April 19, 2014

Luck and Suck: FanGraphs digs in on two Tribe pitchers

Corey Kluber

Small sample sizes rarely stop the crew over at FanGraphs—if anything, they thrive on them, helping hardcore fans understand why a player hasn’t exactly done what has been expected of him, either for the better or worse. Given the small sample size discussion from our own Jon earlier this week, the latest from FanGraphs falls right in line, discussing the merits (or lackthereof) of the struggles being exhibited by two of Cleveland’s own: Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco.

In a post titled “Buy Low on Corey Kluber,” Scott Spratt echoes much of what Steiner said, focusing solely on the stoic one and his 5.50 ERA.

Kluber’s 8.64 strikeouts and 1.62 walks per nine innings are in line with his 8.31 and 2.02 rates from last year when he carried a 3.85 ERA for the season. In fact, Kluber’s 3.31 FIP is almost identical to his 3.30 FIP from 2013. It stands to reason that his ERA will fall in line if he continues to pitch this way.

Kluber is not unusual as a victim of the small-sample madness of the first few weeks of the new season. However, I do think circumstances have conspired to make him particularly vulnerable, and those circumstances have just improved.

To date, only the Minnesota Twins have been worse defensively in the outfield than the Indians based on the combined Defensive Runs Saved totals of the three outfield positions. The Indians have lost eight runs in the outfield, and almost all of it has been the result of Nyjer Morgan and Michael Brantley in center field.

Spratt, in addition to luck and a .411 BABiP, believes that the addition of Michael Bourn alone should allow for the fly-ball happy Kluber to regain his relative success. While it seemed crazy a few days ago, the fact that Morgan has been tagged with a league-worst five runs to this point speaks volumes to his demotion. While the article doesn’t mention the loss of Drew Stubbs as well, it does appear that if Bourn can provide at least baseline levels of defense, the team will be that much more better off—regardless of what he does at the plate.

Regarding Carrasco, things appear to be a bit less luck-based and more, well, Carrasco-based.

It’s easy to point to his 3.51 SIERA, ridiculous .400 BABIP and 53.8% LOB% and claim he’ll enjoy better luck moving forward. Similarly, it’s also simple to call him a head case, perform no analysis whatsoever, and move on. But of course, I’m not going to do either of these things. With a repertoire that seemingly appears fantastic, why isn’t Carrasco the best pitcher in baseball?

The odd thing about the inflated BABIP is that he has a allowed an LD% of just 12.9%. Given that line drives go for hits most frequently of all the batted ball types, it’s a surprise that he has allowed so many hits when the majority of his balls in play are ground balls. [...]

Although Carrasco’s fastball sits in the mid-90s and has touched as high as 96.7 mph this year and 98.1 mph historically, the pitch has been clobbered. He throws both a four-seamer and a two-seamer and both have been absolutely wretched. This year, the four-seamer, which he throws most often, has been hit to the tune of a .381 wOBA. While that’s terrible, that’s nothing compared to what hitters have done to his poor two-seamer.

Batters have quite enjoyed Carrasco’s two-seam fastball. How much you ask? Oh, just a delightful .761 wOBA. That’s not OPS, that’s wOBA. In OPS terms, it’s 1.811, including a .444 ISO and .667 batting average. Yeeesh. When you’re fastballs are that bad and you throw them a combined 60% of the time, no wonder why you’re getting blasted.

Fans have always loved Carrasco’s live arm—players who can get the ball up in the 90s are just fun to watch. That said, it’s intriguing that the best pitch for guy who can nearly hit triple-digits is actually his change-up. Carrasco simply can’t locate his heat. He touches 95 on the regular, but any major league baseball player can hit that when it’s served up over the middle of the plate, as Carlos has been thus far. Whether or not Mickey Callaway can coach Carrasco—and whether or not the pitcher can be coached—will be one huge storyline heading into May, especially with Trevor Bauer tossing yet another gem on Wednesday night1.

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

___________________________________________________

Footnotes:

  1. Six innings, no runs on five hits, striking out nine batters with just one walk. []

Indians 8, Padres 6: The Murph and Plush Show overshadowed by Pestano’s struggles

David Murphy

Raise your hand if you had David Murphy and Nyjer Morgan as Cleveland’s the two hottest hitters?

(crickets)

I will be the first to step forward and say that I wasn’t enamored by the signing of Murphy to a two-year deal this winter, especially coming off of his worst season as a regular.  He started the season 2-for-12 and looked bad doing so. But this early in the season, it only takes a game or two to get things right, and that is exactly what the 32-year-old right fielder has done. Murphy’s 4-for-5 Sunday got him going, and that carried right over into Tuesday night where he was the star of the Tribe’s 8-3 win over the San Diego Padres. [Read more...]

Rocky start, “Smooth” ending: Tribe splits doubleheader in Oakland

Mike AvilesThere is nothing worse than fans freaking out over one game. But the first of the two in Oakland yesterday was one of those of those examples. I’m going to say this once – it’s ONE GAME.

Scott Kazmir, whom the Indians let walk after resurrecting his career in Cleveland last season, spent his afternoon completely dominating his old club. It was similar to some of the performances we saw from the 30-year old in 2013. He was in complete control, pounding the strike zone all game long. Only twice did Kazmir even get to a three-ball count. Scott worked fast and the Wahoo offense never touched him.

Kazmir, who signed a two-year, $22 million deal with Oakland, departed with one out in the eighth, allowing just three hits without walking a single batter. He struck out five and looked to be worth every penny. [Read more...]

Setting the lines on the 2014 Indians

Michael Bourn

It’s that time of year again! The time when Jon makes up fake gambling lines for the upcoming Indians season and then makes foolish fake prop bets on them.

As a reminder, I make stuff up, then make up more stuff, then after the season we see how I did at making stuff up.  Waste of time? Or INCREDIBLE WASTE OF TIME?  Let’s get to it. [Read more...]

The Plexiglas Principle and the 2014 Indians

Francisco Lindor

What does 2014 have in store for the Tribe?

Measuring the degree of one’s own homerism is a difficult and never-ending task.  You never quite know whether what you believe about your favorite team is being overly colored by your desire to actually believe it, especially in the midst of never-ending winter.  And yet I feel that, on the whole, I’m a relatively rational and objective person as far as sports fans go—I’m not deluded like those troglodytes who follow those other teams.  I’m a sabermetrician, for goodness sakes!  I CAN ADD THINGS WITH EXCEL!  On the other hand, I’ve talked myself into believing in too many losers to trust my first instinct.  David Huff is quite decidedly not Cliff Lee.  Matt LaPorta will not become Ryan Braun.  All that glitters…

Anyway, there comes a time every spring when we get to calibrate our internal expectations against a somewhat objective barometer: the over-under odds coming out of Las Vegas.  Every year I tell myself not to get over-excited by these things, and every year I end up feeling blindsided by them. [Read more...]

Kluber and Masterson listed among breakout players to watch by ESPN

Justin MastersonClayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer and Masahiro Tanaka may be making all of the headlines, but two (considerably more cost-friendly) members of the Cleveland Indians are receiving prase as potential breakout players by certain scribes at ESPN.com: starting pitchers Corey Kluber and Justin Masterson

David Schoenfield of the dot com’s SweetSpot baseball blog praised Kluber for his solid 2013 season which included the sixth-best strikeout-to-walk ratio in the American League (4.1-1). To those who believe that Kluber may have merely been a flash in the pan, Schoenfield says au contraire.

He’s not just a finesse guy who lucked into a good year, as he owns a solid fastball (93.1 mph average velocity) and terrific curve. Batters hit .196 off it with just two home runs, 50 strikeouts and no walks.

While Kluber should provide more-than-adequate quality in the middle of the Indians’ rotation, Dan Szymboroski (who has also done spectacular work for FanGraphs) thinks Justin Masterson could have his name in the mix for the 2014 AL Cy Young.

By ERA, Masterson’s 2013 was not as strong as his career-best 2011, but there is one key difference: strikeout rate. From 2010 to 2012, his rate hovered at about 17 percent, but in 2013 it jumped up to 24.3 percent. Strikeout rates for pitchers tend to stabilize very quickly, much less prone to the lucky/unlucky runs that can sometimes plague other pitcher statistics, like BABIP and homers allowed.

 A 30 percent boost in strikeout rate is nothing to laugh at — it was Scherzer’s jump from 8.0 K/9 to 11.1 K/9 in 2012 that set off my alarm — and all that’s missing for the grounder-heavy Masterson is a top-notch infield defense.

Somewhere on the corner of Carnegie and Ontario, a front office is doing their best to ensure that this report doesn’t make its way to the all-but-impending arbitration hearing between them and Masterson. Reports are circulating that a multi-year contract with the Indians’ ace have not gone well. A free agent after this season (who happens to be asking for over $11 million for any one-year deal), if Masteron can play up to the expectations of Szymboroski, retaining him will prove to be an even higher hurdle.

(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

How badly do the Indians need more starters? – Cleveland Indians Roundtable

WFNY_roundtable

Craig: Maybe I’m blinded by optimism, but I’m not overly concerned with a pitcher. The Indians have Masterson, Salazar, Kluber, McAllister and guys like Tomlin, Carrasco and Bauer to find five guys today. Yes it would be nice to insert a name in that list somewhere, but I’m not feeling desperate just yet. Look at me being a Tribe optimist!

Am I taking those top three for granted and overrating the Tribe’s own guys? How anxious are the rest of you to add starting pitching versus other roster needs?

Scott: Ubaldo Jimenez and Scot Kazmir were worth just a little less than six wins between the two of them. In just 10 starts, Danny Salazar was worth 1.2; Corey Kluber was worth 2.7 in 26 starts. Extrapolating is a dangerous tactic, but it wouldn’t be far-fetched to assume that these two could help fill in the gaps that were left by pesky things like innings limits and injuries. [Read more...]

Revisiting Preseason Predictions for the 2013 Indians

Jason Giambi

Before every baseball season I like to make a bunch of predictions and fake prop bets about the upcoming year, and after each year ends, I like to circle back around and check on how I did.

This is a somewhat excruciating exercise for at least two reasons.  First, I’m not very good at gambling, and these follow-up posts serve as evidence to be used against me anytime my wife and I find ourselves in Vegas and I ask for permission to sit at a table for an hour.  Second, I’m reminded of how silly predictions are at all.  Below, you’re going to read about a bunch of things that I  thought would be keys to the 2013 season.  And somehow, you’re not going to read a whole lot about Yan Gomes and Ryan Raburn, two of the team’s four most valuable players.  That’s the nature of prognostication, I suppose.  Not just that we’ll be wrong about the answers, but that we’ll have been so wrong about the questions.

None of this, by the way, will prevent me from doing this all again, ad infinitum, until the warm earth receives me.  Below are the bets and how we did.

[Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Browns can’t trade Josh Gordon

Cleveland sports fans are waiting. Thus, while we’re all waiting, the WFNY editors thought you might enjoy reading. Because you never know how long we might be waiting. So here are assorted reading goodies for you to enjoy. Send more good links for tomorrow’s edition to tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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Video analysis on why Josh Gordon is untradeable: “While Gordon is one step away from being suspended for an entire season under the NFL’s substance abuse policy, he is also one step away from being an elite receiver in the league. The Browns should accept nothing less than a first-round or high second-round draft pick for Gordon. He is that good.” [Will Burge/Bleacher Report] [Read more...]

2013 Indians In Review: The Starting Rotation

Corey Kluber

The Indians wild ride has come to an end. The 2013 season was one that nobody expected. A 96 loss team turned into a 92 win club that advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. GM Chris Antonetti and Manager Terry Francona helped changed the culture of the organization and has our baseball team on the rise. There is a buzz in the city about the Indians again. It was a season to remember with so many great moments and the arrival of some new fan favorites.  

Each day this week, we will look back at a different portion of the club and see where we are today, a plan for 2014, and so on. We will begin with the starting rotation, a group that was a huge surprise in 2013.  [Read more...]

Starting rotation an unsolved long-term mystery for Indians

ubaldo twinsWhat a season for Cleveland Indians starters. After posting the American League’s 13th best staff ERA back in 2012, the Tribe turned it around magically this year en route to the playoffs, jumping all the way to the AL’s sixth best ERA.

Not many could have predicted that success, probably not even much-applauded pitching coach Mickey Callaway. Yet, after the team’s season ended abruptly last week, it’s worth noting that the composition of the 2014 rotation is now up in the air.

There are two likely-to-be high-priced free agents, one impending free agent after next year and a collection of still-yet-unproven youngsters and inexperienced veterans. Who will step up? What will the rotation look like? What moves are necessary?

Heading into 2013, it was assumed that the Indians would pick up a starter on the free agent market. They did so in the form of $7 million for Brett Myers, but that proved to be a disaster: Myers actually managed to have a -0.6 WAR in just 21.1 innings pitched.

With the below list, I count five likely starters for the Tribe as they begin the season: Masterson, Jimenez/Kazmir, Salazar, Kluber and McAllister. That would be maintaining the same list as this season, provided they can re-sign one of the two free agents.

But Trevor Bauer has to get consistent MLB duty at some point. What will the long-term status be of Carlos Carrasco or Josh Tomlin? Is there anyone else in the minors? And is it actually plausible for the team to re-sign just one of the two free agents? Let’s go name by name.

 

Justin Masterson
Turns 29 in March
Made $5.69 mil in 2013; likely to be $8-10 mil for 2014
Free agent eligibility after 2014 season

The de facto team ace is likely to return to starting duties for 2014. He had success out of the bullpen down the stretch, but that was due to his return from injury. The biggest long-term question mark is whether the Indians will be able to afford him past next year. He’s set to make a nice raise through arbitration.

Ubaldo Jimenez
Turns 30 in January
Made $5.75 mil in 2013; likely to receive $10+ mil offer
Free agent eligibility after 2013 season

Jimenez (finally) pitched like an ace over the last few months of the season. That will only make him more difficult to keep in a Tribe uniform. Some will say Jimenez owes the Indians front office for turning his career around, but unfortunately, that’s not how the open markets operate. Assuming he wants it, he’ll get at least four years and $50 million elsewhere.

Scott Kazmir
Turns 30 in January
Made league min. in 2013; likely to receive $6-8 mil offer
Free agent eligibility after 2013 season

The more affordable free agent option for the Indians would be Kazmir. He was a reclamation project this season, signing a deal just to join for spring training before making 29 starts and striking out 162. He’s not an ace, but a guy most organizations would love to have as a strikeout-prone lefty. My guess: $15 million over two years to stay in Cleveland.

Corey Kluber
Turns 28 in April
Continues to make min. salary
Arbitration eligibility after 2015 season; free agent after 2018

As we discussed in Friday’s roundtable, the development of these next two starters are key for 2014. Kluber was a big surprise this season, jumping into the rotation and dominating for three months. But an August injury set him back to end the year. Indians have to hope he can recover that success and stay in the rotation.

Zach McAllister
Turns 26 in December
Continues to make min. salary
Arbitration eligibility after 2015 season; free agent after 2018

Two full seasons, 46 starts, ERA of 3.99. Another impressive yet relatively inexperienced starter, McAllister also wasn’t great down the stretch. He wasn’t the same pitcher after a six-week injury absence in June and July. He seems to be a fairly reliable No. 4 or No. 5 starter, but won’t be a huge difference marker.

Danny Salazar
Turns 24 in January
Continues to make min. salary
Arbitration eligibility after 2015 season; free agent after 2018

The up-and-coming Salazar supplanted the guy below as the team’s best pitching prospect. He went from Double-A prospect to playoff game starter in one season, just like 1997’s Jaret Wright. Hopefully Salazar’s next few years are brighter however, thanks to the Indians’ watchful eye throughout the season. No questions asked, just let him go full throttle now.

Trevor Bauer
Turns 23 in January
Continues to make min. salary
Arbitration eligibility after 2015 season; free agent after 2018

Remember this guy? The perhaps too-eccentric-or-maybe-ground-breaking prospect? He had a 5.29 ERA in four Cleveland starts and a disappointing 4.15 ERA in 22 starts for Columbus. The statistics are brutal: 73 walks, 106 strikeouts and 119 hits in 121.1 innings pitched. Those are Triple-A No. 5 starter stats. I’d assume he stays in Columbus to start 2014. He’s not ready yet.

Carlos Carrasco
Turns 27 in March
Made $0.5 mil in 2013; likely to be $1 mil for 2014
Free agent eligibility after 2016 season

All the evidence you need: 9.00 ERA in seven starts, 1.32 ERA in eight relief appearances. With the likely departure of Joe Smith out of the pen, Carrasco can slip into a long-term long-relief role and perhaps some sixth-inning duties. That will keep his cost low and perhaps harness his innate strikeout ability.

Josh Tomlin
Turns 29 in October
Made $0.5 mil in 2013; likely to be $1 mil for 2014
Free agent eligibility after 2016 season

The Little Cowboy appeared in only one Cleveland game this season as he recovered from August 2012 Tommy John surgery. He’ll have the offseason to fully recover, potentially returning into a bullpen role as well. It’s also possible that he doesn’t return to Cleveland, considering the lack of available innings.

 

Conclusion: So there you go, nine possible starters and a whole lot of questions still yet unanswered. I’m sure there will be more discussions on available free agent starters over the coming months, just like we had last season. Almost all of these players have had long-ish periods of major league success. Now it’s just a matter of money and composition as 2014 preparation begins soon.

As I shared earlier in the week, my optimism isn’t high. Jimenez’s emergence was a key reason for Cleveland clinching a playoff spot; my odds are probably 75-80% that he’s elsewhere next season. Kazmir would be a nice returning candidate, but who knows how much his value is right now. Then, Masterson’s upcoming availability also casts into doubt how much the Indians are willing to break the bank.

In the end, Bauer and Salazar have to develop as future leaders of a rotation. If that can happen, which certainly is a possibility, then the Indians are in much better shape with a back-end led by Kluber and McAllister. But the young guys could need to step up soon.

AP Photo/Ann Heisenfel

All of the Indians tweets after the AL Wild Card loss

Sometimes, sports are tough. A perfect example would be Wednesday’s gut-wrenching 4-0 loss by the Cleveland Indians at home in a one-game do-or-die playoff game. As we wind down the team’s incredible run to a 92-70 record, I felt it was appropriate to recap some of the team’s best tweets over the past few days since that loss. Hope you enjoy and that this makes you even more pumped for 2014.

The Tribe’s pitching coach got it all started shortly after the game ended with this quick post. [Read more...]

Early thoughts on the 2014 Indians: WFNY Roundtable

Following Wednesday’s AL Wild Card loss to Tampa Bay, the WFNY staff was still giddy about the Cleveland Indians’ 2013 season. But, some were already not as optimistic about the picture for 2014. Here’s another look inside the WFNY email thread to see what we were talking about yesterday with regards to the Tribe’s future.

WFNY_roundtable

Jacob: From 1995-2012, 58 MLB teams had .600+ records in 1-run games. Of those 58 teams, 44 regressed the following season: 75.9% of teams. In total, those 58 teams regressed by an average of 5.8 wins/162 games the following season.

Sure, that’s probably just regular regression to the mean for good teams anyway, but still notable. I don’t think winning 1-run games is a skill however, unless you have Mariano Rivera. The Indians went 30-17 (.638) in one-run games this season, second in baseball to the Yankees: 30-16 (.652). Both could be prime candidates for 2014 regression. [Read more...]

Tribe Weekend Recap: Sweep of Astros has Tribe on cusp of playoffs

Michael BrantleyYou can only play who is on the schedule. Playing those games is one thing. Knowing that you MUST win said games and then actually going out and doing so isn’t easy. Its late September and every single game means so much to your Cleveland Indians, especially when you consider the cluster of teams that are fighting for the two AL Wild Card spots. Everyone knows about the schedule advantage the Indians had with 10 games remaining. But playing them and winning them are two different things. That is what makes this weekend’s four-game sweep of the Houston Astros so impressive.

I was at Thursday night’s 2-1 11-inning win. Every time Houston manager Bo Porter went to his bullpen or his bench or heck, every time I looked up at the lineup, I could not believe what I was seeing. This has to be the worst roster I have ever seen in my 37 years of watching baseball. Anyone who is an Astros die hard or season ticket holder should be appalled by this garbage product ownership and the front office is putting on the field. Trevor Crowe hit third on Thursday night and fifth on Friday night. Doesn’t that tell you all you need to know? Nobody in their lineup scares you. Nobody. Sure, they have Chris Carter and his 29 homers, but he also makes Mark Reynolds look like an on-base percentage machine. He has struck out 204 times this season. The rotation is devoid of an ace and while it has some quality young arms, you also have guys like Eric Bedard toiling in it. After seeing them Thursday night, the Indians had little excuse not to finish off the four game sweep. [Read more...]

Indians 5, Royals 3: Wahoo! What a comeback!

Michael BournOf all of the wins this season – now 82 of the to be exact – last night’s come from behind, 5-3 heart-pounder in Kansas City may have been not only the biggest, but it was my personal favorite.

For the first five-plus innings, the offense looked like they had turned back the clock to August. The Royals needed a starter because left-hander Danny Duffy was scratched a night earlier with forearm tightness. GM Dayton Moore and Manager Ned Yost decided to call upon top pitching prospect Yordano Ventura. Consider him the Royals version of Danny Salazar. The kid throws triple digit fastballs accompanied by a nasty breaking pitch, but still, this was his Major League debut. Remember Salazar’s first game? He carried a no hitter into the sixth against the Texas Rangers and looked dominant.

The Indians notoriously have problems with starters they have never seen before. Remember earlier in the year when the Yankees Vidal Nuno beat them? Or what about being shutout on two hits by Twins rookie Andrew Albers in August? Ventura completely baffled the Indians through five innings, holding them scoreless on two hits. With two out in the sixth and Nick Swisher on first base, Carlos Santana singled, extending his hit streak to 12 games. Up next was Michael Brantley, the Tribe’s most clutch performer. Earlier in the game, Brantley had grounded into a double play, but he made good this time around. Dr. Smooth singled to right scoring Swisher and chasing the kid Ventura from the game. Brantley is now hitting .355 with runners in scoring position. Everyone was impressed by Ventura. [Read more...]

Indians 14, White Sox 3: Sox Raburned Again

Ryan RaburnAfter seemingly weeks of one close game after another, nail-biters that have kept us on the edge of our seats, your Cleveland Indians finally made it easy on all of us. Make no mistake about the Kansas City Royals – that team can play. They have hitters all up and down their lineup, a rock solid rotation, and one of the best back ends of a bullpen in baseball. The same cannot be said for the Chicago White Sox.

The South Siders are closing up shop on their worst season in more than a decade. They sit 30 games under .500 and are in full rebuild mode. Their pitching staff, both starters and the bullpen, leave a lot to be desired. More good news – entering last night, the Indians had six more games with the White Sox on their schedule. There is no better tonic for a struggling offense than seeing some Chicago pitching.  [Read more...]

Tribe Weekend Recap: Two out of three is good, but…..

Nick Swisher

We have been talking about it for weeks, pointing towards it even. Some would even say counting on it. The soft September schedule arrived just in the nick of time. After taking the final two of the three-game set with Baltimore, the scheduling Gods smiled on your Cleveland Indians as the dead-end New York Mets came to town with their AAA lineup in tow. With 20 games to go and the Indians clinging to Wild Card contention, these are the kind of games they HAVE TO win. Every game matters that much more right now. The Yankees, Orioles, and Rays are all going to be beating each other up over the next three weeks. You can throw the red hot Red Sox into that mix – who should be your second favorite team until October might I add.

The time is now for the Indians. They can’t afford any missteps. They are on the cusp of the playoffs if they can just take care of their own business and beat the teams they are supposed to, they can get there. While they are a horrific 4-15 record against their division foe in Detroit, the Tribe is 21 games over .500 against the rest of the league. They can do this. The arrival of the Mets was the perfect tonic for a team looking to pickup some easy wins. They would end up taking two of three, but they really should have completed the sweep. Regardless, if the Indians win two out of every three the rest of the way, October baseball should be in our midst. [Read more...]

MLB News: Corey Kluber activated from DL for Saturday start

Right-hander Corey Kluber was officially activated from the 15-day disabled list this afternoon, returning to the Cleveland Indians active roster for a start tonight against the New York Mets.

Kluber has been on the disabled list for the past month with right long finger soreness, which was a similar issue that plagued Zach McAllister earlier in the season. Kluber’s reportedly scheduled to be on a 65-pitch limit in tonight’s start, which will test the Indians bullpen.

The 27-year-old former San Diego Padres farmhand is having a career season at the major league level. After being Brett Myers’ replacement in the rotation in late April, he’s starred as one of the team’s most consistent performers. He’s 7-5 with a 3.54 ERA in his 21 outings, made complete by a sensational 4.46 K/BB ratio and 3.16 FIP.

FanGraphs has written dozens of times about Kluber, even going so far as creating the “Corey Kluber Society” in its daily notes category. They tried out the Danny Salazar Society in Kluber’s month-long absence, but anxiously previewed his return to the rotation earlier today.

The Indians roster now stands at 37 players, including 21 pitchers. Kluber will face off against Mets lefty Jonathon Niese (6-6, 3.66 ERA) tonight, in a very solid pitching matchup.

The team also announced, via Twitter, that outfielder Tim Fedroff and shortstop Juan Diaz had both cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Columbus. Both were designated for assignment in last week’s flurry of roster moves.

[Related: 22 to go: Analyzing the Indians’ still-remaining Wild Card hopes]

Update on Raburn, Myers, Kluber Injuries

Several updates on Cleveland Indians that have been out of action for varying periods of time were released this afternoon. First (and of the highest importance), outfielder Ryan Raburn has been out of action since Sunday with a right calf injury. Word came today, however, that he is also battling an Achilles’ issue in his left foot. If it extends past the weekend, he would likely head to the DL.

Starting pitcher Corey Kluber and his right middle finger are back on the mend. The Captain is supposed to throw a bullpen session off the mound on Monday. Kluber last pitched on August 5th, when he did not allow a run in 7 1/3 innings against the Tigers. Getting Kluber back for the final few weeks of the season would be a huge boost for the rotation as he was pitching like the team’s number two starter for most of the summer.

Finally, the forgotten starter, Brett Myers, is back with his second attempt to return from an elbow injury this season. Myers was to be transitioned to a bullpen role, and he will make a start for Akron tonight. It will be his first appearance in nearly two months.

With Josh Tomlin currently rehabbing in the minors as well, Carlos Carrasco working in spot starts and out of the bullpen, and 13 pitchers on staff, the Indians have had some decisions to make for the stretch run of the rotation.

Related: Revisiting Chief Wahoo and The Cleveland Indians Nickname Debate

TD talking Tribe, Browns and turkey sandwiches – WFNY Podcast – 2013-08-14

WFNY Podcast LogoI couldn’t get a proper cold cuts conversation out of Brian Spaeth, so I saw an opening with TD and I grabbed it! Also, make sure you let us know what you think of the two songs I put together as potential replacements for our opening sounder.

  • The Indians collapse
  • Craig tries out two new songs as potential openers for the podcast
  • Is it good enough to just contend late in the season?
  • Do the Indians have any more free agency options in the bank?
  • Dropping the payroll to the bottom of the league in payroll
  • Asdrubal Cabrera probably won’t be in Cleveland next year
  • Where does the growth come from in Terry Francona’s second year?
  • Has Prince Fielder been a problem of a contract?
  • Asdrubal Cabrera as cleanup hitter is a joke
  • Mark Reynolds had one of the strangest seasons I’ve ever seen in my life
  • Lonnie Chisenhall and what he can become or not
  • Nick Swisher and how nobody kills him
  • Chris Perez’ time in Cleveland is just over [Read more...]