Apr 8, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians first baseman Mark Reynolds (12) loses his bat as he strikes out in front of New York Yankees catcher Chris Stewart (19) to end the game at Progressive Field. The Yankees won 11-6. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Despite slow start, Cleveland Indians carry huge upside

Eight games into the 2013 baseball season and the Cleveland Indians have already experienced the very highs of winning and very lows of losing.

Of the Indians three wins on the young season, two have come against last year’s Cy Young Award winning pitchers, R.A. Dickey of Toronto (spent last season with the New York Mets) and David Price of Tampa.

On Opening Day, Cleveland banged out five hits, four walks, a two-run homer, and three earned runs against R.A. Dickey in a 4-1 win against Toronto. Five days later, Cleveland destroyed last year’s AL Cy Young winning pitcher David Price to the tune of 10 hits, eight runs, and a pair of two three-run bombs in just six innings.

For all the excitement that their offense can provide, they’ve also been demolished in their losses. Cleveland has been outscored 45-15 in their five total losses, including a pair of shutouts and a 14-1 thrashing by the New York Yankees on Tuesday.

Eight games into the season might not tell much about a team’s course for the rest of the year (last year the Indians were 4-4 after eight games), yet this Cleveland team is different.

Catcher Carlos Santana is second in the American League in hits  with 13, Mark Reynolds is tied for third in RBIs and runs scored and new-comer Nick Swisher is tied for second in walks. Pitcher Justin Masterson is 2-0 on the young season with an ERA of just 0.69 with 13 strikeouts in 13 innings pitched.

Despite the slow start for Cleveland, the Indians have a resurgent youth movement, a two-time World Series champion manager in Terry Francona, and key veterans with playoff experience to keep the Indians in check for the rest of the season.

Tags: Carlos Santana Justin Masterson Mark Reynolds Terry Francona

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