August 17, 2014

While We’re Waiting … BDL Previews Cavs, Colts Scouting Report, Jack Hannahan’s Future

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 tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

Kickstarting their annual team previews, KD begins with at least some more optimistic words this year about Kyrie the Kid: “The Cleveland Cavaliers, once again, are a farm team. But unlike the one that put up with LeBron James’ growing pains and hanger-on demands before he skirted off to Miami, this one is essentially acting as a growing field for whatever the team’s front office decides will come next. The team’s rotation is almost entirely filled with players on rookie scale contracts, and while a good chunk of those youngsters won’t bowl you over, they have enough star guard Kyrie Irving to make up for any misgivings you might have about two-through-12.

Irving is an unabashed star. You could probably score on him in a pick and roll, and he doesn’t have John Stockton’s career assists record shaking in its mid-cut sneakers, but the kid is an All-Star level scorer and game-changer. … The other youngsters have a lot of explainin’ to do, though.” [Kelly Dwyer/Ball Don't Lie]

A fun back-and-forth begins with this skeptical outlook of Dion Waiters: “Look, I’m an optimistic guy. I was convinced LeBron would never leave Cleveland. If you dig hard enough, I’m sure you can find a post from my old blog where I predicted the Cavs would make the playoffs when he did leave because of JJ Hickson’s development. I thought the Indians were a lock for the World Series in 2008 after doing absolutely nothing during that offseason. I saw Revenge of the Sith on opening night. I’ve convinced myself of more than my fair share of totally absurd shit. That said, I’m freaking the hell out over Dion Waiters. Questionable (at best) shot selection, erratic drives to the rim, an ugly shot, limited range, the whole manner in which he was drafted, his past behavioral issues, all of it. I’m worried man. Talk me off the ledge.” [Angelo Benedetti/Fear The Sword]

An intriguing positive fantasy perspective on the Browns. You don’t hear that too often: “The Cleveland Browns may have only one victory this season, but in fantasy terms, this team has turned out some reliable contributors, and they’re all rookies. Brandon Weeden has tossed a pair of touchdown passes in each of his last two starts despite having two of his starting receivers watching from the sideline. As a bye week replacement, you could probably do worse seeing how Weeden takes on a soft Indianapolis Colts secondary that has failed to surrender two or more touchdown passes just once in five games.” [Jason and Justin Sablich/The New York Times' Fifth Down Blog]

Planning for the Colts begins with that No. 1 pick: “#1 – Going All-In For Andrew Luck: The decision to cut ties with Peyton Manning and banking on Andrew Luck being “the next elite quarterback” in the NFL was a major storyline this offseason. This isn’t a pick that can be evaluated fully in its first season. Luck has not shined above and beyond the other quarterbacks in this year’s class; even Brandon Weeden is having a comparable season to Luck thus far. … There are a few things to take into consideration with Luck: he is going to throw the ball…a lot. He is averaging 44 pass attempts per game, but he’s only completing 55 percent of those attempts.” [Chris Pokorny/Dawgs By Nature]

Hammerin’ Hannahan time might be over in Cleveland: “Jack Hannahan‘s days in Cleveland are likely numbered. At least, they should be. Hannahan, a journeyman third baseman, was picked up by the Indians before the 2011 season. He was tabbed to be a stop gap at the hot corner as well as a defensive specialist on a club seemingly with plenty of offense. Two seasons later, Hannahan is no longer needed as a bridge to the future. Young prospect Lonnie Chisenhall, if he can stay healthy, appears ready to be the everyday third baseman. The Chiz Kid’s bat, much stronger than that of the 32-year-old’s, is now needed in a batting order that has great need for a quality hitter or three.” [Craig Gifford/Did The Tribe Win Last Night?]

Surprising source here, but Boston scribe Dan Shaughnessy shares his thoughts on Terry Francona’s impact in Cleveland: “‘He believes in Mark Shapiro (president) and Chris Antonetti (GM) and what they are doing. You’ve got to have a roster and a payroll. It takes talent. Since the Indians took him on, he’s been harder to find. He’s been going at it 24/7 right from day one.’” [Bill Lucey/Huffington Post]

Preseason rankings spark Big Ten basketball storylines: “1. The Big Ten Is Under Immense Pressure: The good old phrase, “there is nowhere to go but down,” applies in this situation. Nobody is surprised to see Indiana ranked #1 but the Buckeyes and Wolverines’ rankings may raise some eyebrows. Both of those teams return three key starters from last season – Aaron Craft, Deshaun Thomas and Lenzelle Smith, Jr., for OSU and Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway, Jr., and Jordan Morgan for Michigan. Returning starters and potential All-Americans will trigger a high preseason ranking but three teams in the top five is still a big deal for the league. Having said that, if any of the three teams slip during the early non-conference games, they will slide down the rankings fairly quickly which will eventually lead to “the Big Ten is still overrated” claims among many hoops fans.” [Rush The Court]

Indians Weekend Wrapup: Unimpressive Start To The Second Half

The long All-Star break brought about some hard truths for our Wahoos. While they were just two and half games out of first, their margin of error was (and is) a lot slimmer than their rivals, the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers. The bats need to become more consistent one through nine. The starting rotation needs to get stronger. The bullpen needs to get some depth beyond the back end three.

It all started Friday night in Toronto. The Blue Jays are a tough team, but the Tribe’s rotation was set the way they wanted it. Toronto is missing four of their five top starters and the Tribe would have their crack at a couple of fill ins in lefty Aaron Laffey and righty Carlos Villenueva.

Instead of taking advantage, the Tribe bats fell asleep in two out of the three games, particularly with runners on base. To make matter worse, in the one game the offense actually showed up, the pitching failed them. The Tribe would end up losing two of three and lost ground to both the Tigers and the first place White Sox, who each won Sunday and gained a game. The Tribe fell into third place. Its a three-team race in the AL Central, but with the Tigers so hot and the Sox not slowing down, the Indians cannot afford a slump.

As we do every Monday, lets take a look back at the weekend that was in Wahooland. [Read more...]

Tribe 9, Jays 11: It Wasn’t As Close As It Appears, and That’s Ubaldo’s Fault

This one was a doozy. The Cleveland Indians obviously should have lost by quite a bit more to Toronto Saturday afternoon, and that’s all on Ubaldo Jimenez.

The former Colorado Rockies ace had his worst outing of 2012, exiting after just 2.1 innings pitched. Against the 18 batters he faced, he allowed eight runs on seven hits (including two homers and four doubles), along with four walks and just two strikeouts.

It was as bad as we’ve seen Jimenez in a Cleveland uniform, and that’s saying something, considering he has a 5.09 ERA in his 29-start CLE career. But in the meanwhile, despite facing an early 10-2 deficit, the Indians bats didn’t just lay over, and they fought back to make this an interesting game late.

[Read more...]

Indians All-Star Break Review: The Infielders

As we do each summer at WFNY when the Cleveland Indians hit the All-Star break, we take a look back at the four facets of the team on the field. There’s been been a lot to talk about with this club. Their 44-41 record is good enough for second in the American League Central, but the team has shown some serious flaws. GM Chris Antonetti continues to tell us that the Indians have not played their best baseball yet. I hope he is right. Additions will need to be made and in-house improvements will be a must if the Tribe plans on playing October baseball.

We started by looking at the starting rotation. Yesterday it was the bullpen. Today we will move to the position players, starting with the infield.

During the winter, the Indians had a decision to make. They knew they needed to add a bat, but would it be at first base or in the outfield? Second base (Jason Kipnis) and shortstop (Asdrubal Cabrera) were locked and loaded. At the hot corner, there would be an open competition between stud prospect Lonnie Chisenhall and incumbent glove-man Jack Hannahan. The catching position would be manned by the Carlos Santana, who many expected to take that next great leap towards stardom. Lou Marson would be back as his backup. The right-handed hitting Jason Donald was the odds on favorite to be the middle infield utility man. [Read more...]

Umpire admits mistake on Hannahan foul ball

In the seventh inning of last night’s game, Tribe third baseman Jack Hannahan hit a foul ball into the seats on the third base side. Yankees left fielder Dewayne Wise leaped into the stands and got leather on the ball, but did not make the catch. That didn’t stop umpire Mike DiMuro from calling it a catch however.

Hannahan would be tossed later in the game for arguing the call. A call which DiMuro would later admit was a mistake-

“Mike DiMuro: “Now that I see the tape it’s obvious that the ball fell out…In hindsight I should have asked him to show me the ball…”

Yes. Seeing the ball in the mitt of Wise would have been appropriate. Especially with a Yankee fan proudly holding the ball in question up in the air a few feet from Wise.

(Screen capture from Big League Stew)

Report: Hannahan to begin rehab assignment

The Indians have announced that 3B Jack Hannahan will begin a rehab assignment for the Columbus Clippers tonight. The Clippers are at home for a series against Charlotte.

Hannahan is batting .276 with 3 home runs and 18 RBI this season. 772 OPS and .345 SLG.

According to manager Manny Acta, he will need four or five rehab games before being recalled. The most interesting question might be who gets sent back to Columbus after his rehab stint is finished. Smart money will be on Lonnie Chisenhall.

WFNY Wednesday Wahoos: Indians Minor League Weekly Review 6/6

Every Wednesday, I bring you all the highlights from the week that was for the Cleveland Indians organization, along with some added insight on what it means for the major league squad.

Over the last couple weeks, we’ve seen quite the flurry of roster moves by the MLB team. Following injuries to RHP Josh Tomlin, C Carlos Santana, SS Asdrubal Cabrera, DH Travis Hafner and even a brutal HBP suffered by C Lou Marson, we’ve had a bit of revolving door with AAA Columbus lately. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Jeremy Lamb Rising, More NBA Draft Donuts, Hannahan DL Situation

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 tips@waitingfornextyear.com.


Yup, I’ve been drinking a lot of the Jeremy Lamb Kool-Aid lately. This is just another explanation of why: “4. Jeremy Lamb, University of Connecticut – This will put me in the minority, I think, but I believe Lamb would be a fine selection at 4. It is easy to forget how good Richard Hamilton was, but Lamb really has his potential, with the frame to support more muscle than Rip ever did. He shoots midrange lights out, is a fine long distance shooter, can create a bit of his own offense but uses off-ball screens better than most his age. Without Lamb, there is absolutely no way UCONN would have won a national championship in 2011. He was able to feed off a shoot first point guard and get his own opportunities and make the most of them. I believe with Kyrie Irving, its a perfect fit.” [David Zavac/Fear The Sword]

[Read more...]

WFNY Wednesday Wahoos: Indians Minor League Weekly Review 5/30

Every Wednesday, I bring you all the highlights from the week that was for the Cleveland Indians organization, along with some added insight on what it means for the major league squad.

The biggest call of the week seems to be the complex decision to promote 3B Lonnie Chisenhall back up from AAA Columbus. As has been reported several times, 3B Jack Hannahan missed about 10 games with a sore back, returned for one game Saturday, then re-injured a calf that’s been bugging him in years past. This is his first DL stint in the pros. [Read more...]

Indians Make Roster Moves: Chisenhall Back, Asencio DFA’d

As expected, the Indians unveiled a series of roster moves this afternoon. On the pitching side of things, RHP Josh Tomlin was activated from the DL and RHP Jairo Asencio, ye’ of 5.96 ERA, was designated for assignment. At the hot corner, 3B Lonnie Chisenhall was promoted back to Cleveland for the first time in 2012, and 3B Jack Hannahan (strained calf) was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Tomlin’s return to the rotation was announced a few days ago, and he will start for the Tribe against the Royals this afternoon. Asencio likely pitched his final game in a Tribe uniform Sunday, allowing three runs to the White Sox in the blowout 12-6 loss, and will likely have a choice to accept an assignment to AAA Columbus if he passes through waivers.

Chisenhall was batting .324/.353/.541 in 28 games for the Clippers this season, with four homers and 17 RBI. He also spent about three weeks on the disabled list with a strained calf, returning just on May 19. Since his return, he had three two-hit games in a span of six contests.

Hannahan returned to the Indians lineup Saturday after missing about 10 games with a sore back. He returned for one game, and now is out for at least the next two weeks with another injury, adding to the team’s recent injury spell.

Tomlin (1-2, 4.67 ERA) will face off against Kansas City’s Nathan Adcock (0-2, 2.33 ERA) at 4:05 p.m. this afternoon.

Report: Tomlin Expected to Start Monday, Chisenhall Pulled Early

After last weekend’s disappointing three-game sweep at the hands of the Chicago White Sox, the Indians are on the verge of at least one roster move today. Injuries have decimated the lineup recently, but it’s not exactly certain what the transactions will be later today.

Previously, it was announced that RHP Josh Tomlin would be activated off the DL and start today’s series opener against the Kansas City Royals at 4:05 p.m. Someone will need to be removed from the active roster in order for him to return. Additionally, 3B Lonnie Chisenhall was pulled in the fourth inning from Sunday’s AAA Columbus game, as first reported by our very own Kirk, then finally updated by MiLB and noted by Jordan Bastian this morning. No word on if that means Chisenhall is coming up to Cleveland, too, but that would require another corresponding move.

SS Asdrubal Cabrera (hamstring) and DH Travis Hafner (knee) both were hurt over the past few days, and could be potential DL candidates depending upon the severity of their pains. C Carlos Santana was previously placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list. 3B Jack Hannahan (back) just returned Sunday from an extended 10-day injury stint, where he didn’t go to the DL. SS Juan Diaz was unexpectedly promoted Friday from AA Akron, but Bastian also reported that Manny Acta said he’ll still be there Monday.

We’ll keep you updated when any moves become official.

Carlos Santana, Asdrubal Cabrera Removed From White Sox Game As Precaution

Friday night at US Cellular field went from bad to worst in the late innings, as both Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana were taken out of the game with apparent injuries. Manny Acta removed Cabrera in the 7th inning with what was later called hamstring tightness. Santana left the game in the 8th inning after taking a foul ball off his facemask. With Tribe already playing without Jack Hannahan and Travis Hafner, who stayed back in Cleveland with a sore knee, Friday night could have been a catastrophic turning point in what seemed to be a season on the rise for the Tribe.

After the game, Acta said that both were removed as a precaution during the blowout loss to the Sox. The manager told MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian that both could have likely continued to play, but with the outcome not in doubt, discretion was the better part of valor. He did not say if both would be ready to go on Saturday, taking a wait-and-see approach. The recently promoted Juan Diaz, who was originally slated to stay with the big league club until Monday when Josh Tomlin returns, would spell Cabrera at shortstop if he cannot go. According to Acta, Santana complained of dizziness after taking the foul ball off the mask. He will be re-evaluated with Cabrera before Saturday’s game.

[Related: Hafner does not travel with team to Chicago]

Indians Option Zach McAllister to Columbus, Recall Diaz

With Jack Hannahan slow to recover from the back injury that has kept him out over the bulk of the last three weeks, the Indians have decided to recall shortstop Juan Diaz from Double-A Akron. To make room for Diaz, the team has opted to send starting pitcher Zach McAllister to Columbus.

McAllister, in his four starts with the Indians, has done fairly well, posting a record of 1-1 with an ERA of 3.96, striking out 22 (as compared to six walks) in 25 innings of work.

Diaz, acquired in the Russell Branyan trade in 2009, is hitting .232 with three home runs, seven doubles and 18 RBI with the Aeros. A switch-hitter, he’s hitting .330 (with an OPS of .849) against right-handed pitchers.

[Related: Indians 2, Tigers 1: Break Out The Brooms]

Tribe Weekend Wrapup: The Pure Rage Edition

Wow. What an interesting 48 hours it has been in Wahooland. Here the Indians sit atop the AL Central division, two and a half games ahead of the Chicago White Sox and three in front of the Detroit Tigers. They have won four of six and are in the midst of a big homestand. The starting pitching has been great. The bullpen for the most part has been solid. While the offense continues to be up and down, there have been some encouraging signs from the likes of Shin-Soo Choo and Casey Kotchman. Over 82,000 fans filled Progressive Field on a beautiful weekend by the shores of Lake Erie. Yet all of a sudden, there is this prevailing negative vibe over the ballclub.

That is because Indians closer Chris Perez opened his mouth and let the truth fly. The comments and his subsequent refusal to back off of what he said after Saturday’s 2-0 win, have dug an even deeper hole with a fan base that, right or wrong, already didn’t seem crazy about him. But hey, there were games to be played against the Miami Marlins, who came to Progressive Field hovering just over the .500 mark, but playing much better of late. Since the Perez story has dominated the Tribe landscape, the majority of this post will dedicated to it. So let us jump right in, as we do each Monday morning in this space. [Read more...]

Indians’ Jack Hannahan Undergoes MRI, Josh Tomlin Awaiting Another

An MRI performed on the back of Cleveland Indians third baseman Jack Hannahan has revealed mild inflammation around the area of the facet joints. The facet joints are found at every spinal level — except at the top — and provide about 20% of the twisting stability in the neck and low back.

Hannahan, listed as day-to-day with the back inflammation, has not played since May 13 in Boston where he tweaked his back mid-game. The 32-year-old is hitting .287 on the season with three home runs and 18 runs batted in, providing a lot of the team’s offensive firepower early in the season when the team as a collective unit was struggling at the plate.

Veteran infielder Jose Lopez has filled in at third base in his absence, having at least one hit in each of the team’s last three games.

The Indians are awaiting the results of a second MRI on the wrist of starting pitcher Josh Tomlin who has been out since going seven-and-one-third innings in a no-decision against the Chicago White Sox on May 7. He experienced inflammation in the back of his wrist a couple of days later and said it may have stemmed from gripping the ball a little harder after a couple rain-slicked pitches slipped out of his hand.

[Related: What’s Going on with Derek Lowe?]

Indians 8, Red Sox 3: Hannahan, Brantley Batter Beckett as Tribe Fans Grin

Let me just get this right out of the way off the top; I do not like Josh Beckett. Never have. Never will.

Not only did he used to own the Indians, particularly during the 2007 ALCS where he wont both of his starts, but he also won a World Series title with the Florida Marlins in 2003 where he was the MVP. The Marlins having two rings in a seven-year span makes me ill on so many levels.The attitude he exudes, the slow pace in which he works, the way he disdains the media – all of it makes the guy extremely unlikeable in my opinion.

But I digress.

Beckett took the hill last night for the last place Boston Red Sox with a fresh new controversy on his hands (the off-day Golf incident). The Fenway Faithful have already seemed to be a little standoffish towards him since last season’s “Chicken and Beer” collapse in September. He entered this one with a 2-4 record and in dire need of a good performance to build back up some good will in his own city and clubhouse. [Read more...]

Indians 6, White Sox 3: The Bases Loaded Hex, Jackie, and General Cramping

What a crazy day in sports.

NFL legend Junior Seau dies of an apparent suicide. Four current or former New Orleans Saints players were suspended for their roles in the NFL bounty scandal. The New York Rangers beat the Washington Capitals in a triple overtime classic in the NHL Playoffs. There were three walk-off home run winners in Major League Baseball, and Jered Weaver of the Angels tosses a no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins. The Indians did their part on the local side of things, with a thrilling 6-3 win in Chicago to even the series with the Chicago White Sox.

The big story coming into this one was the debut of Johnny Damon, the man who the fans and the front office are looking to to provide a charge to the sagging offense. Johnny made four plate appearances, going 0-3 with a walk, and then had to be taken out of the game after six innings due to a new phrase that was running wild on twitter last night: “General Cramping.”

“I felt it in my hands, the back, the calves,” Damon said. “I was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ Sometimes I guess when you get jacked up and ready to go, this kind of stuff can happen. I plan to be ready tomorrow.”

As it turns out, they wouldn’t need Damon in this one to pull out the W. It was the long ball and a big time clutch hit that did it.

From the start however, it looked as if we were heading down the same road we’ve seen offensively during the last homestand. In the first inning, Jason Kipnis walked and Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a ground-rule double which forced Kipnis to stay at third. Shin-Soo Choo and Travis Hafner then failed to come through in a strikeout sandwich with a Carlos Santana walk as the middle against Sox righty Phil Humber.

They loaded the bases again in the third with one out on a Kipnis single, a Cabrera walk, and Hafner being drilled in the knee with a pitch. Once again, nothing came of it after Santana and Choo both struck out.  After these two fiascos where the Tribe stranded six runners, the numbers with the bases loaded moved to a putrid 3-26  (.115) overall and 0-14 with two out.

Here we go again? Not so fast.

Josh Tomlin, Manny Acta’s “Little Cowboy” made quick work of the Sox in the first three innings but was touched up for an Adam Dunn solo homer in the fourth. With Chicago ahead 1-0, the Tribe attack finally struck back with some two out lightning. With nobody on Cabrera walked a second time and Hafner singled, bringing Santana to the plate with another RBI chance. He took full advantage by absolutely tattooing a Humber pitch deep into the right field seats to put the Tribe on top 3-1.

The lead was short lived as Tomlin struggled in the bottom half of the frame.

The Sox had two on with two out and Tomlin had a chance to get out of the jam, but he walked Alejandro De Aza on four pitches to load the bases.  The then .202 Alexei Ramirez singled to left, scoring two to tie things at three. We got our first taste of the Johnny Damon arm experience on the Ramirez hit. His throw to third was Aaron Cunningham-esque; a grounder. As long as Damon hits, we won’t care about his defense, but just prepare yourself for the fact that everyone will be running on him on any hit to left field.

After Tomlin and Humber both got through the sixth unscathed, the game turned into the battle of the bullpens. Advantage: Bullpen Mafia.

Sox lefty Will Ohman and Tribe side-arm special Joe Smith traded scoreless frames in the seventh, moving things forward. Ohman got the first two Indians in the eighth before Michael Brantley singled. Casey Kotchman, in a 2-30 skid and hitting .143 on the season, actually worked a walk, putting the go-ahead run in scoring position for Mr. Clutch himself, Jack Hannahan.

“I love coming up with guys in scoring position,” Hannahan said.

Interestingly, White Sox rookie manager Robin Ventura decided to pull the lefty Ohman for hard throwing rookie right-hander Addison Reed. Lefty, righty, knucker-baller, side-armer, it just doesn’t seem to matter to Hannahan in big spots. Jackie laced a double down the left field line scoring Brantley and putting the Indians in the lead.

It never gets old looking at these stats: Hannahan is now hitting .500 (9-18) with 15 RBIs with runners in scoring position, 8-13 (.615) with 12 RBIs with two outs and runners in scoring position!

Incredible.

“Jack Hannahan is a two-out, RBI machine,” said Joe Smith, who thanks to Hannahan was the winning pitcher for the first time this season.

“Early on in my career, when I’ve had guys in scoring position, I was trying to do too much,” Hannahan explained.  “I was trying to hit that home run instead of just hitting the ball the other way or hitting a ground ball up the middle. I’ve found out this year that less is more. I’m just trying to put the bat on the ball.”

The Tribe wasn’t done though.  They got two huge insurance runs in the ninth thanks to a Hafner two-run blast off of lefty Matt Thornton. Hafner limped around the bases, still feeling the soreness of being hit in the knee by a a Humber pitch earlier in the game. But I will say this, Pronk looks like he is back. When he has been healthy the past year-plus, his batting eye is there. He is stinging the ball off the bat and looks closer to the man who was so good during the middle part of the last decade.

With a three-run cushion, closer Chris Perez settled in and got the Sox 1-2-3 for his eighth save. It was a gritty win for this group, who now sit alone in first place in the AL Central. They go for another series win tonight with ace Justin Masterson (0-2, 5.40 ERA) taking the hill. Its May 3rd and he is still looking for his first win of the season. The Sox counter with lefty John Danks (2-3, 6.23 ERA) who beat the Tribe on April 11th, but was shaky going just five and two-thirds and allowing four runs on seven hits.

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Tribe Weekend Wrapup: Progressive Field Magic, Starting Pitching, and The Sun

It was another odd weekend of baseball down at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario. In case you hadn’t heard (and judging by the attendance, you haven’t – ha ha) the Indians offense has just a tad bit of trouble scoring these days. This weekend was no exception. It certainly didn’t help matters when the Los Angeles Angels sent Jeff Weaver, Dan Haren, and Ervin Santana out to the mound.

It is no secret how the Indians win games; good pitching and timely hitting. Well, the first part of that equation showed up and the Indians used a little help from the elements in taking two of three from the reeling Angels. This was a good time to catch them. They have a loaded rotation and a great lineup, but they happen to be struggling mightily. When they return again in July, I can guarantee they will be a much improved club.

So how exactly did the Indians take this series? What all went right? What are we going to do about this stagnant offense? As we do every Monday morning during the season, let us take a look back at the weekend that was in Wahooland. [Read more...]

Box Score: Indians 1, Angels 2

Torii Hunter hit his second homer in as many games against the Indians (10-9), as the Los Angeles Angels held on to win 2-1 Saturday afternoon at Progressive Field. The victory ended a five-game losing streak for the Angels (7-14).

The game was delayed for over two hours to start the afternoon, with first pitch moved back to around 3:30 p.m. From there, LA took an early lead on a Kendry Morales RBI single. Hunter then provided for an early 2-0 advantage with his solo blast in the fourth. The Indians netted their lone run in the fourth predictably on an RBI single from Jack Hannahan. That’d be all the scoring for the night, as this has truly been an pitcher-dominated series so far.

Indians starter Jeanmar Gomez settled down after the early runs, earning a quality start with a career-high seven strikeouts in six innings of work. The Tribe hardly managed to do much at all against Angels starter Dan Haren, who dominated for eight innings before Scott Downs came in for his first save.

LA Angels
AB R H RBI HR BB K SB LOB Season Avg
M. Trout lf 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000
H. Kendrick 2b 3 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 .263
A. Pujols 1b 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 .226
K. Morales dh 4 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 .267
T. Hunter rf 4 1 1 1 1 0 3 0 2 .299
M. Trumbo 3b 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 .326
    A. Callaspo 3b 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .182
E. Aybar ss 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .218
B. Wilson c 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 .200
P. Bourjos cf 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 .167
 Totals 33 2 5 2 1 2 10 0 9
 Batting
HR - T Hunter (2, 4th inning off J Gomez 0 on, 0 Out).
RBI - K Morales (6), T Hunter (9).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - K Morales 1, M Trumbo 1, B Wilson 1, P Bourjos 1.
Team LOB - 6.
 Cleveland
AB R H RBI HR BB K SB LOB Season Avg
M. Brantley cf 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .233
J. Kipnis 2b 4 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 .257
A. Cabrera ss 3 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 .305
T. Hafner dh 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 .298
C. Santana c 4 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 2 .230
J. Hannahan 3b 4 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .300
S. Duncan lf 3 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 .241
C. Kotchman 1b 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 .143
A. Cunningham rf 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .235
 Totals 31 1 4 1 0 2 8 0 10
 Batting
2B - M Brantley (6, D Haren).
RBI - J Hannahan (14).
2-out RBI - J Hannahan.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - T Hafner 1, S Duncan 2, A Cunningham 1.
Team LOB - 5.
 Fielding
E - J Kipnis (2, field).
PB - C Santana.

 

 LA Angels
IP H R ER BB K HR WHIP Season ERA
D. Haren (W, 1-1) 8.0 4 1 1 2 7 0 1.24 3.34
S. Downs (S, 1) 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.88 0.00
 Cleveland
IP H R ER BB K HR WHIP Season ERA
J. Gomez (L, 1-1) 6.0 5 2 2 2 7 1 0.78 2.35
J. Smith 2.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1.06 1.74
N. Hagadone 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.69 2.08

Is Jack Hannahan The Next Casey Blake?

The following piece is something that I never thought I would write. I also still to this day cannot understand the immense love for Casey Blake that the Indians fans and the organization itself had for this guy. Readers of this site know that I have been a Blake hater for years. But nevertheless, I saw and appreciated his value and there will be a point to all of this.

GM Chris Antonetti may soon be forced into an interesting dilemma. One nobody thought would ever be possible. That is because Jack Hannahan has become an indispensable part of the Cleveland Indians.

Jack was signed as a minor league free agent before the start of last season and was expected to be nothing more than organizational depth. This was a guy who was in the bigs for parts of four seasons, but never was any sort of factor. Hannahan spent the entire 2010 season in AAA where he hit just .237. Then thanks to a Jason Donald broken hand, Jackie became the starting third baseman. Nobody expected him to stick around all season with the big club, let alone keep the hot corner gig.  [Read more...]