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Cleveland Indians — best team in the American League?

In Tuesday's news & notes, Fangraphs predicts the Tribe to be the AL's best team from here on out, whereas the Twins are projected as an 81-win team.

Austin Adams, bringer of heat.
Austin Adams, bringer of heat.
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

There was no game yesterday, so the Indians finally had a chance to recharge after playing on 20(!) consecutive days. Sunday's game wasn't particularly well played on either side, but the Tribe showed great heart in coming back from a 3-0 deficit and then hanging tough despite missing numerous opportunities to clinch the game. They are now just two games back from .500, with a 24-26 record that no-one would have predicted a couple of weeks ago.

It was a great night for the bullpen and, with a comfortable three-run cushion, it was most enjoyable to witness Austin Adams letting rip at 99-100 MPH. I've no idea whether he will stick on the 25-man this time around or not, but it was a terrific cameo performance that demonstrated why the Tribe has persevered with the 28yo reliever.

Indians news & notes

Is Cleveland Indians bullpen ready to start shouldering the load? |

Hoynesie takes a look at the recent bullpen improvement: "This year the bullpen has wobbled, but over the weekend in Seattle it showed signs of once again having broad enough shoulders to carry the load."

Reliving the memorable month of May for Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis |

Kipnis back on May 1: "I can't tell you how much a different calendar month does for a baseball player's psyche. When you say it turns a page, it really does." He was obviously determined to prove his point.

Zack Meisel reviews the best days of Kipnis' epic month, in a nice complement to Jason Lukehart's Kipnis May stats review yesterday.

Tribe taking best-player-available approach in draft |

Jordan Bastian preps next week's draft: "At pick 17, we are in a position to get a player we feel really good about," said Brad Grant, Cleveland's director of amateur scouting. "We feel there is strength to the draft class as a whole and will focus on selecting the best player available."

Cleveland Indians projected to be AL's best team the rest of the 2015 season | FOX Sports

Lots of Fangraphs love for the Tribe, but still only an 84-win projection by the time everything is done and dusted.

...which leads us neatly on to...

Tidbits from around MLB

The traps that the Twins need to avoid | FanGraphs

Let's hope they don't.

Dave Cameron "After two months of playing .600 baseball, our projections now expect the Twins to finish with 81 wins, and give them a 27% chance of reaching the postseason...

"...The Twins are currently beating their BaseRuns winning percentage by 188 points, which translates to 30 extra wins over a 162 game season. To say that they can’t keep this up might be the understatement of the year. The reality is that the Twins are not actually playing like a very good team, and sooner than later, their record is going to reflect that."

Trade season will be a test for Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. | Yahoo Sports

With the turn of the calendar to June, the trade season has now "officially" begun...

Cueto's agent discusses trade possibility | MLB Trade Rumors

...and Johnny Cueto's agent (Bryce Dixon) has wasted no time whatsoever in throwing his hat into the ring.: "They’ve made no indications to Johnny that they want to trade him, but reading the tea leaves, if they fall out of contention, it seems to make sense from their end. If they ride the season out with him and don’t make the playoffs, then they’re stuck with a compensation pick. And, from where I sit, I think they can probably get more than that on the trade market."

Flashy nihilism and the state of the Oakland Athletics | Grantland

I don't understand the first part of the title either, but I do understand that the A's are in a state: to the tune of seven games below their Pythagorean expectation, with a 3-15 record in one-run games, apparently.

Let’s watch Bryce Harper face Aroldis Chapman | FanGraphs

A fascinating mano a mano breakdown from Jeff Sullivan.