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Indians bats don't come through, losing 5-2 to Seattle

Jul 30, 2014 -- 12:17am

By Chris Coon | ESPNCleveland.com

 

 

The Indians are 5-7 since the All-Star break, and things didn’t get any better for them, as they to the Seattle Mariners Tuesday night, 5-2, at Progressive Field.

Quick Hits

  • With Tuesday night’s loss, the Indians are now 52-54 on the season and remain 6.5 games out first place in the American League Central behind first place Detroit. They’re five games away from the final Wild Card spot.
  • Seattle improves to 55-51, but remains 11 games out of the AL West. They are however, just two games from the final Wild Card spot.
  • Tribe starter Trevor Bauer drops to 4-6 with a 4.25 ERA.
  • Mariners’ starter Hisashi Iwakuma improves to 9-5 with a 3.06 ERA. He allowed just two runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out six.
  • Chris Dickerson and Nick Swisher each had two hits for the Indians.
  • Dustin Ackely went 3-for-5 with two RBI, while Mike Zunino was 2-for-3 with a home run for Seattle.
  • Mariners’ closer Fernando Rodney picked up with 29th save of the year.

Twitter Question of the Night #KNRTribe

LVP of the Game – It was a rough outing for Bauer, as he lasted 4 2-3 innings, allowing five earned runs on eight hits. Normally very solid at Progressive Field, Bauer didn’t appear to have his best stuff. To a team that doesn’t score a lot of runs, Bauer allowed a lot of traffic on the base paths in the fourth inning .The right-hander in the fourth allowed three doubles and four runs, and then in the very next inning gave up a solo home run Zunino that barely made it over the left field wall.

“I thought he started out pretty good, and then the second time through he got into some fastball counts, and threw his fastball where they could get the good part of the bat on it,” said Indians’ manager Terry Francona.

Offensive Offense – It’s a frustrating and misleading offense that the Indians have. When they score runs, they score a lot of them, making it the reason why they rank sixth in all of baseball in runs scored, with 470. However, Tuesday night was another example as to why they are such a feast or famine type of team.

In all fairness the Tribe hit the ball hard Tuesday night, but the Mariners played good defense. The Indians also didn’t do a good enough job of stringing hits together and taking the opportunities Iwakuma gave them. If the offense looked bad Tuesday night, just imagine what it will look like on Wednesday when they take on former AL CY Young Award winner Felix Hernández. Hernandez this season owns the fourth lowest ERA in all of baseball at 1.99.

Beat the Shift – The offense kick started in the fourth inning for the Mariners, when the Indians’ defense put a shift on Kyle Seager. However, Seager laid a bunt single down the third base line, with third unoccupied. Zunino was then hit by a pitch from Bauer, resulting in the next three of five Seattle batters hitting doubles to left and center field. In all, the Mariners scored a total of four runs in the fourth inning.

I’ve been robbed! – In the bottom of the seventh inning Indians’ David Murphy hit what looked to be a solo home run to right field, but the umpiring crew ruled it a double. Just to be sure, it was reviewed by the crew chief using replay, and it appeared to be a home run on Progressive Field scoreboard replay. The umpires however, ruled it a double. Things were short lived for the Indians that inning, as the next two batters were retired in order.

Hagadone – Indians’ reliever Nick Hagadone pitched well Tuesday night, coming into the top of the fifth inning to relieve Bauer. The left-hander threw a career-high 2 1-3 innings, allowing just one hit, while striking out three. Hagadone over his last eight games, has surrendered just one run over 7 1-3 innings. In that span he’s allowed just three hits to the 23 batters he has faced.

Nick Swisher

A Stat from Left Field – In the first inning of Tuesday night’s game, Brantley drew only the third four-pitch walk of the season issued by Seattle’s Iwakuma.

Worth Quoting – “I hope no one lese is quitting on us because we’re not quitting on ourselves. We’ve really got to pick it up and turn it around.” – Indians’ Nick Swisher

Up Next – The Indians continue their three-game home series against the Mariners on Wednesday. On the mound for the Tribe is RHP Corey Kluber (10-6, 2.77 ERA), he’ll go against Seattle RHP Felix Hernandez (11-2, 1.99 ERA). First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.

 

 

Bauer toes the rubber, as Tribe opens up eight-game homestand

Jul 29, 2014 -- 5:29pm

By Chris Coon | ESPNCleveland.com

 

Photo/AP

 

The Indians are back at home for the first time since the All-Star break, as they open up a three-game home series with the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.

Mariners

2014 Record – 54-51, third place in the American League West (11 games out of first).

Road Record – 28-20

Last 10 Games – 3-7

What they’ve done – The Mariners are 2-1 this season against the Indians, and are coming off of a four-game series against Baltimore where they lost three of four.

Indians

2014 Record – 52-53, third place in the AL Central (6.5 games out of first).

Home Record – 29-19

Last 10 Games – 4-6

What they’ve done – The Indians are 1-2 against the Mariners this season, with their only win coming on June 28, when Josh Tomlin pitched a one-hitter in a 5-0 win. The Tribe's coming off of a four-game series against Kansas City where they lost three of four, and an 11-game road trip where they went 5-6.

Pitching Matchups

Indians – On the mound is Trevor Bauer (4-5, 3.93 ERA) who in his last start, allowed three earned runs on six hits and two walks. In that same outing he struck out seven in six innings, but the Tribe fell, 3-1, to Minnesota on Wednesday.

The right-hander in his last six home starts is undefeated, while owning a 2.82 ERA in seven outings in Cleveland. Bauer in his only career start against Seattle, pitched 6 1-3 innings, giving up three runs on nine hits in a 3-2 loss on June 28.

Mariners – Hisashi Iwakuma (8-5, 3.09 ERA) suffered his first loss in five starts, as the Mariners lost Thursday, 4-0, to Baltimore. In that outing Iwakuma went seven innings, surrendering four earned runs on seven hits.

In three career appearances (two starts) against the Tribe, Iwakuma is 0-0 with a 4.02 ERA. The right-hander hasn’t walked a batter in 35 2-3 innings, and is posting a league leading 11.0 strikeouts-to-walks ratio.

Batting Order

MarinersIndians
Ackley LF (L)Kipnis 2B (L)
Taylor SSCabrera SS (S)
Cano 2B (L)Brantley CF (L)
Morales DH (S)Santana 1B (S)
Seager 3B (L)Chisenhall 3B (L)
Zunino CSwisher DH (S)
Morrison 1B (L)Murphy RF (L)
Hart RF Gomes C 
Jones CF (L)Dickerson LF (L)

Who’s Hot – Carlos Santana right now is sizzling hot for the Indians, as he’s posting a .609 average (14-for-23) with three doubles, six homers and 10 RBI in his last six games. That performance at the plate was good enough for him to claim the AL Player of the Week award. Santana in the month of July is hitting .314 with eight home runs and 18 RBI. This season he’s batting .232 with 20 home runs and 50 RBI.

In his last seven-games Seattle’s Dustin Ackley is hitting .462 (12-for-26) with four doubles and two RBI. Sunday against Baltimore Ackley went 3-for-5 with a strikeout. This season the second baseman is batting .251 with four home runs and 32 RBI.

Who’s Not – Nick Swisher continues to struggle at the plate, as he has just six hits in his last 10-games. Until Sunday, Swisher was in a 0-for-18 slump with no walks and eight strikeouts. The switch hitter this season is posting a .203 average with eight home runs and 41 RBI.

Logan Morrison has struggled for the Mariners, going 2-for-24 (.083) in his last seven games. Morrison recorded just one hit in a recent four-game series against Baltimore. This year the first baseman is hitting .201 with five home runs and 17 RBI.

Former Indians now Mariners – Franklin Gutiérrez is the only former Indian currently on Seattle’s 40-man roster. The outfielder has not played this season, due to a serious illness. Gutiérrez played for the Indians from 2005-08 where he hit a combined .258 with 22 home runs and 85 RBI.

Trade Deadline

With the trade deadline looming around Thursday, some of the reported names from the Indians that have been kicked around in potential deals, are starter Justin Masterson and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. Here's what Masterson and Indians' manager Terry Francona had to say about the trade deadline.

"I guess maybe if you've never been traded, it's high on the priority list," said Masterosn. "I feel like if you've ever been traded, whatever happens happens -- you got pitch, you go do your thing, you go play your game, you go hit. Whatever decision is going to be made is going to be made. You can't really - unless you've got a no trade clause - control any of those things. There's really no point in my mind to think (about it)."

As for Francona, he doesn't see the need to go out and get a veteran player, just for the sake of having one.

“Even if you want to be a buyer it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be, because there’s some parameters that have to be in place, not just for now but for the future," said Francona."We’re not going to mortgage what we think is our future, for a couple moths of rental, when the rental in essence may not be better than some of the younger guys. That’s one thing that I think is one of the misperceptions in our game, that you have to get a veteran guy."

Masterson Injury Update

Notes

  • The Indians have won six straight against the Mariners at home.
  • On Sunday the Tribe scored a total of 10 runs, before that they scored a combined 10 in their last three games.
  • Seattle’s Kyle Seager is a .398 hitter with 12 doubles in 22 career games against the Indians.
  • The Mariners on Sunday were 1-7 with runners in scoring positing against Baltimore, as they fell 3-2 in 10 innings.
  • In their last five losses with runners in scoring position, Seattle is 3-for-27 in that situation.
 

 

Down on the Farm: Weekly Indians Minor League Recap

Jul 27, 2014 -- 3:32pm

By Chris Coon | ESPNCleveland.com

 

Photo/MiLB.com

 

ESPN Cleveland’s weekly report on the Cleveland Indians' Minor League system and prospects. 

Indians Top Five Prospects

1. Francisco Lindor SS (Triple-A Columbus) – Since being promoted to Triple-A Columbus from Double-A Akron, Lindor is hitting .333 with two home runs and two RBI. The switch-hitter in 88 games this season with Akron hit .278 with six home runs and 48 RBI. Lindor has collected six hits in his first five games with Columbus, two of them being multi-hit performances.

2014 season totals – .281 AVG, 8 HR, 50 RBI

2. Clint Frazier CF (Class-A Lake County) – Frazier has cooled down at the plate and is now batting .206 with one home run and three RBI in his last 10 games. The outfielder had his best game at the plate on Wednesday, when he went 3-for-3 with a home run and RBI and a walk. Frazier in the month of July is batting .341 with six home runs and 13 RBI.

2014 season totals – .267 AVG, 11 HR, 37 RBI

3. Tyler Naquin CF (Double-A Akron) – Naquin remains on the disabled list after fracturing his right hand from a hit by pitch on June 27. According to MLB.com, Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said Naquin would miss sometime but the severity of the injury will have no long-term implications. Before his injury, Naquin was batting .231 (9-for-39) with four RBI in his last 10-games

2014 season totals – .313 AVG, 4 HR, 30 RBI

4. Cody Anderson RHP (Double-A Akron) – Anderson skipped his scheduled start on Thursday, as he sat out due to discomfort in his elbow. The right-hander in his last start on July. 19, went five innings, allowing five earned runs on nine hits in a 5-2 loss to Erie. Before that start, the right-hander in his previous two outings had only given up one earned run in a combined 11 innings.

2014 season totals – 4-9 W-L, 4.97 ERA, 65 SO

5. Francisco Mejia C (Low-A Mahoning Valley) – In his last 10-games Mejia is hitting .341 with three doubles, a triple and a home run. He’s also driven in eight runs, but has walked once and struck out seven times. The catcher's best game was on July. 20,  when he went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBI.

2014 season totals – .267 AVG, 1 HR, 21 RBI

Around the Farm

Triple-A Columbus – The Clippers this past week went 3-3 with a series win coming against Louisville on the road.

Who stood out – Outfielder Carlos Moncrief in his last 10-games is hitting .405 with one home run and 10 RBI. Moncrief in his last five-games with Columbus has nine hits and eight RBI. This year he’s posting a .275 average with 10 home runs and 51 RBI.

Double-A Akron – Akron over the week posted a 1-6 record, with their only win coming on Friday against Reading on the road. The RubberDucks were swept by Richmond earlier in the week in a three-game series.

Who stood out – Starter Shawn Morimando on Wednesday pitched six innings against Richmond, allowing just one run on two hits. In that start he walked and struck out two for his first loss in Akron. Morimando this season is a combined 9-4 with a 2.68 ERA with Akron and Carolina.

High-A Carolina – Carolina this past week went 1-5 with their only win coming on Monday in a 4-3 win at Myrtle Beach.

Who stood out – Yhoxian Medina is batting .306 with five RBI in his last 10-games. The second baseman this year is hitting .283 with one home run and 24 RBI.

Single-A Lake County – The Captains over the week went 1-4 with their only win coming on Friday against Wisconsin, 2-1.

Who stood out – Outfielder Brian Ruiz is hitting .324 with one home run and four RBI in his last 10-games. Ruiz this season is posting a .258 average with one home run and 17 RBI.

Low-A Mahoning Valley – The Scrappers last week went 5-2, winning a series against Aberdeen at home and Williamsport on the road.

Who stood out – Starter Sean Brady on Wednesday pitched five scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, while walking and striking out three. This season the left-hander is 2-1 with a 2.21 ERA in eight games.

Arizona League Indians – The Indians went 4-0 this week with wins against the Rangers, Mariners and Athletics.

Who stood out – Li-Jen Chu in his last 10-games is hitting .370 with three home runs and eight RBI. The right-handed hitting catcher this season is posting a .333 average with three home runs and 12 RBI.

What’s Trending in the Minors

On Saturday, one of the bigger brawls this season in professional baseball occurred in Albuquerque, N.M. It was the Los Angeles Dodgers Triple-A affiliate the Reno Aces against the Arizona Diamondbacks affiliate the Albuquerque Isotopes.

The scuffle started in the second inning when Isotopes Erisbel Arruebarrena was upset after pitcher Mike Bolsinger threw at him. Arruebarrena then later shoved Aces catcher Blake Lalli after striking out and then threw his helmet at another Reno player.

The benches then cleared and a brawl ensued behind home plate and into the first row of the stands. After the scuffle a total of 10 players were ejected including Aces manager Phil Nevin. Check out the video below of the brawl.

 

 

Down on the Farm: Weekly Indians Minor League Recap

Jul 20, 2014 -- 5:10pm

By Chris Coon | ESPNCleveland.com

 

Photo/MiLB.com

 

ESPN Cleveland’s weekly report on the Cleveland Indians' Minor League system and prospects. 

Indians Top Five Prospects

1.Francisco Lindor SS (Double-A Akron) – In a double-header against Erie on Saturday, Lindor went a combined 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI. Lindor in his last 10-games is hitting .375 with three doubles and five RBI. The switch hitter in the month of July is posting a .291 average.

2014 season totals – .284 AVG, 6 HR, 48 RBI

2. Clint Frazier CF (Class-A Lake County) – Frazier in his last 10-games has hit .475 with three home runs and nine RBI. He’s also reached base in all 10 of those games, with four of the 10 being multi-hit performances. The right-handed hitter in the month of July is posting a .391 average with five home runs and 12 RBI.

2014 season totals – .272 AVG, 10 HR, 36 RBI

3. Tyler Naquin CF (Double-A Akron) – Naquin remains on the disabled list after fracturing his right hand from a hit by pitch on June 27. According to MLB.com, Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said Naquin would miss sometime but the severity of the injury will have no long-term implications. Before his injury, Naquin was batting .231 (9-for-39) with four RBI in his last 10-games.

2014 season totals – .313 AVG, 4 HR, 30 RBI

4. Cody Anderson RHP (Double-A Akron) – In his only outing this week, Anderson went five innings, allowing five earned runs on nine hits in a 5-2 loss to Erie. Before Saturday’s start, the right-hander in his last two outings had only given up one earned run in a combined 11 innings.

2014 season totals – 4-9 W-L, 4.97 ERA, 65 SO

5. Francisco Mejia C (Low-A Mahoning Valley) – Mejia has hit safely in seven of his last 10-games, with three of them being multi-hit performances. The switch-hitting catcher has also recorded at least one RBI in three of his last five-games.

2014 season totals – .248 AVG, 0 HR, 17 RBI

Around the Farm

Triple-A Columbus – The Clippers this past week went 2-2 winning and losing a pair against Indianapolis.

Who stood out – Jesus Aguilar in his last 10-games is hitting .333 with one home run and seven RBI. The first baseman has also hit safely in eight of his last 10 contests, with his best game coming on July 13, when he went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI. Aguilar this season is batting .282 with 13 home runs and 53 RBI.

Double-A Akron – Akron last week posted a record of 2-4 with their only wins coming against Trenton on the road and against Erie at home.

Who stood out – Starter Joseph Colon on Monday went five innings, where he surrendered one run on four hits for the no decision against Trenton. The right-hander in that game also walked one and struck out three. Colon this season is 8-4 with a 2.53 ERA.

High-A Carolina – Carolina posted a 3-3 record over the week, beating Winston-Salem, Lynchburg and Myrtle Beach.

Who stood out – Erik Gonzalez is hitting .395 with a home run and nine RBI in his last 10-games. He’s hit safely in all of those games, with five of the 10 being multi-hit performances. Gonzalez this year is batting .296 with three home runs and 46 RBI.

Single-A Lake County – This past week the Captains went 2-4, winning back-to-back games on Sunday and Monday against Great Lakes. Lake County was swept however on the road, losing three-games to Cedar Rapids.

Who stood out – Nellie Rodriguez in the span of 10-games is hitting .293 with three home runs and 12 RBI. Rodriguez this season is posting a .254 average with 16 home runs and 54 RBI.

Low-A Mahoning Valley – Over the week the Scrappers went 4-2, winning a three-game series at home against Connecticut. Mahoning Valley also saw wins against Lowell and Aberdeen as well.

Who stood out – Leo Castillo in his last five games is batting .368 (7-for-19) with a home run and eight RBI. The first baseman this season has a .241 average with three home runs and 20 RBI.

Arizona League Indians – The Indians last week fell to 1-4, with their only victory coming against the Brewers, 19-1.

Who stood out – Bobby Bradley is hitting .375 with two home runs and 16 RBI in his last 10-games. Bradley on July 16, went 4-for-5 with a double and a home run, while driving in seven runs. The left-handed hitter this season has a .362 average at the plate with three home runs and 22 RBI.

What’s Trending in the Minors

The San Diego Padres’ Triple-A affiliate, The El Paso Chihuahuas will be hosting Bark at the Park. This isn’t too unusual, as most teams throughout the minors and majors usually hold something similar to this promotion. The thing that separates the Chihuahuas from the rest of the teams, who do this event, is the uniforms they’ll be wearing. Take a look at the picture below.

 

 

Indians’ First Half Season Grades

Jul 18, 2014 -- 10:59am

By Chris Coon | ESPNCleveland.com

 

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Photo/ AP

The Indians are a frustrating team at times. They’ll have stretches where their bats go cold and their starting pitching is inconsistent. And then there’s times when the Tribe seems to be clicking on a cylinders. The crazy thing is the Indians haven’t been able to get more than two games over .500, but haven’t dropped below six under .500. Simply put, this ball club is average, as they enter Friday at 47-47. 

There are however, two things that stand out about this team the most. They have a consistent bullpen, ranking sixth in the majors with a 3.08 ERA. They also are very consistent with being a very bad defensive unit, ranking dead last in that category with 76 errors in 94 games.

Indians overall grade: C

Starting Pitchers

Corey Kluber (9-6 W-L, 3.01 ERA) – Kluber's the ace of the Indians’ starting staff and the most consistent starter they’ve had this season. In the month of May he was outstanding, going 4-0 in six starts, while striking out 60 batters. Kluber should’ve been an All-Star, but it was a numbers game that cost him a spot.

Grade: A

Justin Masterson (5-6, 5.51) –  The Indians desperately needed Masterson this season to be his 2013 version. However, things this year haven’t worked out, as he’s had five starts where he’s lasted under four innings. Hindsight’s 20/20, but good move by the Indians on not budging on their offer to Masterson, shame on him for not signing the extension.

Grade: D

Josh Tomlin (5-6, 4.21) – Tomlin had a solid month of May going 3-2 with a 3.04 ERA in five starts. He’ll never be an ace and he gives up a lot of hits, but he can provide a team length. Tomlin is a prototypical fifth starter who does enough to keep his team in games.

Grade: C

Danny Salazar (1-4, 5.53) – Last season he was light’s out, going 2-3 with a 3.12 ERA in 10 starts. This year in eight starts he struggled, and was sent down to Triple-A by mid May. He’s been okay in Columbus but the Indians really needed him to be at least half of the player he was last season.

Grade: D-

Zach McAllister (3-5, 5.63) – McAllister last year was solid for the Tribe, but it hasn't been that way this season. He had a stretch from May 10-21 where he allowed 17 earned runs in 7 2-3 innings. Like Salazar, McAllister has spent time in Triple-A this year. The right-hander on Saturday made his first start in the majors since May 21. He lost that outing, but pitched seven innings, allowing three runs on four hits.

Grade: D

Trevor Bauer (3-4, 3.84) – He's the definition of day and night. Bauer on this season on the road is 0-3 with a 5.46 ERA in five starts. At home he’s 3-1 with a 2.82 ERA in seven starts. He’s looked much better this season and has become very reliable for the Indians.

Grade: B-

T.J. House (1-2, 4.40) – House is the left-handed version of Tomlin. He doesn’t have over powering stuff and he gives up a lot of hits, but he can give a ball club length. In six out of House's eight starts this season, he lasted at least five inning or more. He pitched okay for a rookie.

Grade: C

Carlos Carrasco (0-3, 6.95) – As a starter he was bad, but the Indians wanted to give him one last go in that role. In four starts this season, Carrasco allowed four earned runs our more. It’s safe to say he’ll never be a starter again as long as he’s with the Indians.

Grade: F

Bullpen

Cody Allen (3-2, 2.16, 12 SV) – The unofficial, official closer for the Indians now, Allen has recorded 11 consecutive saves since his last blown save on May 19. Allen’s allowed just 10 earned runs in 41 2-3 innings.

Grade: A

John Axford (2-3, 3.41, 9 SV) – Axford recorded nine saves in his first 13 games, but ended up losing his closers role in early May due to a series of shaky outings. Since leaving the closers role Axford has a 2.25 ERA in 20 innings.

Grade: C

Bryan Shaw (4-1, 2.70) – He’s continued where he left off last season. Shaw in the month of May had outstanding numbers, compiling a 1-1 record with a 0.71 ERA in 14 games. The month of June he struggled, posting a 6.52 ERA in 9 2-3 innings. It appears Shaw has shaken out of his funk, as this month he’s 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in 7 1-3 innings.

Grade: B+

Marc Rzepczynski (0-2, 3.48) – Rzepczynski is the prime example of what happens when a guy receives a change of scenery. Since being traded to the Indians by the St. Louis Cardinals last season, the lefty is 0-2 with a 2.50 ERA. Last season in St. Louis he had an ERA of 7.84 in 11 games. Left-handed hitters this year against Rzepczynski are batting just .181 with four RBI.

Grade: B

Josh Outman (4-0, 3.28) – Outman’s numbers as the first half of the season progressed got worse, but they weren’t bad enough to be designated for assignment. He was a victim to the numbers game, as fellow lefty Kyle Crocket emerged on the scene for the Indians. Left-handed hitters were hitting .180 against Outman, however he has surrendered three home runs and 10 RBI against them.

Grade: C+

Kyle Crocket (2-0, 2.03) – Extremely young, but that doesn’t matter, as he’s given up just three earned runs on 13 hits in 13 1-3 innings. He more or less made Outman expendable after he was called up to the majors.

Grade: A

Scott Atchison (3-0, 2.93) – Quite a surprise this season, as Atchison, who's 38, has been one of the go to guys out of the bullpen. In 40 innings he’s allowed just 13 earned runs on 31 hits.

Grade: A-

Nick Hagadone (1-0, 4.15) – Hagadone’s been all right this season in what little amount of time he’s pitched. In 4 1-3 innings, he’s allowed two earned runs on four hits.

Grade: C-

Carlos Carrasco (2-0, 1.62) – As a reliever Carrasco has thrived, proving that he’s probably best suited in that role versus starting. He’s pitched in 33 1-3 innings as a reliever, but has allowed just six runs on as many hits.

Grade: A

Vinnie Pestano (0-1, 5.00)– Pestano isn’t the same reliever he was his first two seasons in the American League. The right-hander made the club out of spring training, but it was short lived, as he had an ERA of 13.50 in his first three games. He was sent to Triple-A and not called back up to the majors until late June. In his second stint he did much better, allowing just one earned run in 6 1-3 innings.

Grade: C-

C.C. Lee (0-0, 4.76) – Lee didn’t really do much to impress when he was on the big league roster. He appeared in 13 games early in the season, pitching 11 1-3 innings before being sent to Triple-A in mid May.

Grade: D+

Mark Lowe (0-1, 3.86) – In seven innings Lowe surrendered three earned runs on 10 hits, and was just average. Opposing batters were hitting .313 with two home runs, while he walked and struck out six.

Grade: C-

Blake Wood (0-1, 7.11) – He posses an electric arm, but that’s about it. In what little time Wood pitched for the Indians he was ineffective, surrendering five earned runs on four hits in 6 1-3 innings.

Grade: F

Outfield

Michael Brantley (.322, 15 HR, 63 RBI) – The Indians' lone All-Star this season, he leads the team in all major offensive categories except for batting average and on base percentage. Defensively, Brantley’s a Gold Glove caliber left fielder, committing only one error. He's also recorded nine outfield assists, ranking him second in the majors among left fielders.

Grade: A +

Ryan Raburn (.119, 2 HR, 17 RBI) – He’s one of the main reasons why the Indians have struggled against left-handed pitching this season. Last year Raburn was the reason why the club had success against lefties, as he hit .308 with seven home runs and 21 RBI against them. His magic pixy dust from last season seems to have run out.

Grade: D

David Murphy (.243, 6 HR, 44 RBI) – Murphy started off hot this season, as his batting average peaked as high as .294 on May 21. Since then he’s come back to reality, but has done well with runners in scoring position, batting .362 with two home runs and 39 RBI. He’s also been solid defensively, committing just one error.

Grade: C+

Michael Bourn (.267, 3 HR, 21 RBI) – Bourn’s not a true leadoff hitter but he plays solid defense and does well with runners in scoring position. This season he’s only committed two errors in the outfield while batting .281 with one home run and 18 RBI with runners in scoring position. The biggest issue with Bourn this season is his hamstring, as he currently is on the DL for the second time this year.

Grade: B-

Nyjer Morgan (.341, 1 HR, 6 RBI) – He only played in 15 games for the Tribe before a knee injury on May 14, put him on the 60-day disabled list, but he was a spark plug for the team. He provided good depth in the outfield, and the Indians could sure use him now with Bourn being out.

Grade: A

Chris Dickerson – Grade: Incomplete

Photo/Getty

Infield

Asdrubal Cabrera (.251, 8 HR, 37 RBI) – At the plate Cabrera has been just okay. He’s tied along with Chicago's Alexei Ramirez for first in the AL in home runs for shortstops. He also ranks ninth in the majors in RBI by a shortstop. Defense though hasn’t been Cabrera’s forte this year, committing a team high, 14 errors.

Grade: C

Nick Swisher (.208, 8 HR, 36 RBI) – Swisher this season make’s his struggles from last year look solid. The switch hitter is having the worst season of his career, posting a slash line of .208/.288/.348. In the first three months of the year, Swisher had only five home runs and 25 RBI. He’s begun to heat up this month, hitting three home runs and 11 RBI. Overall Swisher is the straw that stirs the drink, if he’s on he can carry the Indians, but if he’s not they suffer.

Grade: F

Carlos Santana (.207, 14 HR, 37 RBI) – The first two months for Santana were disastrous, posting a .151 average in April and hitting .169 in May. However, the month of June was good to him, as he hit .308 with six home runs and 15 RBI. In Santana’s first two months combined he had just six home runs and 17 RBI. The second half can’t be as bad as the first, can it? The good sign is he still hits home runs.

Grade: D+

Lonnie Chisenhall (.328, 9 HR, 41 RBI) – Chisenhall has had a career year, where in the first two months of the season he hit over .360. His batting average currently ranks fourth in the AL, while putting together a night to remember against Texas on June 9. In that game he went 5-for-5 with three home runs and nine RBI. The only qualm with Chisnehall is his defense, as he’s recorded 13 errors this year.

Grade: A -

Jason Kipnis (.255, 3 HR, 24 RBI) – It’s been a rough season for Kipnis, as he missed almost all of May with an oblique injury. He hasn’t had a home run since April 21, but has begun to heat up in the month of July, batting .294 in 12 games. Defensively he hasn’t wowed anyone, as his range is pretty limited, despite committing only three errors.

Grade: C-

Mike Aviles (.270, 3 HR, 23 RBI) – A jack-of-all-trades, master of none. Aviles provides good depth off the bench with some decent pop in his bat. He had a solid month of May, hitting .301 with two home runs and 16 RBI in 25 games. Struggled in June where he had a .195 average in 14 games.

Grade: B

Elliot Johnson – Grade: Incomplete

Justin Sellers – Grade: Incomplete

Jose Ramirez – Grade: Incomplete

Jesus Aguilar – Grade: Incomplete

Catcher

Yan Gomes (.261, 12 HR, 36 RBI) –  Last season Gomes committed just three errors in a total of 85 games played. Defensively Gomes started off shaky this season, committing nine errors in his first 28 games, but has since then seemed to settle in. Though the average isn’t where it was last season when he batted .294, he has already past his home run total of 11.

Grade: B

George Kottaras (.261, 3 HR, 5 RBI) – Appeared in 12 games for the Indians and designated for assignment by them on two different occasions. Kottaras will probably be best known for his first game he played with the Tribe. In that constest he recorded two home runs in three at-bats. He’s no longer with the Indians as the Cardinal claimed him on July 11. 

Grade: B-

Designated Hitter

Jason Giambi (.128, 2 HR, 8 RBI) – Giambi’s at the stage in his career where he’s limited to just pinch-hitting when the team needs a big hit. Last season he hit .271 with four home runs and 25 RBI with runners in scoring position. This season with runners in scoring position he’s, batting .083 (1-for-12) with one home run and four RBI. He’s also had a string of injuries and it seems as if this could be his last season.

Grade: D-

 

 

Down on the Farm: Weekly Indians Minor League Recap

Jul 13, 2014 -- 4:54pm

By Chris Coon | ESPNCleveland.com

 

Photo/MiLB.com

ESPN Cleveland’s weekly report on the Cleveland Indians' Minor League system and prospects. 

Indians Top Five Prospects

1.Francisco Lindor SS (Double-A Akron) – Lindor's the only Indians’ farm hand who will be participating in the 2014 Futures Game in Minneapolis, Minn during the All-Star week. The switch-hitting shortstop in his last 10-games is batting .293 (12-for-43) with three RBI. In his past three-games he has two hits or more, while stealing four bases in as many games.

2014 season totals – .284 AVG, 6 HR, 46 RBI

2. Clint Frazier CF (Class-A Lake County) – In the span of 10-games Frazier has hit .419 with five home runs and eight RBI. He went 5-for-5 on Saturday against Great Lakes, where he collected two home runs and three RBI. Entering Sunday the right-handed hitter was riding a six-game hitting streak, with four of those games being multi hit performances.

2014 season totals – .268 AVG, 10 HR, 32 RBI

3. Tyler Naquin CF (Double-A Akron) – Naquin remains on the disabled list after fracturing his right hand from a hit by pitch on June 27. According to MLB.com, Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said Naquin would miss sometime but the severity of the injury will have no long-term implications. Before his injury, Naquin was batting .231 (9-for-39) with four RBI in his last 10-games.

2014 season totals – .313 AVG, 4 HR, 30 RBI

4. Cody Anderson RHP (Double-A Akron) – Anderson’s season has been up and down, but in his last two outings with Akron he’s allowed just one run in his last 11 innings. In that span he’s surrendered 10 hits, wile walking three and striking out seven. In the month of July the right-hander is posting a 2-1 record with a 2.81 ERA in three games. In June he had a record of 4-4 and a 7.15 ERA.

2014 season totals – 4-8 W-L, 4.76 ERA, 63 SO

5. Francisco Mejia C (Low-A Mahoning Valley) – Mejia’s last 10-games offensively have been a struggle for him, as he’s batting .158 (6-for-38) with no home runs and one RBI in that stretch. The switch-hitting catcher however has reached base in his last four games, collecting three hits and a walk.

2014 season totals – .230 AVG, 0 HR, 13 RBI

Around the Farm

Triple-A Columbus – Columbus over the week went 4-5, being swept by Pawtucket. They did however win a five-game series against Indianapolis three-games to two.

Who stood out – Starter Tyler Cloyd in two games this week, allowed just three runs in 12 1-3 innings. Cloyd on the season has a record of 6-5 with a 4.26 ERA.

Double-A Akron – The RubberDucks this week went 6-1 with their only loss coming against Richmond on the road Tuesday, as they fell 9-4.

Who stood out – Anderson this week went 2-0 while only allowing one run in 11 total innings.

High-A Carolina – Carolina went 4-2 in six games this week, and they’re currently riding a four-game winning streak.

Who stood out – Yhoxian Medina in his last 10-games is hitting .425 (17-for-40) with eight doubles a triple and four RBI. Medina’s best game this week came on Tuesday when he went 3-for-5 at the plate with two doubles and an RBI. The second baseman this year is hitting .280 with one home run and 19 RBI.

Single-A Lake County – The Captains have won their last four games after dropping their first two earlier in the week. 

Who stood out – Frazier this week collected a total of 13 hits, four of those being home runs, while driving in seven runs.

Low-A Mahoning Valley – It was a rough week for the Scrappers, as they lost six games this week and eight straight overall. They did however snap their losing streak on Saturday, beating Lowell, 9-3.

Who stood out – Outfielder Taylor Murphy is hitting .382 with one home run and four RBI in the Scrappers last 10 contests. Murphy saw his best game at the plate on Saturday when he went 3-for-3 with two walks and two RBI. The left-handed hitter this season is batting .358 with one home run and seven RBI.

Arizona League Indians – The Indians lost their first game of the week on Sunday, but came back to win their next five.

Who stood out – 2014 third rounder Bobby Bradley in his last 10-games is batting .366 with one home run and 11 RBI. Bradley had his best game of the week on Thursday when he went 3-for-5 with a triple a home run and two RBI. In 13-games this season in the Arizona League, the left-handed hitter is posting a .358 average with two home runs and 15 RBI.

What’s Trending in the Minors

The San Francisco Giants Triple-A affiliate the Fresno Grizzlies will be hosting a home run derby contest at their ballpark. The contest is open to the public but it has a twist, as they will be going up against former major leaguer Jose Canseco. The ball club will be hosting open tryouts on July 20, and seven finalists will face off with Canseco on Aug. 12.

 

 

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