Cleveland Indians: 2020 brings return to baseball’s Deadball Era

Cleveland Indians Francisco Lindor (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians Francisco Lindor (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

The offensive woes of the Cleveland Indians awoke stats of the Deadball Era.

Anyone who’s watched the Cleveland Indians play in 2020 knows the offense bad. When the Tribe goes down 2-0, the deficit might as well be 200 runs.

For further perspective, the Indians’ lineup has been so bad, the offense is now drawing comparisons to the deadball era. Of course you don’t remember this era. It was over 100 years ago, spanning from 1900-1919. This period of low scoring ball is viewed to have ended with the emergence of Babe Ruth, who began belting home runs at an unseen pace, when he cracked 29 in 1919.

A photo of the 1910 Cleveland Naps was recently published on our Facebook page because it’s a cool color image that brings to life the players of that era, including Napoleon Lajoie, Addie Joss and Cy Young.

I wasn’t counting on the 2020 version of the Tribe to channel that club’s offensive woes, but, after 19 games, here we are.

Throughout these first 19 contests, the Indians have been unable to score more than two runs in 12 games. Being held to two or fewer runs in 12 of franchise’s first 19 games now ties a team record for run futility  with that 1910 club, according to’s Mandy Bell.

After the Cubs sweep, the Tribe’s offense was wielding a .192 average, which ranks as dead last in the big leagues. Their .304 on-base percentage ranks 24th, while that .294 slugging percentage is dead last in the AL.

For the sabermetrics crowd, the Indians have just four players with a wRC+ over 100. This stat seeks to find a player’s offensive value to a lineup, with 100 being average.

Lineup stars Franciso Lindor (83) and Franmil Reyes (92)  are really struggling, while Jordan Luplow, Oscar Mercado and Sandy Leon are also posting negative wRC+ numbers, according to the Beacon Journal’s Ryan Lewis. Speaking of Leon, the next hit a catcher complies for the Tribe, will be the second hit of the month for the position group.

Just imagine if the offense was middle of the road? What a difference it would make, yet, here we are. Historically bad at a time when the starting pitching was being mentioned as one of the best rotations in the game.

It was, for short time, anyway. Now 2/5 of the rotation is in quarantine. Zach Plesac is driving around town making Instagram videos in some odd effort to defend himself  for his COVID outing. The bottom third of the lineup is as hapless as a 3-year-old facing big-league pitching. Our cleanup hitter is going to lead the majors in walks, but couldn’t hit water sitting in Lake Erie, and Reyes, a man expected to launch bombs, hit three singles against the Cubs on Wednesday.

Next. 4 OF trade targets Indians must pursue. dark

Go ahead and enter that meme, “Everything is fine,” as the building around us burns down.