Jose Ramirez Homers to Help Cleveland Indians Clinch MLB Playoff Spot

Jose Ramirez is proving he’s an MVP

In one swing, the 28-year-old Dominican professional baseball third baseman batted the Cleveland Indians into the playoffs and strengthened his case for the American League MVP award.

Jose Ramirez

Ramirez hit a three-run homer with two outs in the 10th inning, giving Cleveland a 5-3 win over the Chicago White Sox that clinched a postseason berth Tuesday night.

Ramirez’s drive to right off Jose Ruiz scored Cesar Hernandez and Francisco Lindor, leading to a wild celebration at home plate as the Indians reached the postseason for the fourth time in five years.

“Once I hit it, I knew it was a home run because I got it right on the barrel,” said Ramirez, who is hitting .500 (14 of 28) with six homers and 16 RBIs in his last seven games. “There was a lot less champagne than usual, but it was still a good celebration.”

Lindor had pulled Cleveland within one on a two-out double that plated Roberto Perez, who began the inning on second base. After Matt Foster (5-1) walked Hernandez, Ruiz entered and gave up the game-ending drive.

AL Central-leading Chicago lost for the fourth time in five games, creating a logjam at the top of the division.

The Minnesota Twins is in second and Cleveland is just three games back.

Francisco Lindor Agrees to One-Year, $17.5 Million Deal with the Cleveland Indians

Francisco Lindor is staying in Cleveland…

The 26-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball shortstophas agreed to a $17.5 million, one-year contract with the Cleveland Indians, avoiding salary arbitration.

Francisco Lindor

The Indians, who have so far rejected trade offers for the four-time MLB All-Star, gave Lindor the second-largest one-year deal for a player in his second season of arbitration eligibility, behind only the $20 million Mookie Bettsagreed to last year with the Boston Red Sox

Lindor, who made $10.65 million last year, is under control of the Indians through the 2021 season, but with the prospects of signing him to a long-term deal unlikely, the team has listened to trade offers. To this point, Cleveland hasn’t heard anything worth moving on and team president Chris Antonetti said earlier this week he still expects Lindor to be the starting shortstop on Opening Day.

Lindor has become one of baseball’s best all-around players and he’s certain to land a monster free-agent contract once he’s on the market. He hit .284 with 32 home runs and 74 RBIs last season. He scored 101 runs and stole 22 bases.

Cesar Hernandez Agrees to One-Year Deal with the Cleveland Indians

Cesar Hernandez is heading to Cleveland…

The 29-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball player and second baseman has agreed to a one-year, $6.25 million contract with the Cleveland Indians, according to ESPN.

Cesar Hernandez

Hernandez became a free agent when he wasn’t tendered a contract by the Philadelphia Philliesafter a season in which he hit .279 with 14 home runs and a career-high 71 RBIs.

He avoided arbitration in 2019 by reaching a one-year, $7.75 million deal with Philadelphia, and he was again eligible for arbitration had he signed after the season.

Hernandez had been a starter with the Phillies since 2015, when he replaced Chase Utley. He led the team with a .294 batting average in both 2016 and 2017, then had a career-high 15 home runs in 2018. He has averaged 2.5 wins above replacement over the past four seasons.

Hernandez had been with the Phillies since signing with them out of Venezuela in 2006 at the age of 16. He has a .277 career average with 253 RBIs and a .352 on-base percentage.

With the addition of Hernandez, the Indians will likely keep Jose Ramirezat third base. The club considered sliding Ramirez over to the right side of the infield and pairing him with All-Starshortstop Francisco Lindor, whose name continues to be bounced around in trade rumors.

Nolan Arenado Wins Seventh Straight Golden Glove Award

The golden streak continues for Nolan Arenado

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American Major League Baseball player has extended his streak of winning a Gold Glove Award in every season of his career on Sunday, when the Colorado Rockies star earned the award for National Leaguet hird basemen for the seventh consecutive year.

Nolan Arenado

Arenado has won the award each year since he debuted in 2013. With this year’s win, he moved into sole possession of fourth place for the most Gold Glovesamong third basemen and just one behind Scott Rolenfor third place all time.

Only Baltimore Orioles legend Brooks Robinson, who won 16 Gold Gloves in a row from 1960 to ’75, and Mike Schmidt, who won 10, have more than Arenado. Robinson has the most Gold Gloves among all position players, but at just 28 years old, Arenado has a chance to catch him.

Kansas City Royals veteran Alex Gordon also won his seventh career Gold Glove, claiming the ALleft fielder award for the third straight year to move into a tie for 14th-most among outfielders.

2019 Gold Glove Winners

POS.ALNL
CRoberto Perez, IndiansJ.T. Realmuto, Phillies
1BMatt Olson, AthleticsAnthony Rizzo, Cubs
2BYolmer Sanchez, White SoxKolten Wong, Cardinals
SSFrancisco Lindor, IndiansNick Ahmed, Diamondbacks
3BMatt Chapman, AthleticsNolan Arenado, Rockies
LFAlex Gordon, RoyalsDavid Peralta, Diamondbacks
CFKevin Kiermaier, RaysLorenzo Cain, Brewers
RFMookie Betts, Red SoxCody Bellinger, Dodgers
PMike Leake, MarinersZack Greinke, Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks had four Gold Glove winners on their team this season, including both pitchers, Mike Leake and Zack Greinke, though the two never played with each other. Leake won the American League pitcher’s award for his time with the Seattle Mariners before Arizona acquired him at the trade deadline on July 31, the day the Diamondbacks dealt Greinke to the Houston Astros.

Shortstop Nick Ahmed, who won his second straight Gold Glove, and left fielder David Peralta were the other Diamondbacks honored Sunday. Peralta was one of three National League outfielders who won their first Gold Gloves, joining the Milwaukee Brewers‘ Lorenzo Cain and the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ Cody Bellinger.

The Oakland Athletics had a pair of winners, as first baseman Matt Olson and third baseman Matt Chapman both won for the second straight season. The Cleveland Indians had two Gold Glovers in shortstop Francisco Lindor, who won the second of his career, and catcher Roberto Perez, a first-time winner.

The second baseman awards went to the Chicago White Sox‘s Yolmer Sanchez and the St. Louis Cardinals‘ Kolten Wong, who both won for the first time.

Also in the American League, Boston Red Soxright fielder Mookie Betts won for the fourth straight season, and Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier won his third career Gold Glove after a two-year absence.

In the National League, Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo won his third career Gold Glove and second in a row, while catcher J.T. Realmuto earned his first award in his first season with the Philadelphia Philliesafter a preseason trade from the Marlins.

Managers and up to six coaches per team vote for the awards in their league and cannot choose their own players. For the first time, the defensive index from the Society for American Baseball Research was used, and it comprised about 25% of the vote, with the managers and coaches ballots the rest.

Jose Ramirez to be Part of Cleveland Indians’ Opening Day Lineup

Jose Ramirez should be in the game on Opening Day…

The 26-year-old Dominican professional baseball third baseman is expected to be in the Cleveland Indians‘ opening day lineup Thursday, four days after fouling a pitch off the area below his left knee.

Jose Ramirez

Manager Terry Francona said that Ramirez should be ready to go for the opener against the Minnesota Twins. 

The MLB All-Starworked out Monday and Tuesday in Arizona, testing his bruised left knee while Cleveland finished its exhibition schedule with games against the Texas Rangers in the Lone Star State

Ramirez will join the team for a workout in Minnesota on Wednesday.

Ramirez left the field in a cart Sunday in a scary scene for the Indians, who will already be without shortstop Francisco Lindor and second baseman Jason Kipnis. Both players are working back from right calf strains.

Ramirez had 39 home runs and 105 RBI last season, finishing third in AL MVPvoting for the second straight year.

Erik Gonzalez Traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates 

Erik Gonzalez is headed east…

The Cleveland Indians have traded the 27-year-old Dominican professional baseball utility player, known as a versatile infielder, to the Pittsburgh Pirates as part of a five-player swap.

Erik Gonzalez 

Cleveland sent Gonzalez, who appeared in 81 games for the American League Central champions last season, and right-handers Tahnaj Thomas and Dante Mendoza to the Pirates for outfielder Jordan Luplow and infielder Max Moroff.

Gonzalez batted .265 with one home run and 16 RBIs last season for Cleveland, which signed him in 2009. Gonzalez filled a utility role for the Indians, but was not going to be able to get into the starting lineup behind All-Stars Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez.

Houston Astros Star Jose Altuve Wins Silver Slugger Award for Fourth Straight Season

It’s a grand slam, of sorts, for Jose Altuve

The 27-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball player, a second baseman for the World Series champion Houston Astros, is among the winners of this year’s Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award.

Jose Altuve

The award goes to one player per league, per position and is selected by a vote of MLB coaches and managers.

Eleven of the 18 winners are under 30, including Altuve, who won for the fourth straight season.

But Altuve isn’t the only Astros player to make the list…

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican and Panamanian American baseball star, who became Major League Baseball All-Star for the first time this year, also earned a Silver Slugger Award.

Springer, an outfielder for the Astros, was named the 2017 World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP), hitting a record-tying five home runs as the Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games.

All told, the eight first-time winners included outfielders Aaron Judge, Miami MarlinsMarcell Ozuna, Springer, Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez, New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez and pitcher Adam Wainwright. Like Altuve, San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey also won for the fourth time.

Outfielder Justin Upton and Seattle Mariners DH Nelson Cruz rounded out the American League winners. It was Upton’s third award and the second for Cruz.

The National League selections featured plenty of previous winners as first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado both won for the third time. Second baseman Daniel Murphy, shortstop Corey Seager and outfielders Charlie Blackmon and Miami Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton each won for the second time.

Selections are based on a combination of offensive stats, including batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage in addition to the managers’ and coaches’ views of a player’s overall offensive value.

Baez Named National League Championship Series Co-MVP

Javier Baez has etched his name in the MLB history books…

The 23-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball infielder for the Chicago Cubs has been selected as a National League Championship Series co-MVP alongside starter Jon Lester on Saturday night, after leading the Cubs to their first NL pennant since 1945.

Javier Baez

Baez hit .318 (7-for-22) with five RBIs against the Los Angeles Dodgers, picking up right where he left off in the division series.

The versatile Baez also made a couple of the most exciting plays in the NLCS, stealing home during Chicago’s victory in the opener and robbing Adrian Gonzalez of a hit with a terrific, bare-handed scoop in Game 5 on Thursday night.

“Just having fun,” Baez said. “Living my dream, playing like a little kid, moving everywhere, catching the ball and making plays.”

Next up for Baez and the Cubs: the World Series against Francisco Lindor and the Cleveland Indians, beginning Tuesday night in Cleveland.

Baez and Lindor are part of a dynamic group of young players from Puerto Rico that also includes Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa.

Baez “grew up in Puerto Rico, played a lot of baseball as a youth, played a lot of winter ball,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He’s been taught properly and well. And when he goes out there, man, you saw him before the game sitting on the bench, saw him waving into the camera. He’s just being himself. I love that.”

Lester and Baez became the first NLCS co-MVPs since Cincinnati Reds relievers Rob Dibble and Randy Myers in 1990.

The Cubs grabbed Baez with the ninth overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft. He made his major league debut in 2014 but really turned into a consistent force this year, batting .273 with 14 homers and 59 RBIs while playing several different positions.