Goodbye Indians, Hello Guardians

Goodbye Indians, Hello Guardians

The popular MLB team formerly known as the “Cleveland Indians” are now known as the “Guardians”. The new name was met with mixed emotions.

Our Rachel Hill, who resides in Cleveland, gives her take on the long-overdue name change.

 

Cleveland Indians Rookie Bobby Bradley Is The Tower With The Power

Cleveland Indians Rookie Bobby Bradley Is The Tower With The Power

Bobby Bradley has come out swinging for the Cleveland Indians. 

The first baseman’s season debut was overshadowed by the brilliance of Cedric Mullins this past weekend, as Cleveland dropped two of three to the Baltimore Orioles, but it was still impressive.

In five at-bats over two games, Bradley went 4-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, three RBIs, and three runs scored.

 

 

Bradley, known as “The Assassin,” entered 2021 as the 18th-ranked prospect in the Indians’ system, and the sixth-ranked prospect among all first baseman due to his incredible power.

As a minor leaguer, from 2015-2019 Bradley sent 139 baseballs into the stands, averaging nearly 28 per season. The biggest impediment on his path to the bigs has been his lack of plate discipline. Over nearly 2500 at-bats, he managed only a .251 average and struck out 814 times.

By the end of spring training, he was hitting .303 and an OPS of .951. After joining the Triple-A Columbus Clippers, his inconsistency returned. His average dropped to .196 in 109 plate appearances.

But, that power though.

He still managed to crush nine home runs for the Clippers, like this shot right before he was called up.

 

 

In five at-bats Bradley nearly matched the season production of Jake Bauers, who had been at first for 43 games and 100 ABs. Bauers had just two home runs, three doubles, six RBIs, and scored seven times.

So it was hard for Indians fans to not immediately be excited about adding more offense to a team chasing the loaded Chicago White Sox in the American League Central standings.

 

Cleveland manager Terry Francona welcomed any offensive production on a day when his team got trounced 18-5. The Indians have been awful at the plate all season. Their 231 runs are third-worst in the American League, and only the Seattle Mariners (.208) are batting worse than Cleveland’s .221 team average.

“That was really good to see,” said Francona. “Again, we’re dying to get some production from our lineup and to get him off to a good start I think is important. Hopefully, he feels really good about himself.”

But not too good. This has been the season of the pitcher. Strikeouts and no-hitters are getting racked up at record numbers. Bradley has been waiting for his moment to prove himself, and he should get every opportunity to show that he’s ready for the main stage. Even if he does struggle occasionally, the Indians don’t have any other option than to let Bradley work through it.

“I feel like there’s actually less pressure now in my case,” he said after Sunday’s defeat. “With all the moves that happened, now they’re looking at me and I get to settle in and play my game.”

His defense has to get better, and teams will challenge him to see if Bradley can maintain the steady approach he took over the weekend, but Bobby Bradley seems up to the challenge. His first trip to the bigs lasted only 15 games, back in 2019. 

He batted .178 with four RBIs, barely getting a chance to taste his cup of coffee, let alone enjoy it.

He did do this.

 

That 457-foot towering blast against the Minnesota Twins showed off the ability to crush the ball with Giancarlo Stanton-like power, as the ball jumped off his bat at a staggering 113.5 mph.

Bradley plans to stick this time around by playing his game and not taking any of this for granted.

“All the starry-eyed moments are gone,” he said. “Like being around all the guys you watched on TV. Now I’m just another one of the guys and I just get to go out and have fun.”

And if Bobby Bradley is having fun, that means pitchers won’t be. 

T Eazy Has That Legends Sauce | Cleveland Should Fall Back & Let McKenzie Clap

T Eazy Has That Legends Sauce | Cleveland Should Fall Back & Let McKenzie Clap

If there’s one thing that sports can’t live without, it’s an old-fashioned Cinderella story. And if Cinderella watched baseball, she’d love Triston McKenzie. 

On Monday, McKenzie earned himself a spot in the Cleveland Indians’ history book after his eight consecutive strikeouts against the Chicago White Sox.

After fanning Jose Abreu to close out the third inning, he had consecutive strikeouts through the fourth and fifth inning before striking out Jake Lamb to start the sixth. His eight strikeouts are a franchise record. The performance surpassed Corey Kluber’s seven straight strikeouts against the White Sox in 2014. In total, McKenzie finished the night with 10 K’s. 

 

 

While the numbers are impressive, a good Cinderella story isn’t about numbers. It’s about the story behind the story. On paper, McKenzie’s numbers mean that he wasn’t supposed to come out and make history against the White Sox. While he was supposed to be a breakout star for the Indians this season, he has struggled to do so.

He carried a 5.94 ERA with a 1-3 record going into Monday’s game. Allowing walks had been his kryptonite. The former ranked prospect spent the end of May switching between the Triple-A Columbus Clippers and the Indians. After receiving a call-up in late May to replace the injured Zach Plesac, McKenzie came out strong and pitched five scoreless innings with only one hit against the Detroit Tigers. Nevertheless, he got called back down again before getting the call-up for Monday’s game.

 

 

Despite the Indians’ 8-6 loss on Monday, McKenzie displayed enough poise to gather himself after a trying second inning. He allowed four runs in the second inning before throwing strikeout after strikeout as the game progressed. 

Ultimately, McKenzie possessed a key intangible that any great pitcher needs. He was able to gather his composure, learn from his mistakes and bounce back, all over the course of one game. Those are talents he will need to reach his ultimate goal of being the next Dwight Gooden (His Dad’s favorite pitcher). 

But should that be shocking? The ability to bounce back and leave the past in the past has to be one of his strongest intangibles. His struggles this season come after his 2020 debut season when he pitched in 8 games and posted an ERA of 3.24.

Entering the current season, he was expected to be a starter for the Indians. He had even clinched an Opening Day rotation spot before things seemingly went south for the young pitcher. 

 

 

While a run in the big leagues isn’t complete without a few growing pains, what the world saw from McKenzie on Monday is that he is capable of making the proper adjustments to be an asset for the Indians. 

So now the Indians are left with a tough choice, and McKenzie’s mental strength might have to be stronger now than ever before. While McKenzie’s call-up was supposed to be temporary, maybe he is showing that he’s ready to be a major-league starter. It’s possible that the lingering idea of another call to the minors is enough to mentally prepare him for more historic major league outings.