CLEVELAND, Ohio – Manager Terry Francona was not in the dugout when the Indians clinched a playoff berth on Tuesday night on the Jose Ramirez home circuit and he won’t be there for the last five games of the regular season .
“Tito continues to recover, but I don’t think he’ll join us in the regular season at this point,” said Chris Antonetti, president of Indian baseball operations.
Antonetti has said Francona will enter the quarantine bubble with the rest of the squad for the playoffs. The Indians were to quarantine at a hotel in the area from Wednesday.
“He will be in the bubble with us, he will be in quarantine,” Antonetti said. “It preserves so many options for us to move forward. It also gives Tito the opportunity to rub shoulders with the team, even if it’s not in a dugout.
Francona underwent surgery at the Cleveland Clinic on August 21 for a blood clot problem. He has been treated for almost a year for a gastrointestinal problem which also required surgery. First baseman Sandy Alomar stepped in for Francona and led the Indians to a 23-18 record. The Indians were 31-24 overall in Wednesday’s game against the White Sox.
Tuesday’s 5-3 win in 10 innings over Chicago guaranteed the Indians an eighth consecutive season. The streak began in 2013, Francona’s first year as a manager. Francona has led teams for 16 consecutive seasons.
The Indians’ eight-game winning streak is the second longest in club history (1994-2001). The longest streak of this type is 10 years from 1947 to 1956.
Francona is going to have a lot of company in the bubble. Twelve players from Classic Park in Eastlake, the team’s alternative training site, will join the Big League club. The players are pitchers Logan Allen, Adam Cimber, Sam Hentges, Dom Leone, Scott Moss and Kyle Nelson. Position players are Jake Bauers, Ernie Clement, Daniel Johnson, Domingo Santana, Beau Taylor and Bradley Zimmer.
“We have a 28-player roster for the playoffs and 12 more players,” said Antonetti. “These 40 players will be our group of players. Today will be their last day of training in Lake County (Classic Park) and on Thursday they will start training at Progressive Field.
“We will probably have two separate practices. A training session in the morning for the taxi team players and a normal training session for our 28 players in the afternoon.
Ultimately, there will be 40 players, 50 staff and player families in the bubble.
* In its last 24 matches, Ramirez is hitting .362 (33 for 91) with 12 homers and 26 RBIs. Antonetti enjoyed watching each of these hits.
“It would be hard to overestimate what Jose means for our team,” said Antonetti. “One of the things we wondered about was what the environment and energy would be like on day 60 or day 50 of the season compared to the early days when there are no fans? Guys like Jose, who bring it every day, who have fun playing, raise a whole team. ”
* Cal Quantrill, who started and pitched four scoreless innings on Tuesday, is the first Canadian-born player to start for the Indians since left-hander Denis Boucher on June 30, 1992. Boucher is best remembered for rollerblading around the visitors pavilion at Angels Stadium pretending to play hockey. He didn’t have a puck, but he did have a hockey stick.
* Quantrill was one of six players the Indians received from San Diego for Mike Clevinger. On Wednesday, Clevinger left his start for the Padres after a round. Last week, he felt tension in his right biceps during a start.
The Padres have made the playoffs for the first time in 14 years and Clevinger is set to start game one in the wildcard round.
* The Indians made the playoffs four times in the past five years and six times in the past eight. But this year’s trip was certainly the most unusual due to the pandemic, Francona’s health concerns and veteran coaches Brad Mills and Ty Van Burkleo who have stepped down for health and family reasons.
“This year has been filled with adversity,” said Antonetti. “We have all been faced with the implications of the pandemic. It touched everyone across the world and the country and in our game.
“Add to that we had some unique organizational challenges that we had to overcome. It’s gratifying to know that we have a group of people who continue to come together and work on whatever challenges they may be. I think this is a characteristic of our organization. “
* Premier circuit by Carlos Santana in the second round on Wednesday, Lucas Giolito was his 216th with the Indians. That tied him with Hall of Famer Larry Doby for sixth place on the team’s all-time home run list. He had been tied with André Thornton.
New Indian masks for sale: Here’s where you can purchase Cleveland Indian-themed face coverings for coronavirus protection, including a single mask ($ 14.99) and a 3-pack ($ 24.99). All MLB profits are donated to charity.
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