Image: Matthew Carper/Columbus Clippers
Quality of Opposition numbers per Baseball Reference
Joe Musgrove (1st-3rd innings): MLB #3 starter
Keone Kela (4th inning): MLB middle reliever
Tim Hill (5th inning): MLB middle reliever
Daniel Camarena (6th-7th innings): Triple-A starter/long reliever
Mason Fox (8th inning): Double-A reliever
Nabil Crismatt (9th inning): Triple-A starter/long reliever
Yu Chang (2B): 0-3, 1 BB – Chang’s hitless Thursday ended a three-game hot streak in which he went 4-for-7 with four runs, three home runs, five RBI, a walk, and two strikeouts. If his performances so far in the spring are any guide, the Indians face a choice of using his final option to let him dominate in Triple-A for the sake of reps or bringing him up to finish his development against major league pitching as a utility infielder.
Bobby Bradley (1B): 2-3, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 E – Bradley’s bat was, as is usual when he makes contact, on fire as he hit a pair of doubles off of Musgrove. All six of his hits this spring have been of the extra-base variety (four doubles, two home runs). This translates into a 1.000 SLG and .625 ISO. There were concerns elsewhere, however, as his error was on a fairly routine play and he ended the third inning on a caught stealing at third base.
Daniel Johnson (RF): 0-2, 2 K, 1 HBP – The best news about this outing was that Johnson was able to stay in the game following a second-inning hit by pitch that left him limping to first base and requiring a visit from the trainer.
Nolan Jones (3B): 1-1, 2 BB – Jones has reached base via walk mire times (four) than via hit (three) this spring. the result is a .208 isolated plate discipline (for reference, Mike Trout led qualifiers in 2019 [the most recent 162-game season] at .147).
Owen Miller (PH-DH): 1-2, 1 R – Yes, the single was off of Camarena, but any hit is a positive sign following a 2-for-11 start to the spring.
Alex Call (PH-CF): 0-1 – Call grounded into a 5-4 fielder’s choice in the ninth. he’s now 3-for-9 in eight games (4.9 – High-A – average pitching faced through Wednesday).
Gabriel Arias (2B): 1-2, 1 RBI, 1 K – Arias has only faced 4.2 (Low-A) pitching on average this spring, but five RBI in 13 at-bats is still a good sign regarding his ability to handle Double-A hurlers this summer (yesterday’s hit came off of Triple-A projectee Camarena).
Connor Marabell (LF): 0-1 – Marabell, who who entered Thursday having faced 4.6 pitching, remains hitless in nine at-bats, but has scored a run and driven in another.
Tyler Freeman (SS): 0-1, 1 K – Freeman entered yesterday with a 1.571 OPS in seven plate appearances against 5.9 pitching before striking out for the first time this spring (by Fox to start the eighth).
Will Benson (RF): 0-1, 1 K – Benson followed with another swinging strikeout (his third of the spring in seven at-bats to go with three walks for a total of ten plate appearances).
Gavin Collins (C): 0-1 – Collins’ lineout to short to end the eighth was only his second out in five at-bats this spring.
Ernie Clement (PR-3B): 1-1, 1 R – Clement scored as a pinch-runner in the seventh before hitting a single off of Crismatt to lead off the top of the ninth.
Nick Mikolajchak: 0.1 IP, 1 BB – Mikolajchak got the Indians out of what had become an ugly fourth frame following Heath Hembree’s disastrous outing (0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R [1 earned], 1 K, 1 HR allowed) in his major league spring debut.
Scott Moss: H (1), 1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K – A solid inning against a trio of Triple-A guys. This is a good sign for a pitcher likely to be in the Columbus rotation come May.
Robert Broom: L (0-1), BS (0-1), 0.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R (both earned), 2 BB – This was nearly a carbon copy of his statline from his only other preseason appearance in a big league game (0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R [both earned], 1 BB, 1 K on February 26, 2020 in another loss to the Padres in Peoria [8-0]). It wasn’t pretty, but this is the type of growing pains that Spring Training games are built to provide an outlet for.
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