Cleveland Indians: 3 biggest disappointments of 2019 season

Cleveland Indians (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Indians find themselves in first place of the AL Central, but with not much help from these three players/positions.

The Cleveland Indians are off to a decent April start, despite some not-so-spectacular performances. Here’s three players-positions that struggled mightily early on.

1. Corey Kluber been more “Kluman”, than “Klubot”, but his fortunes can always change. He’s a two-time Cy Young Award winner, and deserves the benefit of the doubt.

Hopefully, it happens sooner than later, because when his starts go bad, the game is frankly hard to watch because the Indians get so far behind there’s just no coming back.

Control is the big issue with Kluber (6.16 ERA), who has walked 10 batters in 19 innings. This is after he only issued 34 free passes in 215 innings a season ago.

To be fair, Kluber’s made four starts. Two qualify as quality starts. He threw a gem on Opening Day but the Tribe didn’t get him any runs.

We’re just so spoiled when we watch him, we’re not used to seeing things go south when he pitches poorly.

2. Jose Ramirez has been bad, and that dates back to September of last season. Right now, the Mendoza Line would be a bright spot for J-Ram’s bat, because his plate appearances have been that bad.

In 59 at-bats, Ramirez is batting .145 (that’s 10 hits). He’s got a homer and just three measly RBIs. He hit .174 in September, and don’t forget, he didn’t show up in the postseason, going 0-for-11.

Want to take it back further? Since Aug. 1, Ramirez is batting .192. Terry Pluto speculated that Ramirez has fallen in love with the long ball is trying to pull everything.

It’s hard to argue because Ramirez has always hit at every level, whether it be the minors or majors. He’s a lifetime .305 hitter in the minors. In 335 minor league games, he hit just 13 home runs.

He didn’t become a “home-run hitter” until 2017, when he hit 29. With that said, he still managed to bat .318 that season. His average dipped to .270 in 2018, but he hit 39 homers. No one in the Indians organization could’ve predicted that type of power surge. He had 29 homers by the All-Star break, leading MLB.

Now he’s not hitting for average or power. He was to be counted on to produce with Francisco Lindor out, but he’s been missing in action. It’s a miracle the Indians were in first place entering Easter weekend.

3. Oh the middle infield. Look, it’s hard to beat up on Eric Stamets and Max Moroff because they’re not starters on a team supposedly contending for the postseason.

They were pressed into action out of necessity as Francisco Lindor and Jason Kipnis started the season injured.

But the production from the middle infield was so bad, it’s hard to ignore the impact the positions had on the Indians lineup: Before reading this stat, noted that Moroff played in 10 games at second base: So when that was your double-play tandem, Stamets and Moroff combined knock just four hits in 67 at-bats! Going to work overtime and give you the math here…that’s a .060 batting average.

There’s nine spots in a batting order. Essentially, the Indians got nothing from two spots in the order.

Next. Indians: 3 biggest early-season surprises. dark

Like I just wrote about Ramirez: It’s truly remarkable the Tribe is in first place and four-games over .500 entering Easter weekend.