Perhaps the only thing more surprising than the Cleveland Indians becoming the second pro sports franchise in Cleveland to play in their league's respective championship this year is the former Philadelphia Phillies who the Indians will be taking with them.
After posting just a .440 winning percentage in four seasons as the Phillies manager, Terry Francona seemed unlikely to develop into the Hall of Fame manager he has. In eight seasons as the manager of the Boston Red Sox, he ended the team's 86-year title drought by winning both the 2004 and 2007 World Series titles. Now Francona, who is in his fourth season as the Cleveland Indians manager, has guided the team to their first World Series appearance since 1997.
Michael Martinez, who may be the most disliked player to play for the Phillies in recent memory, is headed to his first World Series with the club. After trading Martinez to the Red Sox in July, the Indians claimed the 34-year-old back off waivers in early August. Martinez has been on the Indians roster for both the ALDS and ALCS, but is hitless in just one at-bat.
After posting a 6.65 ERA with the Phillies in 20 games in 2014, Jeff Manship has turned into a fine bullpen piece for the Indians the past two seasons. After posting an 0.95 ERA in 2015, Manship posted a 3.12 ERA in over 50 games in 2016. Though ALCS MVP Andrew Miller minimized the need for some of the Indians bullpen pieces in the American League playoffs, Manship has pitched an 1.1 scoreless this postseason and figures to see time in the World Series.
The Phillies claimed Dan Otero off of waivers from the Oakland Athletics this past off-season, but ultimately designated him for assignment and traded him to the Indians when they needed to create roster space after the Ken Giles-Vince Velasquez trade. In 3.1 postseason innings, Otero has a 2.70 ERA, which comes after he posted a 1.53 ERA in 62 games.
Carlos Carrasco was traded to the Indians organization as part of the Cliff Lee trade in 2009, ironically when the Lehigh Valley IronPigs were playing the Indians Triple-A affiliate, the Columbus Clippers. Carrasco has turned himself into a very good starter, but is out for the season with a hand injury.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, who currently lead the NLCS 2-1, have a trio of more prominent Phillies in Chase Utley, Carlos Ruiz and Joe Blanton.