Tag:Jason Kipnis
Posted on: January 20, 2012 11:17 am
 

Indians add OF Ryan Spilborghs

Ryan SpilborghsBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Free-agent outfielder Ryan Spilborghs has agreed to a deal with the Cleveland Indians, CBSSports.com Insider Jon Heyman reports.

FREE AGENT TRACKER

Spilborghs, 32, hit .210/.282/.305 with three home runs in 223 plate appearances as a backup outfielder with the Rockies last season. He's a .272/.345/.423 hitter in his seven seasons in the big leagues -- all in Colorado.

The Rockies non-tendered Spilbroghs last month.

A right-handed hitter, he could help out Cleveland's left-handed lineup, which features three left-handed hitters in the outfield in Grady Sizemore, Shin-Soo Choo and Michael Brantley. Designated hitter Travis Hafner, second baseman Jason Kipnis and third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall are all left-handed hitters as well.

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Posted on: December 17, 2011 5:55 pm
 

Homegrown Team: Cleveland Indians

Victor Martinez

By C. Trent Rosecrans


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

In the 90s, the Indians welcomed a new ballpark with a cast of homegrown talent and twice used that to go all the way to the World Series, losing to the Braves in 1995 and the Marlins in 1997. A core of Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Albert Belle, Charles Nagy, Paul Shuey, Jaret Wright, Julian Tavarez and more helped that Cleveland team become a power in the middle part of the decade before the pieces moved on. Thome went to Philadelphia, Ramirez to Boston and others dispersed or saw their skills diminish as the window of opportunity passed. The current Indians saw the start of a new influx of talent in 2011 with the likes of Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall, but more talent needs to come out of the system for the Indians to continue the promise of the first half of the 2011 season. The franchise has shown smart drafting and good development can get them to October baseball, and that it's the best way for a team of their means to get there -- and return.

Lineup

1. Jason Kipnis, 2B
2. Marco Scutaro, SS
3. Victor Martinez, C
4. Jim Thome, DH
5. Jhonny Peralta, 1B
6. Luke Scott, LF
7. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B
8. Ben Francisco, RF
9. Jose Constanza, CF

Starting Rotation

1. CC Sabathia
2. Fausto Carmona
3. Jeremy Guthrie
4. Bartolo Colon
5. Josh Tomlin

Bullpen

Closer - Vinnie Pestano
Set up - Tony Sipp, Aaron Laffey, Danys Baez, Edward Mujica, Rafael Perez, Brian Tallet

Notable Bench Players

There are some bit pieces, but not too much overwhelming talent coming off the bench. The best pieces are Maicer Izturis, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Russell Branyan.

What's Good?

This team could put up some runs, with a heart of the order featuring Martinez, Thome, Peralta and Scott, that's for sure. You've also got Sabathia leading the staff, and as the Yankees showed this past season, that can be enough to win the toughest division in baseball. Carmona is inconsistent, but still has a live arm, while Guthrie could thrive in a new environment and Colon proved he still has a little something in the tank during his 2011 season in New York. 

What's Not?

Even if this Indians staff is a slight bump up from the Yankees' of 2011, the bullpen is a step down -- and the bullpen was one of the big reasons New York was able to win with a rotation featuring Sabathia and prayers for rain. The bench here is also thin.

Comparison to real 2011

The Indians were one of the feel-good stories for much of 2011, leading the American League Central for most of the first half of the season before fading and finishing the season 80-82. This hypothetical team has a better offense, better starting pitching and a worse bullpen. It's in no way a complete team, but it would have a chance at a winning record. The Tigers finished 95-67, well ahead of anyone else in the division. No, this Cleveland team wouldn't challenge the Tigers, but it would likely be better than the real 2011 Indians.

Next: Miami Marlins

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Posted on: October 10, 2011 1:20 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 1:58 pm
 

R.I.P.: 2011 Cleveland Indians

By Matt Snyder

Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...

Team name: Cleveland Indians
Record: 80-82, second place in AL Central, 15 games back
Manager: Manny Acta
Best hitter: Asdrubal Cabrera -- .273/.332/.460, 25 HR, 92 RBI, 87 R, 17 SB
Best pitcher: Justin Masterson -- 12-10, 3.21 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 158 K, 216 IP

2011 SEASON RECAP

Winning 80 games, finishing second in the AL Central and seeing the growth of several promising young players would have almost certainly sounded like a great goal to begin the season, after the Indians lost 93 games in 2010. But the way it all went down meant that the season ended up feeling like a punch to the gut. On May 23, the Indians won to give them a 30-15 record and a seven-game lead in the Central. They were even tied for first as late as July 20 and climbed to within 1.5 games in mid-August, but then the Tigers got hot and the Indians just couldn't keep up.

R.I.P. series
Still, the Indians saw great things from many young players, which provides hope for the future. Carlos Santana, Jason Kipnis, Lonnie Chisenhall, Asdrubal Cabrera, Justin Masterson, Chris Perez, Joe Smith and Vinnie Pestano are absolutely a part of the solution in Cleveland.

2012 AUDIT

The Indians look to bring back a very similar ballclub to the one that finished the 2011 season. Full, healthy seasons from both Grady Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo along with progress from many of the young players in house would help the Indians compete in the AL Central. According to most evaluation resources, the upper levels of the minors doesn't have much more help coming for the Indians -- because we saw all of the top prospects this season. Oh, and traded away the top two pitching prospects for Ubaldo Jimenez.

FREE AGENTS

Jim Thome, DH
Kosuke Fukudome, OF
Grady Sizemore, OF (club option for $8.5 million)
Fausto Carmona, SP (club option for $7 million)
Chad Durbin, RP

OFFSEASON FOCUS
  • This may be unpopular, but I'd pick up Sizemore's option. He's still 29 and if his surgery last week fixed all the issues with his knee, it's entirely possible he returns to previous form -- which is an All-Star center fielder. Plus, having Sizemore around opens up a lot of options. If the Indians decide midseason to trade him, he could net a good return, assuming he's healthy. Michael Brantley could then slide over to center. But if Sizemore does return to All-Star form, they'll have a shot at locking him up as the veteran centerpiece of their young nucleus -- many of whom won't be free agents for four or five years.
  • A decision has to be made at first base. Do they give Matt LaPorta one more season to see if he finally sticks? He's only 26. He also hasn't even come close to reaching the potential that made him the main piece of the CC Sabathia trade. Another option would be to move slugging catcher Carlos Santana to first for good, making Lou Marson the everyday catcher. A final option is to pursue a cheap first baseman on the free agency market (Casey Kotchman would work) or trade for one. If the Dodgers decide to trade James Loney, he'd be a nice fit. Kotchman seems like a pretty good direction, as he'd be affordable and maybe even could be had on a one-year deal. LaPorta can serve as a backup and if he all of a sudden turns the corner, there's a spot waiting for him.
  • Invent a time machine, go back to late July and don't make the Ubaldo Jimenez trade. I kid, but man, Alex White and Drew Pomeranz would fit so perfectly with the direction of this team. Jimenez has been absolutely mediocre for the past season and a half. But what's done is done and the Indians have to hope he reverts back to the form he had when he started 2010 11-1 with a 0.93 ERA.
  • Mostly, these Indians need to stay the course. The youthful foundation is growing up together. Kipnis and Chisenhall have joined Santana, Cabrera, Masterson and the "Bullpen Mafia" as a strong core of players all still in their 20s and only scratching the surface of how good they can be. The 2012 season will provide answers to some questions (Sizemore, Carmona, how good some of the young players can be, LaPorta, etc.) to provide a better road map as to how the 2013 season will look. All the top prospects have either been promoted or traded, so what you see at the big-league level is what you get for the next few years. If everything falls into place, the Indians contend for the next three seasons. If injuries continue to derail Choo and Sizemore while several of the young players don't pan out, it's going to be a long next three seasons. Time will tell, but they need to see what they have.
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Posted on: August 11, 2011 12:22 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Kipnis a big hit in Cleveland



By Matt Snyder


Jason Kipnis, Indians. On the night when Ubaldo Jimenez made a sparkling home debut for the Tribe, rookie second baseman Kipnis -- who the Indians feel can be their Utley or Pedroia -- torched the Tigers. He ended 5-for-5 with a double, home run, four runs and three RBI. He became the first Indians rookie since 1952 to accrue five hits and four runs in the same game (MLB.com). The Indians won and moved within two games of the Tigers in the AL Central.

Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays. The heavily-hyped rookie third baseman came to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning with the bases loaded and his team trailing 3-2. He sent a 2-0 pitch into the left-field seats for his first career grand slam to put the Blue Jays on top for good. He later doubled and scored to end the day 2-for-4 with six total bases, two runs and four RBI. He's hitting .389 with two homers and six RBI in just five games since his promotion.

Curtis Granderson, Yankees. He connected for home runs twice, driving in four on the two blasts, in a 9-3 Yankees win. It was a win that brought the Yankees to within 1 1/2 games of the Red Sox in the AL East, but we're listing Granderson here for a different reason. It was his 113th game of the season, and he set a new career high with 31 homers. He averaged 24 per season in the last five -- his only five full years in the bigs. The surge is a testament to the hard work in improving against left-handers, which came last August. Oh, and for those who want to complain about the ballpark, Granderson has 14 road home runs.



Jonathan Sanchez, Giants. When Ryan Vogelsong unexpectedly emerged as a solid starter, the Giants appeared to have a nice problem on their hands: Six viable starters. Then again, Barry Zito isn't very viable for the most part, and now Sanchez is falling out of favor as well. He only made it through 4 1/3 innings Wednesday afternoon against the Pirates, allowing four earned runs and, yes, four walks. Control continues to plague him. This was against a Pirates team that entered having lost 11 of their past 12 games. It's going to be interesting to see what the Giants do when Zito gets off the DL. Oh, and while we're here, the Diamondbacks won Wednesday night and took over first place in the NL West. The defending champs are certainly in danger of missing the postseason.

Aaron Crow/Joakim Soria, Royals. The Royals were in great position to win with their seemingly-adolescent offense -- in terms of age -- putting up seven runs, including three ninth-inning insurance runs. Instead, the bullpen unraveled. Crow and Soria combined to allow five runs on five hits while only recording two outs. The last run was unearned, as Sam Fuld hit a game-tying triple -- only to come home as the winning run on a throwing error. Just a miserable ninth for the Royals.

Dexter Fowler, Rockies. Don't just look at the box score here. Remember, we watch games. Those who played in college and maybe even high school will remember the Cardinal Rule of baserunning, which is to never, ever make the third out at third base. Well, Fowler did it Wednesday night. In the ninth inning. To end the game. And he was the tying run. He is absolutely fast enough to score on a single, so there was no reason for the blunder.

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Posted on: August 4, 2011 2:28 pm
 

On Deck: Kipnis' streak, Bedard's debut

OD

By Matt Snyder

Ten teams get Thursday off while there were two day games, so we're looking at an eight-game slate Thursday night. Remember you can keep up with all the action on CBSSports.com's live scoreboard.

Power surge/BoSox debut: This just in: Indians' rookie second baseman Jason Kipnis is pretty good. He has only been in the bigs for 10 games, but he's now homered in four straight. He's the first player in major league history to go deep four times within his first two weeks of being promoted  and is also the first second baseman in Indians' history to do so (Cleveland Plain-Dealer). He'll put that streak on the line Thursday night against the Red Sox, who will send Erik Bedard (4-7, 3.45) to the mound for his Red Sox debut. This is a pretty big game for both teams, as the Red Sox have a one-game lead over the Yankees in the AL East, while the Indians have fallen to four games back in the AL Central they once owned. They've lost 10 of 13. Justin Masterson (8-7, 2.56) will attempt to turn the tide for the Tribe. Indians at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. ET.

Honeymoon over? The Pirates have been one of the big stories of the 2011 baseball season, as they were buyers at the trade deadline instead of sellers for the first time in ages. After having lost six straight, however, the Pirates have fallen below .500 for the first time in over six weeks. They're now six games out in the NL Central as the Brewers have really started to fire on all cylinders. Worse yet, the Brewers are in danger of being swept in four games by the Cubs, who came to Pittsburgh with a 42-65 record. James McDonald (7-5, 4.17) will try to get the Pirates off the schneid, while Rodrigo Lopez (2-3, 4.40) starts for the Cubs. Cubs at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. ET.

Rematch: The two teams that faced off last October in the NLCS open a four-game series Thursday night in San Francisco. Both are currently in first place again in their respective divisions, though the Phillies are much more a postseason lock at this point. They have an eight-game lead in the NL East and the best record in baseball. The Giants, meanwhile, are clinging to a one-game lead in the NL West over upstart Arizona. Cliff Lee (10-7, 3.14) -- who saw the Giants in the World Series last year as a member of the Rangers -- gets the nod for the Phillies. Madison Bumgarner (6-10, 3.80) is looking to rebound from a bad last start for the Giants, but the last time he saw the Phillies he threw two scoreless innings in relief as the Giants clinched the National League pennant in Game 6 of the NLCS. Phillies at Giants, 10:15 p.m. ET.

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Posted on: August 3, 2011 1:40 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: D-Backs rookie leads team into 1st

Paul Goldschmidt

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks: In just his second game in the big leagues, the Diamondbacks' first baseman hit his first home run -- a two-run shot in the fifth inning of San Francisco's Tim Lincecum to give Arizona  the lead and ultimately a 6-1 victory. With the win, Arizona moved into a tie with the Giants for first place in the National League West.

Mark Teixeira, Yankees: Teixeira hit home runs from both sides of the plate on Tuesday, marking the 12th time he's done that in his career, the most in history. Teixeira hit a two-run homer in the second as a right-handed batter against John Danks and then hit a left-handed homer against Jason Frasor in the seventh inning. It was the second time he's homered from both sides of the plate this season. He entered Tuesday's game tied with Eddie Murray and Chili Davis, who had both homered from both sides of the plate 11 times in their career.

Jason Kipnis, Indians: Kipnis homered again on Tuesday, making it three games in a row the rookie second baseman has homered. He became the first Indian rookie to homer in three straight games since Richie Sexon did it in 1998.


Kevin Correia, Pirates: The All-Star couldn't get out of the third inning on Tuesday, allowing eight runs on 10 hits and four homers in Pittsburgh's 11-6 loss to the Cubs. Seven of the eight runs off of Correia came on homers, including two in the third inning -- one from Geovany Soto and one from Alfonso Soriano. Chicago finished the game with six homers and 21 hits as Pittsburgh fell to .500 at 54-54.

Justin Turner, Mets: After Jason Isringhausen loaded the bases with one out and a one-run Mets lead in the ninth inning, he finally got exactly what he wanted -- a double play ball to second base. But when Marlins runner John Buck stopped in his tracks. Instead of throwing it to second to try to get the double play, Turner panicked and instead tried to throw to first, but instead threw it wide in a throw that would have embarrassed Chuck Knoblauch, allowing the tying and go-ahead run to score.

Mike Adams, Rangers: In his Rangers' debut, the right-hander allowed his first home run to a left-handed hitter since May 18, 2010, as Brennan Boesch homered in the eighth inning to give Detroit a 6-5 victory. Adams took the loss and needed 32 pitches to get through the eighth inning.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 1:00 pm
 

Hours after trade, Cabrera adjusting to new team

Orlando CabreraBy C. Trent Rosecrans

CINCINNATI -- The worst part about being traded near the trade deadline? For new Giant Orlando Cabrera it was that he'd just paid his August rent for his place in Cleveland.

"I just handed it over, I wondered if I could get it back," Cabrera joked before his first game in a Giant uniform on Sunday at Great American Ball Park.

Seriously, Cabrera said he was worried about his pregnant wife, who will be making the three-month trip to San Francisco with him, along with his two teenage daughters.

"She's eight months, she found a great doctor that she loves," Cabrera said. "The truth is, that was my only concern."

Last night the Cabrera family started packing its place in Cleveland -- and Orlando packed his bags to get to Cincinnati. After the Indians' walk-off victory over the Royals at Progressive Field on Saturday, he saw the end of the Reds-Giants game on TV, so when he was told he was traded to the Giants, he knew exactly where he was headed.

Of course, wherever he was going he'd likely be familiar with the surroundings, but maybe few places as much as Cincinnati, where he was the Reds' shortstop in 2010.

"They asked me about him yesterday, so I thought they might get him," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "I wish him well -- starting tomorrow."

The Giants will be Cabrera's ninth different team and seventh in the last five years. As his wife noted late Saturday night, he will now have played in every division in the baseball, with the Giants filling the NL West portion of his baseball bingo card. He started his career in the National League East with the Expos and played in Montreal from 1997-2004, before joining the Red Sox in the American League Central in 2004 in time for the team's run to the World Series title.

He signed as a free agent in the American League West with the Angels for the 2005 season, staying there three seasons, winning a Gold Glove in 2007 and reaching the playoffs twice. He was traded by the Angels to the White Sox after the 2007 season for his first stint in the American League Central before heading back to the American League West, signing with the A's before the 2009 season.

At the trade deadline in 2009, Cabrera was sent to the American League Central Twins and then signed as a free agent with the Reds in the National League Central before the 2010 season. 

He doubled up with the American League Central signing as a free agent with the Indians before this season and on Saturday was traded to the Giants for minor-league outfielder Thomas Neal.

"If I get traded somewhere, it's a pretty good chance I've played for or against the team they're playing recently," Cabrera joked as he tried on a new pair of uniform pants and met new teammates.

The one constant for Cabrera has been that in all those travels, he's seemed to end up playing in October. Cabrera's played in the postseason in each of the last five seasons with five different teams. Joining the Giants seemes to guarantee him a sixth different playoff team in six years.

"I'm really proud of that," Cabrera said. "I believe that's the biggest reason I'm here."

After a 7:30 a.m. flight from Cleveland to Cincinnati, Cabrera found himself in the Giants' lineup, playing shortstop and hitting sixth. Before the game, he said he hadn't yet been told of his role, but  Bruce Bochy said he'll be his everyday shortstop, replacing Miguel Tejada. In Cleveland, he had his playing time cut at second base, where the team had gone with rookie Jason Kipnis.

"The [Indians] told me they had good news and bad news -- maybe for me it was good news and good news," Cabrera said. "They ere feeling bad that I wasn't playing much. They were going to go with Kipnis every day. It's something that will work out for both [teams]."

Despite the early-morning flight, his worries about his wife and the thought of finding another place to live, Cabrera was all smiles while greeting his new teammates Sunday morning, less than 12 hours after learning he was headed to San Francisco (with a brief layover in Cincinnati).

"I'm on the 25-man roster of the world champions," Cabrera said. "That's enough for me."

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Posted on: July 26, 2011 2:19 am
Edited on: July 26, 2011 2:19 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Kipnis' first hit one to remember

Jason Kipnis

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jason Kipnis, Indians: In the sixth plate appearance of his young career, the Cleveland rookie delivered his first hit -- a single to right. That's great and all, but the fact that it was done with two outs and bases loaded in the ninth inning of a tie game is what lands him here. It overshadowed the play with bases loaded and one out when Travis Buck grounded into a 9-2 putout -- Torii Hunter was playing in the infield to try to cut down the winning run at home, which he did. Temporarily.

Chris Denorfia, Padres: There are few plays as awesome as a steal of home. In the span of two days, Denrofia gave us one of the season's best defensive plays -- robbing Raul Ibanez of a home run on Sunday -- and then following that up with a great offensive play Monday. In the second inning of the Padres' 5-4 victory over the Phillies, Denorfia was on third with a runner at first and as soon as Cliff Lee lobbed a throw over to first, Denorfia broke toward the plate and beat the throw home for San Diego's first steal of home since Mark Sweeney did it in 2005.

James McDonald, Pirates: The Pittsburgh right-hander recorded a career-high nine strikeouts and picked up his seventh win of the season in a 3-1 victory over the Braves. Pittsburgh has now started seven of the last eight McDonald has started. McDonald lasted just 5 1/3 innings -- and has yet to complete seven innings in any start -- but that's good enough with the Pirates' bullpen. McDonald left the game with bases loaded and one out in the sixth inning, but Chris Resop got a popup to the catcher and a strikeout to end the threat. Joel Hanrahan worked a perfect ninth for his 29th save.


Twins pitchers: The most successful Twins pitcher on Monday started the game at first base before moving to right field and then the mound. Michael Cuddyer was the only Twin to take the mound and leave unscathed. His scoreless ninth was one of just two scoreless innings tossed by the Twins in their 20-6 loss to the Rangers. Left-hander Phil Dumatrait wasn't charged with a  run, but came into the game in the fifth inning and allowed a two-run double to Elvis Andrus, but both runs were charged to Chuck James. Starter Nick Blackburn allowed 11 hits and nine runs (six earned) in 2 2/3 innings. Jose Mijares was charged with five runs (four earned) in 2/3 of an inning. James allowed four runs in one inning and Alex Burnett allowed two runs. Cuddyer gave up two hits and a walk, but no runs in the eighth inning.

Marco Scutaro, Red Sox: Several Red Sox hitters failed to help their cause late in the team's 3-1 loss to the Royals in 14 innings on Monday night and Tuesday morning, but Scutaro was the worst offender. In the 12th inning, Scutaro missed the sign for the suicide squeeze, allowing the Royals to easily get Josh Reddick in a rundown. He then singled and was thrown out at second trying to stretch a single into a double. He then ended the game in the 14th looking at a called third strike from Joakim Soria. The Red Sox put runners in scoring position with less than two outs in three of the five innings from the ninth to the 13th and failed to capitalize.

J.P. Howell, Rays: Howell gave up two singles and a walk to help bring Oakland to within a run of the Rays in the seventh inning before being pulled for Joel Peralta, who allowed a two-run double to Conor Jackson to give Oakland the lead for good. In 17 2/3 innings this season, Howell has allowed 21 runs and 18 earned runs.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com