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Indians say they miss Rays manager Kevin Cash

Kevin Cash was an Indians bullpen coach before becoming the Rays’ manager.

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Kevin Cash was an Indians bullpen coach before becoming the Rays’ manager.

CLEVELAND — Rays manager Kevin Cash was a popular topic of conversation among the Indians throughout their postseason run.

Cash spent 2013-14 on the Indians' staff as the bullpen coach, working closely with several pitchers who were a big part of their success. Cash remains close with pitching coach Mickey Callaway and manager Terry Francona, whom he played for in Boston, texting and teasing them throughout the playoffs.

"Not having him around for (Francona) to pick on, it's been really hard to lighten the mood like we used to," Callaway said. "What a great guy. He obviously had a ton of influence on what we're doing daily here now. So in spirit he's been here. Guys think about him, talk about him all the time. He was a great addition to our staff. We were sad to see him go, but he deserved it and we're happy for him there in Tampa Bay."

Cash said from Tampa that he enjoyed following the World Series. "No doubt I'm excited for the Indians. I have so much respect for them, spending two years with those guys," he said. "But I have a ton of respect for Joe (Maddon, the Cubs' manager, whom he replaced in Tampa Bay), too. He had an uncanny ability to reach out, to text me at times when I needed a pick-me-up."

Z-MAN: Maddon couldn't say enough good things about former Rays and current Cubs star Ben Zobrist.

"He sets examples for everybody's at-bats," Maddon said. "His at-bats are the most pro on a daily basis. He's among that elite group in all of professional baseball that even if he's not getting hits or if he's in a slump, he's still doing something to contribute to the offensive side just based on his at-bats, his willingness to accept walks, his good baserunning ability. All of that stuff … just by watching it helps these other kids.

"And he provides protection. He's provided protection all year. … So you know you're going to get the at-bat. … The other side knows that. And just as he is a versatile utility guy defensively, he's the same way offensively. You could put him 1, 2, 3, 4, you could put him in a lot of different spots and his tools play. … His postseason play has been spectacular."

LINING UP: Francona opted for the more experienced Rajai Davis in centerfield for Game 7 on Wednesday instead of rookie Tyler Naquin, who did not look comfortable Tuesday. "I thought 'Naq' was pressing, which during the regular season is something you can maybe send him back out there and let him play through it. I mean, (Wednesday's) our last game," Francona said. … Maddon stuck with DH Kyle Schwarber in the No. 2 spot, and also for better defense with Jason Heyward in right.

MISCELLANY: This was the 38th best-of-seven Series extended to a seventh game and the third in the past six years. … First-pitch temperature was an unseasonably warm 69 degrees. … Francona and Maddon met twice before in win-or-go-home games, with Maddon's Rays winning Game 7 of the American League Championship Series over the Red Sox and the 2013 wild-card game over the Indians. … This was the 10th Series game played in November.

Rays add pitching depth in deal with Reds

The Rays are completing a trade to add potential depth to their rotation, acquiring left-hander John Lamb from the Reds for cash.

Lamb, 26, recently had back surgery to repair a herniated disc and even in a best-case scenario won't be ready until sometime during the 2017 season. He was 2-12 with a 6.17 ERA in parts of two seasons with the Reds, who designated him for assignment last week. He is out of options, so the Rays would have to keep him in the majors when healthy.

Lamb was considered one of the game's top prospects when traded from the Royals to the Reds in the July 2015 Johnny Cueto deal, but he has been limited by injuries and inconsistency.

The Rays will have roster space as right-hander Kevin Jepsen, first baseman Logan Morrison and shortstop Alexei Ramirez become free agents this morning.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

World Series


Game 1: Indians 6, Cubs 0

Game 2: Cubs 5, Indians 1

Game 3: Indians 1, Cubs 0

Game 4: Indians 7, Cubs 2

Game 5: Cubs 3, Indians 2

Game 6: Cubs 9, Indians 3

Wednesday: Cubs 8, Indians 7 (10)

Indians say they miss Rays manager Kevin Cash 11/02/16 [Last modified: Saturday, November 5, 2016 5:09pm]
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