Before seeing the Indians be well represented in the All-Star Game in Cleveland with four stars, Nolan Jones and Daniel Johnson took the field at Progressive Field to participate in the 2019 Futures Game. The coaching staff was very Cleveland centric as well with Jim Thome managing the American League team and Dennis Martinez managing the National League.
Both players were in the starting line-up with Jones playing third and Johnson as the DH as the electric Luis Robert took over his normal position of center field.
With pitching dominating the game, neither had an opportunity to shine until the bottom of the third, when both hit choppers off the plate against the Dodgers’ Dustin May. Jones hit the second pitch he saw back to the pitcher, then Johnson grounded out to short on the very next pitch.
Jones was lifted from the game prior to getting a second at bat with Isaac Paredes from Detroit replacing him on defense. Johnson was also removed prior to his second at bat with Jarren Duran coming in to face Padres’ lefty Adrian Morejon in the 6th.
While the game was controlled by the pitchers on both teams, Sixto Sanchez (MIA) and Nate Pearson (TOR) reached triple digits on the radar gun, the National League got on the board in the fourth with singles from Carter Kieboom (WAS), Alec Bohm (PHI), Taylor Trammell (CIN) and Dylan Carson (StL). With two runs already home, Trammell attempted to cement himself as the Futures Game MVP for the second straight season with a steal of home, but he was called out despite looking safe.
After being shut out for the first six innings, the AL finally came back against Rockies closer Ben Bowden. Jo Adell (LAA) walked to start the inning, then Samuel Huff (TEX) crushed a ball to the home run porch in left to tie the game.
Following the game, the Indians have announced that Jones will not return to Lynchburg and will instead stay in Ohio and play for the Rubberducks in Akron.
On the subject of All-Star games, Eric Haase and Brandon Barnes will represent the International League later this week in the AAA All-Star Game. Former Indians Willi Castro (traded to Detroit for Leonys Martin) and J.P. Feyereisen (traded to New York for Andrew Miller) are also on the roster.