Cleveland Indians: Tribe’s mid-season report card

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 26: Edwin Encarnacion
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 26: Edwin Encarnacion /

It is time to evaluate the Cleveland Indians’ 2017 season so far. Did the players’ individual play grade out well?

By finishing off the Detroit Tigers on Sunday, the Cleveland Indians completed their 81st game of the season with a win. Sure, they needed multiple relievers to escape the ninth inning, but a win is a win.

Now that the team has reached the halfway point, it’s time to give out some grades and assess the first half of the season for the Indians. All of the following stats are via

Team MVP: 3B Jose Ramirez

Is this any surprise? We’ve covered him quite a lot lately here, here, here and here. I’ll save the space here, but this offense is nowhere without Ramirez.

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He’s a real threat to win MVP because of everything that he does at the plate and on the field. Oh, and J-Ram is only 24 years old and is locked up for the next six seasons!

Team LVP: P Danny Salazar

Before you overreact and say fellow pitcher Josh Tomlin, realize that at least Tomlin has been able to make his starts. Salazar isn’t just getting dinged for being unable to take the mound, but he’s posted the worst WHIP on the roster and the second highest walk rate.

Salazar was a Cy Young candidate at this point a year ago. Since then, he’s been injured and ineffective. Watching Tomlin pitch is rough, but at least he’s out there. Eventually, Salazar’s potential will have to turn into production.

Best new offseason acquisition: OF Austin Jackson

Until he got hurt (again), Jackson helped keep the outfield intact through injuries to Abraham Almonte, Brandon Guyer, and Michael Brantley. Some credit goes to Daniel Robertson‘s defense, but Jackson provided some offensive punch as well.

Jackson out now until after the all-star break, but with Guyer back healthy and Bradley Zimmer settling in, he can take his time to get healthy.

Biggest positive surprise: P Nick Goody

Quick, which bullpen arm leads the team in ERA? It’s actually Goody, not Andrew Miller or Cody Allen. He’s third overall among all Tribe pitchers in WHIP.

With Dan Otero and Bryan Shaw having some issues, Goody has been a huge boost for Tmanager Terry Francona out of the pen. Some kudos also needs to go to Zach McAllister. He’s a close second to Goody here.

Biggest disappointment: P Trevor Bauer

I’m not going to pick on Tomlin much more. SS Francisco Lindor is just in a sophomore slump and 1B/DH Carlos Santana at least leads the team in RBI despite how dreadful the rest of his stat line looks.

Yet, for Bauer, the regression this season has been concerning. His ERA had trended down since he came to Cleveland. So did his peripherals like K/BB ratio, WHIP, and in turn his WAR. 2017 has been a different story.

Luckily, Bauer has gotten better as the season rolls on. However, his splits between wins and losses are staggering. That level of inconsistency is what makes him so disappointing. In his 7 wins, he has a 1.038 WHIP, a 5.6 K/BB ratio, and a 3.65 ERA. In Bauer’s six losses, he has accumulated a 1.859 WHIP, a 1.81 K/BB ratio, and an insane 8.51 ERA!

Let’s hope the positive trend continues, but there’s lots of work to do.

Player poised for big second half: Francisco Lindor

Something is wrong with Lindor, all-star selection notwithstanding. The sophomore slump has hit Lindor hard after he carried the Tribe offense through April.

Since then, it’s been ugly. His .248 average is more than 50 points below his big league career average and so is his on-base percentage. Only Lindor’s OPS and slugging are near normal, but that might be the problem.

His swing looks long and is maybe getting into hitting home runs too much from early in the year. Lindor needs some work if the next 81 games are going to justify his unlikely all-star selection.

Most underrated player: OF Lonnie Chisenhall

It’s time to admit Chisenhall is better than we thought. He’s not a AAAA player. He’s not a first round bust. Chisenhall is tied for the team lead in RBI. He’s second in batting average and slugging.

Chisenhall is first in on-base percentage and he plays a good defensive right field. I get that Chisenhall is not a superstar, but he doesn’t need to be for this team to be successful.

Letter Grades:


Corey Kluber: A

Carlos Carrasco: B+

Mike Clevinger, C

Trevor Bauer: D

Josh Tomlin: F


Andrew Miller: A

Cody Allen: B+

Nick Goody: B+

Zach McAllister: B

Bryan Shaw: C+

Boone Logan: C+

Dan Otero: C-


Jose Ramirez: A+

Edwin Encarnacion (DH): B-

Francisco Lindor: C+

Jason Kipnis: C+

Carlos Santana: C+


Michael Brantley: A-

Lonnie Chisenhall: A-

Bradley Zimmer: B+

Austin Jackson: B

Brandon Guyer: D

Daniel Robertson: D

Next: Five Tribe players are named all-stars

This is still a good team with a three game lead in the division over the Minnesota Twins, who have frankly overachieved all season. It’ll be exciting to see the next 81 games starting with the San Diego Padres on July 4.