Indians roster and schedule
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Cleveland Indians roster and schedule for 2020 season

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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.

Cardinals beat Brewers, both clinch postseason berths

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. LOUIS — Harrison Bader tripled and homered to help the St. Louis Cardinals clinch a postseason berth on the final day of the regular season with a 5-2 win over Milwaukee, and the Brewers also earned a playoff spot Sunday via help on the West Coast moments later.

St. Louis (30-28) will be the fifth seed in the NL and open a three-game wild-card series at San Diego on Wednesday. By winning, the Cardinals avoided having to travel to Detroit for two makeup games Monday. St. Louis finished the regular season with 23 games in 18 days as it made up a slew of postponements caused by a coronavirus outbreak in the clubhouse.

“You had to throw some of the expectations out the window not knowing what to expect after taking those couple weeks off and all those doubleheaders and so many new guys,” Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. “It was very different, very fulfilling to make the playoffs.”

The Brewers (29-31) locked up the eighth seed and a third consecutive postseason berth after the Padres beat San Francisco 5-4 in a game that ended about 15 minutes after St. Louis’ victory. The Giants finished with an identical record as the Brewers but lost out on a tiebreaker due to an inferior intradivision record.

“It’s fitting for 2020 and everything we went through,” Brewers left fielder Christian Yelich said. “It felt just as good as past years. This year’s a unique one. There’s so many challenges we had to go through on a daily basis behind the scenes, things you don’t deal with in a normal year.”

Milwaukee will face the top-seeded Dodgers in Los Angeles in a three-game series that also starts Wednesday.

The Brewers haven’t had a winning record at any point this season. Milwaukee and Houston will be the first teams ever to qualify for the playoffs with a losing mark.

“It’s a celebration,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We’re in the playoffs. That’s how you see it. There’s no reason to apologize for getting into the playoffs.”

Cardinals starter Austin Gomber allowed one run, one hit and two walks and struck out three over four innings.

Giovanny Gallegos (2-0), Genesis Cabrera and Alex Reyes combined to pitch the final five innings. Reyes got his first save.

“We’d have been happy getting in as the eight seed,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “We’d have been happy being the one seed, but people can say we got in if there was no expanded playoffs so that’s even another feather in this group’s cap.”

Brett Anderson (4-4) surrendered a triple to Bader and a walk to Tyler O'Neill to start the third inning before departing with a blister on his left index finger. Anderson opened the season on the injured list with a blister on the same finger and did not make his debut until Aug. 3.

Freddy Peralta replaced him a day after being activated from the paternity list, and O’Neill promptly stole second. Kolten Wong then hit a line drive off Peralta’s leg that Peralta threw into right field to score Bader and O’Neill.

Paul Goldschmidt and Paul DeJong each added RBI singles to push the St. Louis lead to 4-0.

After Milwaukee scored in the top of the fifth, Bader hit his fifth home run of the season.

“That was a big counterpunch,” Shildt said of Bader. “Got them on their heels again.”

THREE TIMES THE FUN

Yadier Molina grounded into a triple play in the eighth inning when he hit a one hop grounder to Jace Peterson at third base in the eighth inning. It was Milwaukee’s first triple play since Sept. 23, 2016, when Cincinnati’s Joey Votto lined out to first base. Molina was also the last Cardinals player to hit into a triple play when he grounded out to third base at Boston on Aug. 15, 2017.

TRAINING ROOM

Brewers: Counsell said it was too early to prognosticate Anderson’s status after departing with the blister.

Cardinals: St. Louis president of baseball operations John Mozeliak announced that RHP Dakota Hudson will have Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Monday. Hudson went 3-2 with a 2.77 ERA in eight starts before leaving his start on Sept. 17 at Pittsburgh with right elbow discomfort after two innings.

UP NEXT

Brewers: The Brewers head to Los Angeles and will likely be without two of their top starters in Anderson and Corbin Burnes, who sustained a left oblique injury on Thursday.

Cardinals: This will be the fourth postseason series between St. Louis and San Diego, who faced each other in 1996, 2005, and 2006 in the Division Series.