The Indians are now riding a 3-game losing streak, and for the first time all season, they've got a losing record (5-6). The team looks to turn things back around this afternoon at 2:10 ET, with Justin Masterson on the mound. They'll be opposed by Felipe Paulino, a righty, which means the pitching matchup is as good as Tribe fans could hope for. I'll be in attendance, and will try to shout some pointers to Justin from the 500 level, to help him rebound from his previous start, which did not go well.
Other Tribe Items
MLB.com's daily notes include items on Jason Kipnis and Ryan Raburn (both of whom have enjoyed a lot of success at U.S. Cellular Field over the years) and quotes from Terry Francona talking about how well he expects the team to do against left-handed pitching (the jury is still out on that one).
FanGraphs' Jeff Sullivan breaks down Danny Salazar's Thursday-night start, in which he became the first pitcher in MLB history to record 10 strikeouts while going fewer than 4 innings. There are GIFs of many of Salazar's pitches, with detailed analysis.
Zack Meisel reports Terry Francona and Mickey Callaway weren't especially impressed with the history Salazar made. Says Callaway: "We don't want that record. I want him to throw shutouts... He needs to focus a little bit better on getting the ball down."
Clint Frazier (the team's #1 draft pick last summer) has been assigned to Low-A Lake County, but is still in Arizona, recovering from a hamstring injury. He's expected to debut with the Captains in another week or so. Frazier is at least two and a half seasons away from arriving in Cleveland, but he might be the best hitter anywhere in the Cleveland farm system, so if you get the chance to see him in action, you should take it.
Jonah Keri observes that 2014 is on pace to annihilate the record for most Tommy John surgeries for players in MLB or MiLB, a count which already stands at 20, with a couple more pitchers headed for the operating table in the next few days. Keri points to new (and questionable) strength-training regimens from a young age and overuse during teen years as possible causes for the rise in injured pitchers (while also acknowledging that it could just be bad luck).
Baseball America's Ben Badler explains that kids in Latin America are being scouted when they're only 12 years old. I'm an elementary school teacher, and I find the idea of talent evaluators trying to assess the MB ability of kids only a few months older than my students somewhat troubling, but I'm also not surprised by it.
SB Nation's Bryan Grosnick looks at the rise of young pitchers around MLB. While some of the difference in production for those guys (as compared to 10-20 years ago) is due to the change in run-scoring around baseball, Grosnick also finds that pitchers are peaking earlier.
Finally, the (very short) story of how early baseball player John Glenn died is a good reminder that the 19th century was an unpleasant time.