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Roster Shuffles and Injuries Make Consistency Tough

Roster Shuffles and Injuries Make Consistency Tough

| On 22, Apr 2013

Every manager talks about it as the key to success in nearly every aspect of baseball. You can’t listen to a player talk about their game without mentioning it as a key. You can’t listen to a pregame or postgame press conference without hearing about its importance.

Consistency.

Through 17 games, the Indians are struggling mightily to find consistency and it shows on the field almost daily. Some of the Indians’ lack of consistency is due to bad luck and injuries. The rest of their inconsistencies are a result of their play.

Since the Indians left Goodyear, Arz and set their 25-man roster on March 31, they’ve made 13 roster moves in only 21 days. It started with Scott Kazmir straining a rib cage on April 1 during a workout at Rogers Centre in Toronto and it seems it hasn’t stopped since. Nick Hagadone was optioned to Triple-A to get Kazmir on the roster immediately so that his disabled list stint could begin retroactively.

Since then, Trevor Bauer has been recalled, made a spot start and been optioned back to Triple-A. Carlos Carrasco served a suspension, made a start, received a suspension and been optioned to Triple-A. Corey Kluber was recalled for a spot start, got rained out, sent to Triple-A, then recalled to be the long man and will now start in place of Brett Myers on Wednesday. Kluber will be the eighth starter in just 20 games.

Myers was placed on the disabled list on Sunday with elbow soreness and has been shutdown. It appears his injury could be long term. In terms of injuries, Myers is just one of the gang who has already spent time on the disabled list. Jason Giambi opened the season on the list, followed by Kazmir, then Lou Marson and finally Michael Bourn.

In addition to injuries resulting in trips to the disabled list, Jason Kipnis has missed time with a sore elbow, Carlos Santana with a sore wrist and Asdrubal Cabrera now with an injured wrist of his own.  We’ve seen cameo appearances from Omir Santos, Cord Phelps and now Fernando Nieve.

Injuries are a part of the game, but it seems like the Indians have had more than their share in the early part of this season. With a shuttle on overdrive between the Indians’ clubhouse and Columbus it’s hard to establish any kind of rhythm or consistency. The Indians have played many games short-handed, without a full bench. Sunday the Indians started Mark Reynolds at third base for the first time in two seasons. They had only Lonnie Chisenhall and Giambi healthy and available on their bench.

You can’t control injuries, but in a season with high expectations and possibly little margin for error to be competitors in the American League playoff race, the Indians have had several setbacks to date. They have not played any of their 17 games with their 25 best players available. They won’t any time soon. When your starting pitching is suspect, everything else needs to be strong. Unfortunately, injuries and lack of consistency have likely lead to some poor play.

In a 162-game schedule, the Indians have time to find their consistency and compete in the division and the American League, however, until they can get healthy survival may be just as important.

Photo: Mark Duncan/Associated Press

Comments

  1. Mark Reynolds started 15 games (including Opening Day) for the Orioles last year. While I won’t argue he should be playing there, it hasn’t been two seasons as you say above.

  2. Mike Brandyberry

    You are right, Tim. My mistake. Not sure how I missed that, but it doesn’t take away from the point that the Indians are not playing with their best most days because of nagging injuries and some ineffective starting pitching. Right now, I think it is tough for them to get into any kind of rhythm.