Cleveland Indians News
9-28-15: The Indians’ three-game winning streak ended on Sunday, as Cleveland could not complete the three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals. The Indians fell back to 77-77 on the season with the 3-0 loss. Their first hit of the contest came on Francisco Lindor’s bunt single to lead off the seventh inning.
9-25-15: The Cleveland Indians right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall may work his way into the 2016 everyday starting lineup after a strong season in 2015. Chisenhall’s defense has been far above the Major League average this season posting 11+ defensive runs saved with a +7.6 UZR. Cleveland may finally be learning its lesson keeping the likes of Chisenhall and Michael Brantley in the outfield and in the everyday lineup rather than spending big money on and getting burned by the likes of Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher. The Indians new strategy to attack free agency and the hot stove market is to try and find lightning in a bottle in the areas where their farm system cannot fill the void while avoiding big money free agents. Cleveland will also look to acquire international players in trades much like the Atlanta Braves acquired Hector Olivera from the Los Angeles Dodgers and the team will also be very active in the general trade market this winter. Cleveland also announced this week that the team was willing to give right-hander Trevor Bauer a second chance in the starting rotation in 2016 despite the fact that the former Diamondbacks top prospect struggled for much of the second half this season.
9-21-15: Josh Tomlin threw 5.2 shutout innings with eight strikeouts to bring his 2015 ERA down to 2.43, as the Indians defeated the visiting Chicago White Sox in the rubber game, 6-3. Lonnie Chisenhall went 2-for-4 with his seventh home run of the season. Cleveland tallied 12 hits in the win that evened the team’s record at 74-74.
9-18-15: The Cleveland Indians have been playing much better of late and are quietly making some noise in the second American League Wild Card spot. The Indians went from pre-season World Series favorites to some to the last place team in the American League Central Division due in large part to injuries to the pitching staff and inconsistency from their young positional players. The Indians front office faces a slew of second guessing from the fans and beat writers around the league with the most common question being whether the team waited too long to call up shortstop top prospect Francisco Lindor. Many thought that Lindor would break camp with the team out of spring training this season but instead the team decided to delay his Major League debut and possibly delay his arbitration by waiting until June 14 to make the call up from Triple-A. With the delay the team may miss the playoffs in 2015 but the team will also likely delay or eliminate any chances of Lindor reaching Super Two status and a huge payday down the line.
9-14-15: The Indians fell back to below .500 on Sunday night, as they lost the second game of their doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers. However, Cleveland won its third consecutive series, including its second one against the Tigers in September. The Indians next host the first-place Kansas City Royals for four games and the Chicago White Sox for three.
9-11-15: The Cleveland Indians have more questions than answers facing the club now that Mark Shapiro is leaving the front office of the organization for greener grass in Toronto with the Blue Jays. Many wonder how the team will attack free agency as soon as this winter and Indians owner Paul Dolan answered a few of those questions. Dolan said without a doubt that free agents like Chris Davis would not fit into the team’s budget plans going forward while top prospects like Clint Frazier and Bradley Zimmer would remain with the organization and not be traded away for established veterans. The team is ready and willing to go to war with their young guys and that may lead the team to shutting down Corey Kluber after leaving a start recently with a hamstring injury. Cleveland has nothing to play for in 2015 unfortunately and the team may decide if the injury is severe enough that it’s not worth risking a further injury to their ace starting pitcher. The team’s schedule softens a bit this week and next week so the loss of Kluber may decide what the team will do going forward. If they are close to a second Wild Card playoff spot you may see Kluber again this season.
9-7-15: Last week’s six-game winning streak matched the Indians’ longest of 2015, but they then fell to the Toronto Blue Jays in the final two contests of their three-game series. However, Cleveland bounced back to win two of three games in Detroit. On Sunday, the Indians won the rubber game, 4-0, behind Cody Anderson’s seven shutout innings.
9-4-15: The Cleveland Indians gave permission to president of baseball operations Mark Shapiro to speak to the Toronto Blue Jays as the Blue Jays looks for a replacement in their front office. The Blue Jays once again got their man when it was announced that Cleveland Indians front office president Mark Shapiro. Shapiro will take over as the president of baseball operations in Toronto after the 2015 season and surprisingly Cleveland will not receive any compensation back in the deal. Shapiro had been the Indians GM from the 2002-2010 seasons before earning a promotion inside the Indians front office. Shortly after the deal was announced the Blue Jays came out and said that they would “love” to keep their GM Alex Anthopoulos beyond the 2015 season. The Indians may now look to assistant GM Mike Chernoff to be the replacement for current GM Mike Antonetti since Antonetti is rumored to be the replacement for Shapiro after the season. Chernoff is thought of as a hot commodity around the league and Cleveland is hoping to lock him up before a team with a larger payroll lures him away from the Indians. As of the end of this week Chernoff was still with the organization.
8-31-15: The Indians kept up their hot streak, as they won their fifth game in a row in Sunday’s 9-2 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Angels. Abraham Almonte went 2-for-4 and hit his third home run of the season, as Cleveland swept Los Angeles. Josh Tomlin threw seven innings of two-run ball in the win.
8-28-15: The Cleveland Indians started this week off by potentially adding a reclamation project and middle of the order hitter in Michael Choice from the Texas Rangers. The Rangers designated Choice for assignment last week after acquiring Will Venable from the San Diego Padres in a trade geared towards the stretch run. Choice owns a career .182/.250/.320 triple slash in his major league career with the Texas Rangers and the Oakland Athletics which is a far cry from his minor league triple slash. The Indians will send cash considerations back to Texas in exchange for Choice. The Toronto Blue Jays began this week by receiving permission to talk to the Cleveland Indians president Mark Shapiro as the team continues to look for a replacement for their baseball operations job. The Cleveland executive is rumored to be Toronto’s top target for the position and it is expected that Shapiro will join the Blue Jays after the conclusion of the 2015 season. Shapiro would presumably have to find a new GM if he were to take the job in Toronto as Alex Anthopoulos may not be back in 2016 despite a complete roster overhaul that has the team in first place in the American League East Division.
8-24-15: Rookie Francisco Lindor collected a game-high three hits, as he was one of nine Indians to reach base safely on Sunday at Yankee Stadium. After New York tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning, Lindor then launched a solo home run to right field off Dellin Betances in the next half inning. The 4-3 victory won the four-game series for the Indians.
8-21-15: The Cleveland Indians have far from met their expectations this season and have struggled to not only win games but simply keep their players on the field. The team is loaded down with talent, especially in the pitching department, but the big contracts of Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn kept the team from adding the necessary pieces in the offseason or via the trade market. With both of those contracts now gone and in Atlanta after a trade with the Braves that brought first baseman Chris Johnson back to Cleveland the team is left thanking their GM for not signing Justin Masterson to a long-term deal as well. Masterson was allowed to walk via free agency to the Boston Red Sox this winter rather than signing a new deal with Cleveland and after the right-hander was designated for assignment and ultimately released many Indians fans were left breathing a sigh of relief. During Spring Training in 2014 the Indians offered Masterson a three year extension worth an estimated $45 million but the right-hander turned down the deal and was ultimately dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals that season before the July 31st trade deadline came to a close.
8-18-15: The last-place Indians started their series against the Boston Red Sox on a great note after losing two of three games against the Minnesota Twins over the weekend. With Monday’s 8-2 win in Boston, Cleveland moved to 55-62 on the season. Danny Salazar threw seven inning of one-run ball in the victory.
8-14-15: The Cleveland Indians decided to hold onto all of their controllable starting pitching before the July 31st trading deadline despite getting a ton of interest from not only Carlos Carrasco but also from Danny Salazar, Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer. The teams who showed the most interest in these for starting pitchers were the Toronto Blue Jays, the Houston Astros, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs. The Indians did move outfielders Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn though in a deal that brought the former Atlanta Braves third baseman Chris Johnson along with some salary relief. While many always thought of Swisher as a great teammate and an even better clubhouse guy the media and his former teammates have been saying otherwise. Swisher has been criticized in the media lately for being “too loose” or for not taking the game serious enough while the team was losing. Swisher signed a deal worth $56 million with the Tribe after leaving the Yankees and despite leading the team to a Wild Card playoff berth has been an overall disappointment being called the team’s cheerleader and not their captain.
8-7-15: The Cleveland Indians stood pat for the most part last week at the July 31st trading deadline making just a couple transactions. Many teams including the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Chicago Cubs, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox were interested in some of the more controllable pitchers that the Indians had with RHP Carlos Carrasco garnering the most attention of the bunch. Carrasco was not traded before the end of the trading deadline but relief pitcher Marc Rzepczynski was traded to the San Diego Padres. The Padres sent outfielder Abraham Almonte back to Cleveland in the deal for the RHP who boasted a 4.43 ERA this season with the Tribe. To replace Rzepczynski in the big league bullpen the team made a relatively minor acquisition later in the week when the team acquired Jayson Aquino from the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations. Aquino will join the newest member of the Cleveland pitching staff Rob Kaminsky who was acquired in the deal with the St. Louis Cardinals that sent first baseman and outfielder Brandon Moss to the National League. Jim Callis of MLB.com even called the trade for Kaminksy a “heist” and possibly the best trade of any team at the trade deadline this season, which is quite the statement.
8-7-15: Neither Michael Brantley nor Yan Gomes started on Wednesday, and Cleveland’s offense suffered. Only three Indians collected hits; two of the team’s five hits were home runs that led off innings against the Los Angeles Angels. Brantley pitch-hitted in the eighth inning with runners in scoring position, but grounded out. Although Cleveland brought a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning, Cody Allen gave up three runs to blow his third save of the season, as the Indians lost, 4-3.
8-3-15: The Indians, who traded away Brandon Moss, David Murphy and Marc Rzepczynski last week, fell to eight games below .500 with their walk-off loss on Sunday in Oakland. Cleveland won the first two contests of the series to extend its winning streak to three games, but the team lost the final two contests against the Athletics. The Indians’ season has been a difficult one, as they encountered a season-long six-game losing streak early last week.
7-31-15: The Cleveland Indians came into this final week before the July 31st trading deadline as big time sellers in the market. While Cleveland may sell off pieces before the deadline the team looks like it may prefer to hold onto their controllable starting pitchers for the 2016 season. The Los Angeles Dodgers, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox have been among the teams to show interest in the stable of young starting pitchers that Cleveland currently has at their disposal but it seems right now that the Indians will have to be blown away to move any of Carlos Carrasco, Corey Kluber, Danny Salazar or Trevor Bauer. Carrasco was the pitcher that garnered the most attention before the deadline with the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers as the three most aggressive teams pursuing him. In the end the team decided to hold onto Carrasco and instead make a relatively minor deal with the San Diego Padres for Marc Rzepcynski. Cleveland will receive outfielder Abraham Almonte in exchange for Rzepcynski after “Scrabble” posted a 4.43 ERA with a 10.6 K/9 ratio before the trade. Rzepcynski was not the biggest name on the market this season but he should improve the San Diego bullpen as the team tries to climb back into the NL West Division.
7-28-15: The Indians received hits from seven of their nine position players on Monday night against the visiting Kansas City Royals, but Cleveland fell, 9-4, to drop its fifth consecutive game. Carlos Santana and Francisco Lindor homered, but Cody Anderson allowed seven runs on eight hits, including two home runs, in the loss.
7-24-15: The Cleveland Indians were hoping to get LHP Nick Hagadone back for their second half run but while Hagadone was rehabbing in the minor league an injury may have derailed that comeback attempt. All initial reports seem to show that Hagadone will require a second Tommy John surgery on his left elbow, his first ulnar collateral ligament replacement surgery coming in 2008. With the loss of Hagadone mixed in with the fact that the team has had less than stellar results in the American League Central Division this season will force the team to start selling off pieces at the deadline. Cleveland’s GM has already stated that they are willing to listen to trade offers on all of their starting pitchers and have already reportedly started listening to offers from the Toronto Blue Jays for RHP Carlos Carrasco. Carrasco may not be the only controllable type pitcher to leave Cleveland this season as the Indians are also willing to at least discuss Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Danny Salazar. Carrasco is the most likely to be traded of the bunch though after signing a four year deal worth $22 million this winter that includes two option years that could boost the value of the contract to $48 million.
7-22-15: After the visiting Indians defeated the Cincinnati Reds in two of their three games, they did not start their two-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers on a strong note. Both the Indians and Brewers collected nine hits on Tuesday, but Cleveland fell, 8-1. Danny Salazar gave up just three runs in six innings, but the bullpen struggled.
7-17-15: The Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves discussed a trade that would have sent Nick Swisher to Atlanta and Chris Johnson to Cleveland. The talks stalled when the teams looked at just how much more money Swisher was owed, $6.25 million for the remainder of 2015, $15 million in 2016 and a vesting team option worth $14 million for 2017, than what Johnson was owed, $2.5 million for the remainder of 2015 with $17.5 million guaranteed for the 2016 and 2017 seasons combined, but the deal is now all but dead after Swisher was added to the 15 day DL. Swisher would have given the Braves a hitter for the middle of the order, an on base machine and an outfielder while the Indians would have improved their third base position with Johnson. The team is in need of players now if they want to make a serious run at the playoffs this season but the future looks as bright as ever in Cleveland after the 2015 MLB First Year Players Draft. The team had a very good haul with their first three picks including 2014 top pick Brady Aiken, Triston McKenzie and Juan Hillman. McKenzie and Hillman are two projectible high school arms while Aiken is a top arm that will need to rehab and recover from Tommy John surgery before making his professional debut with the Indians.
7-13-15: Corey Kluber continued his strong performance recently, as he threw eight innings of two-run ball, but it came in a loss. Although Kluber allowed just four hits and two walks, his opponent Sonny Gray gave up just three baserunners. The Oakland Athletics defeated the Indians, 2-0, in the rubber game of the series.
6-30-15: Yan Gomes homered for the third time this season on Monday, as the Indians defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 7-1. Jason Kipnis, who has been hitting very well at home, broke out of a small road slump to go 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a run batted in to help the Indians move to one game above .500 away from home this season.
6-16-15: The Indians called up top prospect Francisco Lindor, as they hope to get above .500. He pinch-hit and had two at-bats as the designated hitter on Sunday. His first career hit was a single in the ninth inning, but it came in a blowout. The Indians fell to the Detroit Tigers, 8-1, and had their Monday game at Wrigley Field rained out.
6-5-15: The Cleveland Indians welcomed back Carlos Santana this week from the paternity list after he welcomed a new bundle of joy into the world. To make room for Santana back on the active roster the team was forced to designate infielder Jerry Sands for assignment. This marks the second time that the Indians designated Sands for assignment this season after he was bumped in favor of RHP Ryan Webb. This time around Sands did well in both Triple-A and in an extremely small sample size in the major leagues but he did not do enough to warrant staying on the team. Speaking of players being designated for assignment by the Indians the team was pleased to learn that recently designated catcher Brett Hayes has accepted an outright assignment and will head down to Triple-A to provide the team some depth. The team will need all hands on deck if the team wants to catch the Detroit Tigers, the Kansas City Royals and the Minnesota Twins who are the top three teams in the American League Central division.
6-1-15: Jason Kipnis finished his tremendous month of May with another two-hit performance on Sunday. He scored one of the team’s three runs in the 12th inning at Safeco Field, as the Indians defeated the Seattle Mariners, 6-3. In the sixth inning of the contest, Ryan Raburn’s third home run of the season started the scoring for Cleveland.
5-30-15: The Cleveland Indians welcomed catcher Yan Gomes back to the lineup this week after playing in just five of the first 50 games this season for the tribe. Gomes sprained the medial collateral ligament in his right knee which caused him to miss roughly six weeks of the season with injury. The loss of Gomes, one of the best catchers in all of Major League Baseball, could explain the unexpected slow start by the Indians this season inside the American League Central division. With the addition of Gomes back to the active roster the team was forced to designate catcher Brett Hayes for assignment. The decision came down to Hayes or catcher Roberto Perez and while neither has hit especially well for the club Perez had the advantage in pure power and on-base percentage among the two catchers. Hayes appeared in just 14 games for the tribe this season posting a .156/.229/.438 triple slash with three home runs improving his career numbers to .205/.250/.359 with the Marlins, Royals and Indians.
5-26-15: Although Terry Francona’s squad lost to the Texas Rangers, 10-8, on Monday, the Indians look to be turning their season around. On Sunday, they won their sixth straight
game. While Cleveland had only eight hits on the day before Memorial Day, five of them
were doubles. In addition, Trevor Bauer threw 7.2 innings of one-run ball, as he had his third consecutive strong start.
5-18-15: On Sunday, the Indians had 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position, but only mustered
one hit in those situations, as they fell to the Texas Rangers, 5-1. However, Jason Kipnis
extended his season-best hitting and on-base streaks to nine games each. He will look to
match his best hitting streak from 2014 with a hit on Monday at U.S. Cellular Field.
5-11-15: On Sunday, the Indians avoided their 20th loss of the season, as they defeated the
Minnesota Twins, 8-2, and salvaged the final game of the three-game series at
Progressive Field. In the contest, Lonnie Chisenhall hit his third home run of the season,
and Jason Kipnis continued his strong May with a 3-for-5 day, as he drove in two runs
and scored two as well.
5-5-15: Jason Kipnis’ four hits, including a solo home run and a run-scoring single, led the Indians to a 10-7 victory over the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday. Unfortunately, Cleveland still stands six games below .500 with that victory, as the team alternated losses and wins from Tuesday to Sunday.
4-28-15: On Monday, the Indians dropped their third consecutive game, as they fell to the Kansas City Royals, 6-2. Corey Kluber moved to 0-3 on the season, and Cleveland fell to 1-5 in games played at Progressive Field in 2015. The Indians’ last victory came on the road at Detroit on Friday when they destroyed the Tigers, 13-1.
4-21-15: Trevor Bauer continued his great 2015 with seven scoreless innings on Monday at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, but Cody Allen got just one out and gave up four runs in the ninth inning, as the Indians fell for the seventh time in their last nine contests. On the bright side, Ryan Raburn and Brett Hayes hit their first home runs of the season on Monday.
4-14-15: Last week, Carlos Carrasco signed a four-year, $22 million contract extension through 2018 with two club options. He then threw 6.1 scoreless innings and struck out 10 batters last Wednesday, as the Indians defeated the Houston Astros, 2-0. Cleveland went on to win its series with the Astros, but then was swept by the Detroit Tigers. Over the weekend, the team lost Yan Gomes for six to eight weeks due to an MCL sprain.
4-7-5: Over the weekend, Corey Kluber agreed with the Indians on a five-year, $38.5 million contract extension with options in 2020 and 2021. He then limited the Houston Astros to just two runs in seven innings, but Cleveland only mustered three hits, as the Indians lost their Opening Day game, 2-0
3-31-15: On Friday, the Indians optioned right-handed pitcher Danny Salazar to Triple-A Columbus after he made 20 starts for the club in 2014. In other pitching news, Zach McAllister was named the team’s No. 4 starter, and T.J. House was named the No. 5 starter. In addition, Carlos Carrasco flew from Goodyear, Arizona to Florida on Saturday for the birth of his child.
3-25-15: After an injury-shortened 2014 due to multiple knee surgeries, Nick Swisher may start
this season on the 15-day disabled list. He played in 97 games last season, his fewest
since 2004 when he took part in 20 games for the Oakland Athletics. In 2005, he played
in 131 contests and was voted sixth in the American League Rookie of the Year Award race.
3-18-15: Last week, the Indians and 2014 American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber avoided arbitration with a one-year deal. Then on Monday, he was named
Cleveland’s Opening Day starter. Kluber, who will turn 29 years old on April 10, is
expected to start 30 times in consecutive seasons for the first time in his career.
3-4-15: The Indians are dealing with a couple injuries to their run producers. Outfielder Michael Brantley’s sore back is holding him back, but it does not seem to be a major problem. He is expected to make his 2015 Cactus League debut on Thursday. In addition, Brandon Moss has shown progress in his return from hip surgery, as he has been taking batting practice and running the bases.
3-1-15: Last week, the Indians signed left-hander Bruce Chen to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. The contract states that if he makes the major league squad, he will make $1 million and can make as much as an addition $1 million in incentives. Brandon Moss, who Cleveland acquired in a December trade with the Oakland Athletics, is still recovering from hip surgery, and Terry Francona said he might not be ready for Opening Day.
2-17-15: On Wednesday, the Indians signed former Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies
utilityman Michael Martinez to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.
Although Martinez may not make the Opening Day roster, he will provide great depth at
several positions. Jason Giambi, who spent the last two seasons with the Indians, is retiring from his 20-year career.
2-9-15: Pitchers Danny Salazar and Justus Sheffield have been dealing with some legal issues recently. No charges were filed against Salazar, but Sheffield, a Cleveland first-round pick in 2014, plead guilty to underage drinking and criminal trespass. On the lighter side of the news, the Indians have reportedly offered Jason Giambi a non-playing role.
10-1-14: If it weren’t for an ugly 10-17 record in April, the Indians would have grabbed a wild-card spot. Cleveland had a .500 or better record in every other month. The emergence of Corey Kluber is one thing Indians fans should be excited about heading into next season. The right-hander finished the season with an 18-9 record, a 2.44 ERA and 269 strikeouts. I’m not sure if he’ll win the AL Cy Young, but those numbers make him a candidate for sure.
9-30-14: The Cleveland Indians led the major leagues in errors this season but the team feels good about the state of the infield going forward. The team was vocal in their assessments of Asdrubal Cabrera defensively and feels confident that his replacement Jose Ramirez can be a more than adequate replacement with the bat and far better with the glove. Even with all the issues Cleveland had this season including the declining offense of Nick Swisher and the infield defense problems the Indians were still in the hunt for the second American League Wild Card all the way until the last weekend of the season which could garner manager Terry Francona some consideration for AL Manager of the Year. The Indians had a great season by their pitching staff, specifically AL Cy Young candidate Corey Kluber, and will look to add even more arms in the offseason to try and get the team over the hump and into the promised land in 2015. Cleveland finished the 2014 season with a 85-77 record and will not be in the 2014 postseason.
9-25-14: With series wins against the Astros and Twins last week, the Indians were just 3.5 games back for the second AL wild-card spot. A loss to the Royals Tuesday eliminated them for the postseason. The Indians' remaining games are one more with Royals, and a three game set against the Rays at home. It was a good effort down the stretch, but they came up just a bit short.
9-23-14: The Cleveland Indians designated outfielder Chris Dickerson for assignment two weeks ago and sent him on an assignment to Triple-A last week. This week Dickerson elected free agency and refused his outright to the minor leagues. Dickerson will now look to latch on with a new team next season on a major league deal. The Indians are also holding internal discussions as they try and decide whether to trade or keep shortstop prospect Francisco Lindor. Cleveland seems pleased with their slightly above league average current shortstop Jose Ramirez. Ramirez is more known for his glove but his bat has been adequate enough to stick in the majors. With the high percentage of shortstop prospects that ”bust” it may be in the Indians best interest to go with Ramirez and trade Lindor this offseason for an upgrade elsewhere. Cleveland has also discussed the possibility of letting Lindor learn second base and moving current second baseman Jason Kipnis to the outfield for 2015. Cleveland’s outfield already looks pretty crowded with Michael Brantley, Michael Bourn, David Murphy, and possibly Nick Swisher moving into the outfield rotation next year.
9-18-14: The Indians made a strong push to claw back into the AL playoff picture with an 18-9 month of August, but the Tigers swept them over the weekend and they now sit five games back for the second AL wild-card spot. Corey Kluber is now 16-9 with a 2.54 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 219.2 innings pitched. He should be a lock to finish in the top five in AL CY Young voting and could end up as higher if he closes out the year strong.
9-16-14: The Cleveland Indians are getting some of their injured players back and even with the expanded rosters for September call ups the team still have outrighted outfielder Chris Dickerson off the 40 man roster and has stashed him on the Triple-A roster for the remainder of the season. The Indians gave second baseman Jason Kipnis a contract extension before the season and Kipnis admits that it was to blame for his early season struggles. Kipnis reportedly pressed at the plate while trying to live up to the new contracts and the expectations that come with a lucrative new contract. The Indians have seemingly pressed as well in the AL Wild Card race as they have fallen out of the race this week. The Indians current record is 76-72 and the team sits five games behind the Kansas City Royals for the last playoff spot.
9-12-14: The Indians have climbed back into contention thanks to a 17-10 record in their last 27 games, and they capped off last week with a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox. They have dropped two straight games this week. They will need to continue taking advantage of sub .500 teams, as 12 of their remaining 19 games are against teams with a losing record. At this point they need to make up five games in the wild-card standings.
9-9-14: The Cleveland Indians were praised this week for how the team had built its strong starting rotation. The team’s rotation currently consists of Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar, and Trevor Bauer. Salazar was signed as an undrafted free agent out of high school and the other three were acquired via trade which speaks for the Indians general manager as well. That same Indians GM, Chris Antonetti, claimed outfielder J.B. Shuck from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim this week after his former team designated him for assignment. Cleveland will acquire Shuck for cash considerations, likely the remainder of his contract for the season. Shuck is a left handed hitting outfielder that is under team control through the 2018 season and has experience at all three outfield positions from his time with the Angels making him attractive to Cleveland not just for this season but for the foreseeable future.
9-4-14: Prior to their mini two-game losing streak they’re currently on; the Indians were 6-1 in their last
seven games. Cleveland went 17-9 with a plus-20 run differential in the month of August. The
Indians’ pitching will need to continue if Cleveland is going to put together another late-season
playoff push. Their offense remains below average, coming off a month in which Cleveland failed to top 100 runs scored.
9-2-14: The Cleveland Indians traded left handed relief pitcher Josh Outman to the New York Yankees this week for a player to be named later or cash considerations. The way the Indians have navigated the trading deadline has been perplexing as the team is still very much in both the AL Central division race and second Wild Card race but continue to sell off their veteran pieces for little to nothing in return. The perplexing string of trades for the contenders started when they shipped shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to the Washington Nationals and traded Justin Masterson to the St. Louis Cardinals. Cleveland has gotten a good return from the Cabrera trade specifically though with Jos Ramirez’s defense at shortstop and Zach Walters’ power bat in the lineup.
8-27-14: The Indians took care of business last week, picking up series wins against the lowly Twins and Astros. They also took Game 1 of their three game series against the White Sox on Tuesday. Cleveland is now 14-8 in August. Their starting pitching has been the key to turning things around, as they have a 2.58 ERA as a group this month. Corey Kluber continues to be the ace of the staff, but guys like Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco have made a difference as of late. The Indians are only 4.5 games out of a wild-card spot.
8-26-14: The Cleveland Indians have lost Nick Swisher for the remainder of the 2014 season after he had to go under the knife with a knee surgery on both of his knees this week. Swisher was in the middle of a disappointing second season with Cleveland batting only .208/.278/.331 playing most first base for Cleveland. Swisher is in the second season of his $56 million deal with Cleveland he signed before the 2013 season. Cleveland will have Swisher back for the beginning of the 2015 season and will also have Scott Atchison after signing him to a one year extension worth $1 million for the 2016 season. The Indians are still in the thick of the Wild Card and AL Central race and can ill afford a loss as big as Swisher’s. Cleveland sits at 6-63 and is six games out in the division.
8-20-14: Do not count out Cleveland just yet. They’re just 4.5 games back of the second wildcard spot in the AL and have played some real good baseball in the month of August. They’re 6-4 in their last 10 games played and beat Minnesota Tuesday night. Corey Kluber should be considered a candidate for the AL Cy Young with his 13-6 record, 2.41 ERA and 197 strikeouts in 179.1 innings.
8-19-14: The Cleveland Indians have been locking up all their young talent in recent seasons except for one notable player in Corey Kluber. Cleveland has shown a willingness to extend positional players, most notably Michael Brantley, Yan Gomes, and Jason Kipnis, rather than pitchers as seen by the trade of Justin Masterson. The last time the Indians extended one of their starting pitchers to a long term deal Fausto Carmona was still pitching and not yet known as Roberto Hernandez. Whether the Indians decide to extend Kluber remains to be seen but if anyone on the team deserves a long term commitment it is definitely Kluber. The Indians also lost outfielder David Murphy and first baseman Nick Swisher this week to the disabled list and pitcher John Axford to a straight waiver claim to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Indians will save roughly $1.1 million in salary for the rest of the season by letting Axford go to Pittsburgh.
8-13-14: The Indians led 1-0 in their game with Arizona on Tuesday when a rain delay began at 7:57 p.m. The tarp was pulled off the field around 11 p.m. with the plan of re-starting the game about a half hour later, but a heavy storm rolled through Cleveland and the game was quickly called. The game will be made up Wednesday as part of a doubleheader.
8-12-14: The Cleveland Indians granted the wish of outfielder Nyjer Morgan this week by releasing him from his contract. Morgan has been on the disabled list for the better part of three months with a strained PCL muscle in his knee and requested to be released according to team sources. Manager Terry Francona stated that the decision was mutual to release Morgan after he started the season with Cleveland hitting .341/.429/.439 with one home run and three stolen bases before the injury. The Indians also lost relief pitcher Vinnie Pestano as he was claimed on waivers and subsequently traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Indians ended the week by taking two games out of three from the New York Yankees in Yankee Stadium including a victory that ruined Paul O’Neill Day at Yankee Stadium.
8-6-14: A bizarre play doomed the Indians Tuesday night. In the seventh inning, the Indians had a rally going. A warmup pitch from the Cincinnati bullpen came on the field, resulting in David Murphy being caught off third base. Murphy, I guess, mistakenly thought the ball was live and edged off third. Cleveland ultimately fell to the Reds 9-2. Cleveland sits just 2.5 games back in the crazy AL wildcard race.
8-5-14: The Cleveland Indians had two major pieces to trade away at this year’s trading deadline in Justin Masterson and Asdrubal Cabrera and both players were moved before it was all said and done. On Thursday the Indians traded shortstop Cabrera to the Washington Nationals for Zach Walters. Cleveland also traded their ace Masterson to the St. Louis Cardinals for their top outfield prospect James Ramsey. The Indians ended the week by signing Jim Thome to a one day contract so that Thome could retire as a member of the Tribe. Thome spent 12 of his 22 seasons in Cleveland and returned for a shortened stint in 2011 before spending the 2012 season with the Baltimore Orioles. Thome will now presumably pursue a career as a major league manager.
7-30-14: The Cleveland Indians received some bad news when they learned they would have to place shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera on the 15 day disabled list with back spasms. In what looks to be a corresponding move more than a coincidental one the Indians have promoted their top prospect Francisco Lindor to Triple-A to play shortstop. This is either a sign that Cabrera may be out for a good amount of time, that Cabrera will not be re-signed after this season as a free agent, or both. The Indians ended the week by announcing they would be very willing to trade ace starting pitcher Justin Masterson at this year’s trading deadline. Masterson is a free agent at the end of this season but has struggled mightily all season long severely limiting his suitors.
7-28-14: The Indians looked great right after the All-Star break, but they have struggled since taking the first three games of their series against the Detroit Tigers. Cleveland then dropped five of its next six contests. Carlos Santana’s two home runs were not enough to stop the Indians’ losing streak on Friday.
7-24-14: Carlos Santana had a home run among his season high-tying four hits and Danny Salazar won in his first start in more than two months as the Indians beat the Minnesota Twins 8-2 on Tuesday night. Santana, who was 3 for 18 coming in, hit a solo shot to right field in the fifth inning to put the Indians up 4-1. Cleveland has now won for the fourth time in six games since the All-Star break. The Indians are 5 ½ games back of Detroit in the AL Central.
7-21-14: The Cleveland Indians are in second place in the AL Central division and find themselves right in the hunt for a Wild Card spot but are still not expected to be major players in this year’s trading deadline. The Indians seemingly do not have the pieces or payroll flexibility to add a major piece and do not seem willing to trade away any talent either. This report contradicts an earlier report from the week stating that the Indians were interested in adding San Diego Padres closer Joaquin Benoit to shore up their bullpen. The biggest weakness has been the inconsistency from the Indians starting rotation especially from their ace Justin Masterson.
7-19-14: Jason Kipnis and All-Star Michael Brantley played very well on Friday in the Indians’ 9-3 victory against the division-leading Detroit Tigers. Kipnis slugged two home runs, and Brantley went 4-for-5 with two runs scored. Trevor Bauer also had a quality start in the win, as Cleveland continues to fight for the second position in the American League Central.
7-17-14: The Indians have their work cut out for them if they hope to be playing in October once again this year. They open the second half with an 11-game road trip against the Tigers, Twins and Royals, that could very well determine how the rest of their season plays out. The emergence of Michael Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall has helped offset poor first-half performances from guys like Jason Kipnis, Nick Swisher and Carlos Santana.
7-15-14: The Cleveland Indians have struggled to stay afloat all season long and have been at or around the .500 mark all season long in the AL Central. The Indians did not get news to help out with that when Michael Bourn went down with a hamstring injury. To replace Bourn Cleveland went out and acquired Chris Dickerson from the Pittsburgh Pirates and he immediately dominated the Yankees pitching staff in his first four games of his 2014 Indians campaign. George Kottaras was designated for assignment by the Indians once again and has latched on with the St. Louis Cardinals rather than accepting a Triple-A assignment once again. The Indians also acquired Nick Maronde from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and will plug the 24 year old into the fold of the pitching staff. The Indians are at .500 at 47-47 heading into the All Star break.
7-14-14: The Indians, who are currently without Michael Bourn and Justin Masterson, are fighting hard to stay alive in the American League Central. With their victories on Thursday and Friday, they moved to 10 games above .500 at home this season. After dropping Wednesday’s extra-inning contest to the New York Yankees, Indians catcher Roberto Perez hit a two-run home run in his major league debut as a part of Thursday’s 9-3 win.
7-10-14: Michael Brantley, the first-time All-Star, homered and drove in three RBI’s. Nick Swisher hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth inning, leading Cleveland to a 5-3 victory over Masahiro Tanaka and the New York Yankees Tuesday night. Brantley raised his average to .328. Brantley now has 14 home runs and 60 RBIs, both Indian team highs. He also is tied for the AL lead with 10 outfield assists.
7-7-14: On Wednesday, the visiting Indians took the rubber game from the Los Angeles Dodgers. After being shut out in the first contest of the series, Cleveland outscored Los Angeles, 15-7, in the final two games of the series. Michael Brantley, who has scored a run in each of the team’s last three contests, hit his 13th home run of the season on Friday in the Indians’ loss to the Kansas City Royals.
7-3-14: The Cleveland Indians turned an unorthodox triple play that required a pair of video replays, and David Murphy broke out of his slump with three hits and two RBI in a 10-3 victory against the Dodgers Tuesday. The triple play started in fourth inning when Adrian Gonzalez lifted a flyball to left fielder Michael Brantley, who threw out Dee Gordon at the plate. Catcher Yan Gomes noticed Yasiel Puig running for second and fired to Jason Kipnis for the tag on Puig as he went in headfirst. Indians manager Terry Francona challenged the original safe call and got the ruling overturned, giving the Indians three outs on one play. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly then came out to challenge the call at the plate. Crazy stuff in Los Angeles.
7-2-14: The Cleveland Indians ace starting pitcher Justin Masterson has had a lingering knee issue since his second start of the season, which may explain his down season statistically. Masterson has been battling soreness in his right knee and will miss at least one start due to the lingering injury in hopes of knocking the soreness out. Masterson’s ERA is up and his velocity is down which is never a good sign for a soon to be free agent. The Indians also hope this rest will help Masterson as with every less than stellar start makes it unlikely the Indians will be able to offer him a qualifying offer and net a draft pick for him in 2015.
6-30-14: After having a frustrating start to the season, the Indians have rebounded in May and continued their strong play into the beginning of June. Unfortunately, they had trouble with the Detroit Tigers, who recently swept them. Corey Kluber stopped Cleveland’s four-game losing streak by striking out eight Arizona Diamondbacks over seven scoreless innings on Wednesday, but the Indians dropped Friday’s contest in Seattle.
6-26-14: The Indians played in the longest game in the history of Chase Field Tuesday night. Unfortunately, they came out of losing side as the Arizona beat them 9-8 in 14 innings. The Indians has multiple chances to win the game, but couldn’t come through. Cleveland went ahead 8-6 in the 11th when Randall Delgado walked Michael Brantley and Carlos Santana homered down the right-field line. Arizona would tie the game at eight in the bottom half of the 11th. Arizona's Aaron Hill ended up winning it with an RBI single in the 14th inning. Cleveland remains six games back of Detroit in the AL Central.
6-24-14: The Cleveland Indians have designated Josh Outman for assignment even though he posted a 3.28 ERA in 24.2 innings this season. Outman pitched well but also walked way too many batters, 5.8/9, for the Indians to keep him around. Outman does get same handed batters out as a left handed pitcher and could be valuable to another team as a LOOGY or specialist type pitcher out of the bullpen. The Indians will not look to trade Outman rather than lose him for nothing to another team via free agency.
6-18-14: Cleveland’s Josh Tomlin gave up six runs in 5 1/3 innings as the Indians fell to the Angels 9-3 this past Tuesday. The loss dropped Tomlin to 4-4 on the year and ended Cleveland's 10-game home winning streak. Indians left fielder Michael Brantley was scratched from the lineup, and had tests on the head and neck injuries he sustained Monday while trying to break up a double play. Lonnie Chisenhall, who entered Tuesday’s game with a 0-for-13 slump, hit a solo homer in the fourth that put Cleveland in front 2-1. The Indians are three games back of AL Central leading Kansas City.
6-17-14: The Cleveland Indians are in a catch 22 position this season with their offense and defense. Their best offensive players in Nick Swisher, Carlos Santana, and Lonnie Chisenhall are also their worst defending players. In Santana’s and Swisher’s defense they are playing somewhat out of position but the Indians are still one of the worst defending teams in all of Major League Baseball right now.
6-10-14: The Cleveland Indians selected Bradley Zimmer in their first pick in the 2014 MLB First Year Players Draft on Thursday to play outfield in the future out of San Francisco. The Indians also drafted Justus Sheffield in the first round as compensation for losing Ubaldo Jimenez and have signed him to a below slot deal. Sheffield signed for $1.6 million, under the slot recommendation of $1.733 million, and also received $250K in scholarships to attend Vanderbilt University. With the bonus being paid upfront and the scholarship payment the Indians only saved a mere $133K on the deal. The Indians have been in last place in the American League Central division this season but find themselves in second place currently with a 32-31 record, a mere 3.5 games back of the Detroit Tigers.
6-3-14: The Cleveland Indians presence at the 2013 MLB First Year Players Draft was pretty nonexistent but Cleveland is primed to make noise at the 2014 draft. Last year the Indians gave up two picks by signing Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn and had only two picks in the first 79 selections but this year will have four picks in that same span this season. The Indians have the 21, 31, 28, and 61 picks in this year’s draft after losing the likes of Ubaldo Jimenez. The Indians have finally jumped out of the cellar in the American League Central division and are just six games out of first place in the division.
5-28-14: The Cleveland Indians are still in the cellar of the American League Central division but look to be climbing out of it while challenging the White Sox for fourth place. The Indians have gotten back shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and are close to having second basemen Jason Kipnis back which will help with Cleveland’s potential push up the standings ladder. The Indians are still employing the closer by committee with Scott Atchison, Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw, and Marc Rzepczynski in a somewhat controversial move that has yet to show dividends anytime it has been used across the league. While the players are saying the right things it’s hard to argue by looking at the numbers that the move is not disrupting the bullpen.
5-21-14: The Cleveland Indians this time last year were in the thick of things for the American League Central division title and a Wild Card berth, this year they are in last place in the division and left scratching their heads wondering how to right the ship. The Indians currently sit at 20-25 in the division and are 4-6 in their last ten games. The team is struggling across the board outside of the young guys in Jason Kipnis and Yan Gomes. Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher most notably are struggling at the plate and Cleveland is missing Ubaldo Jimenez more than they thought they would at this point.
5-15-14: The Cleveland Indians spent a lot of money just a couple winters back and are definitely not reaping the benefits of opening the purse strings after two weeks of May baseball. The Indians find themselves in last place in the American League Central division and by the looks of their negative run differential it does not look to get any better any time soon. The Indians have struggled on the road this season and have lost over twice as many games as they have won but have protected their home stadium with a winning record at home. The Indians have Yan Gomes back off the paternity list to help with the cause and also got to keep George Kottaras in the fold after designating him for assignment and him accepting his assignment to Triple-A.
5-7-14: The Cleveland Indians are easily the most disappointing team in the American League Central after the first month first of games in 2014. Cleveland was in the race for a playoff spot all season in 2013 and currently find themselves in last place in 2014 in early May. The Indians are close to getting catcher Yan Gomes back after he was placed on the paternity list and have gotten pitcher Chris Tomlin back. In a corresponding roster move the Indians designated sought after catcher George Kottaras for assignment after he made just four plate appearances for the big league club, although he did hit two home runs and draw a walk in that time. While the Indians pitching staff has struggled Aaron Harang, who was a member of the Indians before being informed he would not make the team out of spring training camp, has enjoyed success with the Atlanta Braves. You have to wonder if the Indians are kicking themselves for letting Harang go for nothing or not plugging him into their own rotation.
4-28-14: The Cleveland Indians have spent much of the first month of the 2014 season taking care of their own, most evidently by signing stars Jason Kipnis, Yan Gomes, and Michael Brantley to a combined 14 years and $100 million in contract extensions. The Indians have also taken chances on free agents that have paid off after a month, most notably John Axford at the back end of their bullpen who has been stellar in the closers role. The Indians have been a .500 team in the month of April in the American League Central division but may have the rest of the division right where they want them. The Indians have not played close to their potential yet this season and are still right in the thick of things for a division title or at least a wild card berth. Remember to vote for your favorite Indians players in the upcoming MLB All Star Game as voting has opened up this week for the prestigious event.
4-14-14: The Indians have lost four of their last five overall, including two-of-three in Chicago this weekend. Several of the Tribe’s big hitters are scuffling early on, as Asdrubal Cabrera, Nick Swisher, Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis are all hitting under .240 to start. David Murphy has been solid in his first season with the Indians, as he already leads the team with 11 RBI’s. Cleveland (6-7) will head to Detroit for three games starting Tuesday.
4-7-14: The Tribe impressively won two out of three games in Oakland to kick things off this year, but came home and then lost two of three to Minnesota, disappointingly. The bullpen has been extremely busy early on, as Scott Atchison, Marc Rzepczynski, Cody Allen, Josh Outman, Bryan Shaw, Blake Wood and John Axford have all already appeared in three of Cleveland’s first six games. The Cleveland Indians will host the San Diego Padres for a three-game series starting Monday evening.
4-1-14: Justin Masterson’s season got off to a fine start as the Indians’ ace went seven strong innings without allowing a run to the A’s while striking out four. Cleveland’s offense didn’t wake up until the 9th, however, when they struck for a pair of runs off of Oakland’s Jim Johnson. John Axford picked up the save as the Indians took the season opener, 2-0.
3-27-14: The Cleveland Indians lost a little starting pitching depth in the last week of Spring Training as they released Aaron Harang per his request, and he quickly latched on with the Atlanta Braves. The Indians also named Carlos Santana, former catcher, designated hitter, and first basemen, as their every day third basemen for the 2014 season. Scott Atchison was signed to a minor league deal this winter and was informed he would be making the Opening Day roster and added to the 40 man and 25 man rosters to help bolster the bullpen for Cleveland. Atchison had a strong spring allowing two walks and one hit in eight innings with eight strikeouts of work for the Indians. The Indians have one of the lowest payrolls in all of baseball for 2014 but still looks to challenge the Detroit Tigers and the rest of the league for the American League Central division title or one of the two Wild Card spots for the postseason.
3-20-14: The Cleveland Indians far and away have the best record in all of spring training, and especially in the Cactus League, behind young pitching and power hitting. The Indians have a lot of work to do replacing Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir and it starts with extending Justin Masterson, those talks are still on hold for now though as both sides are working towards a deal. Speaking of Masterson he has been named the Opening Day starter for the Indians, not that this should come as a surprise to anyone. Jason Giambi was slated to get some time at DH this season but has recently broken a rib and will start the season on the disabled list with the injury opening the door for someone out of the Indians system. Giambi will miss three to four weeks with the injury as the Indians season starts in less than two weeks.
3-13-14: The Cleveland Indians are an exciting team to watch this spring after a strong 2013 season. Carlos Santana, a catcher who converted to first base, is learning third base, Justin Masterson is working towards signing an extension with the team, and the Indians ticket prices are staying the same for the most part. Cleveland has the best Cactus League record so far this season and look to ride the hot bats and young power arms all the way in 2014.
3-5-14: The Cleveland Indians have seemingly begun to transition there once young starting catcher Carlos Santana into a third basement. The young slugger will make periodic starts at third base throughout the spring. The Indians organization have made it clear that they are interested in extending the contract of 26-year-old Jason Kipnis.
1-24-14: The Cleveland Indians are hoping that Danny Salazar can live up to expectations as he is being heralded as the best Indians pitching prospect since CC Sabathia. One interesting note is that the Indians are debating changing catcher Carlos Santana to third base as prospect Yan Gomes has been climbing through the ranks and appears poised to win the starting job.
1-7-14: It's looking as if Ubaldo Jimenez will no longer be a member of the Cleveland Indians as he recently announced that he is looking for four-year deal worth up to $20 million per season. Although it's reported that his asking price may have come down is unlikely that the Indians will get into a bidding war with the Yankees or Blue Jays who were also rumored to be heavy Suiters.
12-9-13: The Cleveland Indians made many improvements last season including winning 10 straight games to finish the season. Unfortunately their winning streak with snap as soon as possible season play began as they lost to the Tampa Bay rays in the one game playing game. Not enough credit can be given to manager Terry Francona who took in unflattering roster and led them to 92 wins finishing just one game behind the tigers for first place in the Central division. The Indians will return with much of the same roster as they did last year hoping to continue the success they had in their home ballpark with a posted a 51–30 record.
9-30-13: Despite not having a roster filled with all-star names it is not much of a surprise that the Cleavland Indians are in the playoff hunt. Under the leadership of Terry Francona and a veteran ballclub the Indians of manage 90 winds and currently are the second American League wild-card team. Coming into the weekend the Indians hold a one game lead over Texas who is also fighting for that final playoff spot. Cleveland has been friendly to the Indians as they posted a 51–30 record at home. Nick Swisher led the team in homeruns with 21 this season. The Cleveland Indians scored 735 run so far this season and that ranks fifth best in all of baseball. Over the weekend they will face the rival Minnesota Twins in Minnesota.
8-20-13 - The Cleveland Indians are in second place with a record of 68 – 58. They Trilva division leading Detroit Tigers by 6 games. The Indians are five and five in the last 10 games. This week Cleveland is on the West Coast to face the Los Angeles Angels. They opened up that road trip with a 5-2 win over the Angels.
In terms of the wildcard race in the American League the Cleveland Indians are 4.5 games behind the Tampa Bay rays and theOakland Athletics.
8-6-13 - The Cleveland Indians of surprise many with their strong play throughout the season. Currently they are in second place in the Central, but also hold the second wild-card position in the American League. The Indians have a 9-1 record in their last 10 games.
7-31-13 - The Indians have acquired left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski from the St. Louis Cardinals for a minor league infielder.
7-18-13 - Through the first half of the season under new manager Terry Francona the Cleveland Indians have impressed. With limited offensive power and not many big names to speak of the Indians have one for the road heading into the break. Behind the bat of second baseman Jason Kipnis and the solid pitching from Justin Masterson the Indians are currently in second place with 51 wins. The Indians are currently only 1.5 games out of first place behind the Detroit Tigers. Once the regular season resumes the Indians will head to Minnesota for series against the Twins.
7-7-13 - Two Cleveland Indians were selected for the 2013 American League All-Star Game. 10-game winner Justin Masterson and second baseman Jason Kipnis will both be making their first all-star game appearance.
6-12-13 - Losers of 8 in a row, the Cleveland Indians are the only second-place team in baseball with a losing record. Playing in a weak division under new manager Terry Francona The Indians will try to break their losing streak against the Texas Rangers this week. Newly acquired Nick Swisher Is hitting 240 with seven homeruns. The young leftfielder Michael Brantley is leading the team in batting average hitting 284.