Zach Mc Jadeveon Clowney South Carolina Jersey Allister struggling with mechanics

CLEVELAND — Something small within a pitcher’s mechanics can have a significant impact on his offerings. Indians reliever Zach McAllister and bullpen coach Scott Atchison have been working to identify what has been behind the increased horizontal movement on the right-hander’s fastball.

The working theory is that this change in McAllister’s fastball might be one of the causes for what has been a rough first month for the reliever. His velocity and direction to the plate — two key components for the right-hander — are fine at the moment. It has been something earlier in his delivery that could be creating a ripple effect in the pitch’s path to the plate.

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CLEVELAND — Something small within a pitcher’s mechanics can have a significant impact on his offerings. Indians reliever Zach McAllister and bullpen coach Scott Atchison have been working to identify what has been behind the increased horizontal movement on the right-hander’s fastball.

The working theory is that this change in McAllister’s fastball might be one of the causes for what has been a rough first month for the reliever. His velocity and direction to the plate — two key components for the right-hander — are fine at the moment. It has been something earlier in his delivery that could be creating a ripple effect in the pitch’s path to the plate.

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“Atch and them mentioned that I’m getting a little tilt too early,” McAllister explained before Sunday’s series finale against the Mariners. “So, I’m getting that tilt over the rubber instead of coming down the slope with it.”

The results have not been pretty. After allowing five runs in the fourth inning of Saturday’s 12-4 loss to the Mariners, McAllister’s season ERA climbed to 10.38 in 8 2/3 innings. The big right-hander had only three strikeouts through his 11 appearances. It has been a drastic dropoff from last year, when McAllister turned in a 2.61 ERA with 66 strikeouts in 62 innings for Cleveland.

Tweet from @MLBastian: McAllister’s velocity is where it should be (94.2 mph avg. now, 94.1 mph avg. in April ’17). One factor in fastball getting hit is more run (-8.64 horiz movement this year vs. -7.46 in ’17). Said they found he’s been tilting a little early in his delivery. pic.twitter.com/bOGiVhrGQb

While McAllister is working to correct the flaw in his mechanics, he is also staying focused on the positives within his outings.

Per Statcast™, he has averaged 94.2 mph on his fastball, compared to 94.1 mph in April of last year. McAllister has thrown 51.2 percent of his pitches in the strike zone — right in the range of his 2017 showing (52.7). His walk rate (6.1 percent) is below his career rate (8.0 percent), while his first-pitch strike rate and overall strike percentage have been better than his career norms.

“One thing that makes it a little better to swallow is the fact that I’m happy with where my stuff is,” McAllister said. “If my stuff was down, if I wasn’t throwing hard and my breaking ball was terrible, it’d be easy to be like, ‘OK, this is why I’m not doing well.’ And that makes it a little challenging sometimes, because when your stuff is good and you’re not getting results, that’s frustrating.”

Fortunately, McAllister and Atchison believe they may have found a contributing factor for the inconsistent fastball command and movement.

“There’s been a little more run instead of ride, I guess, would be the way to put it,” Atchison said. “Other than that, the [velocity] is normal. The breaking ball’s in a pretty good spot. It’s just some execution on some pitches and we’re kind of trying to find a way to get him on a roll.”

Plutko’s perfection
Indians pitching prospect Adam Plutko carried a perfect game into the eighth inning for Triple-A Columbus on Saturday, but was pulled after 7 2/3 innings and 95 pitches. Plutko, who finished with six strikeouts in the win over Indianapolis, has a 2.35 ERA with 25 strikeouts against seven walks in 30 2/3 innings to date this season.

“They said he was really commanding his fastball,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “So far, that’s been the biggest difference with him. It’s been command. I think his velocity is negligible — maybe up a little bit. But, he’s really been commanding. That’s good. That’s exciting to see.”

Plutko is on Cleveland’s 40-man roster and is a candidate to make a spot start on Thursday in the Indians’ doubleheader against the Blue Jays at Progressive Field.

• Right-hander Carlos Carrasco tripped on the dugout steps and jarred his back during his start on Saturday. Francona said Sunday morning that the training and medical staff feel “pretty strongly” that Carrasco will be able to make his next scheduled start on Thursday.

• Second baseman Jason Kipnis received a scheduled day off from starting for Sunday’s game against Seattle. Utility man Erik Gonzalez got the nod at second in Kipnis’ place.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Re Jadeveon Clowney South Carolina Jersey ad his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.


Cleveland Indians,
Zach McAllister

Sunday’s top performers led by Pe Jadeveon Clowney South Carolina Jersey ter Alonso

Here’s MLB Pipeline‘s roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Sunday.

Make no doubt about it: Peter Alonso is locked in at the plate.

Here’s MLB Pipeline‘s roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Sunday.

Make no doubt about it: Peter Alonso is locked in at the plate.

Alonso, the Mets’ No. 4 prospect, homered for a fourth straight game Sunday to help power Double-A Binghamton past Erie, 6-4, in 10 innings. He paced the Rumble Ponies’ offense in both hits and runs, tallying three apiece in the win.

In addition to his home-run streak, Alonso now has hit safely in seven straight games. He owns a robust .577 batting average over that stretch, during which he leads all Minor Leaguers in hits (15), home runs (4), total bases (29), slugging (1.115) and OPS (1.792).

Watch: Al Jadeveon Clowney Jersey onso homers again

The Mets’ second-round pick in the 2016 Draft, Alonso showcased his offensive potential in his first full season in ’17 by hitting .289/.359/.524 with 18 home runs across 93 games and two levels despite missing six weeks with a broken left hand. And if his start to ’18 is any indication of what’s to come, the 23-year-old first baseman should have no trouble surpassing those numbers.

Through 20 games, Alonso is leading the Eastern League in all three triple-slash categories, at .403/.500/.778. He’s also pacing the circuit in hits (29), home runs (seven) and total bases (56), and he ranks second in RBIs (18), walks (14).

Overall, Alonso’s 1.278 OPS is second-best among all Minor Leaguers.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects in Sunday’s action:

No. 4 overall prospect Eloy Jimenez (White Sox No. 1) extended his RBI streak to six games behind his second home run in as many games for Double-A Birmingham. The homer, a three-run shot in the fifth inning, gives the 21-year-old outfielder four long balls and 14 RBIs in 11 games this season.

Watch: Jimenez blasts three-run shot

No. 16 overall prospect Kyle Tucker (Astros’ No. 2) posted three hits, three runs and three RBIs to help lead Triple-A Fresno past Tacoma, 11-5. A pair of those hits went for extra bases, as the 21-year-old outfielder doubled early in the contest before connecting on a two-run home run in the eighth inning. Tucker is hitting .273 on the season, with two homers, seven doubles and 14 RBIs in 21 games.

Video: Top Prospects: Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros

No. 57 overall prospect Alex Faedo (Tigers’ No. 3) was solid for Class A Advanced Lakeland, tossing six innings of three-hit ball in a no-decision against Florida. The 2017 first-rounder allowed three runs (one earned) in the outing while compiling three walks and four strikeouts and throwing 63 of his 94 pitches for strikes. Faedo posted a 2.48 ERA over 29 innings (five starts), with 25 strikeouts, four walks and a .175 opponents’ average in his first month as a professional.

Video: Top Prospects: Alex Faedo, RHP, Tigers

A’s No. 5 prospect Dustin Fowler finished a single short of hitting for the cycle in Triple-A Nashville’s win over New Orleans. The 23-year-old outfielder began his quest for the cycle with a fourth-inning triple before he added a double in the subsequent frame. Fowler then connected on a two-run homer, his second of the season, in the seventh. He also scored three runs, finishing 3-for-5, while Franklin Barreto (No. 64 overall, A’s No. 3) and Jorge Mateo (No. 71 overall, A’s No. 4) both tallied an extra-base hit in their respective two-hit efforts.

Video: Top Prospects: Dustin Fowler, OF, A’s

Blue Jays’ No. 6 prospect Danny Jansen launched a solo shot, his second homer of the season, and went 2-for-2, leading Triple-A Buffalo past Pawtucket, 2-0. The multi-hit  Jadeveon Clowney Jersey performance was Jansen’s second this year and first since going 4-for-4 on Opening Day. The 23-year-old backstop is slashing .310/.420/.524 through 12 games.

Watch: Jansen’s home run

Braves’ No. 20 prospect Derian Cruz and Isranel Wilson (No. 22) both connected on their second home run of the season and collected multiple hits in Class A Rome’s win over Hagerstown. Cruz paced the offense out of the leadoff spot, going 3-for-5 with two runs and three RBIs, while Wilson enjoyed a two-hit, two-run game from the bottom of the order.

D-backs’ No. 6 prospect Daulton Varsho belted his third home run, a two-run shot, and collected a season-high three hits in Class A Advanced Visalia’s win over Inland Empire. The 21-year-old backstop also scored three runs and fell a triple short of hitting for the cycle in the contest.

Video: Top Prospects: Daulton Varsho, C, D-backs

Dodgers’ No. 5 prospect Yusniel Diaz‘s big day at the plate proved to be the difference in Double-A Tulsa’s 3-2 win against Northwest Arkansas. He put the Drillers on the board with his second home run of the year, a second-inning solo shot, and went on to collect two more hits to finish 3-for-3 with a walk and a team-high two runs. The 21-year-old outfielder has swung a hot bat in the early going, slashing .400/.500/.700 with four extra-base hits and more walks (six) than strikeouts (five). On the mound, right-hander Caleb Ferguson (No. 16) allowed two unearned runs in six innings to lower his Texas League-leading ERA to 0.42. He struck out six in the outing, giving him 26 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings (five starts).

Video: Top Prospects: Yusniel Diaz, OF, Dodgers

Indians’ No. 10 prospect Aaron Civale allowed just one hit over seven scoreless innings in a dominant outing for Double-A Akron. Throwing 66 of his 81 pitches for strikes, Civale struck out seven batters and generated another five outs on the ground. The 22-year-old right-hander owns a 2.22 ERA overall, with 27 strikeouts and four walks in 28 1/3 innings (five starts).

Video: Top Prospects: Aaron Civale, RHP, Indians

Padres’ No. 8 prospect Logan Allen fired seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out six in Double-A San Antonio’s win over Midland. The 20-year-old southpaw threw 71 of his season-high 101 pitches for strikes in the outing, as he won for the third time in five starts. Fernando Tatis (Padres’ No. 1, No. 8 overall), Josh Naylor (No. 15) and Austin Allen (No. 28) each hit a double in the victory. Allen led the offense with three two-baggers as part of a 4-for-4, three-RBI game.

Watch: Allen goes yard

• Seuly Matias and MJ Melendez, the Royals’ No. 3 and No. 4 prospects, respectively, hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning of Class A Lexington’s win against West Virginia. Matias’ homer, a solo shot, gives him seven on the season as well as a share of the South Atlantic League lead. Melendez, who finished 2-for-5 with a team-high two runs, pushed his home run total to three.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Josh Tomlin struggles in loss to Mari Jadeveon Clowney South Carolina Jersey ners

CLEVELAND — Josh Tomlin has been unable to shake the struggles that have consumed the first month of his season. The Indians’ starter had flashes of finding his rhythm on Sunday, but the troubles of his previous trips to the mound returned in swift and damaging fashion.

In a 10-4 loss to the Mariners, Tomlin surrendered six runs and a pair of home runs, sending Cleveland to its third loss in the four-game set with Seattle. It marked the third time in four starts this season that the right-hander gave up at least five runs and made Tomlin the first Major League pitcher to yield 10 home runs this season.

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CLEVELAND — Josh Tomlin has been unable to shake the struggles that have consumed the first mo Men’s Nike Houston Texans Jadeveon Clowney Elite Vapor Untouchable Color Rush Navy Blue Jersey nth of his season. The Indians’ starter had flashes of finding his rhythm on Sunday, but the troubles of his previous trips to the mound returned in swift and damaging fashion.

In a 10-4 loss to the Mariners, Tomlin surrendered six runs and a pair of home runs, sending Cleveland to its third loss in the four-game set with Seattle. It marked the third time in four starts this season that the right-hander gave up at least five runs and made Tomlin the first Major League pitcher to yield 10 home runs this season.

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Indians manager Terry Francona continues to trust, and hope, that Tomlin will sort things out.

“If you run too quick from guys, you don’t get the rewards,” Francona said. “Now I understand, at some point, maybe you make changes. But I think if you rush to do that, you can make some mistakes.”

Video: SEA@CLE: Francona on Tomlin, bullpen’s rough day

There are a few factors behind Cleveland sticking by Tomlin as its fifth starter.

First, the Indians have been down this road before with Tomlin, who is the longest-tenured player in the organization. Last year, the righty posted an 8.87 ERA in five April starts, but then straightened things out the rest of the way. In the 21 starts that followed that rough stretch, Tomlin turned in a 4.21 ERA. Over his final 10 outings, he went 6-0 with a 3.11 ERA.

Another issue is a lack of depth behind the Major League rotation. Right-hander Danny Salazar (right shoulder) and lefty Ryan Merritt (left knee) are on the disabled list and remain in extended Spring Training. Cody Anderson is still going through a comeback from Tommy John surgery and is unlikely to be ready until midseason.

Two potential options are pitching prospects Adam Plutko and Shane Bieber, and it is possible one gets the call to start one of the games in Thursday’s doubleheader against the Blue Jays. Plutko logged 7 2/3 perfect innings for Triple-A Columbus on Saturday and has a 2.35 ERA in five starts. Bieber (not on the 40-man roster) has a 1.16 ERA with 30 strikeouts and only one walk in 31 innings for Double-A Akron.

For now, it appears Tomlin will get the opportunity to fix what is ailing him on the hill.

“The one thing you always know is, he’s not going to give up,” Francona said. “He beared down and got us to the point where it was manageable. It didn’t work out like we wanted it to, but at least it was manageable.”

The Indians’ lone breakthrough against Mariners starter Marco Gonzales was a two-run homer off the bat of Brandon Guyer in the second.

Video: SEA@CLE: Guyer lifts a 2-run homer off Gonzales

With the loss, Tomlin dropped to 0-4 with a 9.16 ERA through five appearances on the season. In 18 2/3 innings, Tomlin has given up 20 runs (19 earned) on 32 hits with an average of 4.8 homers per nine innings. For comparison, Cleveland’s other four starters have gone 12-4 with a 2.54 ERA and 0.8 home runs per nine innings in 148 2/3 frames combined.

“[You] try to fix it as quick as you can just to try to give your team a chance to win,” Tomlin said. “I’m not trying to come up with some magical formula to go eight or nine innings [or pitch a] shutout every single time. It’s just the ability to keep the team in the game for as long as I can.

“And then, once those adjustments are made and it comes back and it feels good again, then hopefully you kind of get on a run and you can kind of repeat that day in and day out.”

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Five-run second: The bulk of the damage against Tomlin came via four consecutive hits with two outs in the second inning, which included a two-run jack by Robinson Cano. Tomlin later yielded a solo shot to Ryon Healy (one of his two homers in the game) in the sixth. In the action in between the Cano and Healy home runs, Tomlin held Seattle to a 2-for-14 showing and felt he corrected some mechanical issues. When he pores over the outing, the pitcher said that will be his area of concentration.

Video: SEA@CLE: Cano belts his 100th home run as a Mariner

“I’m going to try and come back and look at it tomorrow and take the positives out of it,” Tomlin said. “And that’s it. Try to stop looking at all the things that have been going wrong in the past couple of starts, past three starts or whatever it’s been, and try to take the positive out of it.”

Bullpen falters late: After the Indians’ offense trimmed Seattle’s lead to two runs in the seventh, the Tribe bullpen allowed four runs over the final two frames. Healy highlighted a three-run eighth with a homer off Nick Goody and Mitch Haniger added a solo shot off Zach McAllister in the ninth. That gave the Mariners 10 home runs in the past three games in Cleveland.

Video: SEA@CLE: Haniger cranks a solo HR, his 10th of 2018

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
With two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh, Jose Ramirez drove a pitch from reliever James Pazos deep to left with an exit velocity of 108.2 mph. Left fielder Ben Gamel sprinted to his right and made what looked like an impressive diving catch to halt Cleveland’s rally. Upon closer inspection, the ball popped out of Gamel’s glove when he hit the ground, and the out call was overturned following a replay review. The result was a two-run double for Ramirez, but that is where the Tribe’s push ended.

Video: SEA@CLE: Ramirez 2-run double stands after review

Francisco Lindor tried to score from first on the play, but was sent back to third following the overturned call. Francona discussed that decision with crew chief Mark Wegner, who noted that the placement of the runners was made by the officials at the replay center in New York.

“I just told him that I think we may  Jadeveon Clowney Jersey have got penalized a run because an umpire was a little quick on the call,” Francona said. “The kid out there knows he didn’t catch it and [third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh] was bringing Frankie all the way. It was hard to understand why we would lose a run there.” More >

SOUND SMART
The Indians allowed four home runs on Sunday, marking the second straight game in which the Mariners belted that many homers. It marked the first time since Oct. 3-4, 2009, against the Red Sox that Cleveland pitching allowed at least four homers in consecutive games. That has only happened six times for the Indians against a single opponent, dating back to 1908.

UP NEXT
Right-hander Trevor Bauer (2-2, 2.41 ERA) will look to keep his strong start to the season going on Monday when he throws opposite Cole Hamels (1-4, 4.41 ERA) for the Indians’ series opener vs. the Rangers at 6:10 p.m. ET at Progressive Field. Bauer is 12-5 with a 3.54 ERA in 20 home starts over the 2017-18 seasons.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.


Cleveland Indians

Ben Gamel almost makes catch on Jadeveon Clowney South Carolina Jersey Jose Ramirez

CLEVELAND — Ben Gamel made what looked like a game-saving, diving catch in the seventh inning of Sunday’s 10-4 Mariners win against the Indians, but the loud reaction from the Cleveland fans in Progressive Field’s left-field bleachers said otherwise. The ball had popped out of Gamel’s glove.

With the bases loaded and Seattle holding a 6-2 lead, Jose Ramirez lined a pitch from Mariners lefty James Pazos to deep left field. Gamel sprinted to his right — covering 51 feet in 3.7 seconds, per Statcast™ — before using an all-out dive to snare the baseball before it hit the grass. As Gamel slammed to the ground, though, the ball slipped out of his glove.

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 Jadeveon Clowney South Carolina Jersey 

CLEVELAND — Ben Gamel made what looked like a game-saving, diving catch in the seventh inning of Sunday’s 10-4 Mariners win against the Indians, but the loud reaction from the Cleveland fans in Progressive Field’s left-field bleachers said otherwise. The ball had popped out of Gamel’s glove.

With the bases loaded and Seattle holding a 6-2 lead, Jose Ramirez lined a pitch from Mariners lefty James Pazos to deep left field. Gamel sprinted to his right — covering 51 feet in 3.7 seconds, per Statcast™ — before using an all-out dive to snare the baseball before it hit the grass. As Gamel slammed to the ground, though, the ball slipped out of his glove.

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“He almost made an unbelievable play there,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said.

Gamel quickly collected the baseball in his glove as he rolled over, shifted to his feet and went to throw the ball in. That was when Gamel realized the play was ruled an inning-ending out, as runners continued to cross home plate for the Tribe. The left fielder began to jog off the field, but the Indians quickly challenged the call, while a replay on the scoreboard clearly showed the baseball coming free from Gamel’s glove.

“I didn’t really know what to do,” Gamel said. “I caught it and went to the ground and slid and it came out at the very end of my slide. I just picked it up real quick. I got up to throw and the umpire called out, so I wasn’t going to challenge it.”

Based on Gamel’s initial reaction, Indians manager Terry Francona figured the left fielder did not complete the play.

“I thought the way he reacted looked peculiar,” Francona said.

Following a replay review lasting two minutes and 19 seconds, the out was overturned, Ramirez was rewarded with a two-run double and Francisco Lindor — who sprinted home from first on the play — was sent back to third. Francona argued with third-base umpire Mark Wegner about Lindor’s placement, but was told that aspect of the ruling came down from the Men’s Nike Houston Texans Jadeveon Clowney Elite Vapor Untouchable Color Rush Navy Blue Jersey  replay center in New York.

“I just told him that I think we may have got penalized a run because an umpire was a little quick on the call,” Francona said. “The kid out there knows he didn’t catch it and [third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh] was bringing Frankie all the way. It was hard to understand why we would lose a run there.”

Sarbaugh also felt Lindor should have been credited with a run.

“I felt Frankie would’ve scored. I thought it should’ve been 6-5. I guess they didn’t feel that way,” Sarbaugh said. “[Lindor] was pretty close to third and he was picking the ball up and just getting off the ground. I felt good about scoring there. He had a good jump and he went back a ways and dove for the ball. I felt like we had a good chance to score three there.”

“The replay official determines the placement of the runners.” Wegner told a pool reporter. “They have all the video that they look at, including an overhead camera that sees everything.”

Once play resumed, Pazos induced an inning-ending groundout off the bat of Michael Brantley, preserving Seattle’s 6-4 lead. The Mariners then responded with four runs over the final two innings to more than make up for the runs scored on the play.

Video: SEA@CLE: Pazos snares a Brantley grounder to end 7th

“Weird play with the umpire calling him out,” Servais said. “But, thankfully for us, Pazos regrouped and got the big out against Brantley to get us off the field and put our offense back to work.”

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.


Cleveland Indians,
Jose Ramirez

Indians h Deshaun Watson Women’s Jersey it 5 homers to back Corey Kluber

CLEVELAND — The Progressive Field crowd unleashed a chorus of boos when Indians manager Terry Francona emerged from the dugout in the ninth inning Friday night. Corey Kluber sat one out away from a complete game and his audience wanted to see the feat to fruition.

Following the Tribe’s 6-5 victory over the Mariners, Kluber smirked when asked if he thought about waving Francona off.

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CLEVELAND — The Progressive Field crowd unleashed a chorus of boos when Indians manager Terry Francona emerged from the dugout in the ninth inning Friday night. Corey Kluber sat one out away from a complete game and his audience wanted to see the feat to fruition.

Following the Tribe’s 6-5 victory over the Mariners, Kluber smirked when asked if he thought about waving Francona off.

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“No,” Kluber replied. “I was pretty gassed at that point.”

Kluber had done his part, pitching into the ninth and piling up 10 strikeouts in another impressive performance for the reigning American League Cy Young winner. Cleveland’s lineup did its part as well, launching a quintet of home runs that not only backed the ace, but withstood a late rally by Seattle.

Video: SEA@CLE: Indians slug three solo home runs in the 1st

After Kluber walked off to a standing ovation from the home faithful, Indians closer Cody Allen flinched, giving up runs for the first time this season. He allowed a double to Mitch Haniger and then a three-run homer to Mike Zunino, but gathered himself and retired Ben Gamel to put the finishing touch on the victory.

It turned out that all five home runs belted by the Tribe were necessary.

“It’s kind of funny,” Indians catcher Yan Gomes said. “I think a couple days ago people were saying that we only get our runs off home runs. I’ll take five solo shots all day, man. You could say it’s our offense warming up. I think we’re dangerous at any time. When we start off the game like that, things are bound to go our way.”

Video: SEA@CLE: Francona on Kluber, Lindor in win

Francisco Lindor got the Tribe’s power display going with a leadoff shot against Seattle righty Erasmo Ramirez in the first inning. Michael Brantley and Edwin Encarnacion later added back-to-back home runs in the frame, representing the first time since 2016 that Cleveland had three homers in a first inning.

Brantley, who finished a double shy of a cycle, chipped in a sacrifice fly in the third to give the Indians a 4-0 lead.

“Brantley, the way he’s swinging it lately,” Lindor said, “the way he has always swung it, this is extremely important.”

Video: SEA@CLE: Brantley laces a triple to left-center

Cleveland’s onslaught continued against Ramirez in the sixth inning, when Yonder Alonso and Gomes belted back-to-back homers as well. With their shots, Cleveland had its first game with at least five players going deep since April 30, 2013, against the Phillies, when six players had at least one homer.

Kluber’s first misstep arrived in the seventh inning, when he issued a one-out walk to Kyle Seager before surrendering Haniger’s ninth home run of the season. Kluber settled back in from there, logging 8 2/3 innings and ending the night with a 2.18 ERA on the season.

The offensive outpouring helped Kluber settle into cruise control for most of the night.

“Obviously, when the first time up the offense puts three on the board,” Kluber said, “and they keep adding to it, it definitely makes your job easier. You have a cushion to work with. If you do make a mistake like I did to Haniger, it’s not as big a deal when you’ve got a six-run lead.”

With Haniger looming again in the ninth, and Kluber sitting at 116 pitches, Francona chose common sense over heart.

“Of course I wanted to leave him in,” Francona said.

Video: SEA@CLE: Allen retires Gamel to seal Indians’ 6-5 win

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Lindor’s leadoff shot: During an eight-pitch battle to open the first inning, Lindor saw Ramirez’s two-seamer, four-seamer, cutter, changeup and slider. The Indians shortstop ended the at-bat by lifting a 2-2 fastball over right-center field, where it just cleared the wall. The blast, which was Lindor’s fifth career leadoff shot, ignited Cleveland’s five-homer outburst.

“Ramirez showed me every pitch. Guys benefit from it,” Lindor said. “It seems like the more pitches the  Men’s Nike Houston Texans 4 Deshaun Watson Elite Alternate Red Jersey Sale leadoff guy can see, the better it is for the team. That’s why I wanted to do that. I wanted to help my team win, and it was a good way to start today.”

Video: SEA@CLE: Lindor hits leadoff homer to right-center

Back-to-back, again: Ramirez’s outing came to an abrupt close in the sixth inning, when Alonso and Gomes opened the frame by connecting for consecutive homers off the righty. It marked the first time since June 7, 2009, that the Indians launched back-to-back home runs twice within the same game.

Video: SEA@CLE: Gomes goes back-to-back with Alonso

SOUND SMART
Ramirez became the first starting pitcher to allow at least five home runs against Cleveland since May 26, 1995, when Pat Hentgen was on the wrong end of that feat for the Blue Jays. In that game 23 years ago, Manny Ramirez (two), Paul Sorrento (two) and Omar Vizquel each went deep against Hentgen.

HE SAID IT
“He’s just turning into an elite pitcher, because it’s not every day that he’s got his best stuff, but he’s still able to get through it. That takes a little bit more than just having good stuff out there. I think we’ve seen some guys that have that really good stuff still get beat around a little bit. But when he doesn’t have it, he still has a way of turning into another gear.” — Gomes,  Deshaun Watson Jersey on Kluber

“He’s got some amazing stuff. The command is just the icing on the cake when you’ve got that good of stuff. It just proves why he’s one of the best in the game. To keep a lineup like this down is impressive.” — Zunino, on Kluber

UP NEXT
Right-hander Carlos Carrasco (4-0, 2.31 ERA) will look to continue his strong start to the season on Saturday, when the Indians host the Mariners in a 4:10 p.m. ET tilt at Progressive Field. Carrasco is 9-4 with a 3.69 ERA at home over the last two years. Righty Mike Leake (2-2, 6.59 ERA) is slated to start for Seattle.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.


Cleveland Indians,
Michael Brantley,
Edwin Encarnacion,
Corey Kluber,
Francisco Lindor

Tribe facing decision on Gio Ur Deshaun Watson Women’s Jersey shela’s status

CLEVELAND — The only silver lining to the right hamstring injury that sidelined Gio Urshela near the end of Spring Training was it allowed the Indians to delay the decision about his place on the roster. That decision, however, is once again looming for Cleveland.

Urshela remains on the 10-day disabled list, but the utility man is on the mend and has logged seven Minor League rehab games with Triple-A Columbus, making appearances at all four infield positions. Urshela can continue playing for the Clippers over the next six days, but the Indians will need to make a decision about his status by Thursday.

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CLEVELAND — The only silver lining to the right hamstring injury that sidelined Gio Urshela near the end of Spring Training was it allowed the Indians to delay the decision about his place on the roster. That decision, however, is once again looming for Cleveland.

Urshela remains on the 10-day disabled list, but the utility man is on the mend and has logged seven Minor League rehab games with Triple-A Columbus, making appearances at all four infield positions. Urshela can continue playing for the Clippers over the next six days, but the Indians will need to make a decision about his status by Thursday.

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“He’s got about a week left before we have to make a decision,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We’re trying to let him play a little bit more, because we do have to make a decision — one that we know is going to hurt a little bit.”

The issue facing the Indians is the same one that complicated the roster construction prior to Opening Day. Both Urshela and Erik Gonzalez are out of Minor League options, but Cleveland only needs to carry one as its utility man off the bench. When the hamstring issue flared on Urshela in late March, the Indians placed him on the DL and gave the bench job to Gonzalez.

Heading into Friday’s action, Gonzalez had gone 2-for-9 in nine games for the Indians, appearing sporadically as a backup for all four infield positions. Gonzalez is a shortstop by trade and has been a better hitter throughout his career than Urshela. While both are sound defenders, Urshela has the edge in that department and can also play up the middle, even with a background mostly at third.

In 18 Cactus League games during the spring, Urshela hit .500 (21-for-42) with three home runs, six doubles and a 1.369 OPS. He has cooled off since returning to the lineup for Triple-A Columbus, hitting .238 (5-for-21) with a .606 OPS through seven rehab games.

“He hasn’t swung the bat to the point where you’re like, ‘OK, let’s do something,'” Francona said. “I guess we all figure the more he plays, it gives us time to make a decision.”

UMPS CARE auction underway
Major League Baseball umpires are offering up more than 300 items — including autographed sports memorabilia, one-of-a-kind VIP experiences, and upgraded ticket packages — during its 10th Annual UMPS CARE Charities Online Auction. The auction is currently underway at MLB.com/UmpsCare and closes at 10 p.m. ET on Monday.

Some of the items up for bid include signed bats, cleats, jerseys, photos and baseballs from some of the biggest stars in baseball. There are also opportunities to watch batting practice up close on the field at many MLB ballparks, hotel stays with game tickets, opportunities to have lunch with an MLB umpire, suites and tickets from Minor League Baseball clubs, golf foursomes and more.

All proceeds from the Online Auction support UMPS CARE Charities youth programs to provide Major League Baseball experiences for children awaiting adoption, Build-A-Bear Workshop® experiences for hospitalized children coping with serious illnesses, college scholarships for deserving young adults who were adopted as children, and financial assistance for families in need.

“Each year, thanks to the support from our friends in Major League Baseball and throughout the sports world, we get some fantastic items for our auction, and this year is no exception,” said Gary Darling, a former MLB umpire and board president for UMPS CARE Charities. “This is the biggest fundraising initiative that we have to help so many children in ne Deshaun Watson Women’s Jersey ed, and we can’t thank everyone enough for all of the support. Please tell all of your friends, bid early and bid often to help this great cause.”

Worth noting
• Francona said the Indians would probably delay their decision on the second starter for Thursday’s doubleheader against the Blue Jays until after this weekend’s games against the Mariners.

• Francona remained optimistic on Friday that left-hander Andrew Miller (10-day DL, left hamstring strain) could get back on a mound in the near future.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.


Cleveland Indians,
Gio Urshela

Carlos Carrasco allows 2 homers in Deshaun Watson Women’s Jersey first loss

CLEVELAND — Indians starter Carlos Carrasco does not know how to explain it. The Mariners feasted on his pitches during Carrasco’s first outing of the season, and they did so again on Saturday at Progressive Field.

In the wake of the Tribe’s 12-4 loss to Seattle, manager Terry Francona made one key observation about Carrasco’s performance.

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CLEVELAND — Indians starter Carlos Carrasco does not know how to explain it. The Mariners feasted on his pitches during Carrasco’s first outing of the season, and they did so again on Saturday at Progressive Field.

In the wake of the Tribe’s 12-4 loss to Seattle, manager Terry Francona made one key observation about Carrasco’s performance.

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“It looked like he just lost his aggressiveness,” Francona said.

And Carrasco did so against one of baseball’s most aggressive lineups.

Seattle is quickly gaining a reputation as a group that likes to target early-count offerings to do its damage. That was the case in the first inning against Carrasco, who allowed a home run each to Jean Segura (2-0 count) and Nelson Cruz (1-0 count) in a three-run frame. Both blasts came on four-seamers over the heart of the plate.

Video: SEA@CLE: Segura cranks a 2-run jack to center

When the smoke cleared, Carrasco was charged with five runs (four earned) on five hits in three innings. He also allowed five runs on March 31 in Seattle. While the season is still young, Carrasco has posted a 9.35 ERA in 8 2/3 innings overall vs. the Mariners, compared to a 1.23 ERA in 29 1/3 innings against other opponents.

“I didn’t have my fastball, kind of my fastball command,” Carrasco said. “The two homers were fastballs up. So, when I was coming with my slider, I don’t know if they knew it or something, but they took a lot of good swings. You just give them credit about that.”

Video: SEA@CLE: Naquin plates Encarnacion on infield single

Complicating things for the Tribe was that Carrasco said he lost his footing momentarily on the dugout steps while heading out for the third inning. The pitcher jarred his back, and the issue impacted his velocity. In a two-run third for the Mariners, Carrasco’s four-seamer averaged 90.8 mph, compared to 94.1 mph in the first inning.

Under the circumstances, Francona opted to get Carrasco out of the game.

“Rather than make something that wasn’t a good day worse,” Francona said, “we got him out of there and tried to piece it together the best we could.”

Video: SEA@CLE: Francona on Indians’ pitching struggles

The wealth of earl Deshaun Watson Clemson Jersey y offense helped Seattle starter Mike Leake to his third win of the year. Leake logged six innings and yielded four runs on six hits, including Yonder Alonso‘s team-leading eighth home run of the season for Cleveland.

Seattle continued to pile on the runs in the fourth against reliever Zach McAllister, who allowed five runs — two via a homer by Kyle Seager. Ryon Healy later added a two-run homer of his own off Dan Otero in the ninth. Those shots also fit within the Mariners’ modus operandi, coming on a 1-0 count and the first pitch, respectively.

Entering Saturday, the Mariners ranked third in the Majors with a .653 OPS on 0-0 and 1-0 pitches combined, per Statcast™. That was well above the MLB average of .553. Against Cleveland, Seattle’s lineup posted 13 total bases in seven at-bats ending with those particular counts.

Video: SEA@CLE: Naquin makes a nice leaping grab at the wall

“They’re one of the more aggressive [lineups] in the league,” Francona said. “We knew coming in, when they see it, they’re swinging. You make a mistake, they can do some damage.”

Carrasco has learned that lesson twice already this season.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Yonder times three: Seattle’s slugfest pushed a strong showing by Alonso to the background. The Tribe first baseman had three RBIs, including two that came on a homer off Leake in the fourth inning. With that blast, Alonso has now launched a home run in three consecutive games for the first time in his career. He has posted a .738 slugging percentage in 42 at-bats over his past 11 games for the Indians.

“He’s been really productive,” Francona said. “We’re going to need it. Guys are going to heat up, but it’s nice to see him drive the ball like that.”

Video: SEA@CLE: Alonso crushes a 2-run homer to right-center

Stealing a run: With one out in the third inning, Segura broke for second base with Cruz in the batter’s box. Catcher Roberto Perez fired the ball wildly up the middle and into center field, allowing Segura to sprint to third after his steal. That paved the way for an RBI single from Cruz. It marked the third throwing error of the year for Perez, who had no such errors in 580 2/3 innings behind the plate last season.

“Trying to rush,” Francona said of Perez’s errant throw. “It seems like it’s when he knows he has to make a perfect throw, and he’s throwing it low. It’s happened a couple times now. He’ll be OK. I know it’s happened, but he’ll be all right.”

Video: SEA@CLE: Cruz rips a single to left to score Segura

SOUND SMART
The loss for Carrasco snapped the right-hander’s streak of 10 consecutive winning decisions (within a span of 12 starts). That run dated back to Aug. 27 of last season for Carrasco, and marked the longest such decision streak for a Tribe pitcher since Cliff Lee’s 11-0 stretch during the 2008 campaign.

UP NEXT
Righty Josh Tomlin (0-3, 9.24 ERA) will aim to get back on track on Sunday, when the Indians host the Mariners at 1:10 p.m. ET at Progressive Field. Tomlin went 6-0 with a 3.11 ERA in his final 10 games last year, but has stumbled out of the gates in ’18. Lefty Marco Gonzales (2-2, 4.37 ERA) is slated to start for Seattle.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.


Cleveland Indians,
Yonder Alonso,
Carlos Carrasco

Lo Deshaun Watson Women’s Jersey nnie Chisenhall to resume rehab activities

CLEVELAND — Lonnie Chisenhall smiled when approached by reporters in the Indians’ clubhouse on Saturday afternoon. It was a smirk born of frustration in this here-we-go-again situation. The last thing the outfielder wanted to do was discuss an injury that he discussed so many times last year.

“Frustrating is a very nice word for it,” Chisenhall said.

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CLEVELAND — Lonnie Chisenhall smiled when approached by reporters in the Indians’ clubhouse on Saturday afternoon. It was a smirk born of frustration in this here-we-go-again situation. The last thing the outfielder wanted to do was discuss an injury that he discussed so many times last year.

“Frustrating is a very nice word for it,” Chisenhall said.

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Chisenhall, 29, is on the 10-day disabled list with a right calf strain, which is the same injury that sidelined him for seven weeks in the second half last season. The outfielder re-injured his calf on April 7 during a home game against the Royals played in near-freezing temperatures. Over the past few days, Chisenhall was cleared to resume throwing and hitting off a tee.

Searching for a silver lining, Chisenhall said the good part this time around is that the injury happened early in the season. Barring any snags in his rehab, he could still aim to have a productive campaign after his return, though there is no firm timetable at the moment. Chisenhall added that he and the team’s medical staff can draw on last season’s experience, and the setbacks that occurred.

“Hindsight’s actually helpful here,” Chisenhall said. “I Deshaun Watson Jersey  had a few hiccups when I did come back in September. There was a hiccup or two. We’re trying to learn from all that. It’s a weird injury — the muscle it is. You don’t see it a lot in baseball players, so it’s a little more difficult.”

In the seven games he played at the outset of this season, Chisenhall hit .235 with a .675 OPS. His hope going into the year was to build on last year’s production, which included a .288 average and an .881 OPS in 82 games for the Indians. The problematic calf has hindered that possibility for the time being.

“I’ve learned some things about why it continues to bother me,” Chisenhall said. “I’ll try to stop it from happening in the future. It was early. Bad weather. It was just a bad series of events.”

Worth noting
• Veteran first baseman Mike Napoli is scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery on his right knee in the upcoming week after sustaining a torn right ACL and meniscus with Triple-A Columbus on April 17. Manager Terry Francona said the first month of Napoli’s rehab will take place in Columbus, but he may also spend time in Cleveland over the duration of the season.

“He’s going to start doing his rehab there,” Francona said. “And then, depending on what he does, he could do some of it here. We’ve kind of made that clear to him.”

• Left-hander Andrew Miller (10-day DL, left hamstring) played catch prior to Saturday’s game against the Mariners. Whi Men’s Nike Houston Texans 4 Deshaun Watson Elite Alternate Red Jersey Sale le the Indians do not expect Miller to be sidelined for an extended p Deshaun Watson Clemson Jersey eriod of time, Francona said there is no firm date yet for the lefty’s first bullpen session after the injury.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.


Cleveland Indians,
Lonnie Chisenhall

Andrew Miller placed Deshaun Watson Clemson Jersey on disabled list

CLEVELAND — Andrew Miller did not want to go on the disabled list and the Indians did not want to make that move with their relief ace, either. Putting the left-hander on the shelf still wound up being the consensus decision on Thursday after the sides discussed the situation in detail.

Prior to Thursday’s game against the Mariners, Miller was moved to the 10-day DL with a left hamstring strain that is “more frustrating than concerning” in the words of the pitcher. Miller is hoping to be back on a mound soon and expressed optimism about his chances of being activated when eligible.

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CLEVELAND — Andrew Miller did not want to go on the disabled list and the Indians did not want to make that move with their relief ace, either. Putting the left-hander on the shelf still wound up being the consensus decision on Thursday after the sides discussed the situation in detail.

Prior to Thursday’s game against the Mariners, Miller was moved t Men’s Nike Houston Texans 4 Deshaun Watson Elite Team Color Navy Blue Jersey Sale o the 10-day DL with a left hamstring strain that is “more frustrating than concerning” in the words of the pitcher. Miller is hoping to be back on a mound soon and expressed optimism about his chances of being activated when eligible.

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“With the DL being 10 days now, it just makes sense,” Miller said. “You don’t want to hang 24 guys out to dry for, call it, seven or eight days if you don’t have to. It’s the right thin Men’s Nike Houston Texans 4 Deshaun Watson Elite Alternate Red Jersey Sale g to do, even if it’s not the most desirable thing for me personally.”

The issue flared in the seventh inning of the Indians’ 4-1 win over the Cubs on Wednesday, when Miller fired a four-seamer to Anthony Rizzo and immediately grabbed at the back of his left leg. Rather than try to stay in the game, Miller motioned for the medical staff and exited after only two pitches. An MRI exam on Thursday morning showed a “low grade” strain, according to manager Terry Francona.

Miller said this is familiar territory for him. Back in 2014, the left-hander had a similar pain flare in the same area in a Sept. 1 outing when he pitched for the Orioles. Following four days off, Miller was back pitching in games for Baltimore. Based on that experience, Miller believes that he will be able to get back on a mound after a brief period of rest.

“I can’t look into the Deshaun Watson Clemson Jersey  future, but I don’t think I need 10 days,” Miller said. “I think if [the DL] was the old 15 days, I would like to think we probably aren’t having this conversation. I’m probably in there getting treatment, trying to figure out how I can get back on the fifth, sixth or seventh day.”

Francona echoed that evaluation.

“He probably would not have been a DL [move] if it was 15,” said the manager. “That’s for sure.”

With Miller sidelined, Cleveland purchased the contract of left-hander Jeff Beliveau from Triple-A Columbus and designated lefty Jack Leathersich for assignment to vacate a spot on the 40-man roster. The 31-year-old Beliveau, who was in camp as a non-roster invitee with the Tribe this spring, has allowed two hits, one walk and no runs with 14 strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings with Columbus so far this season.

“He’s a great kid,” Francona said of Beliveau, who has had stints with the Cubs, Rays and Blue Jays over the past six seasons. “He’s really been pitching well. And the hope is, kind of like Tyler Olson last year, you get an opportunity and you jump on and take advantage of it, and he helps us win.”

Through 11 appearances this year, Miller had not allowed a run in 10 innings, in which he piled up 17 strikeouts against four walks. In parts of the past three seasons with Cleveland — since being acquired in a blockbuster trade with the Yankees in July 2016 — Miller has turned in a 1.33 ERA and 1.82 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP), along with 158 strikeouts and 27 walks in 101 2/3 innings.

While Miller is out, Francona will mix and match with his other relievers in an effort to bridge the gap to closer Cody Allen. Olson will step into the main lefty relief role, with Beliveau offering an alternative. Right-handers Nick Goody, Dan Otero and Zach McAllister will also get high-leverage opportunities while Miller is temporarily out of the picture.

“They’re going to be asked to do more right now,” Miller said. “But I think they’re ready for it. They’ve done a great job.”

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.


Cleveland Indians,
Andrew Miller

Eval Deshaun Watson Clemson Jersey uating closers in American League Central

In an era of super bullpens, one of the best late-inning duos in baseball can be found within the American League Central.

As much attention is paid to the Indians’ deep starting rotation, the reigning division champions have also been able to shorten games with closer Cody Allen and relief ace Andrew Miller covering critical outs. Through their first 21 combined innings this season, Allen and Miller had allowed precisely zero runs.

In an era of super bullpens, one of the best late-inning duos in baseball can be found within the American League Central.

As much attention is paid to the Indians’ deep starting rotation, the reigning division champions have also been able to shorten games with closer Cody Allen and relief ace Andrew Miller covering critical outs. Through their first 21 combined innings this season, Allen and Miller had allowed precisely zero runs.

“People don’t see behind the scenes how hard they work, preparing and everything like that,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “Andrew, everybody knows what he’s done. But Cody, for the last six years here, he’s been about as reliable a reliever as anybody in the league. H Deshaun Watson Women’s Jersey e works hard to be available and takes a lot of pride in that.

“I personally think he’s one of the better closers in the game. I know his name doesn’t always pop up on those lists, but I think he’s been really good.”

With nearly a month of baseball in the books, here is a rundown of the closer situation for each team in the AL Central:

Indians
Who’s the closer? Allen

How is it working out? Very well. Heading into Wednesday’s action, there were 108 relievers with at least 10 innings logged this season in the Majors. Allen was one of three (Miller being another) with no earned runs allowed, and he had converted all four save chances. Allen then improved to 5-for-5 in save chances Wednesday night.

How secure is he? Allen is as secure in his job as any closer in baseball. Across the 2014-17 seasons, the right-hander posted a 2.62 ERA with 120 saves (30 per season on average) and an average of 12.1 strikeouts per nine innin Deshaun Watson Jersey gs in 282 appearances. Allen has enjoyed another strong start to this campaign, too.

Who’s next in line? Francona likes having an “end point” in Allen, but the manager is also flexible with his late-inning duo. There have been stretches in which Miller has taken save chances, with Allen handling high-leverage scenarios. If, for some reason, Cleveland were to make a change, Miller would be the man, once he returns from a strained left hamstring that put him on the 10-day disabled list Thursday.

Video: CHC@CLE: Allen works a perfect 9th to earn a save

Royals
Who’s the closer? Kelvin Herrera

How is it working out? Very well. Herrera, who lost his closer’s job to Mike Minor last September, has been superb so far, not allowing a run in eight outings, entering Thursday. The problem is getting the lead and getting games to him.

How secure is he? Even if Herrera was struggling, his job would be secure, by default. Most of the bullpen has been a nightmare for manager Ned Yost this season.

Who’s next in line? That’s a great question. Herrera likely will be trade bait at the end of July, and right now it’s hard to envision any one reliever taking over the job. Brandon Maurer was a possibility, but he has pitched his way back to the Minors. Tim Hill? Burch Smith? Brad Keller? Who knows?

Video: KC@DET: Herrera retires Machado to seal Royals’ win

Tigers
Who’s the closer? Shane Greene

How is it working out? Greene had four saves in six chances, entering Thursday, and has allowed two earned runs in nine innings since his three-run ninth inning on Opening Day. He has been the one entrenched veteran in a bullpen where other roles have been in flux.

How secure is he? Greene would require a major implosion to lose the job he took over after Justin Wilson‘s trade last summer. He’s one of just two veterans in the bullpen, and he’s one of a handful of veterans who could draw interest at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Who’s next in line? Joe Jimenez is generally seen as the Tigers’ closer of the future, and his hot start has reinforced that notion while earning him a valued setup role behind Greene. Alex Wilson is the other veteran in the bullpen, and he has some closing experience, though he has struggled to find his better form since a rough Spring Training.

Video: DET@PIT: Greene locks down the save for the Tigers

Twins
Who’s the closer? Fernando Rodney

How is it working out? The Fernando Rodney Experience has been in full effect with Minnesota, as he’s walked a tightrope in several of his outings this season. He’s converted two saves, but has also blown two saves and gave up a walk-off homer to Adam Jones in his first appearance of the year.

How secure is he? Rodney still isn’t quite in danger of losing his closer role, as he had a slow start last year with the D-backs before turning it around. Rodney had a 12.60 ERA in April last season, but posted a 2.38 ERA the rest of the way. But given his age (41 years old), the Twins will continue to monitor him closely.

Who’s next in line? The Twins also signed reliever Addison Reed to a two-year deal in the offseason, and while they’d like to keep him in a Miller-type role, he has closing experience. Reed has 125 career saves and could move to the closer role if Rodney falters.

Video: HOU@MIN: Rodney retires Springer to pick up the save

White Sox
Who’s the closer? Nate Jones

How is it working out? Jones certainly is not the lone closing option for the rebuilding White Sox, as veteran Joakim Soria also has worked the ninth. Manager Rick Renteria also has pitched Jones in the highest-leverage situations, whether it comes in the ninth or the seventh.

How secure is he? The White Sox are off to a slow start in Year 2 of the rebuild and have only four saves, including a three-inning save from Chris Beck. Entering Thursday, Jones had fanned 11 over 8 2/3 innings, allowing one run. Since there’s no real defined closer, there’s no reason for a change unless a veteran such as Jones or Soria gets moved.

Who’s next in line? Keep an eye on Bruce Rondon, along with his 100-mph fastball and improved slider. He struck out the first five hitters he faced with the White Sox and is a future closing option.

Video: TB@CWS: Jones locks down the save with groundout

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook. MLB.com reporters Jason Beck, Rhett Bollinger, Jeffrey Flanagan and Scott Merkin contributed to this report.


Chicago White Sox,
Minnesota Twins,
Cleveland Indians,
Detroit Tigers,
Kansas City Royals,
Cody Allen,
Shane Greene,
Kelvin Herrera,
Nate Jones,
Andrew Miller,
Fernando Rodney