Results tagged ‘ Cleveland Indians ’
By Grant Brisbee @ Baseball Nation
Before the season started, it looked like the AL Central was split into three tiers. The Detroit Tigers were expected to be the class of the division. The White Sox and Indians were likely to be a step behind, but with the potential to make trouble if a few things broke their way. The Twins and Royals were supposed to party like it was 1999.
But the Tigers have looked like a catchable team so far, stumbling a bit with a top-heavy lineup and rotation. If a few things could go right for one of the teams in the second tier, it could make for an interesting pennant race.
Which brings us to the White Sox, who have had a ton of things go right. Two of their 30-something veterans — Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski — are off to their best starts ever. Two of the players the Sox might have figured were sunk costs — Adam Dunn and Alex Rios — are enjoying renaissance seasons so far. The hope was that Jake Peavy could contribute anything at all; he’s been one of the best pitchers in baseball. Chris Sale’s conversion from reliever to starter has been a rousing success.
There is so much going right for the White Sox. With a win over the Red Sox on Sunday, though, they merely reached .500. Because in the middle of all these nice stories and surprising seasons, you have this:
Those are some of the ugliest lines you’ll see in baseball, and they’re all lumped right in the middle of the White Sox‘ Baseball-Reference page. Viciedo is the best of the bunch, thanks to four home runs. The other three are carrying sub-.500 OPS‘s, hitting around what you’d expect from Cliff Lee and Edwin Jackson.
When you have one player struggling this mightily, you keep an eye on him and quietly ready a backup plan. When four players are flailing around like Rey Ordoñez with a sack over his head, what in the world can the White Sox do?
Before you get the idea to call in the minor-league cavalry, remember the White Sox have the worst farm system in baseball. And in that worst farm system, there was only one position player in the top 10 who played above A-ball last year. That player, Ozzie Martinez, is hitting .125/.169/.143 in 56 triple-A at-bats.
That’s pretty close to Randy Johnson’s career line.
You can probably expect Alexei Ramirez to get better. He has over 2400 plate appearances in his (quite consistent) major-league career, and those certainly mean more than the 88 plate appearances this season.
But the other three hitters were already substantial risks. A September surge helped Morel stay away from a historically wretched season. The bizarre decline of Beckham is entering its third year. And Viciedo — still just 23 — made improvements with his plate discipline in his second go-round in the International League, but was still a good bet to be one of the more unpolished hitters in the AL.
The White Sox were right to start them and hope one or two or three of them would figure something out. Even considering how much of a risk all of these players were, no one could have expected them to be this bad. And now the team has no choice but to wear it. The commitment they made to these youngish position players can’t be undone that easily. There isn’t anyone waiting in the wings, even if a change makes sense.
If everything else keeps going as well as it has been, and these four players can improve enough to ape Alex Rios or Juan Pierre’s awful performances last year, the White Sox could jump ahead in the Central race. What’s more likely is some of the surprisingly good starts will regress back to what was expected in the first place, and at least one or two of the hitters featured here will figure something out. When the dust clears, the White Sox still have a chance to contend.
Until then, it’s worth noting the Chicago White Sox have four drunken kazoo players screwing up the entire symphony.
The Cleveland Indiansstill don’t know if Roberto Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, will pitch for them this season – or again.
So while awaiting the outcome to his strange case, the club restructured the right-hander’s contract.
Hernandez, recently cleared of false identity charges in the Dominican Republic, will make $2.5 million as a base salary in 2012 and can earn an additional $2.7 million in performance and roster bonuses. He had been scheduled to make $7 million this season, but the club renegotiated the amount while adding incentives for innings pitched, starts and days on the 25-man roster.
According to contract terms obtained by the AP, Hernandez will receive $200,000 when he reaches 20, 23 and 26 starts and for 150, 170 and 185 innings. In addition, he’ll get $250,000 for 95 days on the roster and then $250,000 for every 15 days up until 165.
The Indians also reduced a $9 million option for 2013 to $6 million, with any bonuses reached in 2012 tacked on. He can earn another $3 million next season in bonuses based on innings pitched.
Hernandez was arrested on Jan. 19 outside the U.S. consulate in Santo Domingo, where officials discovered his name was not Carmona – as the Indians new him as for a decade – and that he was 31 years old and not 28 as the team had believed.
The Dominican government dropped charges against him last month after Hernandez completed a work program in which he met with young players and discouraged them from changing their names to play in the U.S. Hernandez has said he wanted to come forward an reveal his true identity but was “scared to reveal what happened” after other players were caught lying about their names and birthdates.
He applied for a visa to rejoin the Indians, who were forced to make moves in case Hernandez was not allowed to return. It’s not known if Hernandez’s application has been reviewed by U.S. authorities.
Hernandez was also placed on Major League Baseball’s restricted list. As he sorts out his legal entanglement, Carmona has been working out and pitching in the Dominican Republic. The Indians have stayed in touch with him throughout the process and have even videotaped him at their baseball academy in the Dominican to track his progress.
Hernandez, who signed with Cleveland’s organization as a free agent in 2000, has had a tumultuous career with the Indians.
After going 1-10 mostly as a reliever in 2006, he went 19-8 the following season, forming a 1-2 combination with CC Sabathia that helped Cleveland get to the ALCS. Hernandez was on the brink of stardom, but after going 8-7 in 2008, he was sent to the low minor leagues in 2009 to work on his mechanics and psyche.
He bounced back and won 13 games in 2010, and although his record didn’t show it, Hernandez, who started the season opener in 2011, stayed injury free and provided valuable innings while going 7-15 with a 5.25 ERA in 32 starts.
At this point, the Indians can only hope he makes another one.
The Lake County Captains, the class A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, have created a “whale” of an addition to its 2012 food & beverage menu with the introduction of the enormous Moby Dick Fish Sandwich.
The Moby Dick features a 15″ sesame seed hoagie roll, five quarter-pound fish filets, eight slices of cheese, six ounces of clam strips, one-third pound of French fries, one cup of cole slaw, all topped off by gobs of lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and tartar sauce. The price for the sandwich is only $20.
The final product weighs-in at over three pounds and feeds two fans uncomfortably or four fans comfortably. The sandwich, with over 4000 calories and a diet-killing 200 grams of fat, will be available in select locations throughout Classic Park at all Captains home games.
“We wanted to challenge John Klein, our Director of Food & Beverage, to create a signature item for Classic Park and the Captains this season,” explained General Manager Brad Seymour. “I think it is safe to say that John and his staff took that directive to heart in creating this monster sandwich that our fans are either sure to enjoy or run from.”
Individual fans will have the opportunity to take the Moby Dick Challenge and attempt to consume a single Moby Dick sandwich in less than one hour by themselves. Fans wishing to attempt this feat will do so while seated in the Moby Dick Challenge Chair located on the main concourse at Classic Park.
If they are successful, the fans who take part in the Challenge will receive a commemorative t-shirt that they can wear with pride and their photo will be placed on the Champion Eaters bulletin board at Classic Park.
The Moby Dick will swim ashore and be introduced on April 12, the Captains Opening Night of the team’s Tenth Anniversary Season.
Individual game tickets go on sale on Saturday March 24 at 9 AM at the Classic Park box office, online at captainsbaseball.com and by phone at 440-954-WINS (9467). Full season tickets plans, 7-, 12-, 20-, and 35-game mini ticket plans for the 2012 season are on sale now at great prices complete with several exclusive benefits. Information can be found at the Captains website http://www.captainsbaseball.com.