Manny Acta on Indians’ need for trade deadline help: “That’s an understatement”

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Asked yesterday if he thinks the Indians need to make a move prior to the July 31 trade deadline, manager Manny Acta replied: “That’s an understatement.”

And that was before they lost to the Twins on a walk-off hit after taking a 1-0 lead into the ninth inning.

Here’s what Acta told Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

We know that from top to bottom. We’re working on it. People need to understand that it takes two to tango. You can have your Christmas list and your wishes, but you need someone else to engage with who is also going to work. It’s very easy to say go grab such and such. Go grab such and such. But they belong to somebody. It’s not like you’re going to a grocery store and grabbing something.

Shin-Soo Choo and Grady Sizemore are both on the disabled list, leaving the Indians short-handed in the outfield, and Hoynes reports that their “focus is on a middle-of-the-order right-handed hitter” and “they could use a starting pitcher as well.”

However, don’t expect the Indians to make any blockbuster deals. They’re contending a year or two sooner than expected, thanks largely to how pathetic the AL Central is right now, but Cleveland is highly unlikely to give up one of their top prospects to add veteran help.

If they’re willing to settle for a mid-rotation starter and a platoon bat, Acta and company should be able to find some dance partners.

Clayton Kershaw completes spring training with a 0.00 ERA

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Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.

In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.

The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.

The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.