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 – 36 days
The well-travelled Tyler Clippard was on the move again this winter, heading across the American League Central Division from the roster of the Cleveland Indians to that of the Minnesota Twins after putting up good numbers for the Tribe in 2019.
Quite a few familiar names and a few others not as well known have left the Indians organization since the final pitch of the American League Division Series sweep suffered by Cleveland at the hands of the Houston Astros.
In one busy offseason, the Indians saw new holes pop up all around the roster. Two corner outfielders, three more bench outfielders, the team’s starting designated hitter, first baseman, and catcher, as well as the two most important arms in the bullpen, all either left and signed elsewhere or were traded away, while the Tribe front office’s biggest guaranteed deal went to 37-year-old reliever Oliver Perez, who signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal in January with a vesting option for 2020.
Major League Baseball will kick off the 2019 season with its earliest start ever (excluding international openers) as all 30 teams will take the field on March 28. Follow along with Did The Tribe Win Last Night as we count down the days until Opening Day 2019. – BT
Countdown to Opening Day – 36 days
On the Cleveland Indians’ website, new reliever A.J. Cole has been assigned the number 36, after formerly being listed in the number 69 prior to being designated for assignment less than a month after the club claimed him off of waivers from the New York Yankees this winter. A non-roster spring training invite for the Tribe, Cole will have a chance to win a spot in the team’s bullpen.
Prior to Cole being assigned the number, Jesus Aguilar occupied 36 for the Indians for a few cups of coffee over three seasons from 2014 through 2016, but he surrendered his claim to the digits when Cleveland designated him for assignment ahead of the 2017 season before turning into a legitimate slugger for the Milwaukee Brewers. Another player with high hopes, but few chances with the Tribe while wearing the same 36, Yandy Diaz has followed a similar path as Aguilar, dumped to the Tampa Bay Rays as part of the three-team trade that sent Edwin Encarnacion to Seattle and both Carlos Santana and Jake Bauers to Cleveland.
In the final moments of this year’s Winter Meetings, the Cleveland Indians swung a three-team trade, sending Edwin Encarnacion and a Competitive Balance Round B pick in the 2019 draft to Seattle and both Yandy Diaz and Cole Sulser to Tampa Bay in exchange for the Mariners’ Carlos Santana, the Rays’ Jake Bauers, and cash.
The wild offseason for Santana continued as he was traded for the second time in less than two weeks. Last winter was eventful for the longtime Indians slugger as he hit free agency and signed a big pact with the Phillies, but after one season in the City of Brotherly Love and the emergence of Rhys Hoskins as an everyday first base option there, Philadelphia dealt Santana to Seattle as part of the package to acquire shortstop Jean Segura.
Eight strong innings from Corey Kluber and a three-run fifth powered the Cleveland Indians to a 5-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night from Progressive Field.
Pitcher wins have been devalued some in recent years, but that takes little away from Kluber’s effort on Tuesday, which secured him a career-best 19th victory on the year. He struck out eleven batters, his highest single-game K mark since April 9 (when he struck out 13 Tigers in his third start of the year). He ran into a brief bump in the road in the sixth inning, when the White Sox hit a pair of homers, but he otherwise contained the young and aggressive White Sox in his longest start since his August 4 shutout of the Los Angeles Angels.
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.
Six early runs and a quality start from Mike Clevinger paced the Cleveland Indians to a 9-3 win over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.
The Indians offense finally awoke with a big night at the plate, but Cleveland did not need the outburst as Clevinger flew through six easy innings on the mound to earn his eleventh win of the season while simultaneously ending the Indians’ three-game losing skid and the Royals’ six-game winning streak.
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.
It will be a familiar foe for the Cleveland Indians this weekend as they face the Kansas City Royals in three straight, but there will be plenty of things different on Players’ Weekend.
The Indians (73-54) started their seven-game road trip with a four-game set in Boston against the Red Sox. After taking the first two games of the series, they dropped the latter two in short starts from the staff. The Tribe has taken the last five games with the Royals and are 7-2 against them this season. Like Kansas City, Cleveland will be sporting the special Players’ Weekend jerseys, with the Indians donning red jerseys with navy sleeves and a red cap with a blue block ‘C’ and bill.
For the first time this season, the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox will meet on the diamond, providing the world with a potential playoff preview between the best squads of the AL East and AL Central. The Tribe traveled to Boston to start a four-game series with the Red Sox on Monday night.
The Indians (71-52) took two of three from the hapless Baltimore Orioles, capping the series with an 8-0 shutout in the finale on Sunday. Cleveland rode big efforts from unexpected contributors, using its MLB-high tying ninth grand slam of the year to put the game away for good. It marked the seventh straight series win for the Indians. The Tribe has had its issues against the AL East this season, posting a 2-5 record against the New York Yankees and a 1-2 mark against Toronto Blue Jays. The 3-7 mark against those two clubs has been balanced by a 5-2 stomping of the Orioles, who are the worst team in baseball.
Yandy Diaz deserves to be playing and suiting up every day in a Major League Baseball uniform. His bat could be very useful to the Indians, who have seen the bottom of their batting order struggle during many stretches this season.
The problem is, there is not much room for a player, even as talented as Diaz, when the player’s best position is third base.
The Indians will get a quick sample of home cooking this weekend during a brief three-game homestand with the visiting Baltimore Orioles.
The Indians (69-51) won another road series with a three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds earlier in the week to capture sole possession of the Ohio Cup. It improved the team’s record to 11-3 in the month. The Indians have nearly doubled the amount of runs scored by the opposition this month, plating 69 while allowing 35. They have the second-best record in the American League in August, trailing only the 11-2 mark of Boston, and are third-best in the Majors (also trailing St. Louis’ 12-3 mark). The team’s hot stretch has extended well into the second half, when they rank third among the 30 MLB teams with a 17-8 record, worse only than Boston’s 18-6 record and Oakland’s 17-7 mark. Cleveland took three of four from Baltimore earlier this year while outscoring the Orioles, 14-7.