Here’s today’s Cleveland Indians Spring Training roundup for March 9th:
*The Tribe took down the Colorado Rockies in an exhibition game Friday by a final score of 8-5. Corey Kluber took the mound for the Indians and pitched 3.2 innings, allowing just one run on two hits while striking out seven batters. Cleveland jumped out to a 6-0 start off of home runs by Yan Gomes and Francisco Mejia and an RBI double by Lonnie Chisenhall. With the win, Kluber improves to 2-0 in spring play and Colorado’s Jon Gray drops to 0-2.
*Shortstops Willi Castro and Yu Chang are heading to Double-A Akron amidst the first roster cuts for the Indians on Friday, reports Cleveland.com’s Paul Hoynes. Both infielders had a nice spring, especially at the dish. Castro batted .308 with one RBI in seven game appearances while Chang posted a .417 batting average with one RBI in nine games appeared in.
Also involved in the first roster cuts were Nellie Rodriguez, Cole Sulser, and Robert Zarate, who were all reassigned to minor league camp.
*A recent tweet by Indians starter Trevor Bauer suggests the MLB was making him remain quiet on Twitter regarding political content after questioning a meeting that the league had encouraging players to speak up.
Just had a meeting encouraging all players to take a stance and be leaders politically. Here’s my stance. I find it disingenuous that @mlb commissioners office would encourage this when they’ve specifically tried to censor me for sharing my opinion on the matter. #RiseUp
— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) March 8, 2018
Bauer has made it clear that he supports the current President of the United States Of America, Donald Trump and also has mentioned in the past that most of the Tribe clubhouse is. He’s never had a problem remaining silent in the past, battling with followers about political beliefs. One might think that added to Bauer’s tweet from Thursday.
*Indians third baseman Yandy Diaz might be on the outside looking in on Opening Day due to the current roster makeup. As Jose Ramirez swings back to third base and Jason Kipnis moves back to second base, Diaz is left in a spot that may see him head down to Columbus due to the logjam of getting him at-bats and innings in the field frequently in Cleveland.
Diaz batted .263 last year in a season that he appeared in 49 games. Diaz platooned third with Giovanny Urshela down the home stretch while Kipnis was injured and showed promise offensively. However, his offense is nowhere close to when he’s in Triple-A Columbus. There, Diaz hit .305 and was darn near unstoppable at the plate.
In an article by MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, Indians manager Terry Francona spoke on the impending decision of whether or not Diaz makes the roster in just under a month’s time:
“We’ll see how it plays out. There’s a lot of factors. There’s a balance there, for sure. Sometimes you think guys are better off going to play for a while. They may be disappointed they get sent down, but getting 200 at-bats, as opposed to sitting – especially in the first part of the season, where you’re kind of struggling to find at-bats for guys, and it’s cold – sometimes they’re better off going to Triple-A and playing. You look at his Triple-A numbers, they’re massive. It’s an interesting bat. Now, we’ve got to get him to the point where he’s reliable.”
*Cleveland has had ticket sales for the regular season available for a week now and fans have made it a point to target the summer Yankees series as well as the August Los Angeles Angels showdown. Those are the most-demanded by fans according to the team, with Opening Day against Kansas City already sold out.
If you’re interested in getting to a game, make sure to do it quickly. Check out this article from earlier today highlighting the top ten best-selling games for the upcoming season.