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« on: May 15, 2019, 09:25:41 am »

No team has gotten more innings from its starting pitchers this season than the Cleveland Indians. No team has gotten fewer than the Tampa Bay Rays.Yet the Indians and Rays have ended up in a similar spot. Cleveland’s team ERA is 3.84. Tampa Bay’s is 3.82.The Rays have been unorthodox in their approach  Starlin Castro Jersey , eschewing a normal starting rotation in favor of a system in which one of their usual relievers might take the mound at the beginning of a game. Right now, Tampa Bay’s depth chart on only lists three pitchers in the rotation — yet the Rays are 60-58 and have a chance for their first winning season since 2013.Tampa Bay has tried using an “opener” at the start of games. One of the team’s relievers might start the game and pitch an inning or two. Then another pitcher — who might normally have been the starter — comes in and perhaps pitches through the middle innings. If his outing begins in the third, for example, he may benefit from not having to face the top hitters as often.The result is that the Rays’ stats are significantly skewed. Tampa Bay’s starters have thrown only 485 1/3 innings in 118 games. Cleveland, led by its stellar foursome of Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Carlos Carrasco and Mike Clevinger, has gotten 737 1/3 innings from its starters. The Indians are atop the AL Central, but the Rays are comparable in terms of run prevention.The starting pitchers for the 2012 Colorado Rockies threw only 765 innings, and according to the database at, that’s the lowest total since at least 1908 in any season that wasn’t shortened by a work stoppage. The Rays appear well on their way to finishing below 700.Other developments from around the majors:NO RESTE.D. stands for Edwin Diaz, and it also stands for every day.The Seattle closer saved all four games of his team’s series sweep of the Houston Astros. The last victory came in 10 innings Sunday.Diaz now has 46 saves for the playoff-chasing Mariners, and he could threaten Francisco Rodriguez’s record of 62, set in 2008. Diaz has also posted a 1.98 ERA.Problem is, his career high in innings is 66, set last season. He’s already at 59 this year. Diaz has also made 59 appearances. Only Jose Alvarez of the Angels (60) has more.HIGHLIGHTSDavid Bote and Cesar Hernandez both circled the bases in memorable fashion.Bote, pinch-hitting for the Chicago Cubs, won Sunday night’s game over Washington with a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth. The Cubs were down 3-0 with two outs before Bote’s drive to center .Hernandez went all the way around the bases after dropping a bunt in Philadelphia’s 5-2 win over Arizona on Tuesday night. There were two throwing errors by the Diamondbacks on the play . The Phillies play the Mets next weekend in the Little League Classic at Williamsport, Pennsylvania, so Hernandez should already be in the right spirit after taking advantage of Arizona’s carelessness.LINE OF THE WEEKMookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox continued his push for the American League MVP award, hitting for the cycle in an 8-5 win over Toronto on Thursday night. He completed the cycle in style, with a home run in the ninth inning. The top position player prospect in the Tribe system raked in 65 percent of the fan vote."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections NewsAnalysis & EditorialsCleveland Indians prospects & minor leaguesGame RecapsTransactionsCleveland Indians prospects & minor leaguesLGT Top Indians Prospects for 2019Nolan Jones is our No. 2 Cleveland Indians prospect. Who should be No. 3? New,138commentsThe top position player prospect in the Tribe system raked in 65 percent of the fan vote.ESTShareTweetShareShareNolan Jones is our No. 2 Cleveland Indians prospect. Who should be No. 3? Mathew CarperThird base prospect Nolan Jones is our No. 2 Cleveland Indians prospect for 2018, improving from his No. 6 ranking last year. Jones was a top-rated high school prospect in the 2016 draft, but dropped to the second round due to signability concerns.In his first taste of Low-A ball in 2017 , Jones was at or near the top of the New York Penn League in batting average (.317), on base percentage (.430), doubles (18), total bases (105) and was tops in walks (43), cementing himself as a stellar contact hitter with a patient approach.It wasn’t until 2018, however, that Jones tapped into the power potential scouts had suggested he possessed due to his 6-foot-4 frame.Jones had only hit four career home runs heading into last year, but playing full-season ball for the first time at Lake County, he blasted 16 home runs while slashing .279/.393/.464. Jones also maintained his elite 16.2% walk rate from Low-A.Jones earned a late promotion to High-A Lynchburg, where his numbers actually improved, increasing his walk rate to a ridiculous 20% while slashing .298/.438/.471 at just 20 years old.The biggest knock on Jones has been his defense, and while he’s still a work in progress, he’s making improvements. Jones was abysmal defensively in 2017, committing 22 errors in just 133 chances for a .835 fielding percentage. In 2018, he made 27 errors in 276 chances, improving his fielding percentage to .902.Jones proved he can play at High-A last year in his 30-game stint, but the Indians might repeat him there if they want to be patient with him. That being said, I hope they give him a chance to prove himself at Double-A. He’s clearly proving he can both hit, hit for power, and walk. Once that glove gets up to snuff, he could easily be the third baseman of the future.Ethan Hankins, RHP (Age 18)2018 (R): 2 GS, 3.0 IP, 42.9 K%, 0.0 BB% Martin Prado Jersey , 6.00 ERA, 1.07 FIP2018 first round compensatory pick has the most potential of any arm in the Tribe system. Fastball nearing triple digits with life to it and the makings of a great change-up and curve.George Valera, OF (Age 18)2018 (R): 22 PA, .333/.409/.556, 1 HR, 1 SB, 13.6 BB%, 13.6 K%, 162 wRC+Top international signing in 2017, skipped the DSL entirely and debuted in Arizona last year. Looked incredible in SSS before broken hamate bone ended his season early.Tyler Freeman, SS (Age 19)2018 (A-): 301 PA, .352/.405/.511, 2 HR, 14 SB, 2.7 BB%, 7.3 K%, 168 wRC+2017 second round competitive balance pick, Freeman is one of the best pure hitters in the Tribe system. He torched the New York Penn League in 2018, although his walk-rate is concerning.Yu Chang, SS (Age 23)2018 (AAA): 518 PA, .256/.330/.411, 14 HR, 4 SB, 8.5 BB%, 27.8 K% , 109 wRC+2018 (AFL): 93 PA, 337/.396/.523, 4 HR, 1 SB, 7.5 BB%, 17.2 K%Chang’s average improved in 2018, although his power dropped from 24 home runs to 14 in his first taste of Triple-A. He stood out in the Arizona Fall League and will compete for the Indians’ utility spot this year.Brayan Rocchio, SS (Age 17)2018 (DSL): 111 PA, .323/.391/.434, 1 HR, 8 SB, 4.5 BB%, 12.6 K%, 140 wRC+2018 (R): 158 PA, .343/.389/.448, 1 HR, 14 SB, 6.3 BB%, 10.8 K%, 137 wRC+Venezuelan signed in 2017, same class as Valera, destroyed the DSL and was promoted to the AZL quickly. Many scouts said he was the best player in the AZL last year, exploding up Tribe prospect rankings as a result.