Your 2019 Cleveland Indians

Out of the Rafters at the Q

Out of the Rafters
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If he can control it, I’m fine with the current velocity. His change was always his out pitch anyways.
Doesn't his change-up's effectiveness decrease if his fastball is less effective?

I guess I just can't picture what a 93mph Salazar looks like in the majors.
 

AZ_

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Doesn't his change-up's effectiveness decrease if his fastball is less effective?

I guess I just can't picture what a 93mph Salazar looks like in the majors.
Undeniably it will alter his ability to use it as a timing change off his fastball, but the movement on that split change has always been pretty wicked.

As Urban said, the tunneling is often more important, but some hitters will likely be able to adjust to it a bit more.

I’m very intrigued with the idea of him being an opener.
 

Real Deal

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I kinda hope Cookie just calls it a season and focuses on overcoming what's at stake. I don't want him pushing himself to greater limits and experience stress and all that on the playing field while battling his heath problem. I just don't wanna be that selfish fan that wants him playing because we're eyeing the playoffs and winning a championship.

We have the depth behind Cookie to pick up for him. But hey, It'll be one hell of a story if he's starting a WS game, I'm sure the world will be behind him.
 

sportscoach

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I kinda hope Cookie just calls it a season and focuses on overcoming what's at stake. I don't want him pushing himself to greater limits and experience stress and all that on the playing field while battling his heath problem. I just don't wanna be that selfish fan that wants him playing because we're eyeing the playoffs and winning a championship.

We have the depth behind Cookie to pick up for him. But hey, It'll be one hell of a story if he's starting a WS game, I'm sure the world will be behind him.
The Indians FO is taking your attitude towards the situation, but Carrasco I feel will want to get on the mound again this season if he had his choice in the matter. He resigned here in the off season and the ball club is his second family. I feel he may get at least one or two opener style of starts with possibly Salazar down the stretch, just to keep the workload down on the starters getting ready and rested for the playoffs. I know in his mind getting back on that mound says to the world and himself that he beat this issue. So is there a probability of an opener style 1-2 inning start by the end of the season? Sure, but they won't let him unless he is cleared 100%.

Though truthfully, any true baseball fan, regardless if they hate the Indians or not, would love to see Carrasco win a playoff game. We all want to see him back on that mound and with his team mates behind him all the way.

Kluber threw 30 fastballs today; he’s throwing again Wednesday. Francona said breaking pitches will be thrown in upcoming sessions.

Sounds like Carrasco is still up in the air.
With any break in a pitching arm, I am just afraid of the stress pitching a full game could do to it, otherwise I know Kluber will be mentally and physically ready to be back on that mound down the stretch.
 

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Oscar Mercado Has Helped Rescue Indians’ Season

By Connor Byrne | July 23, 2019 at 8:04pm CDT

Cleveland came into 2019 as a three-time defending AL Central champion, but the club looked as if it was relinquishing its status as a powerhouse over the first couple months of the season. Owing partially to serious injuries or illnesses to starters Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Mike Clevinger, the Indians were a somewhat unthinkable 26-27 after a loss in Boston on May 27. At that point, 10 games back of the emergent Twins in their division, the Indians appeared to be on their way to serving as trade deadline sellers.

On May 14, two weeks before the Indians sunk below .500, they promoted outfielder Oscar Mercado from Triple-A Columbus. Now, over two months later, Mercado’s call-up stands out as a development that has helped key a turnaround. Even though they’re still without Kluber and Carrasco, the Indians have rallied to 58-41, two games up on the AL’s No. 1 wild-card spot and a surmountable three behind the Twins – whom they play 10 more times.

The 24-year-old Mercado is among the reasons there’s now a legitimate battle in the AL Central. He’s just under a year from joining the Indians, with the club having acquired him at last July’s trade deadline from the Cardinals. Mercado was then a solid prospect who was fresh off an effective Triple-A run with the Redbirds. His numbers declined when he transferred to the Tribe’s top affiliate after the trade, but Mercado came back with a vengeance this season. Before his promotion, Mercado slashed .294/.396/.496 (130 wRC+) with 15 extra-base hits (10 doubles, four home runs and a triple) and 14 stolen bases in 140 plate appearances.

When they summoned Mercado for his first big league experience, the Indians likely would have been thrilled with playable production – let alone above-average numbers. So far, they’ve gotten the latter. Across 230 trips to the plate, Mercado has batted .297/.350/.488 (117 wRC+), swatted eight homers with a respectable .191 ISO, and swiped nine bags on 11 tries. He has also essentially been a scratch defender in center, albeit over a small sample size, with 1 Defensive Runs Saved and a minus-1.5 Ultimate Zone Rating.

Back when Mercado joined the Indians, they were still clinging to hope that slumping veteran Leonys Martin would rebound. Martin, returning from the life-threatening bacterial infection he suffered in 2018, was the Indians’ Opening Day center fielder and their go-to choice there over the season’s first couple months. Finally, on June 22, the Indians decided Martin’s rope had run out. They designated him for assignment after Martin hit .199/.276/.343 (61 wRC+) with minus-0.6 fWAR in 264 trips to the plate.

The cutting of Martin, who’s now playing in Japan, officially opened the door for Mercado to assume the outfield’s most important position. Aside from a couple days in which Greg Allen has started at the position, it has belonged to Mercado almost exclusively. Overall, Mercado has been remarkably consistent. His wRC+ by month: 119 in May, 118 in June, 114 in July. The righty’s wRC+ against same-handed pitchers: 119. His wRC+ against lefties: 115.

If you’re looking for negatives, it’s obvious there is some good fortune propping up Mercado’s output. Although Mercado’s one of the game’s fastest players, a .335 batting average on balls in play could be difficult to uphold. And while Mercado’s only striking out at a 17.6 percent clip, he’s walking just 5.6 percent of the time. Statcast, meanwhile, paints somewhat of a bleak picture in regards to his production, placing Mercado in the league’s 39th percentile or worse in expected weighted on-base average (.322, compared to a .357 real wOBA), expected slugging percentage, exit velocity and hard-hit rate.
Even if Mercado regresses toward his xwOBA as the season moves along, he’d still qualify as an easy upgrade over Martin, who posted a .270 wOBA before the Tribe cut him. Thanks in part to what Mercado has done so far, the Indians’ outfield hasn’t been the massive question mark it was at the outset of the season. The Indians, set to begin life without Michael Brantley then, ran out an Opening Day outfield of Martin, Jake Bauers in left and Tyler Naquin in right. They’re now going with Mercado, a Bauers/Jordan Luplow platoon in left and Naquin at his season-opening spot on a regular basis.
Bauers has recently put up much better offensive totals than he did during a disastrous May; the righty-swinging Luplow has been a force against lefties throughout 2019; and Naquin has come back well from a pair of lost seasons at the MLB level. However, of the Indians’ main outfielders, it’s Mercado who has been their best. The rookie has played an important role in saving Cleveland’s season.
 
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