How the Indians turned Jack Brohamer into Omar Vizquel

How do you turn light-hitting second baseman second baseman Jack Brohamer into future Hall of Famer Omar Vizquel? Well, it took 25 years and eight trades, but the Tribe pulled it off…

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Asdrubal on RBI tear

With four RBI on Friday night, Asdrubal Cabrera now has 14 through the Indians first 13 games (on pace for 174). In the past 10 seasons the only shortstop with more RBI through 13 games was Miguel Tejada (18 in 2005).

Since 1919, the only Indians shortstop with more RBI through 13 games was Omar Vizquel (seriously), who was somehow tied with Travis Fryman for the team lead with 15 in 2000. Over the next 149 games, Vizquel would drive in just 51 more runs.

Squeeze play is back in Cleveland

On Monday night Jayson Nix executed a perfect squeeze play with Travis Hafner on 3rd to give the Indians a 2-1 lead, which they would hold to for the win. It was the second successful squeeze for the Indians this season.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to determine exactly when a squeeze has been executed by going through box scores, but on baseball-reference’s play index we can come pretty close. Using their “event finder” we can find sacrifice bunts with a runner on 3rd base. Technically, a squeeze play can result in a hit, if the bunt is placed in such a way that the official scorer rules that the runner would have been safe regardless of what the fielder did with the ball. However, that is certainly a rare occurrence.

Using what we can on baseball reference, the Indians two “RBI sacrifice bunts with a runner on 3rd” are their most in a single season since 1993. In fact, Luis Valbuena‘s earlier this season was the first since Omar Vizquel in 2003.

When compiling the list on the right, two things immediately jumped out at me:

1) Albert Belle bunted?! Sure enough, on July 9, 1994 in the Metrodome, Jim Deshaies walked Kenny Lofton who stole 2nd and then 3rd. After another walk was issued to Carlos Baerga, Belle laid down a sacrifice bunt, scoring Lofton from 3rd. It was the 4th and final sac bunt of Belle’s career.

2) Thomas Howard not only had three in one season, but two in ONE GAME! On June 16, 1992 at Cleveland Stadium, Howard officially went 0-3 with 2 RBI. In the 5th inning, following a Lofton triple, Howard laid down a squeeze to give the Indians a 3-2 lead over the Orioles. Then in the 7th inning, with the Tribe up 4-2, Howard laid down ANOTHER squeeze, this time scoring Mark Lewis.