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Published: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 11:54 AM
Updated: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 11:53 AM
CLEVELAND — Once the pain from their postseason elimination eased, the Cleveland Indians didn't panic.
Instead, they stayed mostly intact — and confident — this winter.
Determined to end their World Series title drought in 2017 after coming so close the previous season, the AL Central champions were bounced in the playoffs by the New York Yankees despite taking a 2-0 series lead.
It was a bitter finish for a team that won 102 games and reeled off 22 straight victories. But while there was a sense of finality for some Cleveland fans, manager Terry Francona said these Indians aren't done.
"I don't think anybody should be pessimistic right now," Francona said last month. "My goodness, we have the best record in the American League the last five years. This has been a good run of baseball, and I don't see that going anywhere."
With one of baseball's top rotations, anchored by two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber, the Indians are aiming to win their first Series since 1948 and end the majors' longest championship dry spell.
NEW LOOK: Cleveland's power and bullpen were both drained during the offseason.
The club chose not to re-sign first baseman Carlos Santana (23 homers, 79 RBIs) or outfielder Jay Bruce (36 homers, 101 RBIs with Indians, Mets) as free agents. Cleveland tried to offset those losses by adding first baseman Yonder Alonso, who changed the launch angle of his swing last season and connected for a career-high 28 homers.
Reliever Bryan Shaw may have angered Indians fans with spurts of inconsistency, but he pitched in at least 74 games the past four seasons and took the ball whenever Francona asked. He's gone and so is side-armer Joe Smith leaving the Indians to fill two major relief spots this spring.
ROOKIES TO WATCH: Technically, center fielder Bradley Zimmer is no longer a rookie after playing 101 games last season, but his first year was incomplete when he shattered his left hand sliding into first base in September.
Zimmer's loss deprived the Indians one of one their best base-stealing threats in the offseason and forced Francona to move second baseman Jason Kipnis to center field.
Switch-hitting catcher Francisco Meija struggled during 11 games last September, but the 21-year-old is the top prospect in Cleveland's organization and it may not be long before he's up permanently.
THEY'RE SET: There are few, if any, middle infields better than shortstop Francisco Lindor and second baseman Jose Ramirez. The All-Stars affect the game offensively and defensively. Unfortunately, they both struggled at the plate in the division series, dooming the Indians.
Ramirez's days at third base — he played 88 games there last season — appear to be over, but his versatility is a huge asset for Francona.
THEY'RE NOT: Left fielder Michael Brantley remains a major question mark. The club exercised its $12 million contract option on him for this season, not knowing with certainty if he'll be available for the opener after undergoing ankle surgery. Brantley has played in just 101 games over the past two seasons and the Indians can't afford to go through another year with him being in their lineup regularly.
ON DECK: Kluber, Carlos Carrasco (18-6) and Trevor Bauer (17-9) are locked into starting spots, leaving Josh Tomlin, Danny Salazar, Mike Clevinger and Ryan Merritt it to battle for two openings this spring. It's possible that Clevinger could wind up in the bullpen. With Brantley's status unclear, the Indians remain in the market for an outfielder to add depth. The club would like to secure Lindor long-term with a multiyear extension, but the 24-year-old and his agents have turned down previous deals and don't seem rushed to finalize one now.
Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 5:16 PM
Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 9:16 PM
SPRINGFIELD — UPDATE @ 8:44 p.m.:
The gun found in an 8-year-old’s book bag at Simon Kenton Elementary School was discovered at the end of the day before dismissal, according to Superintendent Dr. Robert Hill.
“As a parent and as a resident, you wonder if it’s safe to send your children to school and if they will return safely,” Nina Wiley of Springfield said to News Center 7’s James Buechele about the incident Tuesday.
UPDATE @ 7:36 p.m.:
The 8-year-old student who brought a gun to school in his book bag will face discipline in accordance with Springfield City School Districts student code of conduct, according to Superintendent Dr. Robert Hill.
Hill said he was proud of the staff at Simon Kenton for their quick response in ensuring the safety of the students.
A student at Simon Kenton Elementary School brought a gun to school in his book bag on Tuesday according to Springfield Police.
The 8-year-old told police that he thought another student was going to hurt him and that is why he had a gun. The gun was found unloaded by a teacher who was putting homework in the suspect’s backpack.
Police responded to Simon Kenton Elementary School at around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and arrested the student in question. According to police the suspect will be charged with Illegal conveyance or possession of a deadly weapon in a school safety zone.
Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 3:04 PM
DAYTON — A $2,500 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of arrests of anyone involved in the shooting death of a woman shot in front of two children on Friday.
Keyona Murray, 22, died at Miami Valley Hospital after being transported from a home in the 100 block of Lorenz Avenue in Dayton, where she was shot in the head, according to police.
Murray was sitting in the bedroom with her 2-year-old child, 2-year-old nephew and another adult when someone fired numerous gunshots into the house.
Miami Valley Crime Stoppers is offering the reward and said anyone providing tips can remain anonymous.
“We also know that in all likelihood, someone in the community knows who committed this heinous crime, so Miami Valley Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest or arrests of anyone involved,” the organization said in a prepared statement. “Keyona succumbed to her injuries later that night, leaving many to mourn her loss after this senseless act of violence.”
Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 8:19 PM
BEAVERCREEK — A Beavercreek High School student was arrested after reportedly making posts on social media about gun violence and the school shooting incident in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead.
The student was placed in Greene County Juvenile Detention February 17, Beavercreek Police Department said.
The student was also linked to an animated video depicting a shooting with a caption that stated, “Don’t go to school tomorrow,” police said.
The reports regarding the posts came into police February 15, with the animated video report coming in on February 16.
Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 3:36 AM
Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 6:37 PM
This evening: Clouds will be on the increase with gusty winds. Temperatures will stay in the 70s.
Tonight: Rain will develop, mainly after midnight. A few thunderstorms will be possible. Temperatures will drop into the upper 50s by morning. It will remain breezy.
Wednesday: Rain likely. A rumble of thunder possible early, mainly south. Temperatures will fall through the 50s into the 40s by evening. As temperatures drop, rain may change to freezing rain late at night across the northern Miami Valley.
Thursday: Rain will be around in the morning and may begin as freezing rain, mainly north of I-70. Temperatures will start the day in the lower 30s and climb into the middle 40s. The afternoon should dry out.
Friday: Rain returns. The rain may be heavy at times. It will be milder with highs in the upper 50s. Heavy rain may lead to flooding issues.
Saturday: Rain likely. The rain may be heavy at times. A rumble of thunder will also be possible, mainly south. Heavy rain may lead to flooding issues. It will also become windy at times with highs near 60 degrees.
Sunday: There will likely be rain in the morning with clouds lingering into the afternoon. It will be windy with highs cooling into the middle 50s.