After hanging 13 runs on the Cinncinati Reds, hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo opts out the rest of the year.
The Cleveland Indians are going to have to overcome one more giant obstacle this year offensive, the opt-out of renowned hitting coach, Ty Van Burkleo. For the last seven seasons, Van Burkleo has been one of the best hitting coaches in all of the Majors. Four times in seven years, Van Burkleo’s lineups have finished the year in the top-four of the Majors in runs scored. He’s seen guys like Francisco Lindor develop power, Jose Ramirez being an MVP candidate, and given Carlos Santana his best seasons in the game.
Long story short, he’s very good at what he does. Now he’s going to be heading home for the rest of the year, as the 57-year-old coach has serious concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic. As baseball continues to see more and more positive tests, it would make sense that a person would opt to stay home if he has concerns.
This comes just a day after the Indians brutalized the Reds with a 13-0 drubbing. Scoring more runs in that one game than they had in their last four combined. The team finally showed signs of offense against the Reds, but with the White Sox up next, the team has to stay consistent offensively if they want to keep pace in the AL Central.
Replacing Van Burkleo will be Alex Eckelman, the organization’s director of hitting development. He’ll join Cleveland’s major league staff and partner up with assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez and hitting analyst Justin Toole for the rest of the season. Van Burkleo isn’t leaving the team in totality, however. He’ll still contribute remotely from his home in California, according to Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti.
“Ty has our full support in this decision,” Antonetti told reporters via Zoom.
The Indians offense hasn’t been good all year, and the pitching has largely carried them to a winning record so far. The team is too skilled to end the season offensively inept, they will get things turned around. That is, that’s the sentiment if the team had a full season. The team only has 60 games total, and are nearly a quarter of the way through the year after just 14 games.
The team needs to find consistency if they hope to overtake the Minnesota Twins.