Found October 03, 2013 on
The Hot Read:
Tampa Bay Rays
The Cleveland Indians' season ended in a disappointing 4-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Wild Card game last night. While the season ended sooner than fans would have liked, the Indians exceeded all expectations anyone had for them coming into this season. The future looks bright and there is a sense of optimism around this team for the first time in several seasons.
There were many positives and negatives to take away from the season, and issues that need to be addressed in the offseason.
The starting rotation was the biggest question mark coming into the season, and it turned out to be the strength of this team. Danny Salazar is a future ace and they have All-Star Justin Masterson locked up for two more years. Zach McAllister and Corey Kluber look like solid middle of the rotation guys. Josh Tomlin, Carlos Carrasco, and Trevor Bauer give them depth as well
They must do everything they can to keep Ubaldo Jimenez. His turnaround this season was miraculous, and the trade the Tribe made to get him two years ago looks like a steal now. A Big 3 of Jimenez, Masterson, and Salazar will be as good as anyone's. Jimenez may have priced himself out of Cleveland though. It will take big dollars to keep him.
Scott Kazmir has expressed a desire to come back. If the price is right, he could add some depth, but not at the expense of taking starts away from some of the younger guys. Certainly worth keeping if Jimenez leaves.
The bullpen needs a revamp. Thought to be strength coming in, they really struggled this season. The backend of Pestano and Perez went from one of the top setup/closer combinations in baseball to a disaster. Pestano pitched his way out of the setup role, and Perez has certainly pitched his last game in an Indians' uniform. Joe Smith is a free agent and he was the most dependable reliever. They need to try to keep him. Cody Allen and Brian Shaw had their ups and downs, but overall were good. Mark Rzepczynski was a great pickup. They need to find a closer and decide on a setup man.
Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn were a little disappointing after signing big contracts. Bourn hit only .263 and had an OBP of .316, not good enough for a leadoff hitter. He stole 23 bases but was caught 12 times. Swisher hit only .246 with 22 HR and 63 RBI. The Indians need more from these guys for the $26 million per season they combine to earn.
The low-profile pickups were much more successful. Ryan Raburn And Mike Aviles helped give them one of the best benches in the league. Jason Giambi provided leadership and the season's biggest hit. Yan Gomes was so strong he became the everyday catcher and appear to have secured that spot for the future.
Asdrubal Cabrera was a major disappointment coming off of two straight All-Star seasons. If he has any trade value left, they may want to explore that in the offseason with Francisco Lindor expected to be ready to take that spot by 2015.
Lonnie Chisenhall has had enough chances. The Indians need a big bat in their lineup and third base would be the best position to fill that. Chisenhall just cannot consistently hit major league pitching.
Michael Brantley may be the most consistent player on the team. He has developed into a very solid, All-Star caliber player.
There are a number of bright spots on this team and they should remain competitive for several years to come. If they can find a way to beat the Tigers on occasion, possibly they can avoid the one-game wild card playoff and win a division title.
BEST OF MAXIM
Here are the free agents in the entire Cleveland Indians organization from the major league roster on down through the minors.
Major League Free Agents
Pitchers: Matt Albers (RHP), Rich Hill (LHP), Scott Kazmir (LHP), Joe Smith (RHP)
Position players: Jason Giambi (DH), Kelly Shoppach (CA)
Note: Right-handed pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez has an $8 million mutual option which...
Sometimes perspective is everything.
Perspective is what many Cleveland Indians fans are now searching for after Wednesday.
Some seem to have the perspective that the Indians' run to the postseason could be considered a flop. Maybe there is some truth to that.
After all, the Tribe was shutout 4-0 by the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Wild Card Game, and some of the numbers...
The playoffs ended for the Cleveland Indians almost as quickly as they began. That is the case with the one-game Wild Card, and Cleveland is now left looking toward the 2014 campaign. Before spring training, Cleveland's front office has a long offseason in front of them, making decisions on who will stay, who will go and who will be brought in. Two players that are preparing...
Here we are, folks: the End of Season Post-Mortem series. If you're new here (which about 50% of our reader base is in comparison to last year), here's a brief explanation: after a team is eliminated from playoff contention, we're going to put their season under a microscope and look at just what the hell went wrong, what went right, and so on and so forth. The goal is...
When a team goes from a 94 loss season to a 92 win season there are going to be a collection of production increases at multiple positions. Today, in brevity I will be looking at the positional production team wide using surface statistics to show the difference from 2012 to 2013.
This is just a launching off point as I will spend much of the offseason in this column looking position...
Cleveland fans turned out to cheer their Indians at Wednesday night's AL wild-card game, but not every show of support was a good look.
The controversy over Native American teams and mascots was back in the spotlight when the TV cameras found these guys.
Stay classy #Indians fans! (h/t @corkgaines ) pic.twitter.com/9QHYcUGFBR
-- MLB Memes (@MLBMeme) October 3, 2013
I was downtown around 5:30. Walking around 4th street, people filled the streets, rocking their red. The civic pride that we Clevelanders hold so dear was on full display. It was like a scene out of Major League when everyone in and around the city was walking past each other, holding up their #1 finger and saying “Go Tribe.” The buzz downtown was something special. We all wanted...
A packed Progressive Field was rocking at the start of last night’s AL Wildcard game between the Rays and Indians, but it was not enough as the Indians fell short 4-0. With the win, the Rays move on to face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the ALDS on Friday in Fenway Par. With the loss, the Indians get set to pack their bags and head home for the season.
Before I look a little...
An unexpected season loaded with highs, lows and drama ended abruptly. The magic fizzled for the Cleveland Indians only one game into October.
Wasting scoring opportunities against Tampa Bay starter Alex Cobb, the Indians disappointed a sellout crowd that did everything it could to carry them Wednesday night with a 4-0 loss to the Rays in the AL wild-card game.
A team that went...
Last night’s Wild Card playoff was a game this city desperately needed. No, one game is most assuredly not “enough.” No, I’m not satisfied that the Indians peed down their leg with runners on base last night. 1 All the same, last night was a game that this city needed and it was a game that the team needed. As I said yesterday, this city has been doing a lot of bickering...
A Cleveland Indians fan threw a partially-filled cup at Tampa Bay Rays left fielder David DeJesus in an inappropriate attempt to vent some frustration during Wednesday night's American League Wild Card playoff game at Progressive Field.
It happened in the bottom of the eighth inning with one out and the Rays holding a 3-0 lead. Indians batter Michael Brantley hit the...
Player(s) of the Game
The bullpen and Justin Masterson in particular deserve all the credit for keeping this game winnable until the ninth inning. Marc Rzepczynski, Bryan Shaw along with Masterson combined to throw four innings and didn't allow a run, giving up just three hits while striking out five.
Goat of the Game
Nick Swisher, he of so much play-off experience...
Tonight, two teams will battle for the wildcard and earn the right to play in the American League Division Series this weekend at Fenway Park. I thought it would be insightful to compare and contrast those two teams from a slightly different perspective. So I found the one person who has actually worked for both the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cleveland Indians organizations.
A loser Indians fan hurled a plastic cup at Rays outfielder David Dejesus last night as Nick Swisher was realizing he was in a postseason game yet again. Ty Duffy points out, " The liquid is brownish. The spill pattern suggests it was not filled with beer."
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