Posted on: August 11, 2011 7:29 pm
CLEVELAND -- Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and first baseman Carlos Santana had to be separated in the Indians dugout in the first inning of Thursday's night's game against the Tigers.
Starting pitcher Fausto Carmona eventually stepped between the two players, and manager Manny Acta later spoke with Santana.
Santana has struggled with some throws at first base. He dropped a throw from Cabrera Wednesday night, leading to three unearned runs, and he couldn't handle a throw from third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall in the first inning Thursday, leading to another unearned run.
Posted on: July 6, 2011 8:39 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 8:53 pm
CLEVELAND -- While Derek Jeter was lobbying Joe Girardi, Asdrubal Cabrera was lobbying Manny Acta.
Jeter was texting, telling Girardi he wanted to play Wednesday. Cabrera was texting, telling Acta he wanted to play Wednesday.
It turns out the American League's two All-Star shortstops are more alike than you would think.
One guy is nearing the end of a great career, about to reach 3,000 hits. The other guy is still early in a very promising career -- and just passed 500 hits at age 25.
But even at 37, Jeter strongly resists any attempt Girardi makes to give him a day off. And even at 25, Cabrera already does the same.
Jeter didn't want a day off, even though he's just off the disabled list, out three weeks with a calf strain. Cabrera didn't want a day off, even though he sprained his ankle a night earlier.
Jeter has averaged 152 games a year in his 15 full seasons in the big leagues, and he only played fewer than 148 games once -- when he dislocated his shoulder in 2003.
Cabrera told Acta this spring that he wanted to play 162 games this year, and sure enough, he hasn't missed one yet.
"He never wants out of the lineup -- never," Acta said.
Indians people say that Cabrera is starting to show some signs of fatigue. Acta said he plans to give Cabrera a day off during this weekend's series against the Blue Jays.
But just as Girardi does with Jeter, Acta will "negotiate" that day off with his shortstop, and eventually insist that Cabrera rest.
Acta had to do just that Tuesday night, when Cabrera suffered a mild ankle sprain while making a play on defense. Cabrera stayed in the game, but an inning later, with the Yankees far ahead, Acta made the right move and pulled him.
"He didn't want to come out," Acta said. "For us as managers, you want to have 25 like that."
Cabrera earned his spot on the All-Star team with the way he has hit (.292, 49 RBI in the first 84 games) and the way he has defended.
He has earned his manager's respect just as much with his desire to play. Just as Derek Jeter has done for all these years.
Cabrera is one of 13 major-league players who had played in every game through Tuesday and one of just two shortstops (Alcides Escobar of the Royals is the other).
The other 11:
Adrian Beltre, Rangers
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
Austin Jackson, Tigers
Prince Fielder, Brewers
Dan Uggla, Braves
Chris Young, Diamondbacks
Matt Kemp, Dodgers
Danny Espinosa, Nationals
Omar Infante, Marlins
Gaby Sanchez, Marlins
*Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox
*Gonzalez was not in the Red Sox lineup Wednesday
Posted on: July 5, 2011 9:38 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2011 11:04 pm
CLEVELAND -- Asdrubal Cabrera, the Indians' All-Star shortstop, left Tuesday night's game against the Yankees with a sprained right ankle.
Cabrera didn't appear to be seriously hurt. He came down hard on the ankle making a play in the top of the third, then remained in the game for another inning before leaving for a pinch hitter in the fourth. The Indians trailed the Yankees 6-0 when Cabrera came out of the game.
Cabrera has played in all 84 of Cleveland's games. Indians people say that he has been dragging, and really could use a day off, but the team has been reluctant to rest him because they rely so heavily on his bat.
The Indians said Cabrera is day-to-day, and that there's a chance Cabrera could be back in the lineup as soon as Wednesday.
Posted on: July 3, 2011 3:34 pm
For all the complaints about fan voting, how much different would the All-Star lineups look if the players picked them instead?
In the National League, the players and fans agreed on the starter at all eight positions. In the American League, they agreed at six of the nine spots (including designated hitter).
The only differences were at shortstop (fans took Derek Jeter, players took Asdrubal Cabrera), third base (fans took Alex Rodriguez, players took Adrian Beltre) and at the third and final outfield spot (fans took Josh Hamilton, players took Jacoby Ellsbury).
A few other All-Star items of note:
-- The late votes helped, with four changes in the final week of voting (all four going in favor of someone the players voted for). Alex Avila (over Russell Martin), Prince Fielder (over Albert Pujols), Jose Reyes (over Troy Tulowitzki) and Matt Kemp (over Matt Holliday) won the fan vote, after trailing with a week to go.
-- As always, there will be changes in the rosters this week. Some are almost guaranteed, as five All-Stars (Cole Hamels, Matt Cain, James Shields, Justin Verlander and Felix Hernandez) are scheduled as of now to pitch next Sunday. They'll remain on the All-Star team, but will be ineligible to pitch, and another pitcher will be added to the team in place of each one. You can almost bet that there will be more changes, because of injuries.
-- As of now, here are the other 25 pitchers scheduled to start Sunday: Derek Lowe, Chris Volstad, Jordan Zimmermann, Ramon Ortiz, Mike Pelfrey, Ted Lilly, Edinson Volquez, Jaime Garcia, Brett Myers, Paul Maholm, Randy Wolf, Zach Duke, Tim Stauffer, Matt Harrison, Jon Lester, Brett Cecil, CC Sabathia, Carlos Carrasco, Scott Baker, Dan Haren, Trevor Cahill, Felipe Paulino, Jake Peavy and either Alfredo Simon or Mitch Atkins.
-- For all the talk of how New York dominates the voting, only two New York players have ever been the leading overall vote-getter. Darryl Strawberry of the Mets led in 1986, and Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees led in both 2007 and 2008. Only one Red Sox (David Ortiz in 2005) has led, and no Phillie has ever led. Jose Bautista is the first Blue Jay to lead, and the Blue Jays are the 20th different franchise to have an overall vote leader. No team has had more than two, but a Mariner has led in eight different years (five by Ken Griffey Jr., three by Ichiro Suzuki).
-- The 10 franchises that have never had an overall vote-leader: Rockies, Diamondbacks, Pirates, Phillies, Marlins, Astros, Tigers, Indians, White Sox, Rays.
-- The Yankees still ended up with the most All-Stars (barring final-week changes), with six. The Phillies, Braves, Giants and Tigers had four apiece. But what might be more surprising is that 14 of the 30 teams had only one All-Star picked on Sunday.
Posted on: June 13, 2011 5:56 pm
Edited on: June 14, 2011 9:17 am
NEW YORK -- Indians manager Manny Acta warns people not to count his team out, despite the Indians' slide over the last couple of weeks.
He also warns people not to count out the Twins.
"They won last year," Acta said Monday. "The division still has to go through Minnesota. Anyone in our division could still win it by 10 or get buried by 30."
The Indians opened play Monday tied with the Tigers atop the AL Central, with the White Sox 3 1/2 games behind. The Indians, who have lost four in a row and nine of their last 10, open a three-game series in Detroit on Tuesday.
"You're not a fluke for 2 1/2 months if you're in first place," Acta said. "We built up that lead. We'll be back again playing better. I guess that's an understatement."
The Indians should get help when Travis Hafner returns from the disabled list, probably late this week. Hafner, out since May 18 with an oblique injury, is set to begin a rehabilitation assignment at Double-A Akron on Tuesday.
Acta wouldn't say how soon Hafner will be back, but Hafner said the team told him they wanted him to spend three or four days in the minors before returning.
The Indians have struggled to score runs in Hafner's absence, so Acta shook up his lineup Monday, putting Grady Sizemore back in the leadoff spot and batting Michael Brantley and Asdrubal Cabrera third and fourth.
"Those two guys have been the most consistent," Acta explained. "I wanted to have our best hitters hit in the middle of the lineup."
Posted on: June 10, 2011 8:19 pm
NEW YORK -- There are two questions worth asking about the Indians, and there's no reason the answer to the two has to be the same.
Question 1: Can the Indians at least stay in the American League Central race all season, and maybe even win it?
Question 2: Will 2011 be a successful year for the Indians?
A lot of people are starting to suspect that the answer to the first question is no. The Tigers are hot, the White Sox may be getting hot, and the Indians' flaws have started to show. Their five-game lead shrunk to a one-game lead in just eight days, and there's every chance that next week's first-place battle in Detroit will begin with the Tigers -- and not the Indians -- in first place.
But even if the Indians never see first place again this year, even if they struggle to hold on with a winning record (they entered the weekend 34-26, after a 30-15 start), there's absolutely no doubt that the answer to the second question is yes.
As much as we talk about the Royals as the rising team in the Central (the team to watch in 2013, as I called them this spring), what's happened in the first 2 1/2 months proves that the Indians are every bit as much a team to watch for the next few years.
I missed that this spring. So did every scout I've talked to who saw the Indians in Arizona.
So, in some ways, did the Indians themselves.
"It's gone quicker than we thought," manager Manny Acta said Friday. "It's fun, because it's actually shortened up the plan."
The key so far has been the development of 25-year-old shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and 24-year-old outfielder Michael Brantley, who now look like players you could build around. Indians veterans say that Cabrera's leadership skills have impressed them every bit as much as his considerable on-field skills.
"He's got that 'it' factor," infielder Adam Everett said. "And it's fun to watch."
Indians players also rave about pitchers Alex White (currently on the disabled list with a finger problem) and Drew Pomeranz (currently at Class A Kinston).
Reliever Chad Durbin, who spent the last three years with the Phillies, said that even this rough stretch will be good for the Indians youngsters.
"It's outstanding for guys to learn how you feel when you win," Durbin said. "But it's also good to learn how to handle it when you don't -- especially when you're in first place. It's different to be a lead horse in any race."
The Indians have been the lead horse in the AL Central since April 7. There's every chance that run at the top will come to an end soon, every chance that this Indians team isn't good enough or ready enough to hang in there all season.
But there's also every reason to think that the Indians will be heard from again very soon.
"It bodes really well," Durbin agreed.
And long-term, that's more important than a couple of months in first place.
Posted on: February 14, 2009 7:23 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2009 1:44 pm
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Right around the time the Dodgers left Vero Beach, the Indians left Winter Haven. And today, just before the Dodgers had their first workout as Cactus Leaguers at Camelback Ranch, the Indians held their first-ever spring training workout down the road in Goodyear.
Funny, because while the Dodgers' move seemed so dramatic and so emotional, the Indians' move seemed so matter-of-fact.
The Indians spent 16 springs in Central Florida, long enough that they were there through their only two World Series appearances in the last half-century. But they were never wedded to Witner Haven, and they never had great feelings for the place.
Even today, when someone tried to compare the Indians' old spring home with their new one, an Indians official shook his head and said: "Different planet."
Unlike the Dodgers, the Indians aren't just now moving in to their new home. They held instructional league here last October, and quite a few Indians players have been working out here all winter. Kelly Shoppach, Shin-Soo Choo, Josh Barfield and Ryan Garko all bought houses in the area, and Grady Sizemore has lived around here for a while.
Eventually, the Goodyear complex will also house the Reds, who are training in Sarasota for one final spring before moving west in 2010. The ballpark already shows Indians players on one side and Reds players on the other.
One problem: One of the Reds players pictured is Brandon Phillips, an ex-Indian who the Tribe traded away. Probably not the player that Indian officials want to look at every day.
A few other observations from the first day of workouts:
-- In the Dodgers' new clubhouse at Camelback Ranch, every locker except one has a nameplate above it. Hmm. Can you think of anyone the Dodgers might want to save that locker for? Maybe someone named Manny?
-- The Indians/Reds complex is nice, but it's nowhere near as fancy as the Dodgers/White Sox complex. Also, the Indians clubhouse and offices are in the middle of their minor-league complex, about half a mile from the Goodyear Stadium where they'll play their spring training games. While there is a clubhouse at the stadium, the Indians plan to base everything out of the minor-league clubhouse, shuttling over to the stadium just for the games. We'll see how it works, but it doesn't sound all that convenient.
-- The Indians plan to have Jhonny Peralta work out some at third base in the spring, and they plan to have Asdrubal Cabrera do some work at shortstop. The plan for the season is still that Cabrera will play second and Peralta will play short (with newly acquired Mark DeRosa at third), but the Indians want to give themselves some flexibility.
-- Joe Torre went to Australia and New Zealand over the winter, hoping to get away from it all. Sure enough, just as he checked into a remote hotel in Australia, he was recognized by a guy from New York. "You couldn't miss the accent," Torre said.
-- It's easy to forget Jason Schmidt, but he's in Dodger camp and planning to pitch this year. "I've got a 5-year-old son who hasn't seen his dad throw," said Schmidt, who last appeared in a game in June 2007. "If he has, he can't remember."
-- You go to suburban Glendale to find Camelback Ranch, and the official name of the complex is Camelback Ranch - Glendale. It's not far from the Arizona Cardinals stadium, which is in Glendale. But technically, the Camelback Ranch complex is in Phoenix, and it has a Phoenix mailing address.