By Joe Cooper @joeRantSports on April 20, 2014
Through the Indians' first slump of 2014, there has been a lot of blame placed on the majority of the roster as the Tribe has lost seven out of their last nine games. Believe it or not, Cleveland has still enjoyed some stellar play from a number of unanticipated players.
Although Zach McAllister had received relatively heightened expectations entering 2014, he has played beyond his pay grade three starts into the season. In 17.2 innings of work the 26-year-old has a 2.04 ERA and 15 strikeouts, allowing a BAA of only .227 (.156 against righties). McAllister has been a beacon of consistency in a rotation that has seen its bumps in the road.
Among qualified hitters, David Murphy leads the team in BA (.292), is second in OBP (.365) and first in SLG (.521). Those numbers spike even higher with runners in scoring position posting: .500/.533/1.083. Murphy’s surprise production early on has been crucial during Ryan Raburn’s slow start platooning in right field.
The lefty specialist who came over in the Drew Stubbs trade has been wildly effective in just six innings of work. Even though he’s permitted five walks and four hits, the 29-year-old has stranded base runners consistently letting just one cross home plate. Josh Outman has put out batters by the way of inducing whiffs, average 10.50 strikes per nine innings (seven strikeouts).
Journeyman Scott Atchison has been thrown into a number of tight situations where he has successfully put out fires. Hits are hard to come by against the 38-year-old as the opposition has accumulated a BABIP of .105 versus the right-handed reliever. Atchison has left runners on base 66.7 percent of the time on his way to earning a 1.08 ERA.
As I’ve written about multiple times over the past few weeks, Lonnie Chisenhall’s bat is piping hot totaling a line of .481/.500/.667. Picking the brains of veterans Jason Giambi and Mike Aviles about his new role with the team has worked tremendously for Chisenhall in his transition toward a limited role. He’ll get another chance to continue his hot streak getting the start at third base today in the series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays.
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