This is the first year that Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway has been tasked with leading and shaping a Major League staff.
Manager Terry Francona is aware of that fact, but said Callaway resembles a much more seasoned instructor.
Asked to talk about the things Callaway does well in working with pitchers, Francona responded, “How much time do you have?”
“Mickey did a great job in the interview, but then more importantly after the interview, all the things that he said, he has completely lived up to,” Francona said. “And it’s been exciting for me to watch. I’m proud of him.”
Starting rotation’s finally doing its job. Hopefully they can keep it up!
Ubaldo dominates in 9-0 #shutout of KC…see you tomorrow night, #TribeTown
The first time Scott Kazmir took the mound this season, he allowed six earned runs before being removed in the fourth inning. But the Indians offense exploded for 19 runs and Cleveland earned the win.
As the Indians prepare to take on the Royals for a matchup between American League Central foes, the standings couldn’t be much closer. Prior to the Royals’ Wednesday night game, the fourth-place Indians (8-11) were just three games behind first-place Kansas City (10-7).
Kazmir, who will take the mound for the 8:10 p.m. ET start on Friday, said he was never able to get into a rhythm in his first Major League start since 2011.
“I was a little jittery,” said the former first-round Draft pick. “Overall, there’s stuff I can take out of this start, what not to do. I never really got into the flow of the game. I was half offspeed, half fastballs. I was just not able to get in sync. You want to attack the hitters. I was not able to pitch my game. I’m a guy who pitches off his fastball. I like to attack the strike zone with my fastball.”
HOUSTON — Just eight months ago, Indians left-hander Scott Kazmir was pitching about 10 miles away in the Houston suburb of Sugar Land throwing for the Sugar Land Skeeters, an independent league team in its inaugural season.
Kazmir is scheduled to be removed from the disabled list on Saturday and will start that evening’s game against his hometown Astros. It will be his first appearance in the Major Leagues since pitching one game for the Angels at the beginning of the 2011 season.
The White Sox will look to avoid a sixth straight loss against the Indians at Progressive Field on Sunday.
Chicago will try to avoid a three-game sweep against Indians starter Brett Myers, who has struggled mightily to begin the season.
Myers has allowed 14 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings, and supports a 1.94 WHIP after his first two appearances in a Cleveland uniform. The biggest problem for Myers has been the long ball, as the former Astro has already given up seven home runs.
But Indians manager Terry Francona isn’t ready to draw any conclusions on his 32-year-old starter after only two outings. In fact, Franconca said the other day that Myers will have a long leash on Sunday.
Part of Francona’s faith may be the result of being forced to turn to his No. 3 starter on Tuesday in an emergency relief appearance after Carlos Carrasco was tossed from the game for throwing at Yankees third baseman Kevin Youkilis.
The start to Trevor Bauer’s 2013 season has been a balancing act.
Bauer seemed to have everything in check in his debut for Triple-A Columbus on Saturday afternoon.There’s been the transition to a new organization. There’s been the process that he described as trying to “overwrite eight to 10 years of neuromuscular programming in four or five weeks.” There have been the game to game adjustments that occupy the time of every professional pitcher who takes the mound.
The Indians’ No. 2 prospect allowed a run on four hits and three walks while striking out nine over six innings as the Clippers edged Indianapolis, 2-1, in the first game of a doubleheader.
The nine punchouts were the 22-year-old right-hander’s highest total in a Major or Minor League game since Aug. 22, when he fanned nine for Triple-A Reno.
So thankful that they got Justin Masterson that win.
Carlos Carrasco recently finished one suspension, but now the Indians pitcher will serve another.
Major League Baseball slapped Carrasco with a eight-game suspension on Friday for hitting Yankees third baseman Kevin Youkilis with a pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday’s 14-1 loss in Cleveland.
Carrasco, who also received an undisclosed fine, is currently with Triple-A Columbus, putting the Tribe in the same position as on Opening Day. Calling him up from the Minor Leagues is now more complicated, given the need to have him serve the suspension upon promotion.
The Indians will simply be glad to be back on a field on Friday, when they open a three-game series against the White Sox in a matchup of American League Central rivals.
Cleveland’s last two games were postponed due to inclement weather. The Indians have not played since Tuesday, when they lost to the Yankees, 14-1, to fall to 1-5 in their last six games.
The Indians will turn to sinkerballer Justin Masterson as they look for their first win since Sunday. Masterson has won both of his starts this year and boasts an 0.69 ERA.
“I’ve been roughly where I want to be,” Masterson said. “There are a lot of things that I brought into camp that I wanted to work on, and worked on through spring, that I’ve for the most part been able to implement. I’ve also caught some breaks, which is good. That’s what helps anybody out, to catch a few breaks here and there.”
Masterson is the only Cleveland starter to earn a victory. The rest of the rotation is 0-5, with an 8.70 ERA.
The Yankees have scored 32 runs over their past three games, dating back to a 7-0 win over the Tigers on Sunday in Detroit. That’s the most they’ve scored over a three-game stretch since Aug. 2-4, 2007. In the first two games of the Cleveland series, New York hitters blasted eight home runs.
All that offense came at the expense of a Cleveland rotation that is reeling. Ubaldo Jimenez and Carlos Carrasco, the Indians’ starting pitchers the first two games of the series, went a combined 0-2 with a 15.75 ERA.
Carrasco was optioned to Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday, and right-hander Corey Kluber was recalled from the same team. Kluber would have started Wednesday night had the game been played. Instead, he will be in the bullpen for Thursday’s game, which will be started by Zach McAllister.
The biggest question mark surrounding the Indians going into the 2013 season was their starting pitching, and those concerns have already proven to be well-founded. Had Wednesday night’s game been played, Kluber would have been the Indians’ seventh different starting pitcher in their first nine games.
Jimenez, who led the league in losses (17) last season and went 1-10 with a 6.63 in his final 14 starts in 2012, admitted after his most recent outing that he had some concern over the performance.
“A little bit, definitely,” Jimenez said. “Because you want to keep it going. I had a good start in Toronto, but it’s early in the season. I have to worry about my next game. I have to forget about this one.”
Francona said that Jimenez’s mechanics were a mess from the start. Potentially playing a role was the fact that the radar gun readings in Progressive Field were an estimated 2.6-2.8 mph slower for every pitcher on Monday, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
“He was flying open a lot,” Francona said. “The direction to the plate wasn’t very good. Some pitchers adjust better than other pitchers during the games. Some do it better on a side day. His direction, he flew open [Monday] and it gave the left-handers a good look at the ball and it took away some of his deception, and some of his downward plane and his crispness, as you could see.
“We’ve got some work to do on the side day. Other than that, I don’t think we ever want to run from our guys. We want to help make them better.”