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Tribe Matters: The Cleveland Indians and the MLB

With Monday night’s signings of SS FRANCISCO LINDOR (1st round), RHP DILLON HOWARD (2nd round) and RHP SHAWN ARMSTRONG (18th round), tribe signs 29 picks from this summer’s draft, including 17 of their top 19 selections.


Tribe signs No. 1 pick Francisco Lindor moments before deadline

by Stephanie Storm on August 16, 2011 - 12:09 am

Down to the wire.

Just like they did last year in signing No. 1 pick and LHP Drew Pomeranz (fifth overall) just in time before the clock struck midnight, the Indians agreed to terms right before the deadline again this season with No. 1 pick SS Francisco Lindor (eighth overall) for a reported $2.9 million.

 Lindor, a Clermont, Fla., native batted .528 (28-for-53) during his senior season at Florida’s Montverde Academy High School, with 31 runs scored, six home runs, 13 RBI and 20 steals in 21 attempts. Fifteen of his 28 hits went for extra bases.

The switch-hitting, 17-year old shortstop was a Rawlings First Team All-American in 2011 and won the home run hitting contest at the Aflac All-American Game in August of 2010 in San Diego’s PETCO Park.

Lindor was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, before moving to the Orlando area when he was 12 years old.  He is 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds. In 2009 Lindor helped Under-16 Team USA to a gold medal in Taiwan by hitting .500 with three triples and six steals.  Lindor was ranked as the seventh-best prospect in the draft by Baseball America (third-highest position player).



Howard, Armstrong added to fold before deadline

by Stephanie Storm on August 15, 2011 - 11:56 pm

Eith 45 minutes to spare before Monday’s midnight deadline, the Indians signed RHP DILLON HOWARD, the team’s second-round pick (67thoverall) in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. reported Howard signed for $1.85 million. 

 The 19-year old went 9-1 with a 0.31ERA in 12 starts for Searcy High School in Searcy, Ark., striking out 115 batters in 58 innings.  

The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder was named the Arkansas high school Player of the Year by both Gatorade and MaxPreps. Last summer he was named the MVP at the Connie Mack World Series while playing for the Midland Redskins. As a junior at Searcy High, Howard went 7-4 with a 2.96ERA and 92 strikeouts in 54 1/3 innings, concluded his prep career with an 18-8 record and 212 strikeouts.

Howard was ranked as the 31st-best prospect entering the draft by Baseball America.

Right before the clock reached midnight, the Indians also wrapped up neogotiations with 18th-round pitcher Shawn Armstrong.




Tribe waits until last minute to make move

by Sheldon Ocker on August 14, 2011 - 3:34 pm

   CLEVELAND: It was an open secret that David Huff was being recalled to start today against the Twins.

  But how he would find a place on the roster was another matter. Would Jason Donald or Shelley Duncan be sent back to Columbus? It turned out to be Duncan, but the Tribe refused to make the move until the club was certain this afternoon’s game would start. That meant Huff didn’t have to added to the roster until the start of the game was assured.   

  Why go to that trouble? If the game were rained out before the first pitch, there would be no reason to add Huff to the roster until Saturday, when he will start against the Tigers. Duncan could remain as an extra position player until then.

  As it turned out, the move to option Duncan was wasted, because today’s game was washed out after the second inning. Of course, the Indians had no way of knowing that would happen.

  The Tribe is hoping the Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley can return to the lineup on Tuesday, but it isn’t certain if they will be recovered from apparently minor injuries. Brantley has missed four starts because of a sore right wrist. Kipnis was held out of the lineup Saturday and today with soreness in his right side.





Two more Tribe picks sign before Monday’s deadline

by Stephanie Storm on August 13, 2011 - 9:15 pm

Saturday, the Indians agreed to terms with their two more June draft picks  in seventh-rounder (218th overall) C ERIC HAASE and 13th-round selection (398th overall) INF ZACH MACPHEE.

With the pair in the fold, the Tribe has now signed 26 of 50 selections, including 13 of their top 16 picks. The signing deadline is midnight Monday.

Haase, 18, attended Divine Child High School in Dearborn, Mich., where he batted .495 with 15 doubles, 14 home runs, and 54 RBI while leading his team to two state championships. He was named Michigan’s Mr. Baseball by the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association and was ranked as Perfect Game USA’s 37th-best high school senior.  He was previously committed to play baseball at The Ohio State University.

Macphee, 21, was the Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2010 during his sophomore season after hitting .389 with 9 homers, 64 RBI, 67 runs scored and 20 stolen bases in 57 games. During his junior season in 2011, he batted .276 with one homer, 25 RBI  and 26 steals to earn Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 honors. He was previously selected by the Detroit Tigers out of high school in the 22nd round of the
2008 draft.  He concluded his collegiate career with a .315 average at ASU with 54 steals.



Choo off DL, Kearns designated for assignment

by Sheldon Ocker on August 12, 2011 - 1:24 pm

   There will be no more rehab games for Shin-Soo Choo. Instead of reporting to Columbus or Akron as the final step in his recovery from a broken thumb, he was activated today and probably will play tonight against the Twins.

   To make room for him on the roster, the Tribe designated Austin Kearns for assignment.  Kearns has struggled being strictly a part-time player. In 150 at-bats, he is hitting only .200 with one home run.  If he clears waivers, he likely will be asked to accept an outright assignment to Triple-A, but he will have the choice to accept the assignment or become a free agent.


Masterson to start Friday; Brantley’s wrist injury flares up

by Sheldon Ocker on August 10, 2011 - 7:31 pm

    Because Justin Masterson threw fewer than 40 pitches and his outing was cut short by rain Tuesday night, he will come back early and start Friday night against the Twins.

 “”He only threw 37 pitches so he’s good to go,’’ manager Manny Acta said this afternoon.

 Josh Tomlin, originally scheduled to start Friday night, will start Saturday with Sunday’s starter officially undecided. However,  the Tribe plans to call up David Huff from Columbus to take the place of Carlos Carrasco, who is on the disabled list.

 Michael Brantley’s sore wrist kept him out of the lineup tonight.

 “”Michael is still not 100 percent,’’ Acta said. “”When he swings and misses is when he really feels it. I think one or two days off might benefit him. He’s been seen by Dr. (Tom) Graham (of the Cleveland Clinic).’’

 Asked if the injury might linger the rest of the season,  Acta said, “”We’ll see. Hopefully, it will go away.’’

 Shin-Soo Choo took batting practice and worked out with the team today rather than play in another rehab game.

 “”He feels good,’’ Acta said. “”He got a couple of at-bats in (at Lake County) before rain stopped the game. He’ll probably move up to Columbus now.’’


Choo, recovering from a broken thumb,  could be activated next week.



Tribe bullpen outlasts Tigers to win in 14 innings

by Sheldon Ocker on August 10, 2011 - 2:11 am


CLEVELAND:  So starting pitching sets the tone, right? Not necessarily.

Justin Masterson and Doug Fister weren’t around long enough to make an impact. Blame Mother Nature for forcing the Indians and Tigers to live and die with their bullpens.

It took awhile, but the Tribe finally eked out a 3-2 win in 14 innings Tuesday night and Wednesday morning at Progressive Field.

David Pauley, the seventh pitcher of the night for the Tigers, began the 14th inning by striking out Jason Kipnis, but Asdrubal Cabrera followed by drawing a walk. Travis Hafner skipped a hard ground ball just out of the reach of second baseman Carlos Guillen for a single that sent Cabrera to third.

Carlos Santana received an intentional walk to load the bases and set up a possible force at every base, and the infield moved in as Kosuke Fukudome stepped to the plate. Pauley quickly got ahead 1-and-2 then hit Fukudome on the arm to force home the game-winning run at 1:52 a.m., six hours 46 minutes after the scheduled start time.

The winning pitcher was Frank Herrmann, the eighth Indians pitcher of the game. Herrmann worked the 13th and 14th, giving up leadoff walks each inning but nothing more.

In all, the Tribe bullpen pitched 12 scoreless innings, allowing six hits and three walks, while striking out 11.

The starting pitchers made only cameo appearances because of a two-hour, three-minute rain delay that began after the third out of the second inning.

Masterson gave up two, two-out singles in the first but was saved from further trouble by second bseman Kipnis, who made a diving stab of Victor Martinez’s sharp ground ball up the middle and threw to first for the third out.

But in the second, Masterson didn’t get off so easily. He gave up a leadoff single to Jhonny Peralta, who raced to third on Guillen’s single to left. Masterson dug the hole a little deeper by walking Alex Avila to load the bases. He settled down to retired Don Kelly on a slow bouncer to third, but Peralta scored and the remaining runners moved up a base. Austin Jackson also grounded out to drive in Guillen, but Masterson got the third out on a strikeout of Brennan Boesch.

The two-run second wiped out the Indians’ 2-0 advantage built on the strength of a rally in the first off Fister. Kipnis started it with a one-out double and scored on Cabrera’s single. After Hafner singled Cabrera to third, Santana brought in the second run with a sacrifice fly.

If the starters were a little shaky, relievers from both teams were rock solid through the seventh, which surely drew a big sigh of relief from both managers. With the bullpens having to work seven innings, one or both team’s relief corps easily could have been in rough shape for tonight’s game.

Chad Durbin gave up only one hit in three innings, getting the Tribe through the fifth. Duane Below did Durbin one better, delivering four hitless innings for the Tigers, walking none and striking out three. Rafael Perez lived on the edge in the sixth, giving up two singles to put runners on first and third with one out, but he held the tie.

The deadlock continued through the eighth, with Daniel Schlereth pitching two innings, and Tony Sipp and Vinnie Pestano combining to hold Detroit in the seventh and eighth.

Two unsuccessful bunts ensured that neither team would score. After Sipp gave up a leadoff single by Avila in the seventh, Ramon Santiago popped up a bunt that Sipp caught and relayed to first to double up Avila.

Schlereth was in more serious trouble in the eighth, after giving up a leadoff double to Jason Donald, pinch hitting for Lonnie Chisenhall.

Ezequiel Carrera’s ground out to the right side moved Donald to third, and on a 1-and-1 pitch to Michael Brantley, Donald broke for home on a suicide squeeze attempt. One problem: Schlereth delivered a slider low and away, a tough pitch to bunt, and Brantley missed it. Donald was tagged out easily to end the threat.

Phil Coke took care of the ninth for the Tigers, and Pestano did the same for the Tribe. Chris Perez and Joe Smith followed by throwing three scoreless innings.



Local draft pick Brian Ruiz signs with Tribe

by Stephanie Storm on August 9, 2011 - 6:33 pm

The Indians signed OF BRIAN RUIZ, the organization’s 41st-round selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Cleveland’s Lincoln-West High School.

Ruiz was the Player of the Year in the Senate Athletic League for the second consecutive season, batting .600 with 22 RBI while using a wooden bat all season.  The right-handed hitting centerfielder led the Wolverines to the Division I district semifinals, the farthest a Cleveland public school has advanced in 24 years. He was a member of the Senate All-Star team for three years.


Indians down on the farm

by Stephanie Storm on August 9, 2011 - 6:05 pm

Here’s how the Tribe’s minor league teams fared Monday:

Triple-A Columbus (74-42) - LHP DAVID HUFF (9-3, 3.87 ERA) was solid in his return to Columbus and the Clippers offense recorded 15 hits to win their ninth consecutive game with an 11-3 victory over host Louisville at Slugger Field…In his first action with the Clippers since July 14th, Huff limited the Bats to three runs on six hits, walked two and struck out three in 6 2/3 innings…The Clippers offense struck first with four runs in the second inning, another four runs in the fourth, then added three more in the sixth…INF CORD PHELPS led the way in going 4-for-4 with a double, a triple, two RBI, two runs scored and a walk…OF CHAD HUFFMAN and INF BEAU MILLS each went 3-for-5 with a home run and two runs scored…OF TIM FEDROFF and INF LUIS VALBUENA added two RBI apiece…OF JERAD HEAD was named the Indians Minor League Player of the Week for the week of July 31-Aug. 6. Over that span Head hit .393 (11-for-28) with seven runs scored, three doubles, five home runs and 11 RBI in six games for the Clippers, while posting a .393 on-base percentage, a 1.036 slugging percentage and 1.429 OPS.  He homered in four consecutive games from July 30 thru Aug. 2 while driving in 11 runs and then homered in six of seven games from July 30 thru Aug. 6. Head has a hit in each of his last eight games, batting .389 with four doubles, six homers and 14 RBI. In the season he’s batting .290 with 62 runs scored, 24 doubles, a career-best 21 home runs and 63 RBI in 97 games.  He currently ranks second among International League leaders in slugging percentage (.535), third in home runs (21), sixth in OPS (.882) and eighth in runs scored (62).

Double-A Akron (60-55) - The Aeros enjoyed a scheduled day off…Akron is 26-16 over its last 42 games since June 24 and ranks third in the Eastern League at 3.73… RHP AUSTIN ADAMS (9-8, 3.81 ERA) was named the E.L. Pitcher of the Week for Aug. 1-7 after going 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA during that span. Adams is 4-0 in his last four starts with a 2.66 ERA…Closer and RHP CORY BURNS (2-4, 2.54 ERA) set the Aeros’ single-season saves record last week, surpassing RHP Randy Newsom, who recorded 29 saves in 2008…Burns currently leads the Eastern League in saves with 30 (in 32 opportunities) and among relievers is first in fewest baserunner per nine innings (9.00), second in batting average against at .212 and third in strikeouts per nine-inning ratio (10.15)…LHP T.J. McFARLAND (8-6, 3.86 ERA) is 6-2 in his last nine starts, posting a 2.37 ERA…C MICHEL HERNANDEZ is batting .439 in 14 games, covering two stints with Akron this season.

High Class-A Kinston (22-20) - Kinston’s bullpen struggled to hold the lead in the middle of the game, and despite an offensive outburst, the Indians fell 11-6 to Lynchburg in the first game of a three-game series. RHP MARTY POPHAM (4-2, 4.25) allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits and three walks and did not earn a decision. LHP CHRIS MASTERS exited the game after allowing six runs (five earned) on nine hits and three walks in four innings. Four Kinston batters had multi-hit performances at the plate. OF JUSTIN TOOLE went 2-4 with two runs scored and a RBI, and DH ADAM ABRAHAM finished 2-4 with a walk and a run scored. Lynchburg’s bullpen combined to allow just two hits and three walks in five scoreless innings of relief, while striking out a combined 10 batters. RHP TREY HALEY (1-1, 3.77) came on in relief in the sixth inning and picked up the loss for Kinston, allowing three runs (two earned) on two hits and two walks in one inning. RHP KYLE LANDIS (7-0, 1.06) contributed a scoreless ninth inning for the Indians, and has now allowed two runs in 12.2 innings (10 appearances).

Low Class-A Lake County (18-25) – RHP MICHAEL GOODNIGHT (5-11, 4.45 ERA) extended his winless streak to 11 games (0-8 since June 7) in Lake County’s 3-0 shut-out to visiting Dayton…Goodnight allowed three runs (one earned) in one of his better starts since the All-Star break, but the offense and defense were unable to pick him up once again…The defense recorded five errors in the game, two of them committed by SS RONNY RODRIGUEZC MOISES MONTERO had all three of Lake County’s hits, finishing 3-for-3 with a double…OF SHIN-SOO CHOO began a rehab assignment (left thumb) and started in right field for the Captains. Choo finished 0-for-2 with a strikeout and played six innings…Lake County’s bullpen kept the Captains in the game late as RHP CODY ALLEN (0-0, 0.00 ERA) contributed three scoreless innings of relief in his Lake County debut.

Short-Season Mahoning Valley (30-21) - A night after being shut-out 7-0, Mahoning Valley rebounded with a 7-2 victory in the finale of a two-game set at Auburn…RHP JOSEPH COLON (4-2, 3.46 ERA) allowed two runs on five hits and a walk in four innings, but he did not earn a decision…Auburn’s bullpen combined to allow four runs in four innings, as Kinston added to its lead late in the game…OF JOHN BARR went 3-for-5 with two runs scored…OF AARON SILIGA went 2-for-3 with a walk, triple and RBI…C ALEX LAVISKY added a 2-for-4 effort with a walk, double, two runs scored and a RBI…RHP NATHAN STRIZ (3-3, 2.25 ERA) picked up the win, tossing three innings of scoreless relief while giving up just one hit.


Indians down on the farm

August 8, 2011

Here’s how the Indians minor league teams fared Sunday: Triple-A Columbus (73-42) – The Clippers completed a perfect 8-0 home stand after defeating Syracuse 6-4 at Huntington Park…But  Columbus had to fight its way back to earn Sunday’s win, as Syracuse owned a 3-1 lead after three innings…C PAUL PHILLIPS hit a RBI single in the fourth and OF CHAD HUFFMAN [...]

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Tribe signs two more draft picks

August 8, 2011

The Indians signed their 14th-round selection, RHP CODY ANDERSON and their 38th-round selection SS YHOXIAN MEDINA from the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. Anderson, 20, just completed his sophomore season at Feather River Community College (Ca.), going 6-1 with a 2.15 ERA. In 17 games (four starts) he struck out 42, walked 18 and held opponents to a [...]

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Indians down the farm

August 5, 2011

Triple-A Columbus (70-42) – The host Clippers used three home runs to capture their fifth consecutive game in a 5-2 victory over Syracuse in Game One of their four-game set at Huntington Park…INF LUIS VALBUENA started the home run theme with a solo homer in the fourth inning to put the game’s first run on the board…Syracuse responded with two [...]

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Indians down on the farm

August 4, 2011

Here’s how the Tribe’s minor league teams fared Wednesday: Triple-A Columbus (69-42) – The Clippers enjoyed a scheduled day off…Columbus still owns the best record in the International League at 69-42, including the best home record (38-17)…The Clippers lead the I.L. in home runs (116), runs scored (568), RBI (521), walks (463) and on-base percentage (.348)…OF JERAD [...]

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Brantley out with sore wrist

August 3, 2011

     BOSTON: Why has Michael Brantley batted .138 over the past seven games. Maybe it’s because he has a sore wrist. “”He has a little bit of discomfort in one of his wrists,’’ manager Manny Acta said this afternoon. “”He’s been dealing with it for more than a week. He doesn’t want to come out [...]

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Indians down on the farm

August 3, 2011

Here’s how the Tribe’s minor league team’s fared Tuesday: Triple-A Columbus (69-42) – The Clippers continued to use some late-game magic, winning on a walk-off hit for the third consiecutive game while defeating Norfolk 5-4 at Huntington Park…The previous two games, 1B BEAU MILLS and OF CHAD HUFFMAN had come up with game-winning RBI singles. This time, it was INF LUIS VALBUENA, who [...]

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Huff sent to Columbus

August 3, 2011

BOSTON: The Indians made room for Ubaldo Jimenez on the roster by optioning David Huff to Columbus. Huff pitched well in three starts after Mitch Talbot went on the disabled list, compiling an 0.51 earned-run avej rage.

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Carrasco to drop appeal

August 2, 2011

 BOSTON: Carlos Carrasco’s decision to appeal his six-game suspension for throwing at the head of Royals’ designated hitter Billy Butler was only a tactic to get him through his next start tonight against the Red Sox.  “”I think he’s leaning toward dropping the appeal after he starts,’’ manager Manny Acta said Tuesday. “”I think we would [...]

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Indians down on the farm

August 2, 2011

Here’s how the Tribe’s minor league teams fared Monday: Triple-A Columbus (68-42) – The Clippers won on a walk-off single to top Norfolk 8-7 for the second consecutive night at Huntington Park…Columbus lead 7-3 after six innings but saw that lead disappear after the Tides scored two runs in each of the seventh and eighth innings…Two days ago, INF BEAU MILLS hit a [...]

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Carrasco to appeal 6-game suspension

August 1, 2011

   BOSTON: Word came from the commissioner’s office this afternoon that Carlos Carrasco was being suspended for six games and fined for throwing at Kansas City designated hitter Billy Butler last Friday night, following a grand slam by Melky Cabrera. “”I’m a little surprised,” ptiching coach Tim Belcher said. “”I guess they have to do something [...]

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