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Unsung MVP Ramirez leads balanced Tribe into 2nd half

Morning news & notes for Friday, July 15, 2016

Cleveland Indians v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Yesterday was a difficult day. I was nursing a gnarly blister from indoor rock climbing. I went for a run and got caught in a freak, driving rain storm. And though I unexpectedly ran a great pace, my running app didn’t record it because I managed to delete all the data from my phone by incorrectly entering my fingerprint “password” too many times. Then, I was nearly attacked by an unstable person on the train. But the worst part? There was no baseball. Today, though... today is a new day. Baseball is back! And here’s what’s up around the league.

Indians news & notes

Balanced attack carries Tribe to top tier of AL | - It’s been 17 years since the Indians came out of the All-Star break with an AL Central lead this size, and no one on the team is taking it for granted. Mercifully out of town while the RNC takes over, the Indians organization from the top down will have a chance to focus on the second half and the looming trade deadline.

Will Indians exercise 2017 option for resurgent Carlos Santana? Hey Hoynsie! | - Only on is Carlos Santana seen as “resurgent” rather than “consistently great,” but I digress. It seems like a great bet that the Indians will do the previously “unthinkable” (good lord, that first question) and re-sign the cornerstone of the Tribe offense. There’s also some stuff about Joba Chamberlain and bunts and oh my god, this is the most infuriating Hey Hoynsie! in months. An absolute must-hateread.

Indians recall Erik Gonzalez, option TJ House to AAA | - With the end of the Michael Martinez era, the Indians were in need of a legit infield utility guy. Enter Erik Gonzalez, the 24 year-old Columbus shortstop with some pop.

With big names like Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez has produced like the Indians’ MVP | Waiting for Next Year - Speaking of utility guys, you might remember the guy who used to be a utility infielder but is now a frequent Indians cleanup hitter. The Angry Hamster is among the best hitters in the Tribe lineup statistically, and his RISP numbers would make Joe Morgan weep.

Scouting Indians prospects 2700 miles apart | Fangraphs - Eric Longenhagen traversed the continent to have a look at Tribe prospects including Justus Sheffield, Bobby Bradley, and Clint Frazier. The long and short of it is: we have a pretty damn good farm system, despite some kinks that need to be worked out.

News from around the league

MLB Trade Rumors does nothing wrong by compiling a solid list of every AL playoff contender’s trade deadline needs

The Red Sox pulled the trigger on a trade for LGFT Drew Pomeranz, but it’s not a move without risk

Meanwhile, GM Brian Cashman of the rival Yankees wants to tear it all down, but the big brass isn’t on the same page

Jeff Sullivan examines whether the coventional wisdom about the AL being better than the NL is true

The Diamondbacks have demoted erstwhile Braves ace Shelby Miller to AAA after a dumpster fire of a first half

The CBS sports baseball staff all get two mulligans on their pre-season picks, and most of them are used to pick the Indian over the Royals