Indians roster and schedule
Getty Images

Cleveland Indians roster and schedule for 2020 season

1 Comment

The 2020 MLB season is now a 60-game dash, starting on July 23 and ending, hopefully, with a full-size postseason in October. Between now and the start of the season, we’ll be giving quick capsule previews of each team, reminding you of where things stood back in Spring Training and where they stand now as we embark on what is sure to be the strangest season in baseball history. Next up: The Cleveland Indians roster and schedule:

INDIANS ROSTER (projected) 

When the season opens on July 23-24, teams can sport rosters of up to 30 players, with a minimum of 25. Two weeks later, rosters must be reduced to 28 and then, two weeks after that, they must be reduced to 26. Teams will be permitted to add a 27th player for doubleheaders.

In light of that, there is a great degree of latitude for which specific players will break summer camp. For now, though, here are who we expect to be on the Indians roster to begin the season, give or take:

Catchers

Roberto Pérez
Sandy León

Infielders:

Carlos Santana
César Hernández
Francisco Lindor
José Ramírez
Mike Freeman
Christian Arroyo

Outfielders

Oscar Mercado
Franmil Reyes
Domingo Santana
Tyler Naquin
Jordan Luplow
Bradley Zimmer
Jake Bauers
Delino DeShields Jr.

Starters

Shane Bieber
Mike Clevinger
Carlos Carrasco
Zach Plesac
Aaron Civale
Adam Plutko

Relievers

Brad Hand
Nick Wittgren
Oliver Pérez
Adam Cimber
James Karinchak
James Hoyt
Hunter Wood
Phil Maton
Cam Hill


BREAKDOWN:

The Indians struggled at the plate a great deal in 2019 and a big reason for that was José Ramírez’s horrendous first half. He righted the ship in the second half and, one assumes, that first half was an anomaly. Between him, hopefully, being his usual self, Jason Kipnis‘ departure in favor of César Hernández, and full seasons from Oscar Mercado and Franmil Reyes, there’s a decent chance that the offense is better in 2020. Beyond those guys and, obviously, all-world shortstop Francisco Lindor, the name of the game for the Indians on offense is depth. They have a lot of pretty-decent-but-not-great dudes on the roster, particularly in the outfield, who will cycle in and out of the lineup given the expanded roster in place in the early going.

The rotation has seen a lot of changes over the past year — bye-bye Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — but Shane Bieber is an emerging ace and, when healthy, both Clevinger and Carrasco are more-than-solid starters. Zach Plesac and Aaron Civale were pleasant surprises last year. If they can maintain that level of performance in this shortened season the Indians will prove a lot of people who decried the trades of Bauer and Kluber wrong. Bullpen wise the loss of Emmanuel Clase due to PED suspension was a blow — he has a 100 m.p.h. cutter and was the centerpiece of the Kluber trade — but there is a lot of depth in this pen. It’s a solid group.

All-in-all, the Indians are a step or two back from where they were when they were winning three straight division titles between 2016 and 2018, but this was still a 93-win club last year and they still play in a pretty weak division. They likely don’t have the guns to win a shootout with the Twins, but there is every reason to believe that they can fight for a Wild Card spot.

 

INDIANS SCHEDULE:

Every team will play 60 games. Teams will be playing 40 games against their own division rivals and 20 interleague games against the corresponding geographic division from the other league. Six of the 20 interleague games will be “rivalry” games.

Indians home stands will be July 24-29 (Royals, White Sox), August 5-6 (Reds), August 11-12 (Cubs), August 21-26 (Tigers, Twins), September 4-10 (Brewers, Royals), and September 21-27 (White Sox, Pirates).

The entire Indians roster and schedule can be seen here.

Angels’ Andrelton Simmons opts out of final 5 games

Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Leave a comment

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shortstop Andrelton Simmons has opted out of the remainder of the Los Angeles Angels’ season.

The Angels announced the four-time Gold Glove-winning shortstop’s decision Tuesday before they faced the San Diego Padres.

Los Angeles (24-31) is still technically in the playoff race with five games left in the regular season, and Simmons clearly caught the Angels by surprise, although the club said it respected his decision.

The 31-year-old Simmons, who can be a free agent this winter, is finishing his fifth year with the Angels. After spraining his ankle in late July and missing 22 games, Simmons is currently batting .297 with 10 RBIs while playing his usual stellar defense, albeit with four errors in 30 games.

“At this time, I feel this is the best decision for me and my family,” Simmons said in a statement. “We don’t know what the future holds, but we would like to sincerely thank the Angels organization and Angels fans for welcoming and making us feel at home.”

Manager Joe Maddon acknowledged he was caught by surprise when general manager Billy Eppler told him about Simmons’ decision Monday night after Simmons went 1 for 4 with an RBI single in the Angels’ home finale. Maddon texted Simmons, but hadn’t heard back by Tuesday afternoon.

“I’ve really enjoyed this guy a lot,” Maddon said. “I’m a big fan. This guy is a good baseball player, and I’ve enjoyed the conversations, too. It’s just unfortunate. He’s really a big part of what we’re doing right now.”

Simmons is a favorite of Angels fans for his defensive wizardry, and owner Arte Moreno has described Simmons as perhaps his favorite player to watch on the roster. Simmons has batted .281 with 36 homers and 281 RBIs during his five seasons with Los Angeles, and he won the Gold Glove in 2017 and 2018.

“He’s a thinking kind of a player, and I’ve enjoyed him a lot,” Maddon said.

Simmons will be a free agent this winter, and the Angels have an obvious replacement for him in David Fletcher, who has a .374 on-base percentage while regularly hitting leadoff for the Angels during his breakout major league season. Fletcher has been playing second base since Simmons’ return from injury.

But the Angels haven’t publicly closed the door on Simmons’ return, and he could be given a qualifying offer. Maddon has repeatedly said he would like Simmons to return in 2021 if possible.

The Angels haven’t had a winning season during Simmons’ five years in Anaheim, although Simmons said last week he wasn’t discouraged by the lack of team success. Simmons played his first four major league seasons in Atlanta, and he hasn’t appeared in the postseason since 2013.

Simmons also said he hadn’t been involved in any recent contract talks with the Angels, but he had enjoyed playing for the club. When asked if he wanted to return to the Halos, Simmons said he would have to “plead the fifth.”