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Hey, Hoynsie: What is behind the Indians weak hitting? – Slam Effect.
Hey, Slam: Hitting is down throughout the big leagues. The average team batting average this year is .239.
I think a lot of it has to do with the convoluted path MLB had to take to get this season started in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Two spring trainings, the second one only three weeks long, after nearly a four-month shutdown caused hitters and pitchers to embark on an unknown training schedule.
Regarding the Indians, the top four hitters in the lineup seem to be pressing, especially Francisco Lindor, who does not look comfortable in the No.3 spot. As for the bottom of the lineup, the production is non-existent. Perhaps the return of Tyler Naquin, and the anticipated return of catcher Roberto Perez, can change that.
It seems like the Indians have managed to have only one hot hitter in the lineup through various parts of the first 20 games of the season — Jose Ramirez, Cesar Hernandez and Franmil Reyes. It’s hard to win that way no matter how good a team’s pitching is.
Hey, Hoynsie: Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger not only endangered their own health and the health of their teammates, but also broke their promise to the team when they broke curfew last Saturday in Chicago. Are they arrogant or immature? – Art Flicker, Albuquerque, N.M.
Hey, Art: Whatever the motivation of Plesac and Clevinger for breaking curfew last weekend in Chicago, their teammates apparently were not satisfied enough with their explanation to welcome them back on the big-league club during their team meeting Friday in Detroit. At the very least their decision to break curfew was bad judgment. At the worst, it was selfish and reckless.
Hey, Hoynsie: I have noticed during games on TV and radio that they announce that the pitcher has thrown a certain number of fastballs, curves, sliders, changeups, etc. Is there an actual spotter with binoculars that reviews every pitch? Is this a guesstimate of the type of pitch? How do they actually come up with their numbers? — Edward Radatz, Sandusky.
Hey, Edward: MLB.com’s Statcast keeps track of every pitch at every ballpark. It’s the computerized data used by front offices in the big leagues in scouting and evaluating players. That information is available on baseball savant.com if you want to follow along. It includes the velocity and variety of every pitch thrown.
Every big-league ballpark has the same computer technology to measure pitches, bat speed, exit velocity etc.
Hey, Hoynsie: There were rumors that the Dodgers wanted Mike Clevinger and Francisco Lindor for Gavin Lux last winter. I know there would be more than three players involved in a deal like that, but with a possible clubhouse split caused by Clevinger and Zach Plesac, would this be the right time to do a trade like that? – Tom, Mount Vernon.
Hey, Tom: I can’t see the Indians doing that kind of trade by the Aug. 31 deadline. There are too many risks about this season to make a deal like that. I’m not saying a deal that big wouldn’t happen, but I think it would be more likely to take place in the offseason when teams have a clearer picture of the pandemic and what 2021 will look like.
Hey, Hoynsie: Do you see any teams folding or needing to relocate after following this season because of the pandemic? – Frank, New York, N.Y.
Hey, Frank: I don’t think that’s going to happen. There has been some talk of MLB pushing for expansion in the near future to help current owners recoup losses from this year through the expansion fees of the new teams. The Rays and Diamondbacks, who started play in 1998, paid expansion fees of $130 million each.
It’s been speculated that when MLB owners were found guilty of collusion from 1985 through 1987, one of the reasons they expanded in 1993 was to help pay their fines.
New Indians face masks for sale: Here’s where you can buy Cleveland Indians-themed face coverings for coronavirus protection, including a single mask ($14.99) and a 3-pack ($24.99). All MLB proceeds donated to charity.
More Indians coverage
Cleveland Indians reinstate Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac from MLB restricted list, option both to alternate training site
Did Cleveland Indians’ Zach Plesac help or hurt his case with video explanation? (podcast)
Regarding the Cleveland Indians’ Zach Plesac, sometimes silence really is golden: Paul Hoynes
Cleveland Indians’ Zach Plesac details the night he broke COVID-19 protocols and rips media in video shared via Instagram
Is there a magic cure for the Cleveland Indians’ anemic offense? (podcast)
How Shane Bieber went from a command-and-control pitcher to a strikeout superhero for the Cleveland Indians
Can Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona bring a fractured clubhouse together? Paul Hoynes
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