April 21, 2014

MLB News: Indians DFA Tyler Cloyd; Baltimore claims Cord Phelps

The Cleveland Indians designated pitcher Tyler Cloyd for assignment today and the Baltimore Orioles announced that they have claimed former Indians infielder Cord Phelps.

Cloyd, 26, hast not pitched in the Indians organization. He was oddly claimed off waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies organization just before the AL Wild Card game on Oct. 3.

The right-handed reliever had a 5.98 ERA in 19 games (17 starts) for Philadelphia in the past two seasons. He has some impressive Triple-A numbers — 3.39 ERA in 41 starts — but struggled to find consistency in the majors. We’ll learn within the next 10 days whether he will remain in Cleveland’s hands for 2014.

Phelps, 26, was designated for assignment in last week’s flurry of roster moves related to the David Murphy signing and additions to the 40-man roster. A former second-round pick out of Stanford, Phelps hit .159/.221/.248 in 123 career plate appearances in Cleveland.

Yet, he’s also done quite well over several years in Triple-A, posting a .286/.367/.471 line in 363 games. It’s possible that a change of scenery could be enough for him to carve out a niche as a productive utility man in the majors. He certainly wasn’t going to get playing time in Cleveland behind Jason Kipnis and incumbent utility man Mike Aviles.

[Related: How crazy would it be for Indians to consider trading Michael Bourn?]

MLB News: Grady Sizemore drawing interest

As of today, Grady Sizemore has still only played in the majors for the Cleveland Indians. That might just be about to change.

According to Nick Cafardo, Grady Sizemore has been getting a lot of interest because he should be ready for spring training. Of course, it’s hard to figure exactly what “a lot of interest” looks like for a player who has played in only about 200 games from 2009 to 2011. His last appearance in a game was September 22, 2011.

But with game tape on the books like Sizemore has and with a presumed infinitesimal price tag, it’s not surprising that Sizemore would be drawing interest. The Twins kicked the tires and have reportedly moved on.

Justin Klugh of Philly.com makes the case that Sizemore could be a low-risk, high reward maneuver for the Phillies.

But he would be cheap, is the thing. He would have to be. That’s sort of the baseline of any argument that signing Sizemore wouldn’t be a waste of space. After that, you just sort of watch and wait to see if he can still be a shadow of his former self and if that shadow has any real reason to be on the big club. If he comes out hot, well rested, and ready to go, then his inexpensive deal looks brilliant. If he’s lagging, in pain, or can’t push past the Mendoza Line after a while, then at least it was only a cheap deal. And so far this offseason, the Phillies haven’t made any moves much more exciting than “Grady Sizemore,” so they’re certainly not above it.

Of course, the hometown Cleveland Indians can’t be left out of this conversation. Our own Jon called it “dumpster diving” for Grady Sizemore in reference to Jason Lukehart’s post at LetsGoTribe.

GRADY SIZEMORE (all caps) is never coming back, and I’m not confident he’ll even be a real contributor again, but I would have said the same thing about Scott Kazmir last winter, and here we are a few month later, contemplating whether the Indians should make him a $14.1 million qualifying offer. A small percentage of broken players do come back from oblivion, and it costs almost nothing for a team to see what happens. I don’t know that Sizemore would even want to come back to Cleveland. He’s said nothing but kind things, and I believe he’s sincere, but he may want a fresh start somewhere else.

I wish Sizemore nothing but the best. I always felt more sorry for him than I did for myself as and Indians fan when he wasn’t able to come back from his numerous surgeries. Of course, you can count me in on the Grady Sizemore dumpster dive.

How about you?

[Related: Tribe Talk: Murphy, 40-man additions, and the Kinsler/Fielder trade]

 

Indians 10, Phillies 4: The Return Of The Big O

Asdrubal CabreraI know none of you were really concerned about the offense after the last three games, right? I mean, what you can’t forget is that there was a time earlier in the year where they were shut out back to back games in Tampa and then followed it up by dropping a 13 spot on the Rays. Make no mistake about it, this was a tired ball club. It is also a very streaky ball club offensively. These types of hot and cold streaks will probably continue most of the year. You just hope that the cold spells don’t last very long.

After scoring just three runs in three games Monday and Tuesday, the Tribe had a quick turnaround afternoon tilt against tough lefty Cole Hamels and his Philadelphia Phillies. It was their seventh game in the last six days in three different cities (Detroit, Cleveland, Philadelphia), so another bat slumber could have easily occurred. Then again, this is a new era of Tribe baseball. ActaBall is dead. Long live TitoBall.

One of the things you come to learn while watching years and years of baseball is that on the mid-week “getaway day” games, you often see both clubs give “getaway-day at-bats.” Guys swing early in the counts and strike-zones seem to be more liberal.  However in this one, the Indians approach against Hamels was the opposite. They were set to work the lefty deep into counts and wait for him to make mistakes. [Read more...]

Phillies 6, Indians 2: Tired Tribe bats shut down again in Philly

Scott KazmirBaseball is a game of extreme ups and downs. The Indians won 12 out of 14 games with an offense averaging 6.5 runs per game and mashed their way to the league lead in home runs. On Monday, they were supposed to have a well-earned and much needed day off. But thanks to April rainouts, The Tribe played a traditional doubleheader against the New York Yankees. They would split the pair, but other than a Jason Kipnis first inning solo home run, the offense failed to score a single run.

After the brief spot at home, they went back on the road to Philadelphia for an interleague matchup with the Phillies. Ex-Tribe manager Charlie Manuel sent out rookie Jonathan Pettibone to the mound, a right-hander that the Indians had not seen. In the second inning, the bats looked like they were regain their mojo. Nick Swisher opened the frame with a single. Carlos Santana followed by going the other way for a double, which landed just fair down the line. After a Mark Reynolds pop out (on the first pitch) failed to bring in a run, Michael Brantley singled two center, scoring both Swisher and Santana. The inning ended with Drew Stubbs and pitcher Scott Kazmir striking out, but the offense was off to a good start, or so it seemed.

The game really changed course in the third. [Read more...]

Indians 6, Phillies 0: Bauer & The Raburn Show Help Tribe to Fourth Straight Win

Trevor BauerOver the last three games heading into last night, the talk of Cleveland sports has been the awakening of the Tribe offense. The 33-run, 48- hit explosion was just what the doctor ordered to heal the wounded psyche of the Wahoo Warriors. And while the bats have been rightfully praised, there has been a dirty little secret side story going on beside it – shhhhhhh don’t jinx it – the starting pitching has actually been solid!

Corey Kluber got things started Sunday when he pitched seven strong innings of two-run baseball. He struck out six without walking a single batter. A night later in Kansas City, with a winning road trip on the line, the much maligned Ubaldo Jimenez gave his signature performance in a Tribe uniform, completely shutting out the Royals for seven innings on just three hits. As the Indians returned home after an 11-day trip, Zach McAllister followed suit with seven innings of his own against the Phillies. Like Kluber, The Zach Attack allowed just two runs – both on solo homers. With the doubleheader played last Sunday, the Indians needed a spot starter to keep the line moving. 22-year old phenom Trevor Bauer would be summoned from Columbus. [Read more...]

Indians 14, Phillies 2: Seven Home Runs…I Repeat…Seven Home Runs Pace Tribe

Mark ReynoldsWho are these Cleveland Indians hitters and what did you do with the group we’ve watched most of the season?

If we can take anything from this current Tribe three-game winning streak it is that this streaky team can be very dangerous when they get hot. The baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint. We are only a month in and we’ve already seen many peaks and valleys with our team.

We saw them get shut out back to back nights in Tampa, then explode for 13 in the series finale. In a three-game home series against Chicago, they combined to score two runs in two games, sandwiched around a nine run win against tough lefty Chris Sale. They scored just 11 times in a five-game losing streak and then ended the skid by dropping 19 runs on the Astros in Houston. Oh, but dont forget the three-game losing streak later that week where the offense scored four runs, including another shutout to open a doubleheader Sunday. That was when we thought the Wahoo attack had hit rock bottom. [Read more...]

Report: Indians in the market for OF Michael Bourn

A bit of surprising news on the free agency trail today: The Indians are reportedly on the short list of teams “in the market” for OF Michael Bourn, according to a tweet from ESPN and XM analyst Jim Bowden.

Tony Lastoria, writer for the newly rebranded Indians Baseball Insider, followed up to Bowden’s tweet to say that the Indians reportedly were interested in trading for Bourn at the deadline in 2011. This is the first his name has been connected heavily to Cleveland this offseason, as the Tribe usually has been related to their courting of OSU alumnus Nick Swisher.

But, Bourn is significantly younger and likely a better fit for a possible long-term deal than Swisher. A soon-to-be 30-year-old speedster, he batted .274/.349/.391 with 26 doubles, 10 triples, 9 homers and 42 steals in 155 games for Atlanta in 2012. The 6.0 WAR was the best of his career, but he notably also produced a 4.7 and 5.3 in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

The Phillies, Rangers and Mariners, also on Bourn’s short list, have been rumored to be in the market to spend money on a marquee outfielder this season. So the Indians are likely a long-shot for now — especially if Swisher’s power is indeed their preference — but it’s no doubt intriguing to see they’ve thrown their hat in the race.

[Related: The Pitch To Swish]

Only Losers Live Here: Re-imagining What Might Have Been In The Cliff Lee Trade

It is a sore subject for Tribe fans as it should be.

Back on July 29th of 2009, the Indians sent Cy Young award winning starting pitcher Cliff Lee to Philadelphia. At the time, the Phillies were streaking towards the postseason while the Indians were in full regression mode. It was the second consecutive year in which the Tribe dealt their best assests to reload with prospects. Lee was their biggest chip and it was of the utmost importance that they cashed in on him big time.

The Phillies were flush with top tier prospects. In 2009, everyone knew their best guy was AA starting pitcher Kyle Drabek. Next on the list were a pair of outfielders, Domonic Brown and Michael Taylor. The Indians tried everything they could to hold out for Drabek, but the Phillies refused to include him. Brown and Taylor were intriguing, but at the time, the Tribe thought they were set long-term with Grady Sizemore, Shin-Soo Choo, and a soon to be ready Michael Brantley in the outfield. They wanted arms. So they settled for the next best options.  [Read more...]

Breaking MLB News: Thome, Indians Agree to Trade

While it is unclear just what the Cleveland Indians gave up to acquire his services, former Tribe slugger Jim Thome has reportedly agreed to a deal that will bring the future Hall of Famer back to where things starteed.

ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that Thome opted to waive his no-trade clause to return to the city where he played the first 12 seasons of his career. Speculation surrounded Thome’s potential reluctance to play for the Tribe given their current place within the AL Central and his alleged desire to go back to Philadelphia to pinch hit and DH for the Phillies in the event they made it to the World Series. [Read more...]

I’ve Finally Forgiven Jim Thome

As Jim Thome is on the precipice of hitting 600 home runs I have finally come to the realization that I am not angry with him anymore.  I know I am one of the later holdouts amongst Tribe fans.  I am also well aware that nobody was really waiting with baited breath for me to come to this conclusion.  It just occurred to me for all the negativity I had regarding Jim Thome and him leaving Cleveland for Philly following the 2002 season, I am no longer feeling angry.

Yes, we’ll always have the infamous quote, “my wife is my rock…”  We can always make the argument that Jim Thome chased the last dollar.  Many will argue that the Indians offered just enough money to make it look good and guarantee that Thome would leave while still allowing the Indians to defend themselves.  We might never know if that was truly the case or not.  What we do know is that Thome left for a prospectively better situation for more money. [Read more...]

Indians Add Free Agent Chad Durbin

Veteran free agent reliever Chad Durbin has agreed to a one-year deal with the Cleveland Indians, the team announced early Saturday.

Durbin, who has pitched in 308 major league games across 11 seasons, brings dependability to the 2011 Tribe bullpen. Most recently, the 33-year-old righty pitched the past three years for the Philadelphia Phillies, and despite his October struggles, contributed a 3.62 ERA in an average of 65 relief appearances per season.

He previously pitched in 20 games for the Indians in the 2003-2004 campaigns. He signed as a free agent following the 2002 season, and then split time between Buffalo and Cleveland across those two years. He had mixed results in the big leagues back then – 5-7 with 6.75 ERA in 20 games, 9 starts for the Tribe – but now is a trustworthy arm out of the pen. [Read more...]

Carlos Carrasco Returns to Cleveland in September

A bright light is appearing down with the Columbus Clippers in the midst of the Indians’ recent summer struggles. Right-hander Carlos Carrasco has been cruising recently following a forearm injury and he looks to earn an easy promotion to Cleveland as September rolls around.

Considering the recent misfourtunes of Justin Masterson, this could be a very intriguing situation for the Tribe in the end. Even manager Manny Acta had some choice words concerning the two pitchers in a recent interview with Sheldon Ocker of the Akron Beacon Journal:

”Justin Masterson will probably meet his innings requirements by the second week of September,” Acta said Sunday to the ABJ. ”We want to limit him to about 180, but he doesn’t have to get every single one of them. If we bring up a starter, Masterson could finish his innings out of the bullpen. For sure, we’re going to see Carlos.”
[Read more...]

Indians Acquire Zach McAllister; Jason Knapp Stars with Lake County

Right-handed pitcher Zach McAllister is the newest member of the Indians organization after being acquired as a player-to-be-named-later from the New York Yankees. The 6’5″ starter completes last month’s Austin Kearns trade and he began the year as the fifth-best Yankees prospect. He still has upper-level potential despite a rough 2010 season in the Triple-A International League.

He will turn 23 years old in December and is 8-10 with a 5.09 ERA for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre so far this season. McAllister should immediately transition to the Columbus Clippers rotation and is highly regarded because of of his youth and previous dominance. He was 7-5 with an League-leading 2.23 ERA for Double-A Trenton in 2009, winning NY Yankees Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors.

For the Indians, completing this trade adds yet another high-level pitching prospect to the fold, a common trend over the past year. It certainly won’t hurt to have his name in a competition with Jeanmar Gomez and  Josh Tomlin among others while one other top young prospect stuck out Friday night in Lake County.

[Read more...]

Jason Donald Quietly Having Stellar Start in Columbus

The Columbus Clippers have a solid 14-9 record so far this season and Jason Donald is one of the key reasons why. Acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies in the Cliff Lee trade last year, Donald is a second baseman expected to compete long-term with Luis Valbuena and others. His early solid offensive production in 2010 is a good sign for the future outlook of that trade and Cleveland’s middle infield of the future.

In 22 games played, Donald is batting .321 with two home runs and 13 runs batted in. An impressive fact is that he has 12 walks against 15 strikeouts, a healthy ratio for any batter in baseball these days, let alone a minor leaguer with no MLB experience. He is second on the Clippers with a .424 on-base percentage, just slightly trailing the pace set by top prospect Carlos Santana. Additionally, in 18 games at second base and four games at short, Donald has yet to commit a single error.

[Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… The Need for a GM, Cliff and the Phillies, and Chinese Investment

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.

savageWhy we need a GM: “Say what you will about the departed Phil Savage, he brought in much more talent than what Mangini has. Sure, he missed on some, but the Browns had no Pro Bowl players when Savage arrived and they had multiple selections in 2007 and 2008.  I think there’s something to be said for having a true GM bringing in the talent and overseeing the operation. Mangini gets a lot of credit for having two winning seasons in his three years with the Jets, but GM Mike Tannenbaum had quite a bit to do with the player procurement there.  I think it goes back to the decisions made last season. When Savage was fired, the move to get a ‘czar’ or GM should have been made first before hiring a coach. However, since it was done the other way, the Browns and Randy Lerner are faced with the dilemma they have now.” [Fred Greetham/The OBR]

[Read more...]

Phillies Looking to Trade Cliff Lee for Roy Halladay

Cliff LeeThe undisclosed sources are chattering up a storm right now about a three-team trade that would send Cliff Lee to Seattle, Roy Halladay to Philly and prospects in all directions including Toronto.  So after being dealt from Cleveland to Philly and playing his buttocks off for the Phillis, Cliff Lee again finds himself trade bait so Philadelphia can get the guy who was their first choice all along at the deadline last season.  What a strange game baseball is though.  I understand that Roy Halladay was the Phillies’ first choice a season ago, but after making a great deal for Cliff Lee and seeing him pitch unbelievably down the stretch and into the playoffs, they are still pining after the guy they couldn’t get?  I honestly can’t understand it at all. [Read more...]

Cleveland Castoffs Staying Put With New Teams

cliff-lee-standing-ovationThough the Cleveland Indians will be coming off of a season that saw 97 losses, those that were traded away in said season will look to be a little more successful with their respective teams.  Fortunately for both Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez, they will get at least one more crack at the post season with their new squads.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has already picked up the club option on ace lefty Cliff Lee.  Costing the Phillies $9 million, hopes are that Lee can replicate his successes in 2010 that he saw in 2009 where he saw a postseason record of 4-0 with an ERA of 1.56.

[Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Mike Brown’s Decisions, Cool Cliff Lee, and Mangini Saving Face

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 in the sidebar.

mike-brownYour reigning Coach of the Year: “In a town where Jhonny Peralta has been the starting shortstop for the better part of a decade and Brian Robiskie is a second round pick, it’s too much to bear yet another coach who’s too dumb to see what’s apparent to even the most casual of fans. Not with the Cavs. All we have is the Cavs. It was one thing for Mike Brown to “experiment” with Shaq and Z on the floor together last night against Boston. The experiment, of course, was a disaster, and it destroyed any chance the Cavs had to win the game.” [Cleveland Frowns]

[Read more...]

Crippling Depression Anyone?

Whoever coined the phrase “a picture says 1000 words” must have had this photo in mind. Yes, folks, Mark Shapiro’s worst nightmare has come true – Wednesday night is Game One of the 2009 World Series and will feature the last two AL Cy Young award winners. Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia. Hey, did you all know they are former Indians?

IMG00239-20091022-1003
To quote Mr. Gump: “That’s all I have to say about that.”

While We’re Waiting… Yankee Heartbreak, Penalty Kills and Winning a Ring for the King

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 in the sidebar.

yankee sadTry reading this article without wanting to punch someone or something.  Long-awaited birth? Five Long Years?  Is there such a thing?

“It has been five long years since the Yankees could claim this position, needing just nine more innings of winning baseball to punch their ticket to the World Series. [...]  

It is difficult for some to believe it has taken so long to get back. [...]

Though most of the team wasn’t there to witness the heartache, some scars remain.” [Bryan Hoch/MLB.com]

[Read more...]