KLEVELAND, Ohio: The Indians were on Monday. Their record is 10-7. In this season with 60 baseball games, it means that the team is already in the quarter-pole. To be precise, 28% of the season is gone. Writings for what we have learned so far:
From team president Chris Antonetti to GM Mike Chernoff to manager Terry Francona to coaching staff, leadership has been strong and firm in the COVID-19 era. The Indians players put together a code of conduct to avoid a virus outbreak in the team. It was embraced by management and implemented.
2. When baseball resumed, Antonetti and Francona both mentioned Tribe can use team self-discipline and unity as an advantage to stay healthy and keep the team from losing games to the virus. Franmil Reyes was kept away from the team for three days when he went to a Fourth of July event without a mask. He did not test positive for the virus, but a message was sent.
3. You can hear the frustration and anger in the voices of some members of the organization when Zach Plesac broke the team rules and went out with friends after Saturday’s game. He was sent home. Now, he will be tested several times for the virus before he can return to the team.
4. Then the youngster was thrown out Monday night that Mike Clevinger was also out when the team was in Chicago. He withdrew from his start on Tuesday night against the Cubs, replaced by Adam Plukto. Like Plesac, it is being quarantined and will have to pass several COVID-19 tests. So the Tribe has two starters on hold, at least for a few days.
5. Indians have disciplined each other, trying to stay away from large groups. They have seen the Cardinals, Marlins and several other teams hit hard and lose games against the virus. The Indians also pointed out to everyone that some members of the organization like Francona and steward Carlos Carrasco have a history of health issues that make them very vulnerable to a severe reaction to the virus.
6. This is why there was so much disappointment with Plesac. This team has strong chemistry. They stress doing things together. They also know what happened to Plesac and his public discipline will serve as positive pressure from colleagues for the rest of the team. Meanwhile, Plesac can certainly recover with the organization with a sincere apology and self-discipline.
7. Francona was out for more than a week with health problems (not viruses). He returns for Tuesday’s game. Antonetti has been very helpful doing some Zoom press conferences in the absence of the manager. This is especially important with bench coach Brad Mills and kick-off coach Ty Van Burkleo also left the team after they opted out of season for personal reasons.
8. One of my favorite baseball people is Sandy Alomar, and he got into the lead with Francona gone. He has worked with the front office and coaching staff adapting to new roles to keep this team handling the disaster.
9. I have heard from some fans that the Indians should put Francisco East back in the lead. I’m sure it was discussed. East is going through a miserable season on the plate, hitting .221 (.671 OPS). Its base percentage is 0.274. He has only four walks compared to 14 strikes. Eastern had been leading the last seasons.
10. The Indians signed second veteran baseman Cesar Hernandez with his idea to leave and Eastern shooting the third. From 2017-19, Eastern averages 34 HR, 86 RBI with an OPS of 0.855. The Indians wanted that power in the No. 3 spot.
11. Hernandez had some success as a top striker with the Phillies earlier in his career. The Indians placed him at the top of the order. He is hitting .305 with a base percentage of .414. This is exactly what you want from a lead guy. This is why I think Indians have no desire to change lineup.
12. Eastern affairs are impatience on the stick. He is rocking in the fields on the ground. He is trying to pull the ball away. In a normal season with 162 games, there would not be much talk about his slow start. But there is nothing normal this year. He is the highest paid player on the team and should be formed on the plate.
13. In case you were wondering, Eastern and Carlos Santana are both ranked paying $ 17.5 million (normal salary) for 2020. But Indians are paying Santana $ 14 million, the rest is taken by other teams in that three trade directions before the 2019 season.
14. Santana is having a weird / disappointing year. He has a base percentage of 451. His 23 walks lead the American League, and his OBP at 451 is No. 2. But he is only fiery .188 with a homer and three RBI. Like Eastern, it’s time for him to start hitting.
15. This is a dirty season for hitters. The average MLB team is filling .231. But even with that low standard, the .196 Tribe average is the worst in baseball. For those who like OPS, they are in miserable condition .610 – 29 out of 30 teams.
16. That said, the Indians are 10-7. Their slide is unlikely to stay in a better MLB ERA 2.05. But their boys can really make the field. Give a lot of credit not only to pitching coach Carl Willis, but also to his assistants Ruben Niebla, Brian Sweeney and Eric Binder. While Binder is enrolled in the baseball operations VP, he specializes in burying, analyzing and putting it all together.
17. Former GM tribe aide Dan O’Dowd told me that Indians have earned a reputation as the best baseball organization for pitcher development. It is a combination of new and old school approaches, along with keen research.
18. Franmil Reyes is a guy who can commit a crime for a while. After hitting .171 in his first 10 games, the Big Man is hitting .348 with a pair of homers and seven RBIs in his last six games. For a time, the teams were walking to Santana to enter the then Reyes. That needs to change now.
19. As for the other Santana – Domingo Santana – he has shown very little: Batting .188 (.678 OPS) with a homer and two RBIs. He has been teamed 11 times in 32 on the stick.
20. Outside the new teams Jordan Luplow and Oscar Mercado are a 6-for-64 (0.093) combined with 19 attacks, four walks and a homer. Bradley Zimmer is only suffering 0.214, but at least he has a percentage above 395 basis. He should remain regular on the outside squad for now. I keep hearing Tyler Naquin will be back from the broken finger. They need it.
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Young Indians Face Masks for Sale: Here you can buy Cleveland Indians themed face masks for coronavirus protection, including a single mask ($ 14.99) and a 3-pack ($ 24.99) ). All proceeds from MLB donated to charity.