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Yan Gomes, All-Star? Four other things on the Tribe

By PAUL HOYNES • Jun 27, 2018 at 10:54 PM

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Ethan Hankins has a simple choice to make.

He can take the Indians' signing bonus or he can attend Chipola Community College in Florida and try and improve his draft standing for next year.

At this point the money the Indians can offer the 6-foot-6, 200-pound right-hander is what it is. They have just over $5 million left in their bonus pool to sign No. 1 pick Noah Naylor, Hankins and fifth-round pick Stephen Kwan. So there's not that much left to negotiate about.

The Indians selected 12 players in the first 10 rounds of the June draft and have signed nine. Their bonus pool for signing those players was $9,145,200.

The news broke Monday that Hankins had signed with Chipola. When he was attending Forsyth Central High School in Georgia, he had signed a letter of intent to play for Vanderbilt.

Teams have until July 6 to sign their draft picks. If the Indians are unable to sign their top two picks, they will receive compensation picks next year one spot below the positions they selected at this year. The Indians took Naylor with the 29th pick followed by Haskins at 35.

"We're hopeful we'll get them signed," GM Mike Chernoff said.

The slot values for Naylor and Hankins are $2,333,700 and $2,016,400, respectively.

Clevinger had a tough night

It started with a rain delay and ended with Mike Clevinger cramping up and down his legs.

"It was the perfect storm from the first pitch," said Cleveinger.

Clevinger was three-quarters of the way through his warm-up pitches before Monday night's start against St. Louis when bad weather hit Busch Stadium. The game didn't start until 8:51 p.m., following a 1-hour, 14-minute delay. The temperature was still 80 degrees with high humidity and Clevinger's calves started cramping almost immediately.

"If you have a cramp, you've got to figure out a way," said Clevinger. "I tried to make it as far as I could."

Clevinger made it through the fifth inning, allowing two runs on six hits in a 4-0 loss.

"I probably shouldn't have run out there the last inning, but I didn't want to put the bullpen in a big hole." said Clevinger. "It started with the calves, the groin, the quads and my hamstrings at the end."

Clevinger didn't think there was one cause to the cramping.

"I think it was just the nonsense of a travel day to the heat to eating a steak last night instead of my usual pasta," said Clevinger. "You never know, especially with with cramping. I hydrate well, eat well, sleep well.

"I had a long inning, threw a lot of pitches. Then I had to come in and hit right after that and by the time I got my batting gloves off I had to go back out and pitch. I think it was just a perfect storm ... all that building up and not getting the heart rate down in this humidity."

Clevinger added, "This is the big leagues for a reason. You've got to figure out a way to handle it. I guess I've got to look deeper into my weather reports."

Yan Gomes, All-Star?

Could Yan Gomes be an All-Star? Maybe.

In MLB's latest All-Star voting update, Gomes was ranked fifth among AL catchers. Tampa Bay's Wilson Ramos and New York's Gary Sanchez were in first and second place, respectively, but Sanchez is on the disabled list with a groin injury, which could help Gomes.

He's hitting .305 (18-for-59) with three homers and 11 RBI in June. Among AL catchers with at least 175 plate appearances, he ranks second with a .778 OPS. According to FanGraphs, Gomes is tied with Sanchez for the AL lead in WAR at 1.3 for catchers.

"It would be nice because of all the defensive stuff he's done," said manager Terry Francona. "Sometimes I think that gets overlooked by other people. It would be really terrific."

Gomes went into Tuesday night's game hitting .254 (50-for-197) with 13 doubles, nine homers and 24 RBI. He's 8-for-30 throwing out base stealers, erasing six of the last 13 to challenge him.

Cody Allen: One save away

Closer Cody Allen needs one save to tie Bob Wickman for the franchise lead in saves with 139.

Allen is 16-for-17 in save chances this season. He is already the franchise leader in appearances and strikeouts for relievers.

"His consistency has been phenomenal," said Francona. "He pitched, I guess, what, a half-year before I got here? But, from the time I've been here, he's pitching in leverage situations. There hasn't been a whole lot of easy games and he's ready every night. That probably is the biggest thing."

Allen (2-3, 3.73) made his big-league debut on July 20, 2012. He will be a free agent at the end of the season.

Stars among us

The Indians continue to be well represented in the AL All-Star balloting.

Jose Ramirez continued to lead AL third basemen, while shortstop Francisco Lindor and second baseman Jason Kipnis were running fourth at their positions. Michael Brantley and Gomes were ranked fifth in the outfield and at catcher, respectively. DH Edwin Encarnacion was ranked sixth.

Ramirez is on his way to being the AL's starting third baseman for the second straight year with 1,319,651 votes. He had a big lead over Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar.

The last Indians to be elected to the starting AL lineup in consecutive years by fan vote were Robby Alomar and Manny Ramirez in 1999 and 2000.

The third installment of All-Star balloting was released Tuesday. Voting ends on July 5.

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