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Cleveland Indians Sunday News and Notes: July 27, 2013

Appearing this week is the Tribe rotation, Ryan Raburn, Tanner Scheppers, Cliff Lee, Omar Vizquel, and Eddie Taubensee.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Last Night's Game

MLB Final Score/Recap: Cleveland Indians 1, Texas Rangers 0 - Let's Go Tribe

Texas Rangers at Cleveland Indians - July 27, 2013 | CLE Recap

Cleveland Indians ace Justin Masterson out-duels Yu Darvish, 1-0, behind Michael Bourn's leadoff HR (slideshow, videos) |

Masterson's gem continued an outstanding stretch for the Cleveland rotation. Of the four starters that have in the rotation continuously the last month, Ubaldo Jimenez has the worst ERA (3.92):

Starter ERA last 28 days
Scott Kazmir 2.03
Corey Kluber 2.67
Justin Masterson 3.12
Ubaldo Jimenez 3.92

And here I was thinking the Indians really needed to add a starter. Cleveland is now in the middle of the pack as far a starter FIP is concerned, and that includes Carlos Carrasco's and Trevor Bauer's escapades. If you limit things to the last month, only the Rays' starters have a lower FIP. And the Indians' starters aren't doing this with smoke and mirrors, as their BABIP over the last month is a pretty normal .292. The difference between the Rays and the Indians has been that the Rays have used their great pitching to take back the lead in the AL East, while the Indians have only managed to tread water in the AL Central. Those four one-run losses on the road trip loom large, but if this rotation can stay healthy and the Indians can fortify the bullpen over the next couple days, there's no reason why this team can't contend for either the division title or a Wild Card spot.

Indians News

Foul Territory: Tanner Scheppers assaulted in Cleveland on Thursday night

The reason why Tanner Scheppers didn't pitch on Friday? He was assaulted on the streets of Cleveland on Thursday.

Texas Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers didn't pitch on Friday because he was unavailable after getting "sucker punched" by several males on the streets of downtown Cleveland on Thursday night.

Scheppers went to get a bite to eat after the team arrived, and the incident occurred about two blocks from the team hotel. There was no robbery and the Cleveland police are aware of the situation, although a report was not filed.

Read more here:

That's just bizarre. Guys are going around just randomly punching people? I doubt anyone would have recognized Scheppers, he seems to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thankfully he didn't sustain any major injuries or suffer a concussion. He was available for last night's game.

Philadelphia Phillies getting late offers for Cliff Lee -- sources - ESPN

I still don't think he'll be traded, but the Phillies look like a team that is on the downside of their window of contention. They don't have much of a farm system, and although they have of baseball's highest payrolls, they don't have a lot of payroll flexibility. And Chase Utley will be a free agent this winter.

Cliff Lee is signed through at least 2015, but whoever trades for him would either have to have the Phillies pay a portion of the ~$73.5M left on Lee's contract or have the wherewithal to take on a $25M/year contract. Then there's the cost of Lee in prospects.

Would the Indians have the payroll capability of adding Lee to the roster, assuming they could put together a package of prospects for him? I'm not going to say it's impossible, but it would difficult to pull off. They'd probably say goodbye to both Chris Perez and Asdrubal Cabrera after the season, and would mean that they would not be a factor in free agency.

I'll have more to say on this tomorrow.

Raburn giving Tribe plenty of pop in limited role | News

Ryan Raburn is hitting .273/.371/.553 on the season despite not playing everyday. I think we're to the point where Raburn should be getting more at-bats than Mark Reynolds at the very least.

AL Central News

Leyland's frustration about Joaquin Benoit - Bless You Boys

It's a given that by this time next week the Tigers will have acquired at least a setup man, and probably a closer.

Making sense of the Alex Rios and Ervin Santana trade rumors - Royals Review

The Royals are on the edge of contention. They have one of baseball's easiest schedules, but they are 7 behind the Tigers and are 6 games behind one of the two Wild Card spots. If they deal Ervin Santana, they should be able to get return close to what the Cubs got for Matt Garza.

White Sox surpass last year's error total ... with 62 games left to play - South Side Sox

Defense is one of the main reasons why the White Sox are where they are this year.

OPINION: Mauer Shouldn't Of Left The Team, By Tom Hanson - Twinkie Town

This is satire, by the way.

Today's Classic Clip

I think you know what this is (August 5, 2001), but in case you don't: the Indians trailed the Seattle Mariners 14-2 on an ESPN Sunday Night Game, but then something special happened.