I sent off some Cleveland Indians questions to Jason Lukehart of Let's Go Tribe and he was nice enough to answer them for us.
Can you tell us about Yan Gomes injury and his time line? Who takes over at catcher and what do you think of him? You wouldn't be interested in a slightly used Dioner Navarro would you?
Gomes was taken out by a sloppy slide into home plate on a force play by Detroit's Rajai Davis. He suffered a sprained MCL, and is expected to return around the end of May. Roberto Perez has taken over as the starter in Yan's absence. He's obviously not the same caliber player, but he is a good defensive catcher, and has shown some ability to draw a walk. It's not an ideal situation, but it could be worse. I'll pass on Navarro, but thanks for the offer! And thanks for giving us Gomes in the first place. I hope Esmil Rogers has worked out equally well for you guys. /checks on Rogers... Oh, sorry for bringing that up.
The Indians are off to a slow start, what's going wrong?
To begin with... everything.
Though the lineup has begun to show some signs of life, most of them still have pretty weak numbers. The defense has been just as bad as it was last year (which is to say, very bad), the bullpen has the second highest ERA in the American League and has already picked up four losses, and the starting rotation has been plagued by an ungodly BABIP against of .375. April was a very painful month.
Who is your favorite Indian to watch?
I'm a pitching fan, so getting to watch Corey Kluber every fifth day has become a real treat. Carlos Santana is my favorite player on the team though. Watching him lead the league in walks probably don't qualify as "exciting," but he's the guy I root hardest for. He was also the inspiration for the only Photoshop job of my life. I give Lando Carlossian:
Who is your closer? Are you confident in the team's ability to close out close wins?
Cody Allen took over as closer fairly early last season, and he did really well, with a 2.07 ERA and good peripherals. The Indians have had a very shaky collection of closers in the last 15-20 years, so my default feeling in a close game late has been uneasy. By the end of last season though, Allen had done a lot to change that; I had more confidence than I'd had in years and years. In his first 8 appearances this season, Allen has an ERA of 11.57, due to two disastrous outings, serving as a good reminder of why I was so uneasy all those years.
I have to ask, do you see a day coming when the team has to change the "Chief Wahoo" logo? How about the name, ten years will they still be the Indians?
He's less prominent than he was a decade (or even five years) ago, and I expect that trend to continue. The name, on the other hand, doesn't seem especially bothersome to many, and with it having been used for more than a century now, I don't think it will be changed anytime soon. There are certainly a lot of Tribe fans who will be angry when Chief Wahoo is someday taken off the uniforms, though I am not among them. Changing the name would feel like a complete loss of identity though, and while I can't fully articulate why, I'd be saddened if it came to that.
Jerry Sands is having a good start to his career with the Indians. He's a little old to still be a prospect, but what do you expect from him.
Sand was actually designated for assignment Wednesday night, to make room for another reliever, which Terry Francona likes to have as many of as possible. Sands wasn't likely to keep his roster spot much longer anyway, because he was only a #4 or 5 outfielder anyway, and Nick Swisher is about to return from operations on both his knees. I wouldn't mind if Sands cleared waivers and could be sent to Triple-A, just in case, but his good start wasn't enough to make me think he could have been a key contributor this year. Two of the team's top three prospects are outfielders, and while neither of them (Clint Frazier and Bradley Zimmer) is going to arrive this season, one of them might make it to Cleveland by the end of 2016.
Sure, I ask about a guy so they send him to the minors.