Salazar struggles, more offensive woes in 7-1 loss to Royals
Tribe one game on the brink of elimination with another frustrating defeat
CLEVELAND—It was there for the taking.
For a team that has clawed their way through a roller coaster of ups and downs all season, the ride just about came to a slow halt for the Indians Tuesday night.
Offensive struggles continued and any hopes of a shot at October baseball were all but shattered, as the Tribe scampered to a 7-1 loss against wild card leading Kansas City.
“We didn’t win which we set out to do,” manager Terry Francona said. “The only thing to do now is to win tomorrow. We’re not eliminated yet, when they make us go home or tell us we’re not eligible then we’ll make some adjustments.”
With a record of 82-76 on the season, Cleveland now sits just one game on the brink of elimination.
“Of course it hurts,” center fielder Michael Bourn said. “It goes without saying especially somebody inside your division. We’re in a situation now where we have to win every game and they have to lose every game for us to make it. And we’ll just be in a tie so it’s very tough.”
At the outset, things looked good early on for both the Wahoos and starter Danny Salazar (6-8, 4.25 ERA). The 24-year-old right-hander cruised through the first three innings, striking out six of the first eight batters he faced.
But he would run into trouble in the fourth and wouldn’t recover, allowing five earned runs on five hits over his next 1 2/3 innings.
A two-run double by second baseman Omar Infante gave the Royals the early lead in the fourth, before back-to-back doubles by Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler put them up by three in the fifth. The crushing blow of the night came two batters later, as All-Star catcher Salvador Perez lined a two-run double to the gap in left-center to make it a 5-0 ballgame.
“I think I just lost control there,” Salazar said. “I was being aggressive, and then later in the game I tried to do the same thing, but I was leaving the ball up.”
“He came out of the shoot working ahead with a real good fastball and probably the best changeup we’ve seen,” Francona said. “Then all of a sudden in a switch he left pitches up and his fastball started leaking back over the plate.”
It was more than enough on the opposing end, as Royals starter Yordano Ventura (14-10, 3.07 ERA) blanked Indians hitters through seven dominant innings of work. The hard-throwing rookie limited Cleveland to just four hits while striking out six.
“It wasn’t fun,” second baseman Mike Aviles said. “The guy throws 97-100 MPH with his fastball and then he has a really good two-seamer and a really good cutter. In all honesty, he can pretty much throw an entire game with those three pitches alone.”
Shutout 7-0 in the eighth, the Indians offense finally snapped a 19 inning scoreless streak by scraping a run across on a double play ball off the bat of David Murphy. Two of the five Cleveland hits on the night came from MVP candidate Michael Brantley. The lone Tribe All-Star is now four hits shy of becoming the first Indian since 1996 to collect 200 hits in a single season.
With four games remaining on the schedule, the only thing left to do for the club is to get back in the win column and hope for a baseball miracle.
As a veteran player, Bourn feels like had the Tribe taken care of business earlier in the season, they wouldn’t be in this tough predicament.
“Nobody likes this position that we’re in at the end of the year,” he said. “Good teams play good throughout the whole year. We’ve played okay ball, but didn’t play great baseball like I think we’re capable of."
The team is set to play K.C. one more time Wednesday before opening up their final series of the season Friday against Tampa Bay.
"I’m not going to sit here and lie to you and say it’s easy, because it’s not easy. If we lose, we’re out. We know what’s at stake and just have to hope for the best.”
Up next for Indians: The Wahoos will try and avoid the sweep in the series finale with Kansas City on Wednesday night. Right-hander Trevor Bauer (5-8, 4.06 ERA) gets the start against southpaw Jason Vargas (11-10, 3.59 ERA) at 7:05 p.m.
Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
However, signing FA is costly and the Tribe might be better suited swapping qlty for qlty. That means they'll have to do something to change this team, and a number of us fans might question the cost. But if they do it right, stick with the plan this club could be prepared to contend for several yrs to come.
This is the Indians, they have to look at $alary and number of yrs of control. That is in Frazier's corner. However, I agree, the Reds are unlikely to trade Frazier unless blown away. That's why I believe signing Chase Headley might be a better option, then signing LH hitting lefty masher Nori Aoki. Both would fill needs, extend the lineup and would likely fit within the financial spectrum of the Tribe.
Beltre age 35, avg 325 18 75 BB 57 SO 70 OBP 390 SLG 492 OPS 881
Frazier age 28 avg 276 28 77 BB 48 SO 135 OBP 336 SLG 460 OPS 795
If the Indians want to pursue a 3B bat and defense, I'm sorry...but IMO I would rather have Beltre over Frazier. Frazier has the Masterson history of one good year followed by a bad year. IMO I believe that Frazier is the right hand version of Lonnie Chisenhall. They only difference is Frazier knows how to filed his position. You can thank Scott Rolen for showing him how to play 3B when Frazier was a rookie.
I like Danny Salazar, but I probably don't value him the same as some others. That said, he's a young controllable MOR power arm that shows better on occasion.
Naquin is a guy I would comp. to Gerardo Parra of the Brewers, but I suspect Naquin hits for more avg.
The Reds offense losing a big bat? True, but they will find themselves in a salary pinch if they don't act proactively. Such a move would potentially bring back a young 3b, add a young 1b (Aguilar) and a potential OF. That's not talking about Salazar, with yrs of control and potential to be a very good SP.
Frankly, all that said, there's NO WAY the Tribe would make that deal. Basically giving up 20yrs of control for 4. But it is the kind of move that I think pushes the club into the playoffs.
One stat that FOX Sports Ohio mentioned last night during the Reds game. is the Reds in 17 games this year have had 3 hits or less in game. They also have been shut out a lot this year including last night.
Reds fans want to get rid of Votto in New York minute. Starting in 2016 Votto becomes over 20 mil per year for the rest of his contract until 2024. He will turn 32 in 2016. We complain about Swisher.
Reds need offense and this offf season they are looking for offense especially in LF.
No question that a player like Frazier would be expensive. But, he meets two Tribe needs right away. He's right handed with power, and has better than average D at third. I would gladly trade Salazar, though i believe he has the stuff to be a superb closer......lots of guys like him fill several pitching roles....much like Aroldis Chapman who has started, relieved, long relieved, and closed.
Leake looks OK to me...and maybe signable for only 10 million or so when FA hits.
They may want to trade of a bad contract like Ludwick, Bruce, Phillips. However Phillips is now 10yr player in which he now can veto any trades.
IDK, there not going to give Frazier away. He's got almost 30 bombs and 20 sb. All Star 3 baseman. Leake would be a one yr rental. Aguilar and Naquin aren't proven, but giving up Salazar would be hard to do. My point, they will want to be blown away to deal Frazier. But he'd be a great get.
Salazar, Chisenhall, Aguilar and Naquin for Frazier and Leake.
I do not believe Swish is going anywhere, but do believe he will hit his customary production norms once his injuries are healed. Same with Kipnis......his problem is terrible Defense.
Just took a look at the 2007 roster. The position players' averages were not all that high, but there were 5 guys that hit more than 20 bombs, and two more that hit more than 10. Three pitchers had stellar years and I think this squad can out do that next year, barring injury.
What I would like to see, considering Kip and Swish are here.....
2B One of Ramirez / Walters
3B Todd Frazier (via trade)
RF Kipnis (Murphy traded / Raburn traded / Holt to AAA)
CF Bourn (he also won't be traded, though he could be)
DH of the names floated below, Torii Hunter seems the best to me
Bench: Ramsey, R. Perez, two others (no Aviles, no Sellers, no Gimenez)
Bauer Kluber House Carrasco one other to be acquired or promoted from the minors
8th inning: Allen
Long relief: MacAllister
Players to be gone: Murphy, Giambi, Raburn, Aviles, Tomlin
Pen: can we get one more pen pitcher equally good at getting righties and lefties out? We should.
Aoki has batted .376 against LH this yr. He's been much better against LH, while avg. against RH. Kind of reverse splits. Have to look deeper in the numbers than just label the "another LH." I do agree, the need more RH. I'd prefer Rios bc he is, but Aoki could make sense if the Tribe basically stands pat.
not looking to get a long term deal to any of these guys. I want one maybe two years and then I'll move on. What pisses me off is when ppl complain if the Indians go all in and get someone on a long term deal and then they complain about if they get someone on a short term deal with the age thing. Just get get good players who can play and don't care if they are 1000 years old
Melky is going to look for a four year deal. Ae you willing to give him that considering what you have in the minors?? I wouldn't
If the Indians do their homework and feel that anyone of these guys can help them on a short term deal then go for it. Can't please everyone and they shouldn't try. If the Indians feel they can't then move on. Yes, these guys have been injured but going to have to give up something to get something and that includes not being what they once were but good enough for what you need NOW!!!
Hunter.. 313 to 304.. to .287.. the last three years with a corresponding drop in OBP of 40 points..
Cuddyer.. has gone from 529 AB's four years ago.. to 179 in the current 2014 season.. breaking down..
Rios.. has seen his OPS go from .850 to barely above .700 in 2014.. regression is setting in..
These three guys will be 39, 36 and 34 to start the 2015 season.. Swisher is in the same boat as these guys.. Do the Indians really want to risk tens of millions of dollars to repeat history? It's a pretty good guess that Chris Antonetti won't either.. Melky will be 29 when the 2015 season starts. His numbers are skewed upward from a PED issue.. He's a fine player and should be worth a look..
The Melkman for two or three plus an option..is the likely limit for him from ANY team. His previous history would make him too high of a risk for a longer term deal. As it is, any contract he signs will have to have an out clause protecting the team from a possible suspension based on his history..
The other old guys. I can't and won't see.. neither will you...
@Bird.. The free buffet before the games has nothing to do with the Hoynes' coverage of the Indians. When 34 of his last 42 articles present the Indians in a negative light.. this is no longer unbiased journalism. it's what it is.. CRAP.. Not royalty.. not worthy of the daily 75 cent pittance that the PD charges for that rag.. Worthiness for praise isn't earned from hanging around.. The headline was an intentional mistake...not by Carlos.. by the author and his editor..
No thoughts C-Bills?.....
First off before I start, GSon...I've been covering the Tribe for 2 yrs now and I'll tell you this much, Hoynes is one of the most dedicated writers I know. Almost every night he's the first writer at the ballpark and last one to leave the press box...when it comes to the best writers in this city, he's royalty. Carrasco did apologize for his comments (which personally he didn't have to do)...because he doesn't speak perfect English some things get taken the wrong way. At the end of the day, those plays needed to be made and it doesn't hurt if a player gets called out for it once in awhile. They're pros, they can handle it.
Now as for this season...I plan on writing about this more in the coming week as the year comes to a close...is it me or does this season feel a lot like 2008? Back in '08, the Indians were coming off a playoff appearance and expectations were sky high. The only problem is they didn't add any significant players in the offseason...banking on the 2007 team to just show up and pick up where they left off.
Well...it never happened. The Tribe underperformed, which led to the team trading their ace and missing the playoffs...despite having a Cy Young pitcher in Cliff Lee on their staff.
That sounds almost eerily similar to this 2014 season. Same high expectations coming in, with the majority of the team returning...only to fall flat most of the year. Trading their ace in Masterson...missing the playoffs and yet again, despite having a Cy Young pitcher on their staff in Kluber.
The bottom line is...the Indians must continue to add, looking at any possible way too get better. You think this pitching staff is all set and ready to go for next year? Try again...players have down years, injuries happen among many other countless things.
Be honest, did you really think you would see TJ House in this rotation at the beginning of this season? Or even a guy like Tyler Holt too. Sure, it's fun to dream and think the Tribe will be better when Swisher and Kipnis perform better...the fact is, what happens when they prove inconsistent again?
Listen, I'm not saying to get rid of every single under performing player for new guys...that would be ridiculous because there is a lot to like about this team going forward. But what I am saying is, the Indians simply can't stand pat and expect all these young guys and Swisher to just magically bounce back and all perform well together.
They must fill needs, especially in the lineup and the only way I see that happening is through the trade market. It's ok to go with the usual lightning in the bottle approach, but it's about time this team goes out and gets a big power bat.
They have a lot of depth in the minors, and a great manager in Francona...let's face it, the window is only going to be open for so long.
You are correct, Alvarez has hit dbls and some hrs, but his BA is about .230. Harrison is an intriguing option for them, I'd love to get him, but not sure he'd be available. That's why I mentioned Marte too. I don't think he's played RF, could he handle it? And what's the cost for Marte? Lindor?
That may make a FA like Nori Aoki or Alex Rios more palatable. Aoki would be more affordable, and would get the team some flexibility to do something like sign Chase Headley 1/$10M. Adding Aoki and Headley would extend the lineup and give the Tribe some options.
I'm with you on Hart and Rios. I like Cuddyer but think he gets paid 2/3 yrs. Rios is a few yrs younger, I'd prefer him myself. Hart would make sense as a LF, RF, 1b, DH type as a potential rebound candidate.
I've suggested maybe the Tribe could swing Bourn for Edwin Jackson. At worst the Tribe would save $5.5M over the next 2 yrs and end up with a very expensive long man at worst. Is that worth it for the Tribe?
The Pirates have an abundance of OF, with the potential to move one for a need. Starling Marte or Josh Harrison would look good in a tribe uni. What would it take to get it done? Jose Ramirez for Harrison?
Anyone interested in flipping Chisenhall to the Red Sox for Cespedes. They'd be trading three yrs of control for one, but Cespedes would be a nice add. Maybe the Tribe could extend him, IDK....random thoughts.
Indians know they need a nice bat so I think a Cuddyer, Rios and Hunter will be good. I would also follow up with someone like a Corey Hart on a minor league deal. It's things the Indians can do. I would also, like to say that I think how the fans treat the Indians is disgusting. I think it has alot to do with how the fans, region feel about the Dolans. I admit I grew frustrated with him also with his incompetence but the team is good now and time to support the team. Put the childish grudges to the side and support the team. I know, I'm going to be there next year with some type of plan with tickets and I hope we do more than what we have.
I agree the Dolans have brought this on themselves with overpaying for the team, not really being able to afford to play ball and failed business plan but we need to support the team so we can afford more players. In a perfect world I would love for the Dolans to sell the team to an owner with deeper pockets and and stronger plan but lets' deal with what we have instead of worrying about what we don't have
As for what the Indians can/cannot afford, I'm less excited about signing guys to longer deals that are over 30. I still remember how the Hafner contract handcuffed us some. So the "afford" thing is more the Indians cannot afford to make a mistake that's going to cost a lot. Right now we may be set back somewhat financially with the Swisher and Bourn deals. With Swish, it's all about how he comes back from the knee injury and Bourn it's the next few years and his decline.
I would like to see the Indians trade Bourn this offseason as I think he might be attractive to an NL club and his numbers were not that bad. I just think his hamstring injury is going to be more reoccurring as he ages.
Yes the frustration is showing. The Indians were hoping for help from other teams and they did get it. The Mariners have lost 3 straight, Oakland lost last night. All the Indians had to do is take care of business against the Royals. Which they did not.
We should not be to pissed off because many on this site felt this was not a playoff team. Based on how badly they played defense and the starting rotation was a wreck at the first half of the season many thought this was a last place team. However they found a way to win and tease us that they are playoff team.
I think we are more pissed off them teasing us of being good team that could not deliver the goods at the end. I rather be teased and have hope than have no hope at all.
I spoke with Tony about that and he was saying that with the starting pitching the way it is now. Not overall. Please keep in mind that the farm system is getting to the point where they will be able to contend for a long time because they will have productive guys coming in when the other guys move on. Repeat, the Indians have no window or it's not closing.
I think all four players can help this team. I think Melky is the least likely to come because of the fact he will want more than a two year deal and the Indians won't give him that. With guys like Ramsey, Naquin, Moncrief close to being ready the other three make more sense. I for one don't care how old someone is as long as they can play. Please get out of the attitude that you're going to get a 27 year old in his prime, for a two year deal. Some folks would even complain about that if they did do it too.
A two year deal with any of the other three would be great. I've heard from several ppl that the Indians will have some money to spend. I get so tired of ppl saying what the Indians can and cannot afford without the team saying it. Do you work for the Indians and know what the Dolans said they would spend??
Bottom line is that a two year deal with those guys would be awesome considering what they have on the farm. Going more than that makes zero sense because you're wasting up money and blocking others. You put one of those profesiional hitters before Santana or after a productive Kipnis and you make the lineup longer and better. Use Holt, Murphy, Raburn and guys like that as spare parts.
Guess the frustration is showing in all our comments, that the Indians are not going post season. I think a trade to bring in a productive right hand bat will be the only way to go. Don't see any FA's out there that I would like to make rich, except Melky, which I would like to see. Also, taking a ride on Billingsly would not be a bad idea. Aside from them, only tinkering and a good, helpful trade would have appeal to me.
You can stick it punk!
The height of stupidity might be contained within your offerings...
Don't bring back Swisher?.. In other words.. take $ 30,000,000.00 (dollars), put it in a pile and light it on fire. Package this guy or that guy for something?.. really.. you think if the Indians offered Lonnie to the Angels they'd send Albert Pujols and $ 200,000,000.00 with him?.
You should only post on Cleveland.com.. You can read all the "BS/Made up" Paul Hoynse articles where he makes up stories like about how pissed off Carlos Carrasco is about the defense and his teammates and any other form of nonsense as it relates to the Indians and "alleged" fans like yourself...
Not everything is rainbows and unicorns.. nor should it be..
Aguilar needs to be given a fair chance. His foul ball to right was the longest ball hit last night in that pathetic game.
Your list has perhaps one player that might be of interest.. The Melk Man.. The others are too old and too something. Without moving one of the two big salaries:
-As in a trade, some other team's bad deal for our bad deal: e.g. Ubaldo for Swisher, not that I want Ubaldo back.. but want Swisher less
There is just not enough revenues being generated or reductions in salary from this squad, to afford a foray into the FA market. The sole exception may be the next Cuban, in this case Yasmani Tomas, but, only if the Front Office sees him as a budding star in the same "class" as Puig (perhaps, a LOT more mature). Even then, it's doubtful.
As far as hitters go, the Indians are going to have to pursue a few options:
1. Get the guys who we have healthy and performing. as you've stated...
2. Sign the "lightening in a bottle" / next JD Martinez FA. however unlikely
3. or sign a Cuban
Otherwise, it's build from within.. and that might not be a bad choice.. if the Jesus' or Geovanny's or Carlos' or Zach's really do show they are MLB ready..then the team may be able to compete for the division. At the end of the day.. that's what is needed..
The FA market for the Indians has ALWAYS been poor. Scott Kazmir for a year might be the best result of note recently.. Otherwise, the continued expenditures have almost always gone down the shitter.
One note: A similar situation to the Kazmir deal in free agency may be available, if the Indians want to gamble.. Chad Billingsley will become a FA SP. He'd be an interesting candidate for a make good kind of deal. One more arm for the SP. Otherwise.. the pitching staff should be one year better.. and that's not so bad...
Indians don't need to make a bunch of moves.
First, make sure that Swisher and Kipnis are healthy and ready to bounce back to give us the type of seasons we were expecting. Kipnis: .285, 17-80, Swisher: .250, 22-75. This will go a long way to improving the offense. After that I target a nice bat. For me, I Don't think the Stanton's of th world are available. I would ask HOU about Carter but, I doubt they would even listen because he's a vital part of that team now
The names that come to my mind are ; Rios, Cuddyer, Melky Cabrera, and Torri Hunter
you put one of those guys in this lineup and you have a menacing lineup top to bottom. Let's look at the lineup
with the rotation we have and the bullpen already in tact we don't need many things. Indians will be on the prowl for AAA starting pitching depth and maybe a bullpen arm
Keep in mind the Indians will have depth in case of injuries look at the guys in AAA : Naquin, Moncrief, Ramsey, Aguilar, Lindor, Armstrong, Maronde, Tejeda, Soto, Urshela, Wolters
Indians are in good shape.
Get a RH bat in RF
-1.1 WAR = Swisher - $15m
0.8 WAR = Bourn - $13.5m
-1.5 WAR = Rayburm - $2.2m
-0.4 WAR = Murphy - $5.5m
0.1 WAR = Aviles - $3.5m
Average = -0.56 WAR for $39.7m
this stat is sickening. dolans will spend money but when you have morons spending it, this is what you get