It wasn't pretty, but style points aren't part of the standings. The Indians scored the tying run in the seventh on an error, and the go-ahead run on a walk. Once again practically all of the important bullpen arms were used, and if any one of them made a mistake it would be for naught. But none of them faltered, and the Indians got a crucial win in Fenway. Now, with Corey Kluber pitching today, they might be able to split both the series and this road trip.
Zach McAllister made another rehab start yesterday, and now, assuming that there's no physical setbacks, he'll have to come off the Disabled List on Thursday. That means that TJ House will be making his next start in Columbus, not Cleveland. House has done a fantastic job given the situation he's been thrown into, with only one clunker among his five starts. Which is good, because right now the Indians have very little starting pitching depth in the minors. With Danny Salazar still on the Disabled List, the Indians presently have only five healthy starting pitchers on the 40-man roster.
One of the relievers who pitched in yesterday's game was Kyle Crockett, who pitched two innings in Friday night's game. Crockett has gotten another opportunity with Nick Hagadone's struggles, and even if he's sent down (for another arm), he's now firmly ahead of Hagadone on the depth chart. That's quite amazing considering that it's just been over a year since the Indians selected him in the draft.
Latest 25-man/40-man Roster
(click to embiggen)
Two roster changes since last week, and they were like-for-like. Nick Hagadone was optioned to AAA, with Kyle Crockett coming to Cleveland, and Jason Giambi replaced Nick Swisher on the Disabled List with another fantastically convenient injury.
Michael Brantley continues to hold the team lead in WAR (though again the defensive metrics hate his defense). In fact there are only two players on the active roster that have a positive defensive WAR component: Yan Gomes, and Mike Aviles.
AL Central News
The Royals are now the hot team in the AL Central, as they've won six in a row and sit just 1.5 games behind the Detroit Tigers. The AL Central teams are still bunched together, with the White Sox 4.5 games back of Detroit despite sitting in last place.
The Indians aren't the only club with a "player-coach" taking up space on the 25-man roster. A comparison between Giambi and Paul Konerko.
It all makes sense now.
In other words, Joe Nathan has been terrible.