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Indians trade reliever Marc Rzepczynski to Padres for OF Abraham Almonte

Jul 31, 2015 -- 5:30pm

By Chris Coon | ESPNCleveland.com

 

Photo/AP

The Indians made their third trade in the last four days, announcing on Friday that they have sent reliever Marc Rzepczynski to the San Diego Padres for outfielder Abraham Almonte.

Rzepczynski, who was acquired in 2013 from the St. Louis Cardinals for Minor League infielder Juan Herrera, posted a 2-3 record with a 4.43 ERA in 45 games this season with the Indians. 

The lefty pitcher will be eligible for arbitration this offseason and then free agency after 2016.

Almonte, 26, has split time this year between the Padres and Triple-A El Paso. However, majority of his playing time has come in El Paso, where he’s hit .275 with four homers and 35 RBI in 61 games.

In two stints this season with the Padres, Almonte has hit .203 (11-for-54) with three doubles and four RBI in 31 games. Almonte in his three year Major League career is batting .233 with five home runs and 28 RBI .

The switch-hitting Almonte, who was originally signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2005 by the New York Yankees, will make his debut in the Indians’ organization with Triple-A Columbus.

Meanwhile, the Indians recalled outfielder Jerry Sands from Columbus, while also activating starter Josh Tomlin from the 60-day disabled, after he suffered a right shoulder injury late last season. The right-hander was optioned to Columbus after making six rehab starts in the minors this year.

The Indians move to send Rzepczynski to San Diego marks their third trade this week. Outfielder David Murphy was sent to the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday for infield prospect Eric Stamets, while fellow outfielder Brandon Moss was dealt to the Cardinals on Thursday for pitching prospect Rob Kaminsky. 

 

 

 

Indians trade OF David Murphy to Angels for infield prospect

Jul 28, 2015 -- 8:45pm

By Chris Coon | ESPNCleveland.com

 

Photo/AP

The Indians made their first trade of 2015, sending outfielder David Murphy to the Los Angeles Angels for infield prospect Eric Stamets. According to reports, the Indians will also send cash considerations to the Angels as part of the deal.

Murphy this season hit .296 with five homers and 27 RBI in 84 games for the Indians.

The 33-year old, who signed with the Tribe as a free agent at the end of 2013, had an option year remaining on his contract. However, it was unlikely the Indians would bring Murphy back for the 2016 season.

In order to clear a roster spot for Murphy, the Angels designated reliever and former Indians' player Vinnie Pestano for assignment.

Stamets, 23, ranks as the Angels’ 23rd best prospect by Baseball America, and has spent 62 games in Double-A Arkansas where he’s batting .248 with three homers and 23 RBI.

The Dublin, Ohio native was a sixth round pick by the Angles in 2012 out of the University of Evansville. Stamets was the Angels 2013 Organizational Defensive Player of the Year, and has committed just five errors this season in 279 chances at shortstop.

 

 

 

Series preview: Indians vs Royals

Jul 27, 2015 -- 1:30pm

By Chris Coon | ESPNCleveland.com

 

Photo/AP

 

What to know

Location: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio

All-Time Record: 327-311 (Indians)

2015 Record: 4-5 (Royals)

 

Indians

  • The Indians (45-52) are in last place in the American League Central Division, and are coming off of a four-game sweep over the weekend by the Chicago White Sox.
  • In their last five-games, the Tribe has scored just five runs. Chicago outscored them over the weekend, 26-5.
  • As a team this month the Indians are batting .233, and have scored just  71 runs, which ranks them 24th in the Majors in both categories.

 

Royals

  • The Royals (59-38) sit on top of the AL Central with a first place record, and have gone 6-4 in their last 10, including a three-game series win over Houston.
  • Kansas City acquired All-Star starter Johnny Cueto on Sunday from the Cincinnati Reds. He’ll, however, start against the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday.
  • In 23 games this month, the Royals are batting .280, which ranks sixth in the MLB. The also rank fourth in runs scored with 103.

 

Indians

Who’s hot – Michael Brantley in his last seven-games is batting .348 (8-for-23) with three doubles, one homer and four RBI. In a recent four-game series against the White Sox, Brantley, however, went 3-for-15 (.200) with two doubles, a walk and three strikeouts. This season the 28-year old is hitting .298 with seven homers and 55 RBI.

Who’s not – Despite going 2-for-4 on Sunday, Brandon Moss has struggled recently, going 4-for-20 (.200) with no walks and seven strikeouts in his last seven. In his career against the Royals, Moss owns a .272 average with four home runs and 16 RBI in 25 games. The left-handed hitter this year is batting .218 with 15 homers and 48 RBI.

 

Royals

Who’s hot – Out of his last 10 games, Eric Hosmer has hit safely in nine of them, going 16-for-39 (.410) with one homer and four RBI. In 70 career games against the Indians, Hosmer is batting .283 with 10 home runs and 49 RBI. Hosmer this season owns a .304 average with nine home runs and 49 RBI in 94 games.

Who’s not – Omar Infante in the past 10 games is posting a slash line of .179/.220/.308, while collecting just eight hits in his last 40 at-bats. Infante this year hasn’t done any better at the plate, hitting .230 with no homers and 28 RBI.

 

How they rank

RankIndiansRankRoyals
 Pitching Pitching
20th3.90 ERA5th3.43 ERA
13th52 Quality Starts29th39 Quality Starts
15th1.25 WHIP10th1.23 WHIP
15th.250 batting avg against9th.243 batting avg against
 Offense Offense
22nd375 runs12th420 runs
23rd.248 batting avg3rd.270 batting avg
10th.320 on base percentage6th.324 on base percentage
22nd.383 slugging percentage9th.409 slugging percentage
 Defense Defense
9th52 errors13th56 errors
10th.985 fielding percentage18th.985 fielding percentage
23rd-13 defensive runs saved1st45 defensive runs saved
23rd-10.0 ultimate zone rating1st38.1 ultimate zone rating

 

Series pitching matchups

 

Indians – Reliever Nick Hagadone was placed on the 15-day DL on July 8 with a back strain. However, Hagadone left his rehab start in Mahoning Valley on July 14 with discomfort in his left elbow. He had surgery on his fractured elbow on Friday, and is expected to miss the next 6-to-9 months.

Nick Swisher was placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 14 with left knee inflammation. Swisher, however, has already made five rehab starts with the Lake County Captains and Akron RubberDucks, going 2-for-13 with three walks and a three strikeouts.

Pitchers Gavin Floyd (elbow) and Josh Tomlin (shoulder) are both on the 60-day disabled list. Tomlin has made five rehab starts so far, going a total of 17 1/3 innings where he’s given up seven earned runs on 18 hits, while walking three and striking out 13.

 

 

 

Indians swept by White Sox, hold team meeting after, 2-1 loss

Jul 26, 2015 -- 6:25pm

By Chris Coon | ESPNCleveland.com

 

Photo/Getty

 

Quick hits

  • The Indians fall to 45-52 on the season.
  • The White Sox improve to 46-50 on the year.
  • Tribe starter Danny Salazar gets the loss. He’s now 8-6 with a 3.72 ERA
  • Rookie starter Carlos Rodon picks up the win for the White Sox. He’s now 4-3 with a 4.09 ERA.
  • Closer David Robertson picked up his 21st save on the season for the White Sox.
  • Brandon Moss went 2-for-4 with a strikeout for the Indians.
  • Carlos Sanchez went 3-for-4 with a solo homer for the White Sox.

 

Team meeting – After Sunday’s loss, which was the first four-game sweep over the Indians by the White Sox since 2005, the Tribe held a lengthy team meeting.

“We’ve been playing like s**t, there’s no way around it,” Indians’ second baseman Jason Kipnis sad. “Embarrassing. No fight, giving up early. We’ve got people worrying about their own things, nobody’s held accountable. It’s just not the way we’re going to do business here.”

“So we held a team meeting today to reign the guys back in, get us back to where we need to be, get our heads straight, get our heads out of our butts and start playing like a better baseball team. Nobody’s trying to do bad, there’s never a case of that when you get to this level. We have good characters in here, we have good guys. Nobody’s trying to do bad, it’s just when things are going wrong, how are you going to handle it?”

Salazar outing – It all boiled down to one mistake for Salazar in his 6 2/3 innings on the mound. With the game scoreless in the top of the third, Salazar gave up a solo homer to Sanchez on a 0-2 count. Outside of the homer, Salazar looked good, giving up just two earned runs on six hits, while walking just two batters and striking out eight.

“He, for whatever reason, tripled up the changeup to Sanchez and he hit a home run,” Indians’ manager Terry Francona said. “We've made him more dangerous than he's been coming in. They scratched for their other run, but pretty good. On a lot of days, we should be saying how well he pitched, giving up a solo, and we're not.”

Anemic – The Indians’ offense this weekend floundered once again, this time being outscored by Chicago 26-5. Since the All-Star break, the Tribe have been outscored by their opponent, 52-28, and have scored three runs or less in six of their last nine games. 

The Melk Man – In the top of the seventh inning Cabrera hit a two-out RBI-single off of Indians’ reliever Zach McAllister for a 2-0 lead. Cabrera, who finished the series, going 9-for-17 (.529) with three doubles, two homers and eight RBI, has absolutely destroyed the Tribe’s pitching. In his last 31 games against the Indians, Cabrera is posting a .331 average with eight doubles, three homers and 20 RBI.

A stat from left field – White Sox starting pitchers in this past four-game series, posted a 0.88 ERA, where they allowed three runs in 30 2/3 innings. They also walked no one and struck out 27 batters in that span.

Worth quoting – “We don’t have energy on the field or in the dugout. We’re supposed to enjoy the game and have fun out there – and we’re night doing that.”– Indians' starter Danny Salazar

 

Up next

 

 

 

White Sox blank Indians, 6-0, for second-straight loss

Jul 24, 2015 -- 11:20pm

By Chris Coon | ESPNCleveland.com

 

Photo/Ken Blaze USA Today

Quick hits

  • The Indians drop to 45-50 on the season.
  • The White Sox improve to 44-50 on the year.
  • Tribe starter Corey Kluber was handed the loss. He’s now 5-11 with a 3.59 ERA.
  • Chicago starter Jose Quintana picked up the win. He’s now 6-9 with a 3.56 ERA.
  • Michael Brantley went 2-for-4 with a double for the Indians.
  • Alexie Ramirez and Melky Cabrera each had two hits or more for the White Sox.

 

Kluber outing – The box score might not indicate it, but Kluber pitched a solid game the first seven innings, striking out seven, despite giving up six runs on eight hits. However, Kluber hit a roadblock in the eighth, allowing three-straight hits. After, intentionally walking Abreu, Kluber’s night was over, finishing that inning with four earned runs charged to his line. 

“It was pretty good for the first seven and then in the eighth Eaton got on and I kind of let the situation of the game probably get the best of me,” Kluber said. “I started pitching around, let them score another run instead of just going pitch-to-pitch and sticking with what works. I guess I kind of got ahead of myself, would be the right way to put it.”

Silent bats – Chicago entered the series on Thursday, as the worst run scoring offense this month in the AL, however, that hasn’t been the case. The Indians have been outscored by the White Sox the last two nights, 14-1. To make matters worse, the Tribe was only able to get two runners in scoring position, failing both times to drive them in.

"Early on we had some hits and we had a couple opportunities and we didn't do anything with them,” Indians’ manager Terry Francona said. “It looked like once he (Quintana) got comfortable then he threw strike one with his fastball very well and then he kind of angled or cut it in on righties and getting past our barrels and throwing his off-speed for strikes. He just got real comfortable out there.”

Mashing – Chicago’s Jose Abreu extended his hitting streak against the Indians to 12 games on Friday night, hitting a solo homer in the top of the sixth. Abreu has now also hit safely in 20 of his last 21 games against the Tribe, hitting .329 (27-for-82) with six homers and 13 RBI.

Like Abreu, Cabrera is also hitting the cover off the ball against the Indians, batting .315 with seven doubles, three homers and 17 RB in his last 29 games against them. Cabrera Friday night went 3-for-4 with a pair of singles, a double, two RBI and two stolen bases.

A stat from left field – Entering Friday night, the pitching matchup of Kluber and Quintana featured a pair of starters with the American League’s worst run support average. Quintana, led the AL, with a 2.63 average, followed by Kluber, who had a 2.74 average.

Worth quoting – Nobody’s been eliminated from anything yet. We’ve got everything to play for as we did at the beginning of the season still.–Indians’ pitcher Corey Kluber on his outlook for the second half of the season

Up next

 

 

 

Indians 'not motivated' to move any of their starting pitching

Jul 24, 2015 -- 6:55pm

By Chris Coon | ESPNCleveland.com

 

Photo/AP

 

With the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline just a week away, the rumors around the trade front are hot and heavy.

The Indians, who as of Friday sit just 5.5 games back from the second Wild Card in the American League, have been involved in some of the chatter – most notably involving their starting pitching.

“I think people around baseball recognize that we have a really good and talented group of starting pitchers that are under control for the foreseeable future,” said Indians’ general manager Chris Antonetti. “Those are very valuable players to have on any team.”

As for moving some of those guys, there have been conflicting reports in regards to the Indians willingness to move some of their starting pitching.

According to Cleveland.com on Tuesday, the Indians had no interest in moving any of their starters.

However, on Thursday, multiple reports said that the Tribe were willing to listen to offers on starting pitching, especially for Carlos Carrasco.

Per the reports, the Indians and the Toronto Blue Jays had “talked”, but could not get a deal done.

Another report surfaced on Friday from Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, in which the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox had inquired about the Indians’ starting pitching. However, the Tribe was not motived to act, and the deal would have to be “very compelling” in order for something to happen.

“We've had a lot of calls about a lot of our players, our starting pitchers included, but players around the diamond,” Antonetti said. “It's natural at this time of year for teams to reach out and express interest in a variety of different players. That's no different. We have no motivation to move any of them."

Meanwhile, the Indians’ plans for this year during the trade deadline will not involve acquiring “rental players", which are players that will be free agents after the season ends.

“We're open to a lot of different things,” Antonetti said. “It may be easiest to answer what we're not focused on. I don't think we're focused on just bringing in players that are here just for the balance of the year.”

“That's not where we've spent a lot of our energy -- on the rental players and players whose contracts expire at the end of the year. Short of that, we've discussed a wide range of things and we'll continue to do that over the next seven days.”

Like the two last seasons, the second Wild Card has changed the nature of the trade deadline amongst teams in Major League Baseball.

“That's had a big impact,” Antonetti said. “The second Wild Card has given more teams hope and I think that leads more teams to look to acquire players at this time of year. Typically, at least in past seasons, it's been more of a sellers market than a buyers market.”

Antonetti, however, says it’s difficult to tell if this season is the same as the past few.

“It's hard to say. When you look around the standings, there's still a lot of teams clustered together that still have a chance of making the postseason. If you look just back a year ago at this time, I think Kansas City was right around .500 and they went on to play in the World Series.”

“I think there's a lot of teams that look to that example and think, 'We could make a run, get to the postseason and advance.' Now, we'll see how that plays out over the next seven days.”

However, Antonetti stated that he feels confident in what the Indians have in their lineup as of right now.

“I think we continue to believe in this group,” said Antonetti about the Indians’ offense that ranks 26th in baseball with runners in scoring position. “I think coming into the season, we thought we'd have an offense that was capable of scoring enough runs for us to compete.”

“Things haven't played out maybe as well as we would've hoped at this point, but we still believe in the talent the guys have and, if they're healthy, they should be able to produce at those levels.”

With just 67 regular season games reaming, the Indians playoff clock is ticking -- and ticking fast.

 

 

 

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