It’s nothing but a bad set of coincidences, but it sure does suck to watch every player spurned by the Indians go off in the span of just a few hours.
While the Indians toiled away against Jose Berrios — arguably one of the best pitchers in the American League, to be fair — seemingly every player they traded, released, or failed to acquire in the offseason had themselves a pretty fun Opening Day. Of course this really means nothing in the grand scheme of a baseball season — for all we know each and every one of these players could go hitless in the next 161 games while the Indians become the first team ever to finish the season with a 99.4 percent winning percentage. But, still. Come on.
Since we’re having a moment of misery together — and the off-day after Opening Day isn’t helping things — let’s look around at all the fun everyone else is having while we wait for the Indians offense to redeem itself on Saturday.
Full credit where it’s due, I got this idea from @kvnbsbl on Twitter, who you should be following anyway. He was on top of the misery train all night, and I thank him for his service.
Yandy Diaz hit a double
March 28, 2019
Of course I’m going to start with this. Come on. It’s Yandy.
Getting Jake Bauers is cool, but how quickly the Indians were willing to move on from giving a guy who hits the ball harder than anyone will always remain a case of the hmmmm’s for me. He doubled yesterday in his debut with the Rays, and he also drew a walk.
National writers are taking notice, too.
Justin Verlander had gone 20 straight batters without allowing a hit until Yandy Diaz just bounced a double down the LF line to start the 7th. This just in: He's pretty good.— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) March 28, 2019
He’ll be hitting cleanup for the Rays tonight.
Michael Brantley homered
Michael Brantley (1) off LHP Blake Snell (2) - 103.8 mph, 26 degrees (404 ft Home Run)— MLBBarrelAlert (@MLBBarrelAlert) March 28, 2019
93.1 mph Four-Seamer#Astros @ #Rays (T4) pic.twitter.com/NmLgOaEIja
Because of course he did. Brantley left the Indians via free agency and signed a two-year, $30 million deal with the Astros prior to the season. The Indians, in turn, signed Carlos Gonzalez to a minor league deal, and we still don’t know when he’ll debut.
I mean, granted, the Indians were facing Jose Berrios and Brantley was only facing.
Reigning American League Cy Young winner Blake Snell.
Matt Joyce homered
March 28, 2019
Nine days after being released by the Indians in favor of Jordan Luplow and/or Tyler Naquin, Matt Joyce hit a ball 394 feet off of Hector Neris. It didn’t help much, since the Braves still lost 10-4 to the new-look Phillies, but just one home run would have helped the Indians cut the Twins’ lead in half. Just saying.
Derek Dietrich homered
Oh, weird. https://t.co/90qKYQbz0v— Kevin Dean (@kvnbsbl) March 28, 2019
This one’s a little different because the Indians technically never had Derek Dietrich on their roster, but they probably should have. He signed a minor-league deal with the Cincinnati Reds just a couple years removed from a 121 wRC+ season and five-straight seasons of above-average offense. His defense isn’t ideal about anywhere, but he could have been a serviceable third baseman and allowed Jose Ramirez to move to second, or even just let him float around the outfield and hopefully hit a few dingers. You know, like he did yesterday.
There’s also this:
Dietrich, in a postgame interview, mentions that his parents are there because he grew up a few hours away in Cleveland and how happy he is to be playing in his home state.— Kevin Dean (@kvnbsbl) March 28, 2019
Domingo Santana homered
The beat goes on. https://t.co/gyMb590BKO— Kevin Dean (@kvnbsbl) March 29, 2019
Again, another player technically never under the control of the Indians, but come on. The Seattle Mariners got him for Ben Gamel. If the Indians were really serious about upgrading their outfield with controllable, high-upside guys, I think they could have beat out a trade package involving Ben Gamel and Noah Zavalos.
Last year was Santana’s worst year ever, and he still had a 92 wRC+, which was better than the 2018 offenses of Greg Allen, Tyler Naquin, Bradley Zimmer, Jordan Luplow, and only three points worse than Jake Bauers,
Adam Jones homered
Okay, to be fair, I never really wanted the Indians to sign Adam Jones so I can’t pretend to care now, but he did hit a home run in his Diamondbacks debut, which still stings.
Edwin Encarnacion homered
Edwin Encarnacion's first hit for the Mariners is a homer pic.twitter.com/zlfxG4WZmr— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) March 29, 2019
The former Indians first baseman went hitless in his first two games with the Mariners, but homered in his 2-for-5 effort in Seattle’s shredding of Chris Sale on Thursday. Sorry big guy, but if losing you meant bringing back Carlos Santana and that was a sacrifice I was willing to make. Still, though, could you not be good this season? That’d be great for, personally and professionally.
All of the Indians’ offseason additions and debuting players....
Combined to go 1-for-14 with six strikeouts. That’s Jordan Luplow, Carlos Santana (technically an offseason addition), Eric Stamets (making his major league debut), Jake Bauers, and Hanley Ramirez all going hitless while Brad Miller added the only hit.
Is it Saturday yet?