Need someone to cheer for in this year’s playoffs? How about some former San Diego Padres?
If former San Diego Padres closer Brad Hand wants to win his first World Series ring, he will have to go through a few of the most powerful offenses in baseball, in not so friendly ballparks for pitchers. Fortunately for Hand, he now has a potent offense of his own behind with the Cleveland Indians.
It was a matchup made in heaven. As the 2018 MLB trade deadline approached, it became more and more obvious that the Cleveland Indians would be willing to spend big on numerous relief options. Entering the second half of the season with the worst bullpen in the league, Cleveland expressed just how serious they were about winning a World Series this year by trading away one of their top prospects (Francisco Mejia) for the services of Hand and Adam Cimber.
Since joining the Indians, Hand has continued to use his lethal slider to carve his way through the American League. Across 28 games, he has recorded eight saves, a 2.28 ERA, and 41 strikeouts. His ERA+ currently sits at 194, nearly 70 points higher than when he was with the San Diego Padres.
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Hand and the Indians begin their best-of-five series on Friday afternoon with the defending World Series champion Houston Astros. Hand has had (albeit limited) some success against these current Astros hitters, limiting them to just four hits in 24 at-bats (.167 average) over the course of his career.
As for Adam Cimber, he’s had quite the different experience in Cleveland, Ohio. Cimber made a lot of fans while in San Diego with his unorthodox pitching technique and dominant results on the mound. How has Cimber fared in Cleveland, after I spent an hour across Cleveland airwaves singing his praises after the trade? He has logged just 20 innings, giving up seven walks and striking out just seven hitters.
Regardless, it’s a brand new season. Here’s to nothing but success for these two former San Diego Padres as they try and conquer the defending World Series champions.
First pitch for game one is set for 11 am (PT) on Friday.