Last Night's Game
Corey Kluber had to sit for 45 minutes while the game was delayed by rain, but still got the team through six innings, allowing just the three runs. He gave up a home run to start the game, a home run to LGFT David Murphy, the first batter he faced after the rain delay, but otherwise held the Angels in check.
Gomes rightly should be credited with the biggest hit of the night, but in my mind Francisco Lindor's at-bat to start the eighth inning was the turning point in the game. He battled LGFT Joe Smith in an eight-pitch at-bat before dumping a single into right field. Lindor hadn't faced Smith before, which makes the at-bat even more impressive. It should be seen as a coincidence that the Indians have been a much better offensive team since Lindor has arrived at the major-league level.
The noise about Mark Shapiro's possible move to Toronto gets louder. Given that we're hearing about it from several reporters (and it's been confirmed indirectly by Terry Francona), I assume it's just a matter of time until the announcement is made. My concern is that the rest of the organization remains intact, as although the major-league club hasn't fulfilled expectations, the minor-league organization is in outstanding shape, and I don't want that momentum to be stalled.
The possibility is there for Chris Antonetti to be promoted to Team President, with Mike Chernoff (who is going to be a candidate for several open GM spots) to be elevated to General Manager. Or Paul Dolan, who held the position before Shaprio, would once again become Team President. Given that the Indians gave permission to Shapiro to interview with Toronto, I would certainly hope that they have a plan in place if what's being reported is true.
Terry Francona talked about his plans for September 1st, when the major-league roster can be expanded:
"We're going to call up a pitcher the first day and then we'll probably make a couple call-ups a few days later when we get to Detroit," said manager Terry Francona. "Then we'll wait to see how the Triple-A team is doing and how they play, how we're doing and depending on health here. It won't be a mass call-up. Most of the guys we want to see play are playing right now. Sometimes you get too many and you end up not seeing anybody as much as you want."
Because the AAA season will continue through Labor Day weekend, the organization can't just decimate Columbus' roster, especially since the Clippers are in line to make the playoffs. I know, you may be scoffing at the reluctance to call up players because of a potential minor-league postseason, but it is important to keep a positive relationship with the minor-league organizations. Raiding the AAA roster just as the playoffs begin would not exactly help that.
Anyway, the plan is to call up a pitcher (most likely Gavin Floyd), then a couple more by Friday. My only wish is that they bring up an outfielder capable of playing center field so that we've seen the last of Mike Aviles there. Once the Clippers' (and RubberDucks') season is over, we'll see more players called up. Most of the players called up won't have a significant role with the team as long as the Indians are still somewhat in contention.
The good news: the great Vin Scully will be returning for another season. The bad news: it will likely be his final season.
Latest 25-man/40-man Roster
The only move of the week was swapping Cody Anderson with Carlos Carrasco. Because Carrasco's DL stint was retroactive to August 22, he should be back in the rotation on September 7, or shortly thereafter. Danny Salazar will return on Monday, so there shouldn't be a need for a starter because there's an off day following the Toronto Series (September 3).
Both Chris Johnson and Gavin Floyd should also be coming off the Disabled list soon, and because the rosters can expand starting on Tuesday, there wouldn't have to be a corresponding move to get them onto the roster.