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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:38 am ( 6 )
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GOODYEAR , Ariz. (AP) After their best player discussed his injury and an uncertain future, the Indians got to work on the present.Cleveland held its first full-squad workout of spring training on Monday, the first step for a talented team that looks very different than the one which captured its third straight AL Central title in 2018.Following an eventful offseason culminated with All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindors calf injury, the Indians took the field after manager Terry Francona delivered his annual address. His message this year focused on moving forward.The way we feel about the game doesnt change, Francona said. I told them that you can break spring training into three groups: You have the young guys trying to create a good first impression. You have the guys competing for a job. You have the veterans trying to get ready for a long season.Earlier, Lindor said now is not the time for him to worry about a long-term contract.The 25-year-old shortstop spoke for the first time since straining his right calf while doing agility drills in Orlando, Florida. One of baseballs best all-around players, Lindor could miss all of camp as well as opening day. The Indians have estimated Lindor will be sidelined until late-March at the earliest but Francona believes hell be back sooner.If I were betting, Id bet the under, Francona said. Anyone who knows Frankie knows how hard he works to stay in shape.Lindor said hes only focused on getting healthy and not his financial future, which is a constant topic among Cleveland fans. The Indians have contractual control of Lindor through 2021, but the clock is ticking on them to win their first World Series since 1948 before he becomes eligible for free agency.Lindor avoided salary arbitration last month by agreeing to a $10.55 million, one-year contract.He has previously turned down a long-term contract and sidestepped questions about if he would consider signing one with Cleveland.Who knows? Lindor said. Thats not where we are right now. I love the city of Cleveland. I love everything about Cleveland. I love messing with you reporters. Well see what happens. At the end of the day Im playing the game to win, and this is a good place for me to win.Well see. If the Indians come up with the right numbers and some point it happens and Im not even thinking about it well see.Lindor set career-highs with 129 runs Tommy Hunter Jersey ( , 183 hits, 38 homers, 92 RBIs and 661 at-bats last season. He batted .277, recorded 25 steals in 35 attempts and finished sixth in MVP voting.Unlike teammate Trevor Bauer, who won his case, Lindor avoided arbitration.Why?Did you see the number? Its pretty good, he said, flashing that famous smile. Ill take it. Im blessed to play this game and get paid for it. My agent did an outstanding job and the Indians came up with the right number. We thought it was good for what the market was dictating to me.The Indians need another big year from Lindor to help offset the losses of Edwin Encarnacion, Yonder Alonso and Michael Brantley, three major run producers.Lindors injury might be a setback for now, but hes doing all he can to remain positive and patient.It is a different feeling to not be able to do what you want, Lindor said. The trainers have to keep me busy. The moment Im not busy, I pick up a bat, look at my cleats. I want to take off running.Thats when you have setbacks.Lindor said he arrives at the facility to begin his rehab at 7 a.m. and stays until 3 p.m. He hasnt tried running yet.It is longer than a typical day with regular work Will Middlebrooks Jersey ( , Lindor said. Every day so far has been successful.As long as I come back on a daily basis to help my teammates that is all that matters.Francona said he spoke with Lindor and outfielder Bradley Zimmer, who had shoulder surgery in July, and encouraged them to keep working.Sometimes that can be perceived as a negative, lets turn it into a positive, Francona said. I told Zim and I told Frankie the same thing. I said Frankie should be the best bunter in the league before you leave here. Can you imagine if Zim can get a bunt a week, what that would mean?Zimmer is part of a contingent of outfielders battled for three starting spots. That group includes Leoynis Martin, who was only with the Indians for six days last season before being hospitalized with a bacterial infection, along with Tyler Naquin and Greg Allen.Franconas other big challenge this spring is rebuilding a bullpen that lost Cody Allen and Andrew Miller.Fans want a big splash and I get it, but the front office did a good job of quietly bringing in quality bullpen arms, Francona said. ST. LOUIS (AP) Fortunately for the Milwaukee Brewers, they didnt slip up.The Brewers clinched their first playoff spot since 2011 by ensuring at least a spot in the NL wild-card game, helped Wednesday night when a rookie St. Louis pinch-runner suddenly fell on his way to the plate in a 2-1 win over the contending Cardinals.I saw him go down and luckily we were able to put a tag on him and get him out, Brewers reliever Josh Hader said. Ive never seen that before but it was definitely good on our side.The Brewers (92-67) remained a half-game behind the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs. Milwaukees win also sealed a postseason berth for the Cubs.Milwaukee began the day 3 ½ games ahead of Colorado for the top wild-card slot. St. Louis (87-71) entered a half-game behind the Rockies for the final wild-card berth.The Cardinals missed a big chance to tie it in the eighth inning. Matt Carpenter drew a two-out walk and was lifted for pinch-runner Adolis Garcia. Jose Martinez then hit a slow roller to third baseman Mike Moustakas, who threw wildly to first.Garcia was waved home Francisco Rodriguez Jersey ( , but slipped rounding third base and fell halfway to the plate. He got to his feet and had no chance, easily tagged out after second baseman Hernan Perez made a strong throw.The kids giving you everything hes got, its just unfortunate he fell, Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. Its one of those things that happened. Clearly, it wouldve tied the game but it wasnt for lack of effort. Things happen and he was giving everything he had.Milwaukee turned that break into a three-game sweep at Busch Stadium. And while the Brewers enjoyed an enthusiastic celebration in their clubhouse, the prospect of catching the Cubs still hung in the air.We like our chances, but obviously winning the division would be huge, outfielder Ryan Braun said. The wild-card game, no matter how good you are, it is always somewhat of a coin flip. So we have to take care of business. We have to continue to win games and continue to play the way weve played to this point and hopefully find a way to win the division.Milwaukee advanced to the NL Championship Series in 2011 before being eliminated in six games by the eventual World Series champion Cardinals.Jhoulys Chacin pitched five strong innings and Travis Shaw hit a pair of RBI singles for Milwaukee.When youve got games left still and youve got something to play for theres stuff ahead of us, but you do this to enjoy what youve accomplished, Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. We know that weve made the playoffs, we have a chance to play in the playoffs and we have three big games left.Chacin (15-8), who had lost his last three decisions Jake Arrieta Jersey ( , gave up one run on just one hit over five innings. He needed a season-low 60 pitches and faced three batters over the minimum.We definitely caught a break there, it was a strange play, Counsell said of the Garcia fall. We pitched really well tonight. Chacin was brilliant. It was just a really well played game.Xavier Cedeno, Corbin Burnes, Hader and Jeremy Jeffress combined for four shutout innings as the Brewers held the Cardinals to a season-low two hits. Jeffress earned his 13th save in 18 chances.Milwaukee now returns to Miller Park to take on the lowly Detroit Tigers in the three-game series starting Friday to end the regular season. The Cardinals travel to face the Cubs for the three-game set.Shaws single scored Christian Yelich, who walked all five times he came to the plate, and gave the Brewers a 1-0 lead in the third.Shaw broke a 1-all time with an RBI single off Dakota Hudson in the fifth, again scoring Yelich, to make it 2-1.Its cool, Shaw said. I mean anytime you do that its cool but especially on a clinching night, it feels pretty good.Yelich, who reached on a walk by Chasen Shreve (3-4), became the ninth inherited runner out of 18 that Hudson has allowed to score.Hopefully this is the first of many celebrations and rightfully so to celebrate this moment, Yelich said. But weve got a big weekend ahead so were going to enjoy it tonight and get back to work.Cardinals starter John Gant stranded runners in each of his first four innings before being lifted with one out in the fifth. It is the fourth time in his last five starts that Gant failed to go more than 4 1/3 innings.Jedd Gyorkos sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the fourth made it 1-all.Cardinals infielder Paul DeJong hung back to watch the Brewers on-field celebration.They earned it Nick Williams Jersey ( , DeJong said. Its something that I want. Its something that Ive done in the minor leagues. I really wanted to be out there doing it with us but were going to have to keep pushing and try to pull something out.TRAINERS ROOMBrewers: Jeffress, who missed the series opener because of neck spasms, pitched for the first time since Friday went 1 1/3 innings.UP NEXTBrewers: RHP Zach Davies (2-7, 4.65 ERA) begins the three-game series at home Friday night against Detroit and RHP Jordan Zimmermann (7-8, 4.31 ERA). Davies, who is making his first career start against the Tigers, gave up two runs in four innings in a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates last Saturday.Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (2-3, 4.08 ERA) gets the start in the opener of a three-game series at Chicago and RHP Kyle Hendricks (13-11, 3.49 ERA) on Friday afternoon. Wainwright leads all active pitchers with 15 wins against the Cubs and his 11 career wins at Wrigley Field is third all-time in franchise history behind Bob Gibson (15) and Harry Brecheen (13).
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