While Major League Baseball is in day number two of its official offseason, the Cleveland Indians have been hard at work already (presumably) at finding ways to build a winner for 2016 and beyond.
Many questions are already answered with the return of a strong nucleus and a pitching staff that met expectations for the 2015 season. Some of the questions about how the organization surrounds those returning cast members are up in the air and one of the first questions to address will be the status of Ryan Raburn.
They say it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.
For the past three seasons, the Cleveland Indians have finished just fine. From May to September, they have been one of baseball’s best teams. They have been the team that makes people say, “Nobody would want to play them in October”. Yet, the team has only one Wild Card Game loss to show for it.
And it’s that pesky “start” that’s the problem.
Since Manager Terry Francona was hired prior to the 2013 season, the Indians have shot themselves in the foot right out of the gate three out of three times. It took a miraculous run in 2013 with a ten game winning streak to finish the season just for the Indians to squeak out one game of “playoff baseball” (the quotes are for you, Kenny Lofton). Over the past two years, however, there has been no ten game winning streak and the Indians April swoon has proved too much to overcome.
Corey Kluber gave the Indians eight dominant innings on the mound in his final start of the year and he was supported by a pair of homers as the Cleveland Indians shut out the Boston Red Sox, 2-0, on a …
The Indians beat Chris Sale and the White Sox, 3-2, Monday afternoon as Trevor Bauer pitched seven strong innings and the Tribe hit three solo homers.
Bauer got into trouble in the second inning, walking four – including three straight …
The Indians used another strong outing from Danny Salazar and a few timely hits in a come-from-behind, 4-2 victory over the red-hot Blue Jays on Monday. The Tribe has won six in a row, and nine of the team’s last …
The Indians were one out away from a series victory over the Angels and an above-.500 road trip, but the Angels rallied for three runs in the ninth off Cody Allen and won, 4-3, on Wednesday.
The White Sox jumped on Tribe starter Carlos Carrasco on Saturday night for five runs in the first in a 10-3 win.
The first four batters reached, and Carrasco lasted four innings after allowing a Carlos Sanchez homer in the …
I’ve never been a really strong math person, and I especially didn’t like word problems when I was in school, but Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti is facing quite the math problem in the next nine months.
While some continue to hang on to hope that the Indians can make a run for a playoff spot in 2015, it seems unlikely with just 71 games remaining and just the 10th best record in the American League. At the trade deadline, the Indians are expected to stand pat, or possibly trade veterans David Murphy and Ryan Raburn.
The problem, or Antonetti’s challenge, is to begin building a roster that can compete in 2016. With a strong starting rotation and improving young defense, it’s fair to believe that the Indians are a couple hitters away from serious contention.
It’s hard to believe, but Sunday’s action concludes the unofficial first half of the regular season in Major League Baseball.
It’s a tough feeling to digest, especially in the northeast Ohio region where entering the second full week of July, summer hasn’t fully kicked spring to the curb. But like the annual hopes for an eventful and entertaining summer, the 2015 season has been anything but those things for the Cleveland Indians, at least in regards to their record.
The expectations for the season may have been far more tapered for the fan base, distracted by a different #23 playing a stone’s throw from Progressive Field, had Corey Kluber and Michael Brantley not graced the regional cover of Sports Illustrated in March, altering completely what the local homers feel every season by proclaiming “Wait Till This Year”. This just wasn’t another wishful thinking, “what if”, “next year is this year”, kind of start to a year. The national media was thinking it, and even though that same group of writers and pundits has been wrong and cruel and unjust to Cleveland for all of my lifetime, the majority of the fans out there begun to feel that their hopes weren’t such a crazy pipe dream after all.
Maybe this would be the year…
The Indians beat the Astros, 3-1, on Thursday night, to win the teams’ four-game series.
The Indians have won 8 of their last 11.
Houston led, 1-0, into the sixth, but Francisco Lindor led off that inning with a solo …
The Indians fell to the Orioles, 4-3, on Friday, despite another strong start by Corey Kluber, who once again suffered from a lack of run support. After seven strong innings from Kluber, it took Marc Rzepczynski just three pitches to …