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Hey Hoynsie: The Mariners are going on a six-man rotation so each starter gets two bullpen sessions between starts. Did you ask Terry Francona what he thought of it? – John Lamb, Westport, Conn.
Hey John: Indian strength is starting to throw. You want these guys to throw as much as they can so they can win as many games as possible. Yes, these are unusual circumstances resulting from a short season and a limited number of innings for your staff. However, if you use a six man rotation that will decrease the number of starts Cy Young winner Shane Bieber gets.
Last year Spring Training 1 was suspended on March 12, followed by an estimated 3 1/2 months delay before Spring Training II began. The first five Indians starters opened the season at six, seven, six, six despite this dismissal and six innings. The opposition starters went 4 1/3, five, two, 2 1/3 and 3 2/3 innings.
Francona and his trainers will certainly evaluate the stamina, arm strength and durability of the starters when they report on the spring training. You won’t put anyone in danger, and if someone needs rest during the season they can be pushed back a day or two, or another pitcher can create a starting point. But I don’t see her in a six-man rotation unless something unusual happens.
Hey Hoynsie: The Indians’ recent additions to seasoned players could mean some players on the 40-man roster are not making the club. Which players still have minor league options? – Marv, Phoenix.
Hey Marv: The Indians recently signed veteran outfielder Eddie Rosario and second baseman Cesar Hernandez. They also have minor league deals with seasoned right-handers Bryan Shaw and Heath Hembree and outfielders Billy Hamilton and Ben Gamel.
As for the players on the 40-man roster who still have options for smaller leagues, it’s easier to tell you the players who don’t. Adam Plutko is the only one with no options. Hernandez is the only one with no options among the infielders. Among the outfielders, Jake Bauers and Rosario are the only players with no options.
Hey Hoynsie: I saw Billy Hamilton play Louisville in AAA class before he joined the Reds. Speed is its great asset. I always thought if he could beat between .260 and .270 he would be a valuable player. In six years with the Reds, he beat .245. Where was he in 2019 and 2020? – Bob, Louisville.
Hey Bob: The speed never goes down and Hamilton can still run. I am sure the Indians will seek refuge in case Oscar Mercado and Bradley Zimmer continue their fighting. For the past two years, Hamilton has played the Mets and Cubs for Kansas City, Atlanta. In his career he has an 81% success rate (305 for 376) in stolen bases, but he is only a career hitter of 0.241 with a base percentage of 0.296. As someone said a long time ago, “You can’t steal the first base.”
Hey Hoynsie: Why is Lynchburg now listed as Low A and Lake County High A among the four minor league partners? Aren’t most high A teams in Virginia and the Carolinas? – Steve, Ashbury, NJ
Hey, Steve: At the end of last year, the Indians flipped the names Lynchburg and Lake County, presumably as part of the MLB that took control of the minor leagues. On Friday, MLB announced the realignment of the 120 minor league teams still affiliated with MLB.
The Low-A teams were divided into three leagues (not yet named) with a total of 28 teams. Lynchburg is with Delmarva (Orioles), Fredericksburg (Nationals) and Salem (Red Sox) in the North Division with four teams of the Low-A East. The high-A teams were divided into three leagues (not yet named) with 30 teams. Lake County will play in the Eastern Division with Dayton (Reds), Fort Wayne (Padres), Great Lakes (Dodgers), Lansing (A’s) and West Michigan (Tigers).
Hey Hoynsie, will there be fans at Progressive Field when the Indians open their home season against Kansas City on April 5th? – Mel, Randallstown, Md.
Hey Mel: I spoke to Curtis Danburg, India’s Vice President for Communication and Community Impact, and he said the team hope there will be fans for the home opener. It depends on instructions from the MLB, as well as state and city health officials.
Hey, Hoynsie: With Francisco Lindor and Carlos Santana gone, would Jose Ramirez no doubt be the leader of the Indian clubhouse? Or are there others who demonstrate this role? – John, Pittsburgh.
Hey John: if you are after performance, play hard, post every day, yes I think Ramirez is a leader. I think Shane Bieber is that guy too.
A team leader is not always the guy who speaks loudest in the clubhouse or yells from the top step of the dugout. Players like Mike Napoli, Jason Giambi, and Edwin Encarnacion are hard to find as they can reach every corner of the clubhouse. The Indians have lost so many veterans in recent years that I think that’s one of the reasons they signed Eddie Rosario and brought Cesar Hernandez back.
Hey Hoynsie: With two new additions to the daily line-up and some contracts for smaller outfield and bullpen leagues, do you have any other concerns about the off-midfield roster and first base? Do you think we have enough talent in these two positions? – Tom, Mt. Vernon.
Hey Tom: Overall, I wonder if this team will get enough runs. The bullpen worries me. We didn’t see James Karinchak nearby and Emmanuel Clase remains a mystery. They don’t have a skilled left and we don’t know how much Bryan Shaw and Heath Hembree have left.
Defensively, I think Oscar Mercado and Bradley Zimmer can handle the middle. But can they hit enough to stay in the lineup? The first base for me is a blank page with the unproven leftists Bobby Bradley, Jake Bauers and Josh Naylor. And we still don’t know who’s going to play shortstop.
New Indian face masks for sale: Here, you can purchase Cleveland Indian-themed face covers for coronavirus protection, including a single mask ($ 14.99) and a 3-pack ($ 24.99). All MLB proceeds are donated to charity.
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