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Series preview: Indians vs Blue Jays

Aug 31, 2015 -- 2:28pm

By Chris Coon | ESPNCleveland.com

 

What to know

Location: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

All-Time Record: 196-198 (Blue Jays)

2015 Record: 2-2 (split)

 

Indians

  • The Indians (63-66) are in third place in the American League Central Division and are 8-2 in their last 10 games, with sweeps over the Brewers and Angels at home.
  • Indians team President Mark Shapiro accepted a job with the Blue Jays for the same positon on Monday. Shapiro has been with the Tribe since 1992.
  • This month the Tribe rank third in the Majors with a .279 team average, while also ranking sixth in runs scored with 133.
  • The pitching staff for the Indians this month has been good, ranking fifth in the Major Leagues in ERA with a 3.44 clip, while owning the best batting average against in baseball at .217.

 

Blue Jays

  • The Blue Jays (74-56) sit in first place in the American League East Division and are winners of eight of their last 10, including a three-game sweep over Detroit.
  • Over the weekend Toronto compiled a total of 29 runs on 38 hits, while giving themselves a 1 ½ game lead over the Yankees in the AL East.
  • Toronto this month ranks first in baseball in runs scored with 168, while ranking seventh in team batting average with a .272 clip.
  • Along with the offense, the Blue Jays’ pitching staff in August has been tops, ranking third in ERA at 2.82, while holding opposing batters to a .229 average.

 

Indians

Who’s hot – Rookie Francisco Lindor remains hot at the plate, going 12-for-23 with two doubles, a homer and four RBI in his last seven. Meanwhile, Lindor in August is batting .386 with two home runs and 11 RBI, while posting an OPS of .940. Overall this season, the 21-year old owns a .312 average with seven home runs and 31 RBI in 61 games.

Who’s not – Despite hitting a grand slam for the eventual game winner on Saturday over the Angels, Yan Gomes has struggled as of late, hitting just .143 (3-for-21). Gomes, who started his Major League career with the Blue Jays, owns a .240 average with one home run and two RBI against his former team. In 72 games this year, the 28-year old is batting just .221 with nine home runs and 36 RBI.

 

Blue Jays

Who’s hot – Edwin Encarnacion has been on fire in his last seven-games, going 11-for-24 (.458) with six home runs and 20 RBI, including hitting four round trippers in his last eight at-bats to go along with a 25-game hit streak. In his career against the Indians, the 32-year old Encarnacion owns a .236 average with six homers and 21 RBI. 

Who’s not – Catcher Russell Martin is having a decent season, batting .244 with 17 home runs and 56 RBI. However, in the 32-year old’s last seven-games, he’s gone just 5-for-20 (.250), but has collected a pair of homers and four RBI in his last seven at-bats.

 

How they rank

RankIndiansRankBlue Jays
 Pitching Pitching
13th3.77 ERA12th3.76 ERA
10th74 Quality Starts14th67 Quality Starts
3rd.239 batting avg against12th.249 batting avg against
3rd1.19 WHIP9th1.22 WHIP
 Offense Offense
16th530 runs1st718 runs
10th.257 batting avg5th.266 batting avg
5th.327 on base percentage1st.366 on base percentage
20th.394 slugging percentage1st.452 slugging percentage
 Defense Defense
9th69 errors14th72 errors
12th.985 fielding percentage15th.985 fielding percentage
9th12 defensive runs saved12th5 defensive runs saved
16th-1.5 ultimate zone rating14th-0.3 ultimate zone rating

 

Series pitching matchups

 

Injury Report

Indians – Chris Jonson was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 18 with a left hand infection, which is believed to be from a spider bite. Johnson will be activated on Monday. Starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco was placed on the 15-day DL on Wednesday with shoulder inflammation, however, the injury is not believed to be too serious. Pitcher Gavin Floyd who's on the 60-day DL with an elbow injury, made a rehab start on Saturday in Double-A Akron, he's expected be activated on Tuesday. Fellow pitcher, Nick Hagadone (elbow) is also on the 60-day disabled list.

 

 

 

Indians’ President Mark Shapiro off to Toronto

Aug 31, 2015 -- 9:50am

By Chris Coon | ESPNCleveland.com

 

Photo/Getty

Indians’ President Mark Shapiro is the newest resident of Canada.

The Indians on Monday confirmed what had been speculated and reported for weeks, which was that Shapiro would become the Blue Jays’ next President/CEO, as their current one, Paul Beeston, will retire at the end of the season.

Tribe owner Paul Dolan is reportedly expected to assume Shapiro’s duties as team president.

“As we move forward, I will not be seeking an external replacement for Mark and will continue to rely on the existing strong leadership group to guide us forward,” Dolan said in a statement released by the Indians.  “Mark and I are confident that moving forward through this transition, we have a very strong foundation in place to build championship level success on and off the field.”

Meanwhile, Shapiro reportedly plans to retain Blue Jays’ general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who made two big trades at the end of the deadline for All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and former CY Young Award winner David Price.

The Blue Jays, who had initial interest in former Tigers’ general manager Dave Dombrowski, lost out on that deal after he signed on as President of Baseball Operations with the Boston Red Sox earlier this month.

Shapiro has been with the Indians organization since 1992, serving the club in a variety of ways, most notably as their GM from 2001 to 2010.

“Through my twenty four years as part of the Cleveland Indians, I have developed a deep emotional and civic attachment to the Indians organization and the Cleveland community,” Shapiro said in a statement released by the Indians.  “The root of those ties is in the personal relationships that my family and I have built.  While weighing those bonds carefully and seriously, I feel the unique and compelling nature of the Blue Jays President/CEO position warranted my consideration.”

In his 10 year run as GM, Shapiro earned the Sporting News Executive of the Year Award twice. He received the award in 05’ after the Indians won 93 games, and then a second time in 07’ after the team won 96 games.

In October of 2010 Shapiro was named team president. Since then he’s been responsible for the major renovations done at Progressive Field, which is something the Blue Jays reportedly intend to do with their stadium, the Rogers Centre.

“With mixed emotions, I will assume the Toronto Blue Jays CEO position upon the conclusion of the 2015 season,” Shapiro said.  “As the Indians organization moves forward, I am confident the current leadership represents a strong foundation to field a championship caliber team moving forward.  The relationships we have enjoyed here will be lifelong bonds and will ensure that I will always be a fan of the city of Cleveland and the Cleveland Indians organization.”

The Indians will hold a press conference on Monday with Shapiro and Dolan at 1 p.m. at Progressive Field.

 

 

 

Indians’ President Mark Shapiro reportedly headed to the Blue Jays

Aug 30, 2015 -- 9:28pm

By Chris Coon | ESPNCleveland.com

 

Photo/AP

Mark Shapiro could be a new resident of Canada.

According to multiple reports, and first reported by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, Shapiro, the Indians’ team president, will be named to the same position with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The announcement on the move could be made as early as Monday.

Shapiro coming to Toronto is in response to current Blue Jays’ President/CEO Paul Beeston, who will be retiring from the team at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Shapiro reportedly plans to retain Blue Jays’ general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who made two big trades at the end of the deadline for All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and former CY Young Award winner David Price.

The Blue Jays, who had initial interest in former Tigers’ general manager Dave Dombrowski, lost out on that deal after he signed on as President of Baseball Operations with the Boston Red Sox earlier this month.

Shapiro has been with the Indians organization since 1992, serving the club in a variety of ways, most notably as their GM from 2001 to 2010,

In his 10 year run as GM, Shapiro earned the Sporting News Executive of the Year Award twice. He received the award in 05’ after the Indians won 93 games, and then a second time in 07’ after the team won 96 games.

In October of 2010 Shapiro was named team president. Since then he’s been responsible for the major renovations done at Progressive Field, which is something the Blue Jays reportedly intend to do with their stadium, the Rogers Centre.

 

 

 

Down on the Farm: Weekly Indians Minor League Recap

Aug 30, 2015 -- 6:44pm

By Chris Coon | ESPNCleveland.com

 

Photo/MiLB.com

ESPN Cleveland’s weekly report on the Cleveland Indians' minor league prospects.

 

Indians Top Five Prospects

1. Bradley Zimmer OF (Double-A Akron) – Between Single-A Lynchburg and Double-A Akron this year, Zimmer has posted a slash line of .288/.384/.476 with 16 homers and 63 RBI. In 40 games with Akron this year, Zimmer owns a .252 average, however, in his last 10 games he’s gone just 7-for-40 (.175) with one RBI and 11 strikeouts.

2. Clint Frazier OF (High-A Lynchburg) – This season, Frazier is batting .280 with 15 homers and 70 RBI in 125 games. However, in his last 10 he’s struggled, going 9 for his last 39 (.231), but in that span has hit two homers and six RBI.

3. Rob Kaminsky LHP (High-A Lynchburg) – Acquired on July 30 from the St. Louis Cardinals for Brandon Moss, Kaminsky was placed on the Minor League’s 7-day disabled list on Aug. 13 with lower back tightness. On the season, Kaminsky is posting a 6-6 record with a 2.24 ERA in 19 starts.

4. Justus Sheffield LHP (Class-A Lake County) – In his last start, Sheffield went 6 1/3 scoreless innings against Fort Wayne, where he allowed just two hits, while walking two and striking out eight for the win. This season, the 19-year old owns a 9-4 record with a 3.47 ERA in 25 starts at Lake County.

5. Bobby Bradley 1B (Class-A Lake County) – Bradley is still scorching hot at the plate, hitting .344 with one homer and six RBI in his last 10 games. This month, Bradley is posting a slash line of .340/.431./.753 with 11 home runs and 37 RBI in 27 games. Meanwhile, on the season, the 19-year old is batting .271 with 27 homers and 89 RBI in 104 games.

 

How they're doing

TeamWLHome Away
Triple-A Columbus (second place)775842-2535-33
Double-A Akron (third place)686534-3234-33
High-A Lynchburg ( first place)372519-1118-14
Single-A Lake County (third place)313017-1514-15
Low-A Mahoning Valley (fifth place)293612-1917-17

 *Lake County is in the second half of their season. First half record was 36-32.

#Lynchburg is in the second half of their season. First half record was 33-37.

 

 

 

Indians win fifth-straight, sweeping the Angels in 9-2 victory

Aug 30, 2015 -- 5:52pm

By Chris Coon | ESPNCleveland.com

 

Photo/AP

Quick hits

  • The Indians improve to 63-66 on the season.
  • The Angels drop to 65-65 on the year.
  • Tribe starter Josh Tomlin picked up the win. He’s now 3-1 with a 3.08 ERA.
  • Angels’ starter Jered Weaver was handed the loss. He’s now 6-10 with a 4.94 ERA.
  • Abraham Almonte went 2-for-4 with a grand slam and four RBI for the Indians.
  • Mike Trout went 4-for-4 with a double, a triple and an RBI for the Angels.

 

Tomlin outing – Tomlin has now won consecutive starts for the Indians for the first time since 2011. On Sunday, Tomlin went seven strong, allowing just two runs on six hits, while walking no one and striking out eight.

“I felt good,” Tomlin said. “I felt like I was locating the ball pretty well, so I just tried to work them in and out and keep them off-balance best I could.”

Despite having a solid outing, Tomlin battled with cramping in his hamstring during the sixth inning, but was able to get through it.

“I didn’t feel it the whole game, but in the sixth inning the hamstring area started cramping,” Tomlin said. “It wasn’t any pain or anything, it would just catch on me every now and then. It was just something I had to kind of work through and keep it stretched out so I could keep pitching.”

Honest Abe – In the bottom of the fifth inning, Almonte extended the Indians lead with a two-out grand slam to right-center field. It was Almonte’s first career grand slam and his third homer of the season with the Tribe. The 26-year old outfielder this season is batting .242 with 18 runs batted in. Meanwhile, Almonte is finally getting a chance to play everyday with the Indians, something he didn’t have while playing for San Diego.

"It feels great,” said Almonte, who was traded to the Indians from the Padres at the trade deadline. “I've been talking about this for a long time: I feel so comfortable here. I feel free. They let me play. They don't expect too much from me. They tell me to play hard, enjoy, having fun, and I like it."

Walking on the sun – With the aide of the sun, Carlos Santana was able to pick up two doubles off of Weaver. Both Kole Calhoun and Trout lost routine fly balls in the sun, leading to the Indians scoring five runs. Santana finished Sunday, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI.

“Ya know what, we’ll take it,” said Indians’ manager Terry Francona. “But saying that, too, when it happened, Carlos ended up on third and he ended up on second—good thing Brantley kept going because Carlos was going t be there regardless.”

A stat from left field – The Indians have now had 10 hits or more in 12 straight home games. It’s the longest of any streak since the 2002 Texas Rangers did so.

Worth quoting – No, no. Win tomorrow. Win tomorrow and look up October 4th and see where we’re at.”–Indians’ Josh Tomlin on whether the team’s watching the Wild Card standings

 

Up next

 

 

7th inning rally, pushes Indians over Angels, 3-1

Aug 28, 2015 -- 11:30pm

By Chris Coon | ESPNCleveland.com

 

Photo/AP

Quick hits

  • Indians improve to 61-66 on the season.
  • Angles fall to 65-63 on the year.
  • Tribe starter Trevor Bauer picked up the win. He’s now 10-10 with a 4.31 ERA.
  • Starter Andrew Heaney received the no-decision for the Angels.
  • Closer Cody Allen recorded his 27th save of the season for the Indians.
  • Angels’ reliever Trevor Gott picked up the loss.
  • Jason Kipnis, Abraham Almonte and Lonnie Chisenhall each had an RBI for the Tribe.
  • Kaleb Cowart went 1-for-3 with and RBI for the Angels.

 

Bauer outing – Though he was solid in his last start on Aug. 23, Bauer’s outing on Friday was encouraging. The right-hander, who’s struggled all season long at home with a 4-6 record and 6.07 ERA, cruised through eight innings, allowing just one run on five hits.

Bauer mixed his pitches well, and he kept the ball down in the zone, which enabled him to induce four double play balls. His bread and butter pitch Friday night was his two-seam fastball, and he used it to get four of his seven strikeouts.

“Yeah, it was big. It was really big. It was nice to finally have that pitch back,” said Bauer about his two-seam fastball. “It disappeared for a couple months. It was really good last game and it was good again tonight. I think I got four or five strikeouts on it and I think two double plays on it.”

Meanwhile, Bauer's seven strikeouts on Friday, made him the Indains' fourth pitcher of the season to record 150 strikeouts or more. This is the first time in club history that the Tribe have had four-or-more pitchers strike out 150-or-more batters in a year.

Clutch hitting – Friday night wasn’t the best display of clutch hitting by the Indians, going 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position. However, they were able to score runs when it counted.

In the seventh inning, and after a failed bunt attempt by Jose Ramirez to move Chisenhall from first to third, Almonte came up big. The centerfielder, who came off the bench for Mike Aviles, hit the first pitch he saw for an RBI double, tying the game at one apiece. Kipnis then followed it up with an RBI single, followed by a Carlos Santana RBI single two batters later for a 3-1 lead.

Rookie mistake – There’s been a lot of good from rookie Francisco Lindor, such as his .355 bating average since the All-Star break, or his home hitting streak of 10 games. However, there have been some blunders, which is expected from a 21-year old.

A prime example of that was in the bottom of the sixth when Santana hit a grounder to short. Lindor, who was on second, tried to advance to third, but was thrown out by Angles’ shortstop Eric Aybar. At the time, it was a pivotal out, as the next batter hit a single to deep center, which Lindor could’ve probably scored on.

“I think tonight he realized. He was pretty upset at himself,” said Indians' manager Terry Francona. “Again, the enthusiasm, the aggressiveness, is really good. You just have to think before the play, 'When do I want to go? Where do I want to go? Why do I want to go?' Those things will get better and we'll certainly keep reminding him. He's doing so many good things. It's just that's the one area where there's been a few hiccups.”

A stat from left field – Bauer was one of 20 former first round picks starting at pitcher Friday night…the most on a single day since the draft began in 1965.

Worth quoting – “I’m kind of brining up the rear. I have to look up to everybody else. Like, ‘Oh, maybe I’ll get there, too.’ No, it’s great, though.” –Trevor Bauer on becoming the fourth Indians’ starter to get 150 strikeouts or more

 

Up next

 

 

 

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