July 23, 2014

Preview of the 2010 Indians Starting Rotation

AL PLAYOFFS INDIANS MARINERSYesterday’s hire of Tim Belcher as Cleveland’s pitching coach gave a glimpse at what the Indians are looking to accomplish this season at the Major League level. Belcher, who has been all around the organization for the past eight years, had a relatively solid MLB playing career under some of the top pitching coaches in the business including Bud Black over for the Angels. With this hire in place, it is now the perfect time to analyze what he and new manager Manny Acta will have to assemble their opening day rotation.

Beginning from #13 and advancing to your projected opening day starter, I preview all of the different individuals that could have an impact as a starter for the Cleveland Indians this season. I included all of the recent stats at the top levels of the minor leagues as well as their career MLB record and age for the start of this season. I have heard grumblings that the team might be interested in acquiring an extra starting pitcher to help all of the youngsters, but we will see later how that affects this early breakdown.

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Poppin’ Champagne: Akron Aeros 2009 Championship Season-in-Review (Part 1)

aeros-championshipWhat a scene it was. The Akron Aeros capped off their miraculous season with a sensational championship-sealing victory Saturday night against the Connecticut Defenders (San Francisco Giants). In holding on to win 10-6, the Aeros won for the 14th time in 15 games to end the year and capped off the third Eastern League Championship in just seven years for the Indians Double-A affiiliate. In fact, in the past eight years that is now three championships, seven pennants, seven playoff berths and now a record-setting five straight 80-win seasons.

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Unsuspecting Shoppach and Sowers Shine while Santana’s Hitting Streak Snapped

Indians White Sox Baseball

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Cleveland 6, Chicago White Sox 2: Box Score

The Indians won yet again last night, continuing a two and a half week surge while getting contributions from the oddest of places and even setting an American League record for hitting futility. Taking on the Chicago White Sox and All-Star Mark Buehrle, it was not expected that Cleveland and lefty starter Jeremy Sowers would be able to contend for all nine innings. But yet again, just like last season when the Indians went 32-17 to end the year, they found a way to win thanks to a pair of home runs by catcher Kelly Shoppach and a quality start from Sowers.

Buehrle is on track for 30+ starts for a ninth straight season in the big leagues. In those nine years, only twice has he had an ERA above 3.90, and once has it been above 4.15. He has now thrown a no-hitter, a perfect game, been a four-time All-Star, set a Major League record by retiring 45 consecutive hitters and won a World Series title in 2005. All of that led to Friday night’s game with Cleveland where he faced the suddenly solid 26-year-old Sowers, who looked a lot more like the Buehrle of old than even Buehrle. The long-time Chi-Sox pitcher has not done too well in his career against the Tribe (now 10-14 with a 4.83 ERA), but nobody could have seen this exact result coming.

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Carlos Santana Ties Home Run Record as Aeros Demolish Erie SeaWolves 9-0

santana8It was an historic night at Canal Park Monday evening as Carlos Santana and the Akron Aeros dominated the  Erie SeaWolves by the final count of 9-0. LHP Ryan Edell was sensational yet again, but the main story was the slugging of Santana and the offensive outburst by the suddenly mediocre Aeros. Entering the contest last night, Akron was exactly 33-33 in their past 66 games, as their lead in the Southern Division had dwindled down only three games above Erie. To add insult to injury, the Aeros were just 3-12 against the SeaWolves entering play Monday evening, making it an absolutely must-win contest for the two-time defending representative of the Southern Division in the Eastern League Championship Series.

Win they did, as they slugged four jacks and Santana collected a solo shot in the seventh, homering for the fourth consecutive ball game. The switch-hitting 23-year-old tied an Akron franchise record by doing so, matching current San Diego Padre 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff’s streak in July 2006. The home run also moved Santana into a tie for second in the Eastern League with 19 blasts on the season, and keeps him on pace for the most by an Aero since OF Jonathan van Every collected 27 back in 2005.

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