By Matt Loede @MattLoede on May 17, 2014
It's been a slow start to 2014 for the Cleveland Indians, and 40 games into the season they were sitting at 19-21, coming off a huge 15-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. Since then they have lost two straight, an indication of the up and down season the club has had. Today we grade out the areas of the team and the outlook for the last 120 games of the year.
The team has simply not done well at the plate this season, with key players like Nick Swisher (.201), Carlos Santana (.154) and the now injured Jason Kipnis (.234) not doing nearly enough for the Indians to be a solid offensive team. The club ranks 12th in runs in all of baseball, 22nd in average, 22nd in hits and 17th in homers. As the weather warms up, the Indians bats simply have to start producing.
The Indians starters have taken their lumps in the first 40 games, going a total of 12-16. They are also going through a change at the four and five spots with Danny Salazar in AAA Columbus and Carlos Carrasco in the pen now in favor of Josh Tomlin who is 2-0. Ace Justin Masterson has scuffled to a 2-2 mark, and Zach McAllister was 3-0, but now imploding, is 3-4. Corey Kluber is carrying the staff, going 4-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 9 starts.
The pen has maybe been the best unit on the team, even with John Axford being taken out of the closer role and there being a closer by committee right now. Cody Allen has led the pen with a 2-1 mark with a 1.69 ERA, and has already thrown in 20 games. Mark Rzepczynski has also been strong, going 0-1 with a 2.45 ERA. The closer role needs to be locked up by someone, as this team won't win with it being a different guy on the mound every night.
The worst defense in baseball, with 42 errors in 43 games, and it's coming from anywhere and everywhere. From catcher Yan Gomes' team leading 9 errors behind the plate to Asdrubal Cabrera and Nick Swisher each with five to four from new 3B Carlos Santana, it just seems to be an ongoing plague each and every game. The biggest issue is that there's no answer on how to fix it.
The Indians bench last season was a huge part of why the team won over 90 games and made it to the postseason. This year, not so much. Mike Aviles has been playing a lot for the injured Jason Kipnis, and is hitting .293 entering Saturday's game. Beyond that, Ryan Raburn is hitting only .181, Jason Giambi has been hurt nearly all year, and the others have yet to have a big impact.
May 5, 2015 by Tim Letcher
Michael Lorenzen seems to have what it takes to replace injured Cincinnati Reds' pitcher Homer Bailey. Read More
May 5, 2015 by Jason Fletcher
The New York Yankees and Alex Rodriguez seem to finally be able to tolerate each other, but that may not be the case for long. Read More
Every MLB playoff team has a designated ace at the front of their rotation. These five teams need to find an ace in order to make the playoffs. Read More
May 5, 2015 by Bryan Zarpentine
New York Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores needs to emerge from three straight days off a more consistent and reliable player, or he could have trouble holding onto his job. Read More
May 5, 2015 by Samantha Riley
The Oakland Athletics' relievers have had a lot of issues lately, so the A's need a new arm in the bullpen. Read More
May 4, 2015 by Jacob Kornhauser
Troy Tulowitzki is one of the most talented hitters in baseball, but is always hurt. Here are five teams that could take the chance to deal for him. Read More
Cole Hamels is surely on the trading block for the Phillies, but where will he land? Here are five teams that could make a serious play for him. Read More
May 4, 2015 by Tim Letcher
Who should be on the Cincinnati Reds' trade block? Read More