August 26, 2014

MLB Rumors: Indians to ink left-handed veteran J.C. Romero

Left-hander J.C. Romero has opted out of his minor league contract with the Nationals and is working to finalize a new minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

As the Indians have stumbled through the last several weeks largely due to a depleted bullpen, the need for left-handed pitchers has increased exponentially. Nick Hagadone, Rich Hill and David Huff—the three left-handers to get predominant time for the Tribe this season—have Earned Run Averages of 7.20, 8.44 and 15.00, respectively. Hill alone has allowed 20 hits and 10 walks in just 16 innings of work. Huff was designated for assignment on May 23 and was subsequently claimed by the New York Yankees.

Romero, 37, had a 2.84 ERA with 16 strikeouts and four walks in 12 2/3 innings for Washington’s Triple-A affiliate this season. Through 14 Major League seasons, Romero has a 4.16 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9. He’s held opposing lefties to a .220/.314/.298 in his career.

[Related: Indians still soaked from Friday night while MLB holds all the towels]

MLB News: Indians recall Scott Barnes; designate David Huff for assignment

The Indians announced today that they have recalled LHP Scott Barnes from AAA Columbus-

“Barnes begins his third stint (April 28, May 5-9) with Cleveland, posting an ERA of 4.50 in 3 relief outings to date with the Indians (4.0IP, 1H, 2R/ER, 2BB, 4K, .077AVG). With Columbus this season he is 2-2 with a 5.74ERA in 12 games, all in relief (15.2IP, 14H, 10ER, 8BB, 19K, .255AVG). He is averaging 10.9 strikeouts per 9.0IP with the Clippers and has limited Triple-A left-handed hitters to a .222 (4-18) average against.”

David Huff is out of options and will likely clear waivers. Whether the Tribe wants him back is another question entirely. The Indians have Brett Myers currently on a rehab assignment, plus Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer at Columbus.

[Related: Does the Indians bullpen have a southpaw problem]

Does the Indians bullpen have a southpaw problem?

Nick HagadoneOver the last three years, the Indians have constructed their bullpen in a certain way. You have the back-end, three-headed monster in Joe Smith, Vinnie Pestano, and Chris Perez turning leads into wins. The names around them have changed, but the group as a whole has been solid since these three have steadied the ship.

The key to a good bullpen is having balance and several options.  At least one of those pitchers is always a lefty matchup guy – a LOOGY (lefty one out guy) as many inside the game call it. The last two and a half seasons, the Indians key lefty was Tony Sipp, who came through the Indians system as a 45th round draft pick in 2004. Sipp definitely had his moments here and for the most part was solid. In four years in Cleveland, Sipp made 248 appearances and posted a 3.68 ERA.

It seemed as though Nick Hagadone was poised to take the late inning lefty role from Sipp last year, as he shot out of the gate looking dominant. Throught his first 14 appearances in 2012, Hagadone posted an ERA of 1.93 with 14 K’s in 14 innings. But then the wheels completely fell off of his wagon and he was demoted in early July. His ERA had ballooned to 6.39. Hagadone punched a wall after his last outing where he was tagged for two runs in two-thirds of an inning and broke his hand. That was the last we saw of him in 2012 The only Hagadone news was his grievance against the Indians for not paying him his Major League Salary while he was hurt, despite the fact that he was going to be demoted anyways. [Read more...]

Tigers 11 Indians 7: “Bad Ubaldo” reappears at the wrong time

Ubaldo JimenezThat one month run where Ubaldo Jimenez “found something” sure was fun, wasn’t it? I made the mistake of writing him off once before. I think I learned my lesson. I wouldn’t drink the “Ubaldo is back” kool aid and I won’t say that last night’s return of “Bad Ubaldo” is a complete setback.  But what we saw from him was obviously concerning.

This was a big spot for Jimenez, facing off for a second time this season with Tigers ace Justin Verlander. The first time around, he actually outpitched Verlander in a 7-6 Indians win two weeks ago. However last night, the Detroit treated Ubaldo like their personal punching bag. It took no time either.

Andy Dirks led off the game with a sharp single to center and stole second. Torii Hunter then singled to left. Miguel Cabrera continued his hot hitting with a double to the corner in left, scoring Dirks with ease. Prince Fielder then ripped a line shot up the middle that was hit right into the glove of Asdrubal Cabrera, who had shaded Prince that way. The Tigers kept the pressure on and scored their second run on a Victor Martinez sac fly. Jimenez would K Jhonny Peralta to end the inning, but it was clear the Tigers were not going to be done with Ubaldo. [Read more...]

Tigers 5, Indians 1: Scherzer Shuts Down Hot Tribe

Miguel CabreraI write these recaps four to five times a week. Over a full baseball season, some of them are so much fun to put together and they write themselves. Then there are others where you have to grasp at an angle because nothing really exciting happened. Then there are the ones with one or two obvious story-lines  Last night falls into the category of the latter.

It was another nice night down at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario as the Indians, winners of 18 of 22, welcomed their Central Division rival Detroit to town. The Tigers have led the division most of this young season, but have been overtaken by the Tribe during this three weeks of baseball heaven here in Cleveland. With a two and a half game lead entering this short two-game set, no matter what happens, the Tribe will stay in first.

While the Tigers payroll is near the top of the league, the two teams are pretty evenly matched. The Tigers rotation is superior to the Tribe’s, there is no doubt about that. However, the Indians pen dwarfs Detroit’s. Both teams have loaded lineups, but it is not hard to see where the Tigers trump the Indians there. Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder hit third and fourth. It is a 1-2 punch that is the envy of all of baseball. [Read more...]

MLB News: Indians part ways with David Huff, Ezequiel Carrera

More roster news was announced later last night from Goodyear: The Cleveland Indians have decided to part ways with LHP David Huff and OF Ezequiel Carrera. Multiple outlets reported that Huff was told he will be traded shortly, while Carrera was designated for assignment.

The news comes on the heel of roster decisions earlier Monday afternoon that trimmed down the 25- and 40-man rosters. With other competitors lining up for the precious few remaining spots, these two both became as expendable as ever.

Huff, 28, was the Indians sandwich-round (39th overall) draft pick in 2006 out of UCLA. He had ample major league opportunities, highlighted by 23 starts in 2009, but never delivered on his early potential. He has a career MLB record of 18-26 with a 5.30 ERA in 55 games (52 starts). He pitched 26.2 innings for Cleveland in 2012, while only posting a 4.97 ERA in 134.0 IP in Columbus. After it was clear he wasn’t a contender for the No. 5 rotation spot, he hoped to shoot for a bullpen role, but obviously things didn’t work out.

With this departure, it now means that the Indians only hold the rights to three of their first-round draft picks from the last decade: Lonnie Chisenhall (2008), Francisco Lindor (2011) and Tyler Naquin (2012).

Huff tweeted out a shoutout to Cleveland last night after the news was made official.

Carrera, 25, was acquired by the Indians from the Seattle Mariners1 in June 2010, in a deal that sent him and SS Juan Diaz to Cleveland for Russell Branyan2. Never quite viewed as that high of a prospect, he was a fourth- or fifth-outfielder for the Tribe in the past two years. In 116 career MLB games, he batted .255/.306/.347 with 18 stolen bases. The Venezuela native hit at least .285 in all three of his stints with the Clippers. He was leading all of the big leagues with 11 steals this spring.

More likely than not, because of his hot play, age and defensive versatility, Carrera should easily find a home elsewhere in the big leagues in just a few short days. Since the Indians designated him for assignment, fans will likely receive word soon of a possible trade for monetary — or other, if lucky — compensation in return. If not, I’m sure the Tribe would love him back in AAA.

Despite those positive attributes and relatively low floor as a player long-term, Carrera just didn’t have a roster spot with the 2013 Indians. Because of the additions of 1B/OF Nick Swisher and CF Michael Bourn, the team was suddenly loaded in the outfield and no longer needed the redundant depth. Expect OF Tim Fedroff to finally get an opportunity should injury arise or at least by September.

In a classy move, set-up man RHP Vinnie Pestano gave a shoutout to both Huff and Carrera on Twitter last night:

[Related: Four Stat-Lines to Watch on the 2013 Indians]



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  2. Of course. []

Zach McAllister Confirmed As #4 Starter, Huff To Bullpen

Indians manager Terry Francona confirmed today that Zach McAllister, the team’s most consistent starter last season, will join Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez, and newly signed Brett Myers in the starting rotation, securing the fourth spot in the rotation. Correspondingly, according to The Plain Dealer’s Paul Hoynes, Tito also said that left-handed starter David Huff will now be fighting for a bullpen spot instead.

McAllister, 25, was 6-8 with a 4.24 ERA last season in 22 starts (125 1/3 IP). He allowed 133 hits, 38 walks, and 110 strikeouts.

Huff, 28, is out of options, and his odds to make the bullpen may be long with a stacked Tribe bullpen that is immensely deep and may only keep one left-hander in the bullpen. That would likely be Nick Hagadone. Last year, he pitched in 6 games (4 starts) and was 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA. Huff won 11 games despite a 5.61 ERA in 2010, but he was 2-11 with a 6.21 ERA in 2011, including a ERA+ of just 64, 34 walks, and 37 strikeouts in 15 starts.

Related: The 2013 Tribe and jWAR

Pestano and Perez to the WBC gives others their shot

Nick HagadoneChris Perez and Vinnie Pestano are the backbone of the Tribe bullpen. Joe Smith is right there with them. There is no denying that the success of these three relievers will have a huge impact on which was the 2013 season will go for the Cleveland Indians. Each is at the top of their game and have the personalities to match. They are the core of the “Bullpen Mafia.”

Today, CP and Vinnie leave Goodyear to join the Team USA squad in the World Baseball Classic. Smith is still nursing an oblique injury and is about two weeks behind the rest of the pitchers. There is an opportunity that has arisen. The question is, who will step up and make manager Terry Francona take notice?

Tito was quoted as saying that CP, Vinnie, And Smith are the only locks at this point for the pen. That leaves four spots open with a lot of arms in the mix. Depending on how Francona and pitching coach Mickey Calloway want to go, there could be one or two lefties in that opening day mix. [Read more...]

On the 2013 Indians starting rotation and narratives

Ubaldo JimenezLast year, in spring training, I remember the WFNY crew was banging our heads against a wall trying to come up with Indians content. There ain’t no shortage of narratives and storylines this year. And that’s fun for everyone. Positives!

But today, I hope to tackle one specific topic from Jon’s “optimism” article earlier this week: the starting rotation. It’s a topic that divides a lot of fans’ and analysts’ opinions regarding the potential of the 2013 Indians. And while I know there could be millions of other arguments, I wanted to do a three-step piece today.

First, I’ll share an debate as to how exactly the Indians were “historically” bad in 2012. Then, I’ll share some intriguing narratives behind three of the starters. And finally, overall about narratives and the upcoming season.

This won’t necessarily be all stats-y, again, but that’s how it will start off for now. I’d love to hear your thoughts and expectations in the comments as well. [Read more...]

Trevor Bauer, and the Indians’ starting pitching outlook

Trevor Bauer is a game-changer. Yes, the new Cleveland wunderkind is only 21 (he turns 22 in January) and has just 4 (bad) games of MLB experience under his belt, but his sheer presence drastically changes the starting pitching algorithm for the Cleveland Indians going forward.

Obviously, there’s a certain amount of risk associated with Bauer. I’d be amiss if I didn’t address that. According to all the reports out there, he’s eccentric, stubborn, abnormally intelligent, a bad rapper, practically revolutionary and thus, seemingly was at odds with Arizona’s upper management, which is why the No. 3 overall pick in 2011 was on the trade block at all. He could not become the star many expect him to be. That’s possible, and you always have to address that fact when dealing with a very limited MLB sample size.

But, undoubtedly, the UCLA product has more upside and MLB-readiness by far than any other starter in the entire Indians system. He could immediately slot into the starting rotation from day one — but it’s not exactly certain if that will be the case. Either way, with the Indians owning his rights through 2018 (at least), and the fact he’s dominated AA/AAA batters, he’s the bright future of the Indians pitching outlook for many years to come. [Read more...]

Mercifully, Its Over…..But The A’s Are Still Playing!

Game 162. Regarding our beloved Cleveland Indians, it seems like this last two months has taken two full years, hasn’t it? I can’t remember a season that I wanted to end more than this one. Its crazy to think that I feel that way, considering as of July 26th, the Indians were right there in the race for the AL Central crown.

On the same day the Indians were finishing out the string and getting housed by the White Sox by a touchdown and a safety, the Oakland A’s were finishing off a historic season where they roared back from a five game deficit in just over a week ago, to win the American League West with 94 wins. At one point this season, both the A’s and the Indians were 44-42.

Last night’s Tribe loss? Their 94th. [Read more...]

Box Score: White Sox 9, Indians 0

The Indians (68-94) season has come to a woeful, merciless end. In a game as fitting as possible for this entire season, the White Sox (85-77) poured on 16 hits, led by three homers from backup first baseman Dan Johnson (his first HRs of the season), in a complete thrashing of the Tribe.

The next time you see Cleveland baseball, there likely will be plenty of changes to the lineup and the coaching staff. Oh, and Travis Hafner popped out to White Sox 3B Jose Lopez in the ninth. That seems ironic, doesn’t it?


Scoring Summary
Top 2nd: Chi White Sox
- D. Johnson homered to deep right, D. Viciedo scored
Top 4th: Chi White Sox
- H. Gimenez singled to shallow center, D. Viciedo scored, H. Gimenez to second on first baseman J. Hannahan’s fielding error
Top 5th: Chi White Sox
- P. Konerko homered to deep left, R. Olmedo scored
- D. Johnson homered to deep right, D. Viciedo scored
Top 9th: Chi White Sox
- D. Viciedo homered to right
- D. Johnson homered to right
 Chi White Sox
O. Hudson 2b 6 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 .197
D. Wise rf 4 0 1 0 0 1 2 1 2 .259
P. Konerko dh 4 1 1 2 1 1 1 0 2 .298
D. Viciedo lf 4 4 3 1 1 1 1 0 2 .255
D. Johnson 1b 5 3 3 5 3 0 0 0 1 .364
J. Lopez 3b 5 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 .246
H. Gimenez c 5 0 3 1 0 0 1 0 0 .455
J. Danks cf 3 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 3 .000
R. Olmedo ss 5 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 .244
 Totals 41 9 16 9 5 5 7 1 17
2B - D Viciedo (18, D Huff); R Olmedo (2, V Pestano).
HR - P Konerko (26, 5th inning off D Huff 1 on, 2 Out), D Viciedo (25, 9th inning off V Pestano 0 on, 0 Out), D Johnson 3 (3, 2nd inning off D Huff 1 on, 0 Out, 5th inning off D Huff 1 on, 2 Out, 9th inning off V Pestano 0 on, 0 Out).
RBI - P Konerko 2 (75), D Viciedo (78), D Johnson 5 (6), H Gimenez (1).
2-out RBI - P Konerko 2, D Johnson 2, H Gimenez.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - O Hudson 2, P Konerko 1, D Viciedo 1, J Danks 2.
GIDP - O Hudson, P Konerko, R Olmedo.
Team LOB - 10.
 Base Running
SB - D Wise (19, 2nd base off D Huff/L Marson).
DP - 1 (R Olmedo-O Hudson-D Johnson).
S. Choo rf 4 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 .283
J. Kipnis 2b 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .257
L. Chisenhall 3b 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .268
R. Canzler lf 3 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 1 .269
T. Hafner dh 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 .228
C. Phelps ss 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 .212
J. Hannahan 1b 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .244
L. Marson c 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 .226
J. Donald cf 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 .202
 Totals 31 0 5 0 0 2 9 0 8
2B - J Kipnis (22, B Omogrosso).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - L Chisenhall 2, R Canzler 1, T Hafner 1.
GIDP - J Hannahan.
Team LOB - 6.
E - L Chisenhall (6, throw); J Hannahan (14, field).
DP - 3 (D Huff-C Phelps-J Hannahan, C Phelps-J Kipnis-J Hannahan, C Phelps-J Kipnis-J Hannahan).
 Chi White Sox
G. Floyd (W, 12-11) 7.0 3 0 0 2 6 0 1.36 4.29
B. Omogrosso 0.2 2 0 0 0 1 0 1.38 2.57
L. Septimo 1.1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.98 5.02
D. Huff (L, 3-1) 4.2 9 7 3 2 2 3 1.31 3.38
T. Sipp 1.1 1 0 0 1 3 0 1.27 4.42
C. Seddon 1.1 3 0 0 1 0 0 1.40 3.67
F. Herrmann 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.83 2.33
V. Pestano 0.2 3 2 2 1 2 2 1.10 2.57
C. Allen 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.52 3.72
WP - T Sipp.
Pitches-strikes - G Floyd 99-59; B Omogrosso 14-11; L Septimo 13-9; D Huff 96-58; T Sipp 22-14; C Seddon 20-11; F Herrmann 4-3; V Pestano 21-13; C Allen 3-2.
Ground balls-fly balls - G Floyd 7-7; B Omogrosso 2-0; L Septimo 1-1; D Huff 10-10; T Sipp 1-1; C Seddon 4-0; F Herrmann 1-0; V Pestano 0-2; C Allen 1-0.
Batters faced - G Floyd 25; B Omogrosso 4; L Septimo 4; D Huff 25; T Sipp 6; C Seddon 7; F Herrmann 1; V Pestano 6; C Allen 1.
Game Details
Umpires: HP–Mike Everitt. 1B–Laz Diaz. 2B–Tim Welke. 3B–Paul Schrieber.
Weather: 64 degrees, cloudy.
Wind: 10 mph, out to right.

Box Score: Indians 15, Royals 4

This is very typical Cleveland, right? A day after losing their 90th game of the season, the Indians rallied back to score 15 runs today against the Royals. Seven of those runs came in a hectic top of the ninth inning.

The stars of the game: starter David Huff and the six players that collected at least two hits, led by Carlos Santana’s two homers. Yeah, whoever thought that sentence was possible in the first half of this season?

With the victory, the Indians (63-90) ensure that they will not lose 100 games this season. Win-win.

Scoring Summary
Bot 3rd: Kansas City
- A. Moore homered to deep left
Top 6th: Cleveland
- A. Cabrera singled to shallow center, J. Kipnis scored
- C. Santana homered to deep right, A. Cabrera scored
Top 7th: Cleveland
- S. Choo stole third, J. Kipnis stole second, S. Choo scored on A. Moore’s fielding error
- C. Santana singled to shallow right, J. Kipnis to third, A. Cabrera to second, J. Kipnis scored, A. Cabrera to third, C. Santana to second on right fielder J. Francoeur’s fielding error
- C. Kotchman singled to deep center, A. Cabrera scored, C. Santana to third, M. Brantley to second
- J. Hannahan singled to shallow left, C. Santana scored, M. Brantley to third, C. Kotchman to second
- E. Carrera grounded out to shortstop, M. Brantley scored, C. Kotchman to third, J. Hannahan to second
Bot 7th: Kansas City
- T. Abreu hit sacrifice fly to right center, J. Francoeur scored
Bot 8th: Kansas City
- B. Butler doubled to shallow left, I. Falu scored
- J. Francoeur singled to shallow right center, B. Butler scored
Top 9th: Cleveland
- E. Carrera singled to shallow center, M. Brantley scored, J. Hannahan to second
- S. Choo walked, J. Hannahan scored, E. Carrera to third, L. Marson to second
- J. Kipnis grounded into fielder’s choice, E. Carrera scored, L. Marson to third, S. Choo out at second
- A. Cabrera singled to shallow right, L. Marson scored, J. Kipnis to second
- C. Santana homered to right, J. Kipnis and A. Cabrera scored
  AB R H RBI HR BB K SB LOB Season Avg
S. Choo rf 5 1 2 1 0 1 0 1 4 .279  
J. Kipnis 2b 6 3 2 1 0 0 1 1 3 .255  
A. Cabrera ss 5 3 2 2 0 1 0 0 1 .270  
C. Santana dh 6 3 3 5 2 0 1 0 1 .257  
M. Brantley cf 5 2 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 .286  
C. Kotchman 1b 6 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 .233  
J. Hannahan 3b 3 1 2 1 0 2 1 0 0 .241  
E. Carrera lf 5 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 3 .240  
L. Marson c 2 1 0 0 0 3 0 0 1 .221  
 Totals 43 15 16 13 2 8 3 2 15  
2B - M Brantley (37, J Jeffress).
3B - J Kipnis (4, J Odorizzi).
HR - C Santana 2 (18, 6th inning off J Odorizzi 1 on, 1 Out, 9th inning off L Coleman 2 on, 2 Out).
RBI - S Choo (57), J Kipnis (70), A Cabrera 2 (61), C Santana 5 (75), C Kotchman (54), J Hannahan (28), E Carrera 2 (9).
2-out RBI - A Cabrera, C Santana 3.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - S Choo 2, E Carrera 1.
Team LOB - 9.
 Base Running
SB - S Choo (19, 3rd base off V Mazzaro/A Moore), J Kipnis (28, 2nd base off V Mazzaro/A Moore).
 Kansas City
  AB R H RBI HR BB K SB LOB Season Avg
J. Bourgeois cf 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .278  
A. Escobar ss 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .293  
    I. Falu ss 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .355  
A. Gordon lf 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .292  
B. Butler dh 4 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 3 .312  
J. Francoeur rf 4 1 3 1 0 0 1 0 0 .238  
J. Giavotella 2b 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .235  
E. Hosmer 1b 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 .237  
T. Abreu 3b 3 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 .288  
A. Moore c 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 .333  
 Totals 32 4 7 4 1 2 3 0 8  
2B - B Butler (30, T Sipp); J Francoeur (24, E Rogers).
HR - A Moore (1, 3rd inning off D Huff 0 on, 1 Out).
SF - T Abreu.
RBI - B Butler (101), J Francoeur (42), T Abreu (12), A Moore (1).
2-out RBI - B Butler, J Francoeur.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - B Butler 1.
Team LOB - 5.
 Base Running
CS - J Francoeur (7, 2nd base by D Huff/L Marson).
E - A Escobar (18, field); J Francoeur (2, field); A Moore (1, field).
D. Huff (W, 2-0) 5.2 3 1 1 1 1 1 1.00 2.25  
E. Rogers (H, 5) 1.1 1 1 1 1 0 0 1.09 2.54  
T. Sipp 0.2 3 2 2 0 0 0 1.31 4.76  
J. Smith 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.21 3.19  
V. Pestano 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1.01 2.07  
 Kansas City
J. Odorizzi (L, 0-1) 5.1 6 3 3 1 3 1 1.31 5.06  
F. Bueno 0.2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.13 1.80  
E. Teaford 0.1 1 2 2 1 0 0 1.37 4.74  
V. Mazzaro 0.0 2 3 3 2 0 0 1.72 6.30  
T. Hottovy 0.2 1 0 0 1 0 0 1.64 3.68  
J. Jeffress 1.2 3 6 6 3 0 0 2.08 5.25  
L. Coleman 0.1 2 1 1 0 0 1 1.39 4.11  
IBB - M Brantley (by V Mazzaro).
HBP - A Gordon (by D Huff).
Pitches-strikes - D Huff 86-55; E Rogers 15-10; T Sipp 25-18; J Smith 3-2; V Pestano 11-9; J Odorizzi 87-55; F Bueno 9-5; E Teaford 15-7; V Mazzaro 16-7; T Hottovy 12-6; J Jeffress 40-18; L Coleman 15-10.
Ground balls-fly balls - D Huff 5-9; E Rogers 1-3; T Sipp 0-1; J Smith 1-0; V Pestano 0-1; J Odorizzi 6-10; F Bueno 2-1; E Teaford 1-0; V Mazzaro 0-1; T Hottovy 1-0; J Jeffress 5-1; L Coleman 0-1.
Batters faced - D Huff 21; E Rogers 6; T Sipp 5; J Smith 1; V Pestano 3; J Odorizzi 23; F Bueno 3; E Teaford 3; V Mazzaro 4; T Hottovy 4; J Jeffress 11; L Coleman 3.


Rangers 5 Indians 2: Is The Streak III Occurring?

Nobody said beating the Texas Rangers was going to be easy, especially when you have starting pitching that could go either way on any night and a lineup that looks more like a 4A convention than a Major League team. But hey, as GM Chris Antonetti told us two days ago, these guys still have a lot to play for. Especially the young kids who want to have jobs in 2013.

One of those kids is Jeanmar Gomez. It seems like decades ago that Jeanmar Gomez looked like the best Tribe pitcher in Spring Training, running away with the fifth starter job and on his way to a solid April. Then, like so many Indians this season, the wheels just fell right off the wagon. Gomez lost his roster spot to Zach McAllister, was sent to AAA, and hadn’t been heard from since. He received a late August call-up after Roberto Hernandez sprained his ankle and took his spot in the rotation. Last night was Gomez’s third September start and once again, it didn’t really impress anyone. [Read more...]

Huff Activated, Sent To Columbus

The Indians announced today that left-handed starting pitcher David Huff was activated from the 15-day disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Columbus. Huff, 27, went on the DL with a strained right hamstring that occurred on March 29th in Spring Training. Huff was in competition with Jeanmar Gomez and Kevin Slowey for the fifth starter spot prior to the injury, and could have potentially earned a spot in the bullpen as well. In 11 games (10 starts) last season, Huff was 2-6 with a 4.09 ERA, allowing 17 walks, 55 hits, and striking out 36 in 50 2/3 innings. He joins a Columbus rotation that already includes Slowey, Scott Barnes, Zach McAllister, Corey Kluber and Chris Seddon. The Tribe now has two players on the DL in centerfielder Grady Sizemore and starter Carlos Carrasco, both on the 60-day DL.

David Huff to Make Rehab Start for Aeros Tonight

Left-hander David Huff will make a rehab start on the road for the Double-A Akron Aeros tonight at 7:05 p.m. The Aeros will be facing off against the Reading Phillies.

Huff, 27, is recovering from a strained right hamstring that he suffered March 29 at the end of Indians spring training. He was one of the leading early candidates to win the No. 5 position in the starting rotation, but his injury sealed the deal for right-hander Jeanmar Gomez.

Most recently, Huff pitched a simulated game last Monday at Canal Park in Akron. He is expected to pitch four innings or 60 pitches this evening, whichever comes first. He was eligible to come off the disabled list April 14, but no specific timetable is known for when he could return to Cleveland.

Huff holds a 15-25 career MLB record with a 5.50 ERA in 49 games. He was a supplemental first-round draft pick by the Indians in 2006 out of UCLA. He burst through the team’s farm system to make the club in mid-2009, but has struggled to find consistency against major-league hitters ever since.

He did shine in his first 6 starts last year with a 2.08 ERA in 26 innings pitched, before crashing down to earth again. Likely short-term options for Huff could be a return trip to Triple-A as a starter, a move to being a long-relief guy in Cleveland or possibly competing again against Gomez, who has just made one start so far.

Source: [Akron Aeros press release]

Indians Report: David Huff and Derek Lowe both leave game with injuries

Derek Lowe left after 3 innings pitched today with back spasms. Manny Acta said that the injury isn’t believed to be serious, and that Lowe should still make his next scheduled appearance.

The news on David Huff isn’t as good.

Huff left after facing just one hitter, after straining his hamstring fielding the ball. The injury likely takes him out of contention for being the 5th starter out of camp. Not that the Indians will need that 5 starter for a couple weeks after camp breaks anyway.

In other injury news, Chris Perez made his return to the mound today, setting down 3 hitters in 5 pitches.

Indians Spring Training Battles: The Fifth Starter

When the entire Fausto Carmona identity situation came to light, the Indians were left with a dilemma. Should they look for outside alternatives to fill the new void at the fifth spot in the rotation or should they consider the in-house candidates that were expected to start the season at AAA Columbus? As it turned it, the battle would be a combination of both.

Two days after the arrest of the man we now know as Roberto Hernandez, the Tribe traded for right-hander Kevin Slowey who struggled with injuries last year in Minnesota, but was a solid back of the rotation guy the previous three years. Just before Spring Training started, they kicked the tired on veteran righty Jon Garland, who was coming off of shoulder surgery. As it turned out, Garland failed his physical and never joined the club. So Slowey would enter the battle as the lone new guy and would take on Jeanmar Gomez, David Huff, Zach McAllister, and Scott Barnes. All of these pitchers have Minor League options.

But would the best man really win? [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Comparing Kipnis, Play the kids, and fifth-starter battle

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at

“Apparently, it’s not a unique opinion these days as Manny Acta told Pete Gammons this week that Kipnis was a “cross between Pedroia and Utley” and – while I attempt to compose myself and fight every urge that I have to order a Kipnis jersey online on the basis of that quote – the success that Kipnis enjoyed last year seems to portend that kind of impactful bat from the middle of the infield. Really, I think that gets to the crux of what Kipnis could do for the 2012 offense as guys like Kinsler, Utley, and Pedroia are the engines that make their offenses run. Sure, they’re surrounded by some talent, but just to use Utley (since Acta invoked his name) as an example, from 2005 to 2010, Utley had either the highest OPS+ on Philadelphia in (2007, 2008) or the 2nd highest OPS+ on the team (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010), so as much attention as has been paid to Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins, among others, Utley has been the straw that stirs the drink that is Philly’s offense for the better part of the 7 years that he’s been there.

Think about Kipnis in that vein and it’s impossible not to get excited and while it becomes difficult to temper expectations and enthusiasm after reading that Acta thinks that Kipnis is a “cross between Pedroia and Utley”, particularly if you remember the impact that he had on the team last year when he arrived.” [Cousineau/The DiaTribe] [Read more...]

Is the Tribe Down On Jeanmar Gomez?

Derek Lowe. Kevin Slowey. Now, Jon Garland.

Are the Indians throwing numbers up against the wall and hoping that a couple of them stick? Well, yes, that is exactly what they are doing.

At the end of the 2011 season, The Indians had Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez, the man formerly known as Fausto Carmona, and Josh Tomlin (I know he was hurt, but the Indians shut him down once they were out of contention) in their rotation. Rookie Jeanmar Gomez took Tomlin’s spot the final month and was a strong. In the first four of his five September starts, Gomez was 4-0, allowing six earned runs in 24 innings pitched. Gomez doesn’t have a high ceiling and looks like a back end of the rotation guy. The Indians have given him shots over the last two seasons and he has been solid, yet unspectacular. Again, just like a fifth starter usually is.

So why is it that the Indians essentially keep signing over Gomez? [Read more...]