2008 Cleveland Indians season

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2008 Cleveland Indians
Major League affiliations
Location
Other information
Owner(s) Larry Dolan
General manager(s) Mark Shapiro
Manager(s) Eric Wedge
Local television SportsTime Ohio · WKYC
Local radio WTAM
Previous season     Next season

The 2008 Cleveland Indians season marked the 108th season for the franchise, as the Indians attempted to defend their American League Central division title. The team played all of its home games at Progressive Field (formerly known as Jacobs Field).

2008 was the final year that the Indians held Spring Training in Winter Haven, Florida, at Chain of Lakes Park. In 2009 the Indians would return to train in Goodyear, Arizona for the first time in 15 years at the new Goodyear Ballpark.

The Indians approached the winter of 2007–2008 with the idea that tinkering at the edges was what was primarily needed to build on the previous year. Acquired in the offseason were utility infielder Jamey Carroll,[1] Japanese League reliever Masahide Kobayashi[1] and reliever Jorge Julio.[2]

Regular season[edit]

Season summary[edit]

March[edit]

The Indians ended spring training in March with only one surprise, cutting veteran reliever Aaron Fultz in favor of pick up Craig Breslow (who was cut by the Boston Red Sox).[3] Notable contributors from 2007 to start the year in Buffalo instead of Cleveland were Aaron Laffey, Ben Francisco, Josh Barfield, and Tom Mastny. The Indians opened the regular season with a 10–8 win over the Chicago White Sox.

April[edit]

The victory in the home opener came with a price: an injury to catcher Victor Martinez. While the offense played well enough to win the opening series, Martinez's missing bat did not help the Indians on their west coast road trip, where they lost series with both the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Martinez returned to play for the Angels series. The Indians offense continued to struggle as the team failed to win their next four series. Near the end of the month, the Indians swept the Kansas City Royals split a four game series against the New York Yankees and appeared to be coming out of their slump. Starting pitcher Cliff Lee was named American League Pitcher of the Month for April, as he finished the month 5–0 with a 0.96 ERA.

May[edit]

The sub par offense became such a concern that on May 5, in an attempt to spark more offense, Jason Michaels was designated for assignment and Ben Francisco, the 2007 International League batting champion was called up to play outfield.[4] For the first half of the month, the starting pitching was outstanding, resulting in a 4313 scoreless innings streak[5] But the hitting still hadn't turned a corner and by the end of the month the Indians were still sub .500. Making his Indians debut was highly touted but often injured first baseman Michael Aubrey.[6] The Indians swapped injured starting pitchers as Jake Westbrook came off the disabled list from an intercostal muscle injury just after Fausto Carmona went on it with a hip injury.[7] And to end the month, Travis Hafner was also placed on the disabled list with shoulder soreness.[8]

June[edit]

Westbrook's return was brief, returning to the disabled list with season ending Tommy John surgery.[9] Victor Martinez also went on the disabled list with elbow problems.[10] And Josh Barfield, called up to replace the slumping Asdrúbal Cabrera, also went on the disabled list.[11] The Indians were one of the few AL clubs not to take great advantage of interleague play, going only 6–12 against the National League.

July[edit]

After plummeting to last place to start the month, the Indians threw in the towel on the season, trading CC Sabathia to the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Matt LaPorta, pitchers Rob Bryson and Zach Jackson and a player to be named later.[12] They also parted ways with Joe Borowski, first designating him for assignment then releasing him.[13] Although the Indians continued to struggle, pitcher Cliff Lee and center fielder Grady Sizemore were recognized for their individual accomplishments by being named to the American League All Star team. Lee was named the starting pitcher for the American League squad, where he pitched two shutout innings. Sizemore also participated in the Home Run Derby; he hit six home runs in the opening round, but it was not enough for him to advance to the second round. The Indians swept a series against the league leading Tampa Bay Rays right before the All-Star break, but continued their relatively uneven play, even with the return of Fausto Carmona in late July. Another victim of the Indians mediocre performance was Casey Blake, who was dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Jon Meloan and baseball player Carlos Santana.[14]

August[edit]

The Indians continued to struggle through the first week of August. On a road trip to start the month, the team began 2–4 before sweeping the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre to finish the road trip 5–4 – the team's first winning road trip since May. The sweep of Toronto began a streak in which the Indians won 16 of 19 games, including 10 in a row to climb into third place in the division. The team clinched its first winning month of the season on August 24. Despite the turnaround, the Indians continued to trade players in order to add depth to their farm system. On August 12, they traded veteran pitcher Paul Byrd to the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later.[15] Again, one of the Indians bright spots was the play of Cliff Lee, who was named the American League Pitcher of the Month for August.[16]

September[edit]

The Indians had a significant impact on the division championship this month, in as much as they both slowed the Minnesota Twins from catching the Chicago White Sox and then gave the Twins a chance to win the division outright by beating the Sox two games out of three in the final series. The Twins' losses to Kansas City at the same time, however, forced the White Sox to make up a game against the Detroit Tigers to help decide the division winner. Cliff Lee's spectacular season ended with him having the American League lead in wins and ERA.[17] This effort earned Lee the American League Comeback Player of the Year award[18] and the American League Cy Young Award.[19] Shin-Soo Choo's great September numbers earned him the American League Player of the Month.[20]

Season standings[edit]

AL Central
W L Pct. GB Home Road
Chicago White Sox 89 74 .546 54–28 35–46
Minnesota Twins 88 75 .540 1 53–28 35–47
Cleveland Indians 81 81 .500 45–36 36–45
Kansas City Royals 75 87 .463 13½ 38–43 37–44
Detroit Tigers 74 88 .457 14½ 40–41 34–47

Game log[edit]

2008 Game Log

Roster[edit]

2008 Cleveland Indians
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Other batters

Manager

Coaches

Player stats[edit]

Batting[edit]

Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; R = Runs scored; H = Hits; 2B = Doubles; 3B = Triples; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in; AVG = Batting average; SB = Stolen bases

Player G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI AVG SB
Michael Aubrey
15
45
2
9
0
0
2
3
.200
0
Josh Barfield
12
33
3
6
1
0
0
2
.182
0
Rick Bauer
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
0
Rafael Betancourt
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
0
Casey Blake
94
325
46
94
24
0
11
58
.289
2
Joe Borowski
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
0
Paul Byrd
2
5
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
0
Asdrúbal Cabrera
114
352
48
91
20
0
6
47
.259
4
Fausto Carmona
1
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
0
Jamey Carroll
113
347
60
96
13
4
1
36
.277
7
Shin-Soo Choo
94
317
68
98
28
3
14
66
.309
4
David Dellucci
113
336
41
80
19
2
11
47
.238
3
Scott Elarton
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
0
Sal Fasano
15
46
5
12
4
0
0
6
.261
0
Ben Francisco
121
447
65
119
32
0
15
54
.266
4
Ryan Garko
141
495
61
135
21
1
14
90
.273
0
Andy González
10
24
3
5
0
0
1
2
.208
0
Franklin Gutierrez
134
399
54
99
26
2
8
41
.248
9
Travis Hafner
57
198
21
39
10
0
5
24
.197
1
Jorge Julio
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
0
Masahide Kobayashi
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
0
Aaron Laffey
1
2
0
1
0
0
0
0
.500
0
Cliff Lee
2
5
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
0
Jensen Lewis
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
0
Andy Marte
80
235
21
52
11
1
3
17
.221
1
Víctor Martínez
73
266
30
74
17
0
2
35
.278
0
Jason Michaels
21
58
3
12
4
0
0
9
.207
1
Jhonny Peralta
154
605
104
167
42
4
23
89
.276
3
Rafael Perez
6
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
0
C.C. Sabathia
1
3
1
1
0
0
1
1
.333
0
Kelly Shoppach
112
352
67
92
27
0
21
55
.261
0
Grady Sizemore
157
634
101
170
39
5
33
90
.268
38
Jeremy Sowers
2
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
0
Jason Tyner
1
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
.000
0
Jorge Velandia
10
15
1
3
1
0
0
0
.200
0
Totals
162
5543
805
1455
339
22
171
772
.262
77

Pitching[edit]

Note: W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; G = Games pitched; GS = Games started; SV = Saves; IP = Innings pitched; R = Runs allowed; ER = Earned runs allowed; BB = Walks allowed; K = Strikeouts

Player W L ERA G GS SV IP R ER BB K
Rick Bauer
0
0
13.50
4
0
0
6.0
9
9
3
4
Rafael Betancourt
3
4
5.07
69
0
4
71.0
41
40
25
64
Joe Borowski
1
3
7.56
18
0
6
16.2
14
14
8
9
Craig Breslow
0
0
3.24
7
0
0
8.1
3
3
5
7
Paul Byrd
7
10
4.53
22
22
0
131.0
70
66
24
56
Bryan Bullington
0
2
4.91
3
2
0
14.2
9
8
2
12
Fausto Carmona
8
7
5.44
22
22
0
120.2
80
73
70
58
Brendan Donnelly
1
0
8.56
15
0
0
13.2
13
13
10
8
Scott Elarton
0
1
3.52
8
0
0
15.1
7
6
9
15
Matt Ginter
1
3
5.14
4
4
0
21.0
12
12
3
12
Zach Jackson
2
3
5.60
9
9
0
54.2
36
34
14
30
Jorge Julio
0
0
5.60
15
0
0
17.2
11
11
11
15
Masahide Kobayashi
4
5
4.53
57
0
6
55.2
30
28
14
35
Aaron Laffey
5
7
4.23
16
16
0
93.2
52
44
31
43
Cliff Lee
22
3
2.54
31
31
0
223.1
68
63
34
170
Jensen Lewis
0
4
3.82
51
0
13
66.0
29
28
27
52
Scott Lewis
4
0
2.63
4
4
0
24.0
9
7
6
15
Tom Mastny
2
2
10.80
14
1
0
20.0
24
24
11
19
John Meloan
0
0
0.00
2
0
0
2.0
0
0
1
2
Edward Mujica
3
2
6.75
33
0
0
38.2
29
29
10
27
Rafael Perez
4
4
3.54
73
0
2
76.1
32
30
23
86
Anthony Reyes
2
1
1.83
6
6
0
34.1
7
7
12
15
Juan Rincón
1
1
5.60
23
0
0
27.1
18
17
8
19
Rich Rundles
0
0
1.80
8
0
0
5.0
1
1
3
6
C.C. Sabathia
6
8
3.83
18
18
0
122.1
54
52
34
123
Brian Slocum
0
0
27.00
2
0
0
2.0
6
6
0
1
Jeremy Sowers
4
9
5.58
22
22
0
121.0
84
75
39
64
Jake Westbrook
1
2
3.12
5
5
0
34.2
13
12
7
19
Totals
81
81
4.45
162
162
31
1437.0
761
711
444
986

Minor league affiliates[edit]

Classification level Team League Season article
AAA Buffalo Bisons International League 2008 Buffalo Bisons season
AA Akron Aeros Eastern League 2008 Akron Aeros season
Advanced A Kinston Indians Carolina League
A Lake County Captains South Atlantic League
Short Season A Mahoning Valley Scrappers New York–Penn League
Rookie Gulf Coast Indians Gulf Coast League
Rookie DSL Indians Dominican Summer League

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Simon, Joe (January 24, 2008). "Indians stand pat". Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle. Retrieved February 1, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Indians Report". Akron Beacon Journal. February 1, 2008. Retrieved February 1, 2008. 
  3. ^ Castrovince, Anthony (March 23, 2008). "Indians claim Breslow off waivers". MLB.com. Archived from the original on March 25, 2008. Retrieved April 3, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Indians' Martinez scratched against Yankees with stiff neck". ESPN.com. May 6, 2008. Archived from the original on May 11, 2008. Retrieved May 29, 2008. 
  5. ^ Manoloff, Dennis (May 16, 2008). "Scoreless-innings streak for Cleveland Indians starting pitchers ends, but Tribe defeats Oakland Athletics". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved May 29, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Indians demote Sowers, call up Aubrey". Sports Illustrated.com. May 17, 2008. Archived from the original on June 22, 2011. Retrieved May 29, 2008. 
  7. ^ Dulik, Brian (May 26, 2008). "Tribe notes: Carmona to miss month with muscle strain". Elyria Chronicle Telegram. Retrieved May 29, 2008. 
  8. ^ Dent, Mark (May 31, 2008). "Hafner put on 15-day DL". MLB.com. Retrieved July 28, 2008. 
  9. ^ Castrovince, Anthony (June 7, 2008). "Westbrook to miss rest of season". MLB.com. Archived from the original on June 10, 2008. Retrieved June 30, 2008. 
  10. ^ Herrick, Steve (June 13, 2008). "Martinez's elbow surgery successful". MLB.com. Retrieved June 30, 2008. 
  11. ^ Castrovince, Anthony (June 12, 2008). "Martinez, Barfield headed to DL". MLB.com. Archived from the original on June 15, 2008. Retrieved June 30, 2008. 
  12. ^ Jenkins, Chris (July 7, 2008). "Sabathia traded to Brewers". Associated Press. Archived from the original on May 20, 2011. Retrieved July 7, 2008. 
  13. ^ "Indians release RHP Borowski". National Post. July 11, 2008. Retrieved July 28, 2008. [dead link]
  14. ^ Hernandez, Dylan (July 27, 2008). "Dodgers get Cleveland Indians third baseman Casey Blake in trade". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 31, 2008. Retrieved July 28, 2008. 
  15. ^ Horrigan, Jeff (August 12, 2008). "Sox trade for pitcher Byrd". Boston Herald. Archived from the original on August 16, 2008. Retrieved September 9, 2008. 
  16. ^ Castrovince, Anthony (September 3, 2008). "Lee earns AL Pitcher of the Month". MLB.com. Retrieved September 9, 2008. 
  17. ^ Castrovince, Anthony (September 28, 2008). "Lee finishes as AL's ERA, wins leader". MLB.com. Retrieved September 29, 2008. 
  18. ^ Castrovince, Anthony (September 30, 2008). "Tribe's Lee earns AL Comeback honor". MLB.com. Archived from the original on October 3, 2008. Retrieved September 30, 2008. 
  19. ^ Harrington, Mike (November 13, 2008). "Indians' Lee is Cy Young winner". Buffalo News. Retrieved November 13, 2008. 
  20. ^ Scarr, Mike (September 30, 2008). "Choo named AL's best in September". MLB.com. Archived from the original on October 3, 2008. Retrieved September 30, 2008. 

External links[edit]