May 2013

Month in review: April

 

Nick Swisher, Jason Kipnis, Michael BournThe Indians headed into this season with an overhauled offense and high expectations. Given the team’s propensity for strikeouts, and its potential for power, a kind of all-or-nothing output was anticipated. That has, more or less, been the case over the first month for this interesting Indians squad.

The lineup has experienced feast-or-famine stretches that have left Tribe fans scratching their heads, wondering which group is going to show up on a nightly basis. Well, Cleveland closed out April with an all-out smorgasbord at the plate, pounding out 33 runs in the final 26 innings of the month.

On Tuesday night, the Indians launched seven home runs in a game for just the fourth time in team history, and churned out 14 runs. That was without center fielder Michael Bourn (hand injury) and first baseman Nick Swisher (shoulder soreness) — the two big-ticket offseason signings — in the lineup. Indians manager Terry Francona said seeing the entire team pitch in has been the fun part of late.

“It’s actually more fun when a guy like Swish is getting time off and you have guys that are coming in,” Francona said. “You’re using the whole ballclub. I think that’s good. [It's fun] when we score runs, but the growth of the personality of your team and things like that [is good to see].”

The big question coming into this season was simply: will the pitching do its part?

So far, the rotation has endured its share of ups and downs, cycling through eight starters already this season. The bullpen has held steady and the offense has provided ample support for the most part (until the streakiness kicks in), but the rotation will need to improve over the next five months if the Tribe wants to be a serious threat in the American League Central.

Here is a glace at the Indians’ showing in April…

AL Central standings heading into May:

1. Tigers 15-10 (–)
2. Royals 14-10 (.5)
3. Twins 11-12 (3)
4. Indians 11-13 (3.5)
5. White Sox 10-15 (5)

Record at home: 3-6
Record on road: 8-7

Offense (AL rank)

.265 AVG (3)
.333 OBP (4)
.465 SLG (1)
.798 OPS (1)
120 R (5)
222 H (10)
49 2B (5)
36 HR (1)
115 RBI (5)
13 SB (8)
82 BB (5)
199 K (8)
90 XBH (3)
389 TB (4)

Note: This is the 54th time the Indians have hit at least 36 HR in any single month in team history and marks second-most ever for an Indians team in March/April (49, 1997). … The Indians have belted 36 home runs through 24 games (929 PA). The team needed 44 games (1,693 PA) to reach 36 homers last season.

Pitching (AL rank)

10 wins (10)
4.27 ERA (11)
5.09 rot. ERA (11)
2.82 rel. ERA (4)
4 saves (11)
211 IP (14)
186 H (1)
109 R (8)
100 R (8)
32 HR (12)
87 BB (10)
190 K (11)
.235 AVG (2)
1.29 WHIP (9)

Player of the Month: co-winners Carlos Santana and Mark Reynolds

Santana: .389/.476/.722/1.198, 5 HR, 9 2B, 13 RBI, 12 BB, 14 R, 28 H, 20 games
Reynolds: .301/.368/.651/1.019, 8 HR, 3 2B, 22 RBI, 10 BB, 17 R, 25 H, 23 games

Note: Santana exited April with the highest average in the Major Leagues and the highest average in a season’s first month by an Indians catcher in team history. His 1.198 OPS also led baseball and marked the fourth-highest OPS for an Indians hitter in March/April in franchise history. … Reynolds’ eight homers and 22 RBIs are both the most for an Indians hitter in the season’s first month since Juan Gonzalez had eight RBIs and 26 RBIs in April 2001.

Pitcher of the Month: Justin Masterson
Stats: 6 starts, 4-2, 3.12 ERA, 40.1 IP, 39 K, 17 BB, .231 AVG, 1.26 WHIP

Reliever of the Month: Joe Smith
Stats: 9 games, 0.00 ERA, 8 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 9 K, .154 AVG, 0.50 WHIP

Game of the Month (hitter): Ryan Raburn
April 29 against Kanas City: 4-for-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 10 total bases

Game of the Month (pitcher): Justin Masterson
April 12 against White Sox: 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K, 83 game score

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Minor League standouts for April

Triple-A Columbus

Player of the Month: OF Jeremy Hermida
Stats: .259/.376/.471/.847, 4 HR, 4 2B, 1 3B, 15 RBI, 11 R, 24 games

Pitcher of the Month: RHP Preston Guilmet
Stats: 11 games, 1.46 ERA, 8-for-8 saves, 12.1 IP, 13 K, 2 BB, .136 AVG, 0.65 WHIP

Double-A Akron

Player of the Month: 1B/DH Chun Chen
Stats: .351/.468/.558/1.027, 3 HR, 5 2B, 1 3B, 16 RBI, 12 R, 22 games

Pitcher of the Month: LHP T.J. House
Stats: 4 starts, 2-1. 3.22 ERA, 22.1 IP, 27 K, 3 BB, .235 AVG, 1.03 WHIP

Class A (high) Carolina

Player of the Month: SS Francisco Lindor
Stats: .341/.406/.505/.911, 1 HR, 6 2B, 3 3B, 10 RBI, 12 R, 7 SB, 24 games

Pitcher of the Month: RHP Cody Anderson
Stats: 5 starts, 3-0, 2.25 ERA, 28 IP, 18 K, 9 BB, .206 AVG, 1.04 WHIP

Class A (low) Lake County

Player of the Month: OF Logan Vick
Stats: .303/.427/.439/.866, 1 HR, 4 2B, 1 3B, 12 RBI, 12 R, 23 games

Pitcher of the Month: RHP Michael Peoples
Stats: 6 games, 1-0, 1.20 ERA, 15 IP, 18 K, 2 BB, .250 AVG, 1.13 WHIP

–JB

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