The 2020 Cleveland Indians

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Obscured By Clouds

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Yes I am. And that is pretty lazy to say it is just because "not all players decline". You know damn well my point was Ramirez is a pretty good ballplayer and doesn't really seem to be slowing down. You give him 6-7 years and pay him through his age 34 season is a gamble I'm willing to take.
It is financially irresponsible for the Indians to extend Ramirez. It is also irresponsible roster management, considering our upcoming position player prospects all so happen to be on that side of the infield. Ramirez is a fantastic trade opportunity waiting to happen sometime before 2023.

You can disagree with this all that you want, but I have the FO's last few years backing this up.
 

TxBuckeye

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It is financially irresponsible for the Indians to extend Ramirez. It is also irresponsible roster management, considering our upcoming position player prospects all so happen to be on that side of the infield. Ramirez is a fantastic trade opportunity waiting to happen sometime before 2023.

You can disagree with this all that you want, but I have the FO's last few years backing this up.
and you are taking just as much a gamble that any of these guys pans out. I am well aware of what we have in our farm system but there are no guarantees. We know we have a good player in Ramirez.

And I do disagree. It is irresponsible to not try and do something. Given the fact that nobody other than Carrasco will be making any amount of money you are not going to convince me there isn't room to do something. And actually you only have one year left on Carrasco's deal when this deal would kick in for Ramirez. And there will still be room to do something with Bieber. Just my opinion.
 

sportscoach

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and you are taking just as much a gamble that any of these guys pans out. I am well aware of what we have in our farm system but there are no guarantees. We know we have a good player in Ramirez.

And I do disagree. It is irresponsible to not try and do something. Given the fact that nobody other than Carrasco will be making any amount of money you are not going to convince me there isn't room to do something. And actually you only have one year left on Carrasco's deal when this deal would kick in for Ramirez. And there will still be room to do something with Bieber. Just my opinion.

Actually from what i can tell, Bieber, Plesac, Civale, Naylor, Mercado etc all will get paid about the same time. Putting extra money into JRam when you have Jones, Miller and a million middle INF who could potentially play 3B doesnt make a ton of sense when in theory, you are going to need to pay your starting rotation at the same time as extending JRam on his current contract.

We love keeping players in our uniform, dont get me wrong, we all want to keep JRam, but we have to spread the money out over the roster and likely we will get a greater return potentially trading JRam than keeping him for an extension. JRam should merit a 4/80 area at least in free agency. He has no reason to resign at a lower rate so we need to move him when we have to extend other guys. Indians will try to have extension done on the nucleus, so we shall see, but with so many guys able to play 3B, I would put money on the fact we should be able to replace him internally
 

Obscured By Clouds

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Actually from what i can tell, Bieber, Plesac, Civale, Naylor, Mercado etc all will get paid about the same time. Putting extra money into JRam when you have Jones, Miller and a million middle INF who could potentially play 3B doesnt make a ton of sense when in theory, you are going to need to pay your starting rotation at the same time as extending JRam on his current contract.

We love keeping players in our uniform, dont get me wrong, we all want to keep JRam, but we have to spread the money out over the roster and likely we will get a greater return potentially trading JRam than keeping him for an extension. JRam should merit a 4/80 area at least in free agency. He has no reason to resign at a lower rate so we need to move him when we have to extend other guys. Indians will try to have extension done on the nucleus, so we shall see, but with so many guys able to play 3B, I would put money on the fact we should be able to replace him internally
Plus, Jose's contract already extends to 2023, in that time frame we have a mixture of 5 3B/SS/2B projected to be ready by then. Jose is versatile enough to allow a mixture of these guys to be tried at the MLB level.
 

TxBuckeye

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Actually from what i can tell, Bieber, Plesac, Civale, Naylor, Mercado etc all will get paid about the same time. Putting extra money into JRam when you have Jones, Miller and a million middle INF who could potentially play 3B doesnt make a ton of sense when in theory, you are going to need to pay your starting rotation at the same time as extending JRam on his current contract.

We love keeping players in our uniform, dont get me wrong, we all want to keep JRam, but we have to spread the money out over the roster and likely we will get a greater return potentially trading JRam than keeping him for an extension. JRam should merit a 4/80 area at least in free agency. He has no reason to resign at a lower rate so we need to move him when we have to extend other guys. Indians will try to have extension done on the nucleus, so we shall see, but with so many guys able to play 3B, I would put money on the fact we should be able to replace him internally
And the same could be said for Lindor but by all accounts the FO was trying to extend him.
 

sportscoach

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Plus, Jose's contract already extends to 2023, in that time frame we have a mixture of 5 3B/SS/2B projected to be ready by then. Jose is versatile enough to allow a mixture of these guys to be tried at the MLB level.
And the same could be said for Lindor but by all accounts the FO was trying to extend him.

I have a hunch in 22 we will trade Jose to be honest. We lost a ton of veteran talent one way or the other with all the guys who will be gone after 21. 22 we have a bunch of guys between AA-AAA who have a ton of talent. Its almost the year we move on to the young guys and let them prove themselves. Also the money we save from moving JRam we will put towards extending Bieber (who hopefully we can extend).

To me with all those guys gone, may as well max out JRams value since we will be going through a mini rebuild/retool season. I just think thats the year we get max value for JRam and let these guys play and see who makes a difference and comes out on top
 

TxBuckeye

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I have a hunch in 22 we will trade Jose to be honest. We lost a ton of veteran talent one way or the other with all the guys who will be gone after 21. 22 we have a bunch of guys between AA-AAA who have a ton of talent. Its almost the year we move on to the young guys and let them prove themselves. Also the money we save from moving JRam we will put towards extending Bieber (who hopefully we can extend).

To me with all those guys gone, may as well max out JRams value since we will be going through a mini rebuild/retool season. I just think thats the year we get max value for JRam and let these guys play and see who makes a difference and comes out on top
I don't disagree that is what most likely happens. Doesn't mean I have to like it or agree with it.
 

sportscoach

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I don't disagree that is what most likely happens. Doesn't mean I have to like it or agree with it.
I dont want JRam or Lindor to go, but sadly we are a small market team, so we have to live with players only playing under one contract (aka rookie/first extension) for the most part in this organization.
 

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Final Thoughts: José Ramírez’s sneaky great season, Shane Bieber’s brilliance

By Zack Meisel Sep 18, 2020 16
The recipe for snapping an eight-game losing streak: the presence of a Cy Young Award front-runner and a birthday boy completing two mighty hacks and one strange, yet successful, throw-the-bat-at-the-ball-and-pray-it-sneaks-through-the-infield trick.
Shane Bieber and José Ramírez have been the Indians’ most productive players this season. On Thursday night, they ensured the club’s untimely skid wouldn’t persist past eight games. Here are eight final thoughts on the Indians.
1. Ramírez is stealthily enjoying a great season. He leads the Indians in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, home runs, RBIs, runs scored and stolen bases. Oh, and he’s also tied with Anthony Rendon for the American League lead in WAR among position players, per FanGraphs. In a normal season, he’d be on pace for nearly 8.0 WAR, which is MVP-candidate territory. His statistics resemble the ones he produced in 2018, his most recent top-three MVP finish.
2018: .270/.387/.552 slash line, 146 wRC+, one HR every 14.8 at-bats, one stolen base every 4.6 games
2020: .276/.366/.546 slash line, 140 wRC+, one HR every 14.2 at-bats, one stolen base every 4.8 games
“Him coming out with that energy consistently, every single day, whether we’ve won eight straight or lost eight straight, goes a long way,” Bieber said. “And I know myself and a lot of other guys in the clubhouse appreciate him for that.”
In 2018, Ramírez walked twice as often as he has in any other year. His walk rate isn’t quite as high this season, though it’s still above his norm. His strikeout rate has ballooned to 18.3 percent this season, the highest mark of his career. (His helmet has fallen from his head 38 times this year, a historic pace.)
2. The final haul from Ramírez’s birthday bash: two homers, a double and an RBI poke that trickled through the infield after he tossed his bat at the ball.
He became the sixth player in franchise history with multiple home runs in a game on his birthday. The others:
Carlos Santana: April 8, 2012
Albert Belle: Aug. 25, 1995
Joe Azcue: Aug. 18, 1963
Ray Boone: July 27, 1957
Earl Averill: May 21, 1934

Ramírez, now 28, deemed it his best birthday performance. He also said his pesky thumb, which cost him a couple of games earlier this month, “feels better now.”

Somehow, José Ramírez turned this into an RBI single. (Raj Mehta / USA Today)
3. All right, on to the Indians’ other award candidate.
Bieber will make his next start against the White Sox at Progressive Field early next week. It’s possible it will be his final start of the regular season, his last chance to convince voters he deserves the AL Cy Young Award (he’s the undisputed front-runner) or even the MVP (that could largely depend on which criteria voters prioritize during such an atypical season).
Bieber would be in line to start the club’s regular-season finale against the Pirates on Sept. 27, but there’s little reason for him to log much of a workload that day if the Indians have already clinched a playoff berth. Game 1 of the wild-card round will take place two days later.
No player in baseball has a higher WAR total (2.9), even though Bieber has appeared in only 11 games this season. He leads the AL (by massive margins) in ERA, FIP and strikeout rate. Really, if he avoids getting shelled on Tuesday, he should have the Cy Young Award secured.
Of course, he has given it little thought.
“Baseball is a humbling sport,” he said, “so as soon as you start thinking about accolades and this and that, I feel like it’s going to come and bite you.”
4. Why was the team’s ace throwing his 118th pitch with his team ahead by 10 runs in the eighth inning? After a quick chat with pitching coach Carl Willis — they had placed a limit of 110-115 pitches on Bieber — Sandy Alomar Jr. conferred with the pitcher and the infielders at the mound. Bieber, who had just issued an eight-pitch walk to Derek Hill, had tossed 114 pitches to navigate through 7 2/3 innings. It seemed like an obvious time to summon a reliever.
Bieber said Alomar offered him the option to remain in the game and face Willi Castro or to call it a night.
“He said, ‘If I let you go get this guy, you’re going to be up around 120 (pitches), so you better get him,’” Bieber said. “And I said, ‘Absolutely.’ Obviously, it didn’t play out that way. Baseball is baseball. It’s frustrating.”
Castro socked a three-run homer that barely cleared the fence in the right-field corner. That pushed Bieber’s ERA from 1.37 to 1.74.
“He never wants to come out of the game,” Alomar said. “He keeps fighting to go out there all the time when he has 100, 105 pitches. He wants to go back out there and give the bullpen a breather. … People think when the game is close is when you get the chance. When the game is close, you want to give your pitcher a win — you don’t want him to lose the game. When the game is open, it’s an opportunity for you to go back out there and stay in the game, and if you give up a home run, you’re not going to lose the game. He wanted to pitch.”
The 118 pitches established a new career high for Bieber. Cam Hill recorded the final four outs for the Indians.
5. Bieber breezed through the first seven innings, holding the Tigers scoreless and limiting them to two hits. And he did it all without much fastball command.
“For the first time in a long time,” he said, “I was coming back in the dugout, saying, ‘I don’t know where my heater’s going.’”
It sure helps to have four other pitches he can turn to when necessary. Bieber said Roberto Pérez noticed the issue immediately, so they altered their approach between innings. Bieber relied on his change-up more than usual, as he threw 21 of them and they induced six swings and misses. They still mixed in fastballs here and there so hitters couldn’t eliminate the pitch entirely.

6. The Indians hadn’t dropped eight consecutive games since June 2-10, 2013. With their win on Thursday, they halted their bid to rival the dubious streak from 2012, when they lost 11 in a row from July 27-Aug. 7.
“We really can’t control what’s happened up to today,” Chris Antonetti said. “The reality is we’re still positioned to potentially make the postseason. We know we need to play better than we have over the last couple of weeks. We feel we’re capable of doing that.”
That 11-game skid launched the most rotten month in club history, as the Indians sputtered to a 5-24 record, sealing Manny Acta’s fate as manager. The Indians were outscored 95-34 in those 11 games.
The frustration in the Indians’ clubhouse reached a crescendo at Comerica Park on a Sunday afternoon, when the Indians were attempting to stave off a ninth straight defeat. In the top of the 10th, Travis Hafner and Ezequiel Carrera slugged back-to-back home runs and Lou Marson chipped in an RBI double to stake Cleveland to an 8-5 advantage. Chris Perez recorded two, quick outs. Then, he allowed two walks, an RBI double, a two-run single and a Miguel Cabrera walk-off homer. That capped a Tigers sweep, which all but knocked the Indians out of the division race.
Chris Seddon started on the mound for the Indians that day. Brent Lillibridge started at third base.
The Tribe pitchers saddled with those 11 losses: Josh Tomlin, Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jiménez (who officially retired this week), Derek Lowe, Zach McAllister, Esmil Rogers, Masterson again, Jiménez again, Perez, McAllister again and Perez again.
7. It’s a season full of chaos, with an expanded playoff bracket, a truncated regular-season schedule and plenty of reshuffling in the standings. But not every player is monitoring the daily activity.
“I’ll be honest, with everything going on,” Oscar Mercado said, “not being able to really leave the hotel and being restricted to being at the baseball field and back to wherever we’re living at, mentally, once I leave the field, I’m trying to stay away from the game. I don’t want to drive myself too crazy or put myself in a tough place mentally. I focus on other things, whether it’s talking to my friends or playing video games or something. So, I’m not really trying to follow (the scoreboard and standings).”
8. I’ve long wondered about the process of filling out the lineup during Terry Francona’s absence. Surely, Alomar scribbles the names onto the card, but is it a solo mission? I asked Antonetti, who said Alomar ultimately makes the decisions, but he has consulted other coaches as well as members of the front office and support staff.
“Anyone who would have something meaningful to contribute to the discussion,” Antonetti said, “Sandy’s engaged them.”
(Top photo: Raj Mehta / USA Today)
 

Derek

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The Indians have scored two runs or less in 44% of their games. Santana is getting worse as the season progresses with 10 hits in his last 70 at-bats. Last night Alomar said what we all know - he's getting beat by the fastball.

Franmil Reyes is 8-for-53 in his last 15 games with 3 RBI's. Naquin is 8-for-44 in his last 13 games with 3 RBI's. We have a big sucking hole in the middle of the order.

The bottom third of the order is providing next to nothing offensively. Perez, Naylor, and Luplow are all hitting between .165 and .182. Those are decent numbers compared to Mercado at .137.

Naylor in 44 at-bats has a slugging percentage of .205, lower than Greg Allen, Roberto Perez, Mike Freeman, Bradley Zimmer, and Sandy Leon. He's a 220-pound singles hitter, except he rarely hits a single. Big guy, little bat.

Franmil Reyes is having a very disappointing season IMO. Yes, he leads the team in batting average and is second in OPS. But Reyes has feasted on the pitching of Detroit and Kansas City - two non-playoff teams. He's hitting .361 against the Royals and Tigers and .235 against everybody else. Five of his eight home runs and nearly half of his RBI's have come against the two worst teams in the division. Pitchers continue to get him out by jamming him up and in followed up with breaking balls below the knees. He needs to figure out how to handle that. After today there are no more games against Detroit or Kansas City.

The most positive development this year in my view is the emergence of Zach Plesac. Everybody is talking about Bieber possibly being the MVP as well as getting the Cy Young, but Plesac is right behind Bieber in ERA (1.85 versus 1.74) and actually has a better WHIP (0.78 versus 0.86). He's actually harder to get on base against than Bieber, mainly because he almost never walks anyone.

Plesac only has 7 starts against 11 for Bieber so he's not getting the attention but if not for the Chicago incident he might be right up there with Shane. We could end up with two Cy Young candidates next season if Plesac can continue to pitch at this level.

I'm also encouraged by Tristan McKenzie (3.68 ERA in 6 starts) and Carrasco's comeback (3.27 ERA, lowest since 2014). His WHIP is up a little and his K/BB are down from his peak seasons, but he's still an effective starter, especially over his last four starts where he's given up five earned runs.

Jose Ramirez, just turned 28, is at the top of his game and is still a 7-8 WAR player and one of the best values in baseball. Otherwise there's not much to like about the position players. Lindor is having a disappointing season and had to be removed from the #3 spot in the order. Hernandez has been well worth the money. Domingo Santana flopped as did Zimmer and Mercado. Roberto Perez has been dealing with a shoulder injury that may be affecting his hitting.

The bullpen has been a bright spot, especially Hand, Wittgren, and Karinchak. But they've been slipping lately as we saw last night. Maton was terrific in July and August but has collapsed in September. Cimber had a 1.80 ERA before two bad outings against the Royals and has not pitched in 12 days. Alomar apparently has lost confidence in him.

I'm not optimistic about the playoffs or next year after we lose Hand, Lindor, Santana, and maybe Hernandez and Ollie Perez.
 
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