The current baseball structure promotes the extreme of baseball. In Cleveland Indians' terms, this focuses the Indians' media energy on the excruciating struggles of Mark Reynolds, and the growing brilliance of Jason Kipnis. Michael Bourn has been playing in between both extremes and has been quietly producing stats worthy of the contract he signed just prior to spring training. Join IBI's SABR-superstar, Michael Hattery, as he takes a closer look.
If you thought Friday night was a nightmare for the Indians, Saturday became the ugly sequel. After Cleveland jumped out to a 2-0 lead, Minnesota scored three unanswered runs for the second straight night to defeat the Tribe late, 3-2. Starting pitcher Corey Kluber looked sharp through his five innings of work, giving up no runs on just three hits, walking two and striking out seven, but left early with a minor injury. The IBI's Jim Berdysz shares his second thoughts on another tough loss.
It was an interesting night for the Indians' affiliates, as two teams won thanks to extra-inning homers. The headliners include a lefty starter that has re-emerged as an intriguing option for the Indians, another "toolsy" player who has re-emerged after a career so far mired by injury, and finishes with a closer that should be in Cleveland. Find out who these three are, as well as the two that won their games with the long-ball for both Columbus and Akron as Jim Pete brings another edition of Around the Farm.
An old axiom is that it’s not always wise to believe “conventional wisdom”. This is certainly accurate when applied to the 2013 edition of the Cleveland Indians. Starting with the hot-stove period over the seemingly endless winter, and throughout the spring, nearly all of the beat writers, baseball pundits, and sports radio personalities were lukewarm about the Tribe’s prospects for the upcoming season. DJ Sebastian wants fans to forget conventional wisdom and enjoy the ride with this team.
If anyone has had more tough luck in the Indians rotation this season, it has to be lefty Scott Kazmir. As strong and inspiring as his comeback to the major leagues has been, he’s also had his share of misfortune on the mound. Friday night was no different as Kazmir pitched shutout baseball, but botched plays in the field led to the game-tying runs scoring. Join the IBI's Jake Dungan as he gives his 'Second Thoughts' on a frustrating loss.
Everyone was back in action on Friday night from the big league team on down to the rookie level team in Arizona. Matt LaPorta continues his rehab in Arizona and had a big night, Francisco Lindor continues to impress in the early going at Akron, and Diasuke Matsuzaka seems to have figured things out in Columbus. All of that and more in another trip around the farm....
Triple-A Columbus infielder Cord Phelps has grown up in the Indians system and has continued to improve every year in different aspects of his game. While he has battled a few injuries this season, when he has played he has performed well. A new challenge the Indians threw his way this season was his first exposure to first base and left field, and the IBI's Adrienne Robbins recently caught up with him to see how the transition to both positions is going.
Jim Pete and Jim Piascik both continue their discussion about their top 20 prospect rankings, started this past Tuesday. The Jims utilized information obtained at their own affiliates, as well as took information from the rest of the affiliate reporters across the IBI spectrum. Here is part two of that list, as well as the two Jims' e-mail chain as they justified their rankings to each other.
Zach McAllister seems to be ready to reclaim his place in the starting rotation this coming Tuesday after a successful start on Thursday night in Columbus. Can McAllister help solidify this rotation enough to allow the Indians to avoid the tough July trade market? In doing so, could he also help right the ship to a struggling bullpen? Jim Pete hijacks Orbiting for One Night Only with his take on an Orbanek favorite.
The second half of the season kicks off tonight! This means that the games are going to increasingly become more important as the weeks go by and the Indians look to keep pace with the Detroit Tigers in American League Central. One aspect of the team that has been consistent this season has been the offense, and the IBI's Michael Goodman looks at how each position player has performed to date and provides his expectations for the second half.
The Cleveland organization got homer-happy Thursday night, as Lake County led the way with four home runs on their own. None of those shots could overshadow what happened with Carolina, however, as the team hit their first walk-off home run of the season. To find out walked off for the Mudcats and everything else you need to know about the night in the minor leagues, join Jim Piascik and go Around The Farm.
After losing three of four to Detroit, the Indians won five out of their last six games heading into the All-Star break, including winning four straight and sweeping the Royals to end the first half and head into the All-Star break with a respectable 51-44 record and a game and a half behind Detroit. The Join the IBI's Jake Dungan as he fills in for the honeymooning Steve Orbanek in this week's edition of Notes from the Wigwam.
Well not that Colon, obviously. While Tony is off having fun on vacation, Jim Piascik fills in, analyzing High-A Carolina right-hander Joseph Colon's return from injury and his development, admires and breaks down the progress Double-A outfielder Carlos Moncrief has made in 2013, checks in with Aeros manager Edwin Rodriguez on how a dozen of his players are doing and what changes they are making, and provides insight and information on the likes of Alex Monsalve, Bryson Myles, Dorssys Paulino, Nellie Rodriguez, D'Vone McClure, and more!
The Columbus Clippers concluded the first half of their season on a high note, finishing the past week with a 4-1 record. The winning record is quite a welcoming sign for the Clippers who have been inconsistent all season, and things seem to be clicking on all cylinders for Columbus as the offense, defense and pitching have all been productive as of late. The IBI's Ethan Day takes us sailing in his weekly Clippers notebook...
With the trade deadline looming the Indians are said to be extremely active in trade discussion to improve the current team. Reports have linked the Indians to nearly every big-name presumed available starting pitcher and they’re also said to be on the lookout for relief help. That’s an expensive proposition, which may mean the Indians may have a need to look internally for players that can shore up the pitching staff. The IBI's Michael Goodman looks at those internal options they may turn to in the second half...
The 2013 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider book featuring the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is now available. Also, previous editions from 2008-2012 are also available at a discounted rate. Just click on the book image for more information. Thanks again for all the support!