Indians again edge Reds behind Josh Tomlin, Travis Buck

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The Indians were 28-47 after 75 games last season.  To match that record in 2011, they’d have to lose 32 in a row.

Cleveland again topped Cincinnati by a run Saturday, winning 2-1, and will get a chance to go for a sweep in the battle of Ohio behind Carlos Carrasco on Sunday.

Impressive again was Josh Tomlin, who is now 9-for-9 in turning in quality starts after allowing one run over seven innings.  He has an incredible 0.82 WHIP in 59 2/3 innings.  Cliff Lee had the game’s best WHIP last year at barely over 1.00 — he allowed 213 hits+walks in 212 1/3 innings.  Tomlin has allowed 39 hits and 10 walks so far this year.

Travis Buck was the offensive hero for Cleveland.  The Indians need someone to step up in the DH slot with Travis Hafner down, and candidates Buck, Shelley Duncan and Austin Kearns had combined for one homer in 155 at-bats this season before Buck took Homer Bailey deep to give the Indians their only two runs today.

With the victory, the Indians moved to 28-15 this season.  No other AL team has fewer than 20 losses.

The Reds dropped to 25-21 by losing their fourth in a row and fell 1 1/2 games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central.

Former Yankees prospect Manny Banuelos signs a minor league deal with the Dodgers

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Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.

OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.

Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.

It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.