INDIANAPOLIS – The 2023 Major League Baseball postseason begins today with four best-of-three Wild Card series, and 19 former Indianapolis Indians are scattered among eight of the 12 teams looking to make a run to a World Series championship.
Baltimore Orioles (101-61, No. 1 seed)
Player(s): INF Adam Frazier (2016-18)
Frazier, 31, was signed by Baltimore last December and became an everyday player for the Orioles, hitting .240 (99-for-412) with 21 doubles and two triples along with a career-high 13 home runs and career-high 60 RBI in 141 games. He appeared in 103 total games with the Indians across three seasons and hit .301 (118-for-392) with 28 extra-base hits. Frazier made his MLB postseason debut in 2022 with Seattle and went 5-for-23 in five games.
Coach(es): Major League Coach José Hernández (2000, 2007)
Tampa Bay Rays (99-63, No. 4 seed)
Player(s): RHP Tyler Glasnow (2015-17), C Christian Bethancourt (2021), RHP Robert Stephenson (2023)
Glasnow, 30, began the season on the 15-day injured list with an oblique injury but returned in full force as the Rays’ ace. Over 21 starts, he went 10-7 with a 3.53 ERA (47er/120.0ip), 162 strikeouts, 1.08 WHIP and .209 batting average against. Since making his season debut with Tampa Bay on May 27, he led the American League in strikeouts, ranked third in batting average against, tied for third in wins, was fifth in WHIP and ninth in ERA. Glasnow appeared in 56 games (17 starts) with Pittsburgh from 2016-18 and went 3-11 with a 5.79 ERA (91er/141.1ip) before being traded to Tampa Bay on July 31, 2018, with outfielder Austin Meadows and a player to be named later (right-hander Shane Baz) in exchange for right-hander Chris Archer. As a Ray, Glasnow has gone 27-16 while registering a 3.20 ERA (138er/388.1ip) with 526 strikeouts in 71 regular-season starts, but he is just 2-5 with a 5.75 ERA (26er/40.2ip) over nine postseason starts. In three seasons with Indianapolis from 2015-17, he went 19-6 with a 1.95 ERA (53er/245.0ip) and 321 strikeouts. He owns nine of the 52 double-digit strikeout performances in the Victory Field era and holds Victory Field era records for most strikeouts in a season (140 in 2017) and lowest single-season ERA (mininum 100.0ip: 1.87 in 2016).
Bethancourt, 32, has been Tampa Bay’s primary catcher this season after being traded to the Rays from Oakland on July 9, 2022, in exchange for outfielder Cal Stevenson and right-hander Christian Fernandez. In 104 games he hit .225 (71-for-315) with 16 doubles, 11 home runs and 33 RBI. Behind the dish, he registered a .995 fielding percentage (four errors in 881 total chances), the fourth-highest mark among qualified American League backstops. He made his MLB postseason debut last October and went 0-for-5 in two games. Bethancourt was named Indy’s 2021 Team MVP after hitting .281 (93-for-331) with an .807 OPS and five walk-off hits in 92 games.
Stephenson, 30, joined Tampa Bay’s bullpen midseason after he was traded by Pittsburgh for infielder Alika Williams on June 2. In 42 appearances for the Rays, he went 3-1 with one save, a 2.35 ERA (10er/38.1ip), 60 strikeouts, 0.68 WHIP and .138 batting average against. The right-hander opened the season with Indianapolis on a rehab assignment and posted an 8.10 ERA (3er/3.1ip) in four appearances before returning to Pittsburgh, where he went 0-3 with a 5.14 ERA (8er/14.0ip) in 18 relief outings. He has never pitched in an MiLB or MLB postseason.
Coach(es): Hitting Coach Chad Mottola (1995-98)
Texas Rangers (90-72, No. 5 seed)
Player(s): RHP Chris Stratton (2019)
Stratton, 33, began the season with St. Louis before being traded to Texas on July 30 with left-hander Jordan Montgomery in exchange for left-hander John King, right-hander Tekoah Roby and infielder Thomas Saggese. In 64 total major league games this season, 22 with Texas, he went 2-1 with a 3.92 ERA (36er/82.2ip) and 81 strikeouts. Stratton, who was with Pittsburgh from 2019-22, appeared in two games on a rehab assignment with Indianapolis in 2019 and went 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA (2er/4.0ip) and four strikeouts. This is his first trip to the MLB postseason.
Toronto Blue Jays (89-73, No. 6 seed)
Player(s): C Tyler Heineman (2023)
Heineman, 32, was on Indianapolis’ Opening Day roster and appeared in one game before having his contract selected by Pittsburgh. After appearing in three games with the Pirates, he was optioned to Indy and played in five more games, hitting .333 (6-for-18) with three extra-base hits and six RBI overall for the Indians. He was then designated for assignment on April 26 and traded to Toronto on April 30 in exchange for infielder Vinny Capra. The backstop bounced between Triple-A Buffalo and Toronto the rest of the season and hit .276 (8-for-29) with an .811 OPS in 19 games for the Blue Jays. He has never played in an MLB postseason.
Coach(es): First Base Coach Mark Budzinski (2003), Third Base Coach Luis Rivera (1986-87)
The Houston Astros (90-72, No. 2 seed) and Minnesota Twins (87-75, No. 3 seed) do not have any former Indianapolis Indians on their coaching staff or postseason roster.
*NATIONAL LEAGUE *
Atlanta Braves (104-58, No. 1 seed and best record in MLB)
Player(s): RHP Jesse Chavez (2006-08), RHP Charlie Morton (2009-10, 2012-13, 2015)
Chavez, 40, made his return to Atlanta’s bullpen on Sept. 20 after being placed on the 15-day injured list (later transferred to the 60-day) on June 15 with a left shin contusion. In 36 appearances (one start), he went 1-0 with a 1.56 ERA (6er/34.2ip), 39 strikeouts, 1.10 WHIP and .203 batting average against. He has allowed just two earned runs in 10.2 total postseason innings with Chicago (2018) and Atlanta (2021-22). His 16-year major league career began in 2008 with the Pirates, and since he has appeared with Atlanta, Kansas City, Toronto, Oakland, Los Angeles (NL), Los Angeles (AL), Texas and Chicago (NL) while being included in 10 total trades, the most by any player in MLB history. Chavez made 109 appearances (one start) with Indianapolis over three seasons and went 7-10 with 16 saves, a 3.90 ERA (72er/166.0ip) and 150 strikeouts.
Morton, 39, is tied for the fifth-most wins in the National League this season, going 14-12 with a 3.64 ERA (66er/163.1ip) and 183 strikeouts in 30 starts. He also ranks 10th among NL qualifiers in ERA. The seasoned veteran has an abundance of postseason experience from his time with Pittsburgh, Houston, Tampa Bay and Atlanta, going 7-5 with a 3.60 ERA (32er/80.0ip) and 92 strikeouts in 18 games (17 starts). After making his MLB debut with Atlanta in 2008, Morton returned to the Braves prior to the 2021 season and has since gone 37-24 with a 3.77 ERA (218er/521.0ip) and 604 strikeouts in 94 starts. Over parts of five years in Indianapolis, he went 5-6 with a 3.26 ERA (46er/127.0ip) in 22 starts.
Coach(es): Catching Coach Sal Fasano (2002)
Los Angeles Dodgers (100-62, No. 2 seed)
Player(s): RHP Shelby Miller (2021)
Miller, 32, began the season on the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster before being placed on the 15-day IL on June 21 (later transferred to the 60-day IL) with neck pain. He was reinstated on Aug. 31 and has since logged 12.0 scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts, a 0.67 WHIP and .167 batting average against. In 36 total appearances this season (one start), he has gone 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA (8er/42.0ip), 42 strikeouts, 0.90 WHIP and .135 batting average against. Miller appeared in 10 games (one start) with the Indians in 2021, going 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA (6er/14.0ip), 22 strikeouts, 0.93 WHIP and .189 batting average against. Miller appeared in five postseason games (two starts) with St. Louis from 2012-14 and recorded a 5.27 ERA (8er/13.2ip) and 12 strikeouts.
Milwaukee Brewers (92-70, No. 3 seed)
Player(s): RHP Bryse Wilson (2022)
Wilson, 25, has spent the entire season with Milwaukee after being traded from Pittsburgh in exchange for cash on Jan. 4, 2023. He has been one of the Brewers’ most reliable relievers, going 6-0 with three saves, a 2.58 ERA (22er/76.2ip), 61 strikeotus and 1.07 WHIP in 53 appearances. He made six impressive starts with Indianapolis in 2022, going 5-0 with a 2.97 ERA (12er/36.1ip), 34 strikeouts and 1.05 WHIP. He earned the win in his lone postseason start with Atlanta, tossing 6.0 one-hit innings with five strikeouts in Game 4 of the 2020 NLCS vs. Los Angeles (NL).
Coach(es): Hitting Coach Ozzie Timmons (1997-98)
Miami Marlins (84-77, No. 5 seed)
Player(s): INF Josh Bell (2015-16), C Jacob Stallings (2016-19)
Bell, 31, began the season with Cleveland before being traded to Miami on Aug. 1 in exchange for infielders Jean Segura and Kahlil Watson. In 150 games, 52 with Miami, he hit .247 (135-for-547) with 28 doubles, 22 home runs and 74 RBI. He spent five years with Pittsburgh from 2016-20 and has also appeared with Washington (2021-22) and San Diego (2022). In his first MLB postseason last October with San Diego, he hit .250 (9-for-36) with a double and two home runs in 10 games. Over parts of two seasons with Indy, Bell hit .306 (166-for-542) with 30 doubles, seven triples, 16 home runs and an .850 OPS in 149 games. His Indians career also included a walk-off single in Game 4 of the 2015 Governors’ Cup and the fourth cycle in the Victory Field era on April 22, 2016.
Stallings, 33, has spent the past two seasons as Miami’s backstop after being traded from Pittsburgh on Nov. 29, 2021, in exchange for right-handers Zach Thompson and Kyle Nicolas – the latter a product of Ball State (Muncie, Ind.) University – and outfielder Connor Scott. This season he hit .191 (46-for-241) with 17 extra-base hits in 89 games. Stallings appeared in 225 games with Indianapolis from 2016-19 and hit .265 (207-for-780) with 64 doubles, one triple, 15 home runs and 113 RBI. His lone triple came on Aug. 7, 2018, when he joined teammate Kevin Newman in hitting for the cycle at Victory Field. This is his first time reaching the MLB postseason.
Coach(es): Hitting Coach Brant Brown (2001)
The Philadelphia Phillies (90-72, No. 4 seed) and Arizona Diamondbacks (84-78, No. 6 seed) do not have any former Indianapolis Indians on their coaching staff or postseason roster.