Tigers fans are holding their collective breaths as top prospect Casey Mize, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft, exited last night’s Double-A start with an apparent injury (link via Evan Woodbery of MLive.com). After a third-inning pitch — a fastball that was clocked at 85-86 mph, per Tom Reisenweber of the Erie Times-News (Twitter link) — catcher Kade Scivicque went to the mound and called out the training staff and skipper Mike Rabelo. Mize departed the game at that point. There’s been no formal update on his condition, though Mike Drago of the Reading Eagle tweets that Mize didn’t have his elbow or shoulder wrapped upon leaving the clubhouse and lifted his own bags onto the team’s bus — none of which seem indicative of a major injury. Presumably, the Tigers will have further updates on Mize in the near future.
Here’s more from the division…
- The Indians are facing an 11-game deficit in the AL Central, and MLB.com’s Jon Morosi suggests that the team won’t act as an aggressive buyer this summer unless it feels there’s a real chance at winning the division. That’s become increasingly clear in recent weeks. As the gap in the AL Central has grown, so too have rumors about the potential availability of coveted pitchers such as Trevor Bauer (controlled through 2020) and Brad Hand (signed through 2021). Morosi notes that Cleveland would be “poised” to listen to offers on that pair, as well as the resurgent Carlos Santana, barring a sudden climb back into the division race. Santana is hitting .286/.406/.530 with 14 homers and more walks (46) than strikeouts (45) through 281 plate appearances in his return to Cleveland. He’s earning $17MM in 2019 and$17.5MM in 2020, though the Mariners are on the hook for $5MM of the salary still owed to him. Santana’s contract also contains a $17.5MM club option, but that’ll be his age-35 campaign.
- Twins righty Michael Pineda used his recent stint on the injured list to focus on the release point on his slider, he tells Dan Hayes of The Athletic (subscription required). “I’m focusing especially on my release point and finishing my pitches, especially my slider, because this is my pitch for swings and misses,” said Pineda. “I love my slider.” As Hayes observes, Pineda’s rediscovered confidence in the pitch was apparent. He threw just five sliders in his final start prior to landing on the injured list before uncorking 26 sliders in yesterday’s win over the Mariners. Manager Rocco Baldelli and pitching coach Wes Johnson both feel that Pineda looked more impressive yesterday, and Johnson spoke of his satisfaction with the incremental improvements in Pineda’s progression back from 2017 Tommy John surgery and 2018 knee surgery. Notably, the right-hander’s velocity was up a couple miles per hour yesterday as well. A revitalized Pineda would only add another weapon to an already strong Twins club. Pineda has a 5.04 ERA in 69 2/3 innings but yielded just one run in 5 2/3 frames on Thursday.
Yes, the Twins are running away with the ALC, but th4 second WC spot is up for grabs. The Red Sox, Rangers, and Indians are the only 3 teams I believe that can compete for that spot, and j honestly dont see the Rangers staying in the race. Cleveland selling clinches the 2nd spot for Boston no matter how they play.
As an Indian fan I don’t see them competing with the Sox for that spot.
You forgot about the Rays. Also, the Athletics (who have the same record as the Indians).
Honestly, the Indians are only 1 game ahead of the White Sox right now and the White Sox have money and prospects. The Indians have a very good bullpen, but they can’t hit at all. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if the Indians finished below Chicago in the standings as I believe Cleveland will begin selling before the All Star Game if they can’t close some of the gap.
Yankees are expected to win the AL East at this point. The Wild Card teams are pretty likely to be the Red Sox and Rays.
“You forgot about the Rays.”
He didn’t forget the Rays. He mentioned ‘the 2nd WC’
id say the Red Sox and the Rays are the teams to beat, though improved rotation health could let the Indians back into the conversation. Rangers dont have the arms to stay in contention.
Don’t count out the A’s
I thought signing Pineda was an interesting move by the Twins. Very limited risk on the contract, with some upside. I think what’s happening right now is really a bit of a worst case scenario, and even this scenario is okay. Pineda is performing well enough, and it seems like he’s improving so the team can’t cut bait, but there’s also not much in the way of surplus value.
Indians need to hold on to Santana. Hopefully they don’t pay Danny Salazar anymore money to not pitch and use those savings for Carlos.
Make available for trade anyone except Santana, Lindor, Mercado, and Roberto Perez. And yes, that includes Jose.
Won’t happen. Santana is having his best season ever. There is no question they trade him to cash in. Look for them to trade Lindor if not before the trade deadline, definitely in the off season as the payroll slash continues.. They would trade Ramirez if they could, but absolutely no trade value. Anyone who has watched the last year can tell he’s completely lost at the plate.
The more I look at them, the clearer it gets the window is closed for Cleveland for the next 2-3 years and their farm system is poor.
Fire sale a la Miami Marlins to commence.
Carlos Santana will absolutely be moved if they can.
Lindor is the perfect rebuilding asset to sell.
Mercado has a little value, I suppose. But a corner outfielder with a league average bat isn’t going to bring a huge haul.
Roberto Perez is a 30 year old catcher with a clear poor hitting track record. There’s nothing in his peripherals to suggest his performance is sustainable this year. Basically, he’s a great pitch framer who’s having a career year under control for 2 more seasons. If the Indians can get a team to bite on the sudden hitting, he will absolutely be moved.
The tribe farm is in the top half of the league and very likely to jump into the top 10 following the draft and progression of the younger players.
Mercado is going nowhere. Lindor likely won’t be traded for another year or so. Robo has more value than you state despite using the term “peripherals” with no supporting data. He no doubt has value on his defense and pitch framing alone, especially considering the dearth of quality catchers within the league.
I agree Cleveland should sell, but not to the extent of the Marlins fire sales. Hand, Bauer, Oliver Perez, Leonys, Santana should all go
Don’t know why anyone would hope the Indians sell off a recent MVP candidate for pennies on the dollar but retain an expensive 33 year old 1B on a career year. Given the budgetary constraints ownership has put on Cleveland there best bet would be clearing out Santana’s salary and praying Jose rebounds. Because if you sell Jose now you’re not getting good value back. If he’s truly no longer that caliber of player you’re screwed either way.
Wahoo What a Finish!
Thank you again to the Dolans for tearing apart a once competitive ball club. Now we get to “rebuild” all while our franchise shortstop is only 2 years away from free agency. Short of Chernoff pulling off an absolute miracle at the trade deadline this franchise is dead in the water. Somehow, the Indians have to trade Hand and Bauer and in return receive players that are ready to produce at the MLB level now… you can’t simply walk away with prospects. You need outfielders that can hit big league pitching and a 3rd baseman not named Jose Ramirez (seriously just about anyone else would be an upgrade).
I really believe CLE needs to trade Ramirez while the general perception is that he has upside. Those of us who have witnessed his slump (which has endured for almost a full year now) don’t honestly expect to see the 2016/2017 version of him ever returning. It’s like having 2 Kipnises in the lineup as if one isn’t more than enough. Trade Hand, Bauer, and Ramirez soon with the intent of reeling in near Major League ready OFs, a 2B, and a 3B. Just eat the rest of Kipnis’ contract to get him off the roster.
Sorry but Ramirez no longer has much value. They could maybe get a few lottery ticket prospects or MAYBE a #5-8 prospects from a teams farm system but they are better off just keeping him since he has a reasonable contract and hope he returns to form and then trade him, or keep him if they are competitive.
I would love for the Indians to trade Ramirez to the White Sox for a couple lottery tickets. I’ll more than happily await the bounce back.
I cringed reading 2 Kipnises in the lineup.
2016/2017 Jose Ramirez returning? Was he not elite in 2018? For Christ sake he put up his best offensive season that year….
He fell off a cliff after July, and he’s still in a free fall. Clearly the league adjusted to him, and he has not made adjustments accordingly. This is more than just a slump. He’s in Chris Davis mode and showing no signs of turning it around.
I doubt you get MLB ready for Bauer. He’s only got one year of control remaining. For Hand, you might get a AAA guy that’s ready to be promoted…
Hand has 2 1/2 years of control. Andrew Miller with 2 1/2 years of control in 2016 netted 2 top 100 prospects and 2 other prospects. Hand is pitching better so far this year than Miller was in 2016. Hand is definitely worth more.
Tearing apart the team? They cut payroll just like Minnesota did and are within a few dollars of each other in overall payroll. Difference? Cleveland has been ravaged by injuries and lack of production from key contributors, so it’s a miracle they are even in the WC race considering all that has gone wrong.
Reports are saying shoulder soreness for Mize, but they won’t know if there’s an structural damage until an MRI. Hoping it’s nothing too bad, because he was looking to be on a fast track to the majors.
It’s certainly good that nothing was wrapped or anything like that and he was carrying his own luggage, but still am a little worried about what happened on the mound. Hopefully it was a muscle spasm or something that won’t make him miss his next start let alone time on the IL.
If his fastball was in the high 80’s and he left the game with an apparent injury, mri or not, serious or not… it seems like a bad idea to have him carry his own luggage. You’d think they’d just have someone take it for him. Or one of his teammates just say “Hey Casey, let me get this one for ya.”
Twins, Yanks, Astros lead their divisions right now. Rays are a close second and top wild card team. Texas, Indians, Red Sox, A’s, White Sox and Angels are all withing 2.5 games of the last wild card. I think right after the all star game, teams are going to decide if they are all in or if they are going to sell.
I would be very surprised, and disappointed, if the A’s decide to make an all-in type move. They’ll probably wait and see what kind of help they can get internally as Puk, Luzardo, Manaea, Holmes, Kaprielian, Jefferies and Cotton come back from injury.
Remember what they gave up to get Andrew Miller. Right now, Hand is better than Miller was when he was with the Yankees. We should be asking for the same kind of package. Bauer should gather a nice haul, too. May have to take less from someone who can take Kip and his salary, though.
I’d trade ‘Los, also. He’s hitting to the opposite field and having his best year maybe ever. Sell high on him. $18M for him next year and blocking Bobby Bradley is way too much.
They can re-stock on the fly and be ready to contend again next year. Unfortunately, no one will have much more time to “enjoy Frankie”. He’ll get traded this winter.
I see nothing happening until after the All Star break. They don’t want the “rebuild” sign out during the All Star festivities.
If you are trading Hand, Bauer and Santana then you are giving up on this season and there is no reason to try to attach Kipnis to any of it. Kipnis is already a sunk cost and all it does is hurt your return on the trade to clear some money this year. That money obviously wouldn’t be put into this years team and would not be held over for next year either. Might as well just either ride out the rest of the year or release him and let someone you think could have a future with the team play.
Also Santana isn’t blocking Bradley. With the way the lineup is he could easily be called up to be the everyday DH or play 1st with with Santana sliding to DH and Bauers either being sent down or becoming a full time outfielder.
I expect Cleveland will be giving up on the next 2-3 seasons. Not just this one.
Sure, yeah, you’re right…just become the Royals and Tigers for no good reason. You have no insight into the Cleveland Indians situation whatsoever.
Was typing “‘Los” faster than typing Carlos?
Any Indians fans want to explain how Ramirez has fallen so much in the last year? He’s gone from MVP candidate to posting DFA candidate numbers
He fell in love with the home run aspect of his game — every time he came close to a desired level (ie 40 homeruns) he’d over swing and completely sink his average. I don’t think it’s ever coming back. I also don’t think it’s too much of a coincidence that his production dropped when they asked him to move to second after they acquired Donaldson
Ironically his defense at 3rd has been horrible this year, 2nd is his best position. The scouting report is out on him and teams know how to pitch him yet the Tribe hitting coach does nothing to fix him. Send him all the way to Goodyear to break down everything and totally rebuild it. He has an option left and if he doesn’t fix it ASAP it wouldn’t matter anyway in future years. But if they do it now he may be back in time for the pennant chase.
Wish I had your optimism on him, but I don’t think tearing it down will help. I don’t think all the king’s horses and all the king’s men can put Humpty Ramirez back together again
What’s the alternative? Watch a guy struggle to even hit .200 and have zero value of use or trade, or try and recoup something out of him by trying to break it down and build back up? He’s chasing bad pitches which puts him behind in the count and then makes him vulnerable to chasing more bad pitches because the pitcher is ahead and can waste a few.
He’s just having a rough year. He’s not barreling up balls or driving the fly balls. He’s pounding his hard hits into the ground right now. I expect he’ll come around, but the Indians don’t need that from him right away. They have enough team control where they’re not going to sell low.
What does Mize have left to prove in Double A?
Double AA is where teams keep their talent.
This is sort of true. AAA is where signed to minor league deal depth players go. And the bullpen arms that you shuttle back and forth
Mize was just working on location. Sprinkling salt and pepper on that strike zone with finesse….
I think the Indians should trade a couple players, such as Bauer, and get some good MLB ready prospects that could contribute next season. Then actually spend and get good players in free agency, and contend for the next several years (which I think they can definitely do). They are still in the playoff hunt even with their injuries so I still think they can turn their future around.
FINALLY. Someone who gets it. Those who think the Indians should just sell off everything not nailed to the floor are nuts. When you have a starting rotation like theirs (and plenty of depth) you are ALWAYS a contender, regardless of the everyday lineup. Is this team a challenge to figure out? Sure, but a lot more has gone wrong than right this year, and much of it can turn around. And the minors are about to yield further help soon. The Twins are very good, but they’re not THIS good.
I agree 100% Avory!
The Indians front office completely blew this season. They sat on their hands during the off season and did nothing to improve clear areas of weakness – the outfield especially, and seemingly relied on every other team in the central being poor.
Kudos to the Twins for putting wins together and showing the Indians that their complacency has no place in the Majors.
Amazing how everyone wants to trash the Tribe and give kudos to Minny for doing similar things. The Tribe and Twinkies both cut substantial payroll last offseason and are only a few thousands apart in total payroll. The difference lies in the Twins staying healthy and the Indians sustaining numerous injuries and having no contributions from guys that should b3 producing (notably Kipnis and Ramirez). The Tribe were active last off-season to shuffle things around without taking on payroll and did fantastic with their deals for Santana and Gomes. Perez has done so much better than Gomes and the players they got back with be good additions to Cleveland for years.
Excellent post, Hammer. It’s a sign of lazy analysis to berate the Tribe’s off-season without taking into account injuries and other moves that were tremendously successful (Gomes deal, rebuilding the bullpen, getting back Santana for two years at an affordable price, getting Jordan Luplow for peanuts, acquiring Mercado late last year). No one could foresee some of the injury or performance problems the Tribe has encountered and certainly no one had the Twins vying for the best record in baseball. All these so-called experts had the Twins up by 11 games even though the Tribe had a winning record? Yeah, right. Sure the Tribe overestimated what Leonys Martin would give them and never expected Greg Allen to crater like he did or that Bradley Zimmer would give his brother a run for his money as an IL guy, but there were reasonable expectations for a ton of players on this team who haven’t played anywhere near up to what was expected. But if regression occurs as the season goes on, look out!
I kind of stole that from Terry Pluto who had an article last week:
“A LOOK AT PAYROLL
Here are two payroll numbers:
$119,651,933 . . . down 7 percent from 2018.
$119,575,032 . . . down 11 percent from 2018.
The first numbers belong to the Twins.
The second numbers belong to the Indians.
That’s right, both teams are spending nearly the same amount of money. And yes, both team’s actually cut their payrolls from a year ago, according to Cot’s Contracts and Baseball Prospectus.
Finally, both teams made those moves entering the season believing they could win the Central Division.
So let’s not pretend the Twins went on a sudden spending spree to ambush the Indians.
The Twins had two significant free agent additions, neither for huge dollars:
Marwin Gonzalez: $21 million over two years.
Nelson Cruz: $14 million for one season.
Their success has come from claiming a player such as C.J. Cron on waivers, and watching him hit 13 home runs. And it comes from many of their younger players improving.
Bad luck and injuries have led to the Tribe’s disappointing early season – it’s the primary reason.
But the Twins front office led by former Tribe executive Derek Falvey had a better off-season than the Tribe. They have also been more fortunate in terms of injuries.
For the Indians, the signals from all the smoke over the injuries deliver a clear message:
Hit the rebuild button. Make a good trade with Bauer as the primary attraction to bring in good young players.
Keep trying out the young outfielders. Bring up Bobby Bradley from Class AAA Columbus, where the 23-year-old first baseman was the International League Player of the Month for May.
Bradley is batting .282 (.942 OPS) with 16 home runs and 45 RBI. But an alarming stat is 74 strikeouts in 202 at bats. If he is striking out once every three plate appearances in Class AAA, the Indians will have to be very patient with him once he arrives in Cleveland.
This has been a season where so much has gone right for Minnesota, and nearly everything has gone wrong for the Tribe. It’s not just a matter of dollars and cents.”
The Twins cleared money off of overpaid expiring deals and improved their team with additions. That wasn’t exactly the case in Cleveland. If you want to say the payroll slashing moves were good ones hey that’s fine, how about reinvesting that into the OF or DH? If you thought this Indians outfield was going to perform you were fooling yourself. This OF looked like a joke this offseason and it’s absolutely continued to be one. Injuries and Jose Ramirez struggling have been the surprise but this was a team built with obvious holes. As is evident by how many well below league average guys batting in that lineup.
The OF didn’t have to all be Silver Sluggers if they got what was expected out of Martin/Allen/Naquin/Zimmer, with some contributions from Luplow and Bauers; they would’ve been picked up by Ramirez and Kipnis, but the Tribe has gotten absolutely nothing out of those guys. Lindor and Santana can’t continue to do it all. Teams with limited budgets are going to have holes, you can’t have All Stars at every position. All offseason we heard how horrible the bullpen, OF and Perez we’re going to be. Somehow we don’t hear about Perez/Gomes or the bullpen anymore, you can’t win ‘em all.
Throw reason at the Bitter Cleveland Fan wall…does it ever stick? Nah, not ever..
Another fine post, Hammer. Keep preaching, maybe you’ll reach some lost soul wandering the mean streets of Carnegie and Ontario…
Guaranteed the Indians aren’t sellers of Hand. Bauer, maybe, but unlikely. They’ll be fine. Twins regression is coming. Watch their schedule as it gets harder.
If their closer in waiting wasn’t hurt I could see them moving Hand. But you never know what sort of offers get thrown out there so they need to listen to all offers on Bauer and Hand. London won’t be dealt this year and I also don’t see Santana moving either.
Lol i didnt even think of Salazar as the closer. I didnt want to trade hand but now i do. We will get a package similar to what the Yankees got from us for miller. 2 top 100 mlb prospects plus 2 others. I hope him and bauer get traded before to long and then keep everyone else. Maybe call the nationals and see if rendon is available and what it would cost so they can move jose to second