By Matt Loede @MattLoede on June 11, 2014
The Cleveland Indians have had plenty of ups and down in 2014, and now we look back to opening day and see how the players from that night, a 2-0 win in Oakland over the Oakland Atheletics, are performing -- some good, some bad, and some watching from the bench due to injury.
Nyjer Morgan had a good opening night against the Oakland A's, with a walk and an RBI. He was a huge spark plug for the team, but now sits the bench after a knee injury landed him on the 60-day DL. In 15 games he was hitting .341 with one homer, six RBI and three steals. He was playing opening night in place for the injured Michael Bourn.
It's been a bad season for Nick Swisher. Sitting on the DL with a knee injury, he's had a tough 49 games, hitting just .211 with three homers and 19 RBI with 49 strikeouts. He was 1-for-4 with an RBI, walk and two K's opening night, and the tough season seems to have followed him into the month of June.
Jason Kipnis has missed time with an injury, but has played well since he returned, and on the year is hitting .250 with three homers, 19 RBI and seven steals. He won't be back on the All-Star team this year, but he's a big part of what the Indians are trying to do going forward. Opening night he was 1-for-5 with 3 K's in the win.
Carlos Santana carries a .178 average 66 games into the season, with seven homers and 22 RBI, and has been awful at the plate, as he has tried to make the transition to playing third base full-time. With Lonnie Chisenhall having a huge season, there's many that think Santana should sit or play DH and first. He needs to figure out what the issues are at the plate in a hurry.
The MVP of the first 66 games of the year for the Tribe, Michael Brantley should be headed to the All-Star game for what he's done, which is at times carried the team. He's hitting .310 with a team high 10 homers, and team high 43 RBI. He's also been great in the outfield, and has turned into one of the better all-around players in the American League.
After a very good 2013, Raburn has had a rough 2014, hitting just .201 with one homer and 14 RBI, and his playing time has also been cut due to the fact he's simply not been as effective as last season. He is one of the bench players the team is counting on, but one that hasn't stepped up this season like he did a season ago.
Cabrera got off to a tough start, but has started to play much better as the season has progressed, now hitting .255 with six homers and 23 RBI with five steals. He had one of the more dramatic HR's last week against the Boston Red Sox, and the team is encouraged by his turnaround. Opening night he was 1-for-3 with a run scored and a walk.
After a tough first two weeks, David Murphy has turned in a nice season for the Tribe, hitting .284 with five homers and 37 RBI. His ability to hit in big situations has made him a fan favorite, and it appears the offseason move to pick him up from the Texas Rangers is one that has clearly paid off. Opening night he was 1-for-4 with a run scored.
On offense, Yan Gomes has been average, hitting .261 with seven homers and 22 RBI. He's had a rough first 66 games on defense, committing nine errors, second on the team to Asdrubal Cabrera's 11 errors. He's still a favorite to the pitchers on the roster, and will have every chance to get that average and power numbers higher.
Justin Masterson got off to a very good start opening night for the Indians, throwing seven innings, not allowing a run on three hits with a walk and four strikeouts. He's been very average the first half, going 4-4 with a 4.61 ERA in 14 starts. The teams role of 'ace' has clearly gone to Corey Kluber, but if Masty can get hot, the team will only benefit from it.
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