Is the Cleveland Indians’ pitching pipeline overrated or overextended? Hey, Hoynsie


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Hey, Hoynsie: Since the Indians’ starting pitchers are not quite doing the job, do you think that the organization’s pitching pipeline is overrated? Or do you think when these pitchers are going to be needed, they can use this experience to be even stronger in a few years? — Patrick Grijak, Garfield Heights.

Hey, Patrick: I like your second option better than your first. I don’t think the pitching pipeline has been overrated, I think it’s been overextended. There are 30 teams in the big leagues and none of them can say they have 10 big-league ready starters.

Hey, Hoynsie: Are any of the pitchers the Indians promoted from the minors besides Eli Morgan showing any real progress? — Robert Wazeka, Berkeley, Calif.

Hey Robert: If you saw Triston McKenzie pitch Friday night against the Royals, you’d have to say yes. McKenzie, of course, opened the season with the Indians, but he’s bounced between Cleveland and Class AAA five times this season.

Being a successful pitcher in the big league is hard. Improvement, for most, is measured in fractions, not yards. Especially when you’re asking rookies — or near rookies — to fill an entire rotation.

Hey, Hoynsie: I saw that the Tribe cut back on its scouting staff. How do you think that will impact player evaluation for the upcoming draft? Do you think the Tribe — which emphasizes player development — will be negatively impacted by a reduction in scouts in the long term? — Jim B., Independence.

Hey, Jim: The last time I checked the Indians had lost two scouts to other organizations. They still have close to 50 scouts on the payroll. During the pandemic, when scouts on all teams couldn’t travel, teams found new ways to find and scout talent.

Preparation-wise for the draft, which starts Sunday night, I don’t think the Indians will be at a disadvantage in the short or long term.

Hey, Hoynsie: What is going on with Cesar Hernandez? He doesn’t seem to be the same player as last year. It seems like he makes mental mistakes on the bases and on defense. He has big home run totals, but a low batting average. — Don, Lincoln, Neb.

Hey, Don: I think you’re seeing the difference in a 60-game season and a 162-game season regarding Hernandez. After winning his first Gold Glove last year, his defense has slipped. Last year credited him with six defensive runs saved. This year he’s rated as a negative four.

Hernandez is playing for a contract in 2022, which may explain his increase in homers, while his batting average dips. He’s hit 14, one shy of his career high set in 2018.

The fact that he plays every day is a plus. He doesn’t say a whole lot, but manager Terry Francona says when he speaks, the other players listen.

Hey, Hoynsie: How soon will Andres Gimenez be rejoining the big-league club? Wouldn’t it make sense to move him back to shortstop and move Amed Rosario to center field? That move would provide more depth in the outfield with the injuries. Plus it may provide a trade chip in a possible trade for Gimenez. — Eric, Charleston, S.C.

Hey, Eric: The Indians have contemplated that move, but Bradley Zimmer’s play in center field has really helped stabilize that position. Nothing against Rosario moving back to center, but it has to be a defense-first position and Zimmer is providing that.

Gimenez has done everything the Indians wanted him to do since he was optioned to Class AAA Columbus in May. Remember this is a player who never played above Double-A when the Mets brought him to the big leagues last year, so this is time well spent.

Hey, Hoynsie: We have been spoiled by the Indians’ success over the past several years. Thank you and hats off to management. I’m not optimistic going forward. The Tribe’s schedule after the All-Star break is a killer. — Frank, Glen Gardner, N.J.

Hey, Frank: You’re right, fans and the media are easily spoiled when a team has continued success. They want the golden ring and forget about the journey. Eight straight years of winning baseball is not something to brush aside.

You’re also right about the schedule following the break: three against Oakland, three against Houston, four against Tampa Bay, two against St. Louis and a three-game set against the White Sox to close July. That’s a journey filled with potholes and detours.

Hey, Hoynsie: How will the front office manage its way through the upcoming MLB draft? Will many be there in person? Where will the draft be held? — Dave, Chicago.

Hey, Dave: Well, I know one thing. They’re not going to be having tea and crumpets.

The draft starts Sunday night and will be held in Denver as part of the All-Star Game festivities. Tom Wiedenbauer, special assistant to baseball operations, will represent the Indians in Denver.

The Indians have three of the first 69 picks (No. 23, 58 and 69). They have been in draft meetings for the last couple of weeks and will have their draft room and player board set up and manned at Progressive Field.

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

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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