and Indians have split their six meetings together at three wins a piece and two wins each at home. The all-time advantage for the two franchises tips in the favor of the Nationals, who as the Montreal Expos won two of three games in 2002. For some more information on the histories of the two clubs and their cities, with his usual witty insight, check out this contribution from our own Vince Guerrieri on William World News.
By Christian Petrila
The Columbus Clippers currently house the MiLB’s greatest collection of “4-A” players.
Definition: Players who always excel in AAA, but never live up to expectations in the Majors.
In fact, there are so many 4-A guys that had they produced well in Cleveland, the Indians’ struggles of late could be a totally different story.
The Indians and Reds resume their cross-state battle with a pair of midweek matchups, as the two clubs head north from Cincinnati to Cleveland to conclude their season series at Progressive Field starting Wednesday.
The Reds (33-19) swept the two-game set at Great American Ball Park and have now won six straight games against the Indians in Cincinnati. The Reds are now one game shy of evening up the all-time series between the two clubs.
Manager Terry Francona will need to rally his team after they lost their third straight series and five straight games overall. The Indians (27-24) fall to 16-11 in the month of May. They have a current seven-game winning streak against the Reds in Cleveland though. In their last meeting at Progressive Field, Justin Masterson went the distance and defeated Bronson Arroyo by an 8-1 final on June 20th, 2012.
Two slumping American League Central teams will meet in downtown Cleveland and, unless Mother Nature continues to interfere, at least one of these teams will break their losing ways.
The Chicago White Sox are in the middle of a ten game road trip that got off to a rough start against the Washington Nationals during the week. After beginning the season with two off days in the first eight days, they have an awful span of 20 straight days with a game. They have yet to win a road game so far this season and return home in a week to begin a span of ten days of home cooking.
The Cleveland Indians were washed out of a pair of games in a four-game home series against the New York Yankees. The Indians are in the middle of what was supposed to be ten games in eleven days at home after starting the season with six on the road.
Cobb (1-0) pitched 7.1 innings and recorded six strikeouts and only allowed four hits in the Rays’ 6-0 win over the visiting Indians. Tampa Bay improves to 3-2 on the season while Cleveland drops to 2-3.
“Well the first four hitters were rough. That’s not the best way to start the game. To his credit, he reeled it in,” Cleveland Manager Terry Francona said.
During Spring Training the DTTWLN staff will profile and examine the coaches and players that make up and are vying to be part of the 2013 Cleveland Indians—A Team With A New Direction. Today, we examine one of the players that will need to take their game to the next level if the Indians plan to contend in the American League Central Division this season.
By Ronnie Tellalian
Lou Marson has struggled at the plate in his short Major League career. His once fantastic defensive numbers took a big hit in 2012. The caught stealing percentage can be largely blamed on the starting pitchers lack of ability to hold runners at first, but Marson’s value lies in what he can do behind the dish, not at the plate. Regardless of his bat skills, few backup catchers in the Major Leagues could do a better job at filling his role.
Marson came over to the Indians from the Phillies in the Cliff Lee trade. At the time, Marson was a top catching prospect. He hit .314/.433/.416 at Double-A in 2008, and before the Lee deal he was hitting .294/.382/.370 with the Phillies Triple-A team. All signs suggested that Marson had great patience and could handle the bat; couple that with his defensive ability and the Tribe seemed to have a very good prospect in the wings. His defense showed right away as he caught base stealers at a 48% rate in 2009. His bat, however, showed a poor trend. His first full season as a backup in 2010 he hit an anemic .195. His career .220 average does not reflect the hitter he appeared to be when he first came to the Indians.
During Spring Training the DTTWLN staff will profile and examine the coaches and players that make up and are vying to be part of the 2013 Cleveland Indians—A Team With A New Direction. Today, we examine one of the 15 newcomers to the 40-man roster this winter and the role they can play moving forward.
By Mike Brandyberry
It isn’t rare in Spring Training for a player to hit his way on or off a 25-man, Opening Day roster. However, in the case of Yan Gomes making the Indians roster revolves more around his catching.
And to make it more confusing, the better Gomes catches, the more likely the Tribe sends him to Triple-A Columbus.
“We’re still trying to learn about him,” Indians Manager Terry Francona said on Sunday. “We’re hoping that we’d see enough that we’d want to keep catching him because if you happen to run into a guy, that’s quite a coup. We’ve seen nothing to deter that thought. We want to keep seeing him catch.”
The Indians are have been trying to learn about Gomes, his full skillset and where he fits in the organization since he was acquired via trade with Mike Aviles from the Toronto Blue Jays on Nov. 3 for Esmil Rogers.
“I was extremely surprised and excited,” Gomes said. “I was in the Dominican Republic playing winter ball. It was a weird thing. I couldn’t get service, so I just got a text saying, ‘call me’ (from Toronto Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos). He just told me we’re sad to see you go, but we’re trading you to Cleveland.”
On this week’s podcast Erik Pinkerman, Ronnie Tellalian and Mike Brandyberry talk about the injury to closer Chris Perez and how serious it is concerning the Tribe’s season and who could possibly replace him in the closer’s role if he …
Friday the Indians agreed to contracts with six of their seven arbitration-eligible players, leaving only Mike Aviles as the lone road block to keeping the Tribe’s record of avoiding arbitration since 1991.
Cleveland settled on one-year deals with Drew Stubbs ($2.825 million), Chris Perez ($7.3 million), Justin Masterson ($5.6875 million), Joe Smith ($3.15 million), Matt Albers ($1.75 million) and Lou Marson ($1 million). Arbitration figures were reported by Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. Most settlements were for slightly more than what was projected for the player by MLBTradeRumors.
After the 1 pm deadline passed the Indians and Aviles exchanged arbitration figures, with Aviles reportedly asking for $3.4 million, while the Cleveland offered $2.4 million. The two sides have until mid-February to reach a contract on their own or an independent arbiter will decide between one of the two submitted figures. Aviles hit .250 with 13 home runs, with 60 runs batted in last season in Boston. It was his best year as a big leaguer and only as a full-time starter. Cleveland plans to use him as a utility player, giving rest to Lonnie Chisenhall, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jason Kipnis.
By Mike Brandyberry
Did I miss something? Did the Indians let another great player walk out the door? I thought it was just Jack Hannahan?
Friday the Indians non-tendered third baseman Jack Hannahan, and left-handed pitchers Rafael Perez …
After a disappointing 2012 Cleveland Indians season the organization is at a crossroads to decide how to progress with the organization, not just for the 2013 season but several seasons to come. Decisions involve ownerships, the front office, managerial and coaching decisions and the players. For the month of October, we’ll look at how the Indians ended up in their current predicament, but most importantly, Where Do the Indians Go From Here. Today we analyze one of the many players facing salary arbitration this winter.
While it certainly was not the intention at the time of the trade, backup catcher Lou Marson has been the most consistent of the prospects acquired by Cleveland in July of 2009 from the Philadelphia Phillies, in exchange for Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco, to grace the Indians’ roster.
When trading away Cy Young award winning pitchers, most teams have to hope the highlight of the trade three years later is not a reserve catcher.
So goes the Indians’ subpar prospect hauls and their erratic play over the last few years.
By Mike Brandyberry
It would be tough to blame Indians’ fans for going to bed early after a pathetic performance Sunday afternoon. If they hit the sack dreaming of well pitched games and timely hitting by the Tribe, hopefully they set the DVR.
Dreams do come true.
Justin Masterson pitched his second straight ace-like effort, pitching seven strong innings and benefitted from three double plays to defeat C.J. Wilson and the Los Angeles Angels, 6-2 on Monday evening. The win against a southpaw is only their 14th win of the season and comes just a day after the Red Sox Jon Lester embarrassed the Tribe, striking out 12 in six innings.