September 24, 2021

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Here is what’s happening on Day 19 of spring training for the Cleveland Indians

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — Just back from a week watching the Indians in Goodyear, Ariz. Here are five things that stuck with me.

No. 1: I’m wondering where the power is going to come from on this offense. I know where it’s supposed to come from — Jose Ramirez, Franmil Reyes and Eddie Rosario — but there has to be more contributors than that.

No. 2: James Karinchak told the Indians his goal coming into spring training was to be pitching in the ninth inning on opening day. It looks like he’s trying to prove that point every time he takes the mound and that’s a hard way to pitch.

No. 3: Outside of Aaron Civale’s three-inning performance against the Brewers last week, the Indians pride and joy, starting pitching, has looked ragged around the edges. The Indians have traded away a lot of talent, innings and experience since 2019 in Trevor Bauer, Corey Kluber, Mike Clevinger and Carlos Carrasco. This season is going to be an interesting test for the starters left behind.

No. 4: After Jose Ramirez and Reyes’ Arizona adventure on Friday, I’m guessing everybody is riding the team bus to and from away games. If Carlos Baerga was still playing with the Indians, and he knew Reyes wanted a haircut that bad, he would have brought his personal barber on the team bus. Problem solved. See, there’s always a solution.

No. 5: I’m still wrestling with the mute, unmute bottom on Zoom calls despite doing them for almost a year. I know that surprises a lot of people. But it doesn’t surprise me at all, which says a lot.

On the clock:

Stretch it out: Players stretch at 11 a.m.

Give it a break: After being held to seven hits in the last two games, there was no on-field batting practice on Monday. Players could hit on their own in the cages.

Side work: Shane Bieber, Sam Hentges and Scott Moss were scheduled to throw bullpen sessions at 11:25 a.m.

For the record: The Indians are 4-4 this spring following Sunday’s loss to the A’s.

On the mound: Zach Plesac makes his second start of the spring on Monday when he faces Seattle. The first time out he allowed three runs on four hits in two innings against Arizona. Monday’s game will be a 3:05 p.m. and will be carried by Indians.com webcast.

Also pitching: Bryan Shaw, Heath Hembree, Phil Maton, Emmanuel Clase and Nick Sandlin are scheduled to follow Plesac.

First time: This is the first time Sandlin has been on the lineup card. The Indians second pick in 2018 was sick for the early part of camp and fell behind. He was on the fast track to the big leagues after pitching at four different levels in 2018, but a fractured right forearm in 2019 set him back.

They said it: “He’s obviously not commanding yet like he will, and for James, he doesn’t even always have to command. I just think if he works ahead and they have to respect two pitches, fastball, breaking ball, he’ll be just fine,” — Terry Francona on Sunday after another inconsistence appearance by Karinchak, who allowed two hits, two walks and a run in the fourth inning against Oakland. In his previous appearance, he started his inning with nine straight balls.

indians face masks

A variety of Cleveland Indians face masks available online today. (Fanatics.com)

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.

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