Baseball may be at a standstill, but the game goes on in some front offices as teams make some minor moves in preparation for the eventual arrival of the 2020 season.
Shane Bieber provided the Indians with seven quality innings and home runs by Jason Kipnis and Yu Chang supplied the majority of the support as Cleveland opened its three-game series in Anaheim with a 6-2 win over the Angels on Monday night.
Bieber, a native of Laguna Hills, California, and a UC Santa Barbara alum, was once again masterful as he shut down the Halos. Making his American League leading 30th start of the season, he led the way with seven strong innings of one-run work, scattering five hits and no walks while striking out eight on the night. The Indians scored early with three runs over the first two frames, then added on with a big three-run blast later in the contest to earn another needed win for the team’s pursuits of a postseason berth.
The Cleveland Indians blanked the host Detroit Tigers by a 2-0 final on Thursday afternoon to complete a three-game sweep while recording their fifth shutout in 15 wins this season against the Motor City Kitties.
The Indians knocked off the Tigers for the 14th straight time this season, a new club record for success against their neighbors from Detroit. They used a dominating start from Mike Clevinger, who won his ninth straight decision, and made two runs stand up to complete the needed sweep.
The Indians’ climb up the standings was largely tied to the return to form of third baseman Jose Ramirez.
Now, the team will have to learn to do it without him, as the Tribe may very well be without Ramirez for the rest of the season.
Columbus may open the International League schedule on Thursday night, but even more eyes will be on the club on Friday, when the Clippers will become Los Veleros de Columbus for the first of 397 Copa de la Diversión games scattered across the minor league landscape on the 2019 schedule.
In addition to the new nickname and colorful new jerseys and logos coinciding with their participation in the “Fun Cup” this season, the Clippers will also begin life anew with a new skipper at the helm, Tony Mansolino, who takes over for long-time Columbus captain Chris Tremie.
Cleveland’s Yu Chang delivered a big two-run triple for the West team in their walk-off win over the East team in the annual Fall Stars Game on Saturday.
Chang, one of two Indians prospects selected to the roster of the West squad this season, was one of the star performers in the exhibition, breaking a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning with his clutch knock. The AFL East team rallied with three runs in the top of the eighth to take their first lead since the top of the first, but the West got back-to-back hits with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game and then steal a walk-off win.
The postseason hangover in Cleveland has extended all the way to Arizona for the Indians organization, as the team’s participants on the shared roster of the Glendale Desert Dogs have taken four straight losses to open the Arizona Fall League schedule.
Seven Indians prospects are members of the Desert Dogs club, joining representatives from the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, and New York Yankees. Glendale is winless at 0-4 to start the season, which began Tuesday from the desert. They trail the first place Surprise Saguaros by three games in the AFL West Division.
The Indians have sent four pitchers – Justin Garza, Rob Kaminsky, Jared Robinson, and Dalbert Siri – and three position players – Yu Chang, Li-Jen Chu, and Connor Marabell – to Arizona for offseason work. Joining them in Glendale is Double-A Akron pitching coach Rigo Beltran.