October Confidential: How to beat the Tribe

Rival players offer inside look at facing AL Central champions

October Confidential: How to beat the Tribe

How do you beat the Indians? MLB.com asked rival players from around Major League Baseball to offer an inside look at how best to face the American League Central champions, who will face the Yankees in the AL Division Series presented by Doosan.

Corey Kluber
"He's one of the best when he's on the mound. He's such a tough pitcher to hit because he can command all of his four pitches. When he does that, he's an extremely tough pitcher to hit. I think the best that you can do against him is to keep your focus and be prepared for all the pitches. You can't be waiting for one. You have to be prepared for all four."
-- AL Central infielder

"Kluber for me is just command. He has command of four pitches, maybe five pitches. Really good command of five pitches to both sides of the plate. He can throw the same pitch for a strike or a ball. He can use his offspeed pitches to get ahead of hitters, and he can use it to put away hitters. So really for me, it's really command. He commands everything that he throws. You just have to hunker down and work him. You can't miss your mistakes. That's the difficult thing; you might get one or two a game, and you can't miss them. After that, it just turns into luck. Try to put the barrel on it and somehow find a hole. His command is really good."
-- AL Central infielder

Kluber's season-high 14 K's

Carlos Carrasco
"He's another pitcher with a lot of talent. Good changeup, fastball and slider. He's tough. He hasn't won a Cy Young yet, but he's one of the best when he's on the mound. He can command all those pitches."
-- AL Central infielder

"He calls it a changeup, but it's really a split. It's a lot like Felix [Hernandez]'s was when Felix was throwing 91-92 mph with his fastball and was throwing 89 with his changeup. It's the same kind of pitch. It's got really good tumbling action. His fastball is hittable, but his offspeed stuff he commands really well. His slider or curveball, whatever he calls it, it does different things. Sometimes it backs up and stays straight. Sometimes it goes across the zone. I don't know if he necessarily knows what it's going to do, but he throws it in the strike zone, and it either dives out or stays in. And then his changeup is obviously really good, his split-finger. He's more electric, I think, than Kluber, but Kluber's command is off the charts."
-- AL Central infielder

Carrasco goes the distance

Cody Allen
"He's a very effective closer, one of the best in his role even though sometimes he doesn't get the results he wanted. When he's on, he's a very tough pitcher. I think that the whole Cleveland Indians pitching staff is really, really difficult to hit."
-- AL Central infielder

"Cody Allen has really good life on his fastball with a sharp curveball. He pitches up in the zone well with his fastball. It's tough to decipher the two. He might not light up the radar gun, but his fastball has a lot of life. There are some guys that throw 92, 93, 94, but it looks like 98, 97. He's kind of one of those guys, and he's got a really good curveball to go with it."
-- AL Central infielder

Andrew Miller
"He's one of the best in the business. A pitcher with a nasty repertoire and he has a lot of confidence in himself. It's tough to face a pitcher like him."
-- AL Central infielder

"It's just the angles that he creates. Being as big as he is and hiding the ball really well and a little funky delivery and just the tilt that he creates with his slider makes it difficult to recognize."
-- AL Central infielder

Miller fans Kepler, escapes jam

Francisco Lindor
"He's a guy you have to pound in on and try not to let him get extended and obviously not leave balls over the middle. Mix it up and you have to be able to locate in on him. He's a great player, great young player. And a lot of talent. He's got power, speed. He's good in the field. He does it all."
-- AL Central pitcher

"Obviously the power numbers have increased for him, and I think he's kind of blossomed from a young hitter with a lot of talent to a smart and experienced hitter with a lot of talent. He's a guy that makes adjustments on the fly. When he first broke in, he was very talented and now he's had three years of experience plus that talent, and he uses that knowledge and that experience to make in-game adjustments and change his approach when needed. He's not a guy you can say, 'Hey, he can't hit this pitch, let's throw it there.' He's a guy that if you get him out one way, the next at-bat he's going to adjust to that and you have to find a different way."
-- AL Central pitcher

Statcast: Lindor's mammoth blast

Jose Ramirez
"He's probably the hottest hitter on the planet. He's another guy I think that you have to be able to command in on and try not to let him get comfortable or extended. Sometimes almost backwards is probably better, which means offspeed early and coming back hard late. Late I think needs to be in or maybe even a little bit up to get him to chase it up."
-- AL Central pitcher

"What he's doing is special. Something that's so impressive to me is his power to all parts of the field. He's a guy that it doesn't matter if you're ahead 0-2 or behind 2-0, he's going to spoil a pitch, he's going to take advantage of a mistake. In that lineup, he's probably the one guy that I don't want to see come to the plate, and that's saying something when you look at that lineup. You're talking about guys that can potentially do damage and hurt you, and he's the guy that I don't want to see come up to the plate."
-- AL Central catcher

Must C: Ramirez slugs two homers

"Coming up through the Minors ... [it was] other guys [you didn't want to see walk to the plate]. He wasn't that guy, and now he's the guy that you don't want to see walk up to the plate."
-- AL Central catcher

Edwin Encarnacion
"He's good. Obviously I think pretty quick inside and another guy that instead of being in on him, he's a down and away guy. You have to be able to locate the fastball down and away. He will chase a slider off or a breaking ball down in the zone. Can elevate with two strikes. But I think you have to be careful kind of middle in on him."
-- AL Central pitcher

Robertson fans Encarnacion to escape jam

"He's been around for a while. You know what he can do. He got off to a slow start this year and it was almost like, 'Let's take advantage of this and not be the person that gets him hot,' because you knew it was just a matter of time. He's another guy that you can't make a mistake to. You have to be careful."
-- AL Central catcher

Carlos Santana
"He will expand off, but probably has one of the best eyes in the league. So obviously fairly patient. But if you get two strikes on him, he will expand a little bit. His hand-eye coordination is so good that he can put balls in player that are a little off. Pretty good hitter. Another guy that I think you have to be able to throw inside, not just show him inside but inside for strikes to try to open up something soft away."
-- AL Central pitcher

"He's a guy that you just have to mix, mix, mix with. He's very, very aggressive, but he also takes walks. And it's kind of a catch-22, because he's not a guy that you can pick around and get him to swing at your pitch, because he's pretty selective in the zone. Obviously when he gets his pitch, he does damage."
-- AL Central catcher