2021 Series #30 | Rays @ Indians | July 22-25

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Wham with the Right Hand

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Oct 3, 2019
Messages
3,064
Reaction score
5,549
Points
113
Eight days until the trading deadline and the Tribe returns home for a four-game series against the 57-39 Rays, who trail the first place Red Sox by one game. The Rays are 27-21 on the road. They have some injuries, notably to starters Glasnow and Archer. C Mike Zunino and Yandy Diaz are listed as day-to-day.

The Rays went 3-0 against the Indians in Tampa just before the break. The Indians starters that series were Mejia, Allen, and Hentges. Only Mejia will start this series.

The Rays are a quality team across the board, ranking 4th in the A.L. in scoring at 4.88 runs per game, 3rd in ERA, and 4th in fielding (errors per game). They have won 7 of 10.

In the three-game sweep in Tampa the Rays hit .322/.957. Manuel Margot went 4-for-4. Kevin Kiermaier went 4-for-7 with 5 RBI's. Brandon Lowe had two home runs and five RBI's while Yandy went 3-for-8 with 4 RBI's. However, they won't get Allen and Hentges this time.

Mike Zunino is hitting only .196 but has 19 HR's. Lowe is hitting .214 with 21 HR's. They have some guys who are gettable but punish mistakes. Austin Meadows is hitting a modest .240 but has 65 RBI's. The Rays rank 12th in batting average but are 4th in runs per game. Part of the reason is they're 3rd in walks per game, which offsets the low batting average. You have to throw strikes. Their on-base percentage in the first series was .388.

Tonight Cal Quantrill faces Luis Patino, age 21, who is 1-2 with a 4.87 ERA in 20.1 innings. He's started four games; the last two he gave up 9 runs in 8.2 innings. He looks like a young kid who they just want to go five decent innings. He's definitely a fly ball pitcher (39/17 FB/GB) but he's only allowed three home runs. The key is to get on base; batters are hitting .400 off him with RISP. His road ERA is 7.71 against 1.04 at home, so that's in the Tribe's favor although the samples are very small.

Quantrill is coming off a good start where he held the A's to one run in five innings. He has improved in each of his last three starts. Tonight's matchup probably favors the Indians.

Tomorrow Plesac goes against Rich Hill according to ESPN, but Hoynes has their starter as either LHP Josh Fleming (7-5, 3.93) or an opener. Hill is not on the injury report so I don't know who will be pitching.

Fleming has started seven games and relieved in eight. Fleming has been more effective as a reliever and his road ERA is 6.35 versus 1.83 at home. Fleming has allowed 17 runs in his last three starts so it's seems unlikely they would start him over Hill.

Hill, age 41, is 6-4, 3.87. He went 3.1 innings against the Indians in the first series, allowing one run. Neither one is going to pitch deep into the game.

Plesac went six innings against Oakland in his last start, allowing two runs. This matchup should favor the Indians whether it's Fleming, Hill, or a bullpen game for Tampa.

Saturday it's Mejia taking another stab at it against LHP Ryan Yarbrough, 6-4, 4.59. Yarbrough's ERAs the last three months are 3.42, 4.91, and 5.17, so he's trending the wrong direction. In his 14 starts (in 19 appearances) opposing batters are hitting .270/.764 and .307 with runners on base. The Orioles got six runs in 5.2 innings in his last start. Right-handed hitters have a .767 OPS against him. He's definitely hittable. (Hoynes has either Hill starting or a bullpen game).

Mejia has been a train wreck, allowing 16 earned runs in his last 11 innings covering three starts. He started against the Rays on July 7, allowing 6 runs in 2.2 innings. Lefties killed him. In the first inning he walked Choi, hit Meadows, then gave up a single and double to Brujan and Kiermaier - all lefties. In the third he gave up a hit to Wendle, a righty, but walked Meadows and gave up a home to Kiermaier for three more runs. He'll face the same lineup in all probability so he needs to have a better plan to attack those lefties.

Sunday it's McKenzie against Shane McClanahan (according to ESPN) or Yarbrough or an opener (according to Hoynes). If McClanahan starts he's another lefty, age 24, 4-3, 3.88. He's allowed 14 earned runs in his last seven starts, so he's been pitching great lately. He beat Baltimore Tuesday so Sunday would be his next start.

McKenzie went four innings in his last start against Houston, giving up five runs. Through the first four innings he allowed two runs, both on Altuve solo homers, but then the roof caved in when he had to go through the batting order for the third time.

If the Indians can go 2-2 in this series to finish 5-5 against Oakland, Houston, and Tampa I think they will be pretty happy with that. Whether that will make them buyers at the deadline is the question. Civale is supposed to start throwing off a mound this weekend. If we get strong performances from Quantrill, Plesac, and McKenzie to go along with Morgan's solid effort against Houston last night there may still be some hope.

With the strong possibility of three lefty starters for Tampa the Indians need guys like Franmil, Jose, Amed Rosario, Harold Ramirez, Cesar, Clement, Chang and Mercado to step up. I could see Mercado in for Zimmer and Chang for Bradley when the lefties start. Hopefully the home cooking will result in a lot of hits.

Edit: I would not be surprised to see a lineup of nine right-handed batters when their lefties start. It would be Harold, Mercado, and Reyes in the outfield; Clement, Amed, Cesar, and Chang in the infield, Perez/Hedges at catcher, and Jose at DH. I don't know if Tito could stand to put Reyes and Harold in the OF at the same time, though, so he might go with Zimmer in center and Mercado in for Harold in left.
 
Last edited:

DickyLeftridge

Towel Waver
Joined
May 15, 2021
Messages
355
Reaction score
171
Points
43
Cesar with a base hit to lead off the bottom of the first. Trade his ass now, so that Owen Miller or Yu Chang can show us that neither of them are the answer at 2B!
I like how you think we have a dearth of potential 2B options. Or is it that you think we’re competing for a wild card? Either way I like it.
 

Out of the Rafters at the Q

Out of the Rafters
Joined
Aug 18, 2008
Messages
14,515
Reaction score
30,295
Points
148
Cesar with a base hit to lead off the bottom of the first. Trade his ass now, so that Owen Miller or Yu Chang can show us that neither of them are the answer at 2B!
I've been one of the people defending Cesar.

I also don't care about winning games in 2021. I don't believe we're a contender, and I don't believe Cesar fits into our contention window. Therefore I'd like to trade him for value, and use this time productively to figure out if guys like Owen Miller, Ernie Clement, etc can play at the major league level.

I also assume that next year we'll be calling up Tyler Freeman at some point.
 

Kevalier

Stan the man!
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
3,079
Reaction score
4,662
Points
113
I like how you think we have a dearth of potential 2B options. Or is it that you think we’re competing for a wild card? Either way I like it.
I'll repeat what I said in a separate post.

Gimenez and Arias are both shortstops, so they can compete for the starting SS position if Amed moves to CF.

Tyler Freeman projects to be the 2B of the future, but he won't be on the Opening Day roster next season.

Owen Miller struck out 48% in 50 plate appearances and had zero barrels. Small sample size for sure, but not sure how he can be penciled in to start every day at 2B since this team still plans to contend next season.

Ernie Clement is the prototypical utility player.

Yu Chang won't be on the 40 man roster next season.

Who else do you have in mind?
 

Kevalier

Stan the man!
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
3,079
Reaction score
4,662
Points
113
I've been one of the people defending Cesar.

I also don't care about winning games in 2021. I don't believe we're a contender, and I don't believe Cesar fits into our contention window. Therefore I'd like to trade him for value, and use this time productively to figure out if guys like Owen Miller, Ernie Clement, etc can play at the major league level.

I also assume that next year we'll be calling up Tyler Freeman at some point.
Do you believe we are a contender next season? Because if so, it would make sense to me to hang onto him since the Indians/Guardians have a club option for him next season at only $6 million. Regarding Tyler Freeman, he's my favorite prospect in the system and should be up here next season, but I could see where Cesar has the job for at least the first couple months. If he produces, great, ride it out. If not, they can dump him and call up Freeman. Just my two cents though.
 

DickyLeftridge

Towel Waver
Joined
May 15, 2021
Messages
355
Reaction score
171
Points
43
I'll repeat what I said in a separate post.

Gimenez and Arias are both shortstops, so they can compete for the starting SS position if Amed moves to CF.

Tyler Freeman projects to be the 2B of the future, but he won't be on the Opening Day roster next season.

Owen Miller struck out 48% in 50 plate appearances and had zero barrels. Small sample size for sure, but not sure how he can be penciled in to start every day at 2B since this team still plans to contend next season.

Ernie Clement is the prototypical utility player.

Yu Chang won't be on the 40 man roster next season.

Who else do you have in mind?
Well, to start, you named 6. Any one of which is infinitely more likely to be the long term option than Cesar. In addition, how do you expect the org to determine whether any of those options can be the option without playing time? The org has various levels of investment in each of them. Are we just to take your word for it?

Finally, I’m not sure what youre implying is the benefit of keeping Cesar. To tread water 4-5 games behind the 2nd wild card the rest of the way?

It seems to be a no brainer move to me to deal him. I’m struggling to think of the argument to the contrary.
 

Kevalier

Stan the man!
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
3,079
Reaction score
4,662
Points
113
Well, to start, you named 6. Any one of which is infinitely more likely to be the long term option than Cesar. In addition, how do you expect the org to determine whether any of those options can be the option without playing time? The org has various levels of investment in each of them. Are we just to take your word for it?

Finally, I’m not sure what youre implying is the benefit of keeping Cesar. To tread water 4-5 games behind the 2nd wild card the rest of the way?

It seems to be a no brainer move to me to deal him. I’m struggling to think of the argument to the contrary.
It's about next season. If we didn't hold the rights for him in 2022, I would trade him without hesitation at the deadline. But again, the team holds a club option for him next season at only $6 million.
 

Out of the Rafters at the Q

Out of the Rafters
Joined
Aug 18, 2008
Messages
14,515
Reaction score
30,295
Points
148
Do you believe we are a contender next season? Because if so, it would make sense to me to hang onto him since the Indians/Guardians have a club option for him next season at only $6 million. Regarding Tyler Freeman, he's my favorite prospect in the system and should be up here next season, but I could see where Cesar has the job for at least the first couple months. If he produces, great, ride it out. If not, they can dump him and call up Freeman. Just my two cents though.
I don't know. I think we could be, but I think figuring things out this year, like Amed in the OF, can be a big help rather than trying them next year.

I agree with you on Freeman and Cesar.

I don't think the difference between Cesar and Miller/Clement/Whoever translates into a significant difference in the win column over that short time frame.

While I was fighting against everyone anointing Owen Miller as a God for having a high batting average over a short sample size of minor league games this year, I also will push back against anyone who thinks his short stint in the majors this year is the complete book on what he can be.
 
Top