Tyler Naquin was called up in 2016 and platooned in the outfield for years by the Cleveland Indians, now he’s making them look silly for doubting him.
You hear it all the time, “one man can’t win you a game” in baseball. While that’s extremely true, it’s not basketball after all, one man just about did win the Cleveland Indians a game all by himself, offensively speaking. Tyler Naquin stepped up to bat in Kansas City and had three hits, two home runs, and drove in five RBI’s on top of it all for the night. The Tribe won 5-0 and all five runs were scored by Naquin.
Naquin is now tied for third on the team with 17 RBI’s, and has as many as Carlos Santana, the team’s supposed “big bat” but Naquin is hitting .079 points better than Santana, has the same number of home runs as Santana and has half as many at-bats as Santana.
Naquin has been someone that the fans have wanted to see more of since his debut in 2016, but platooning with guys like Lonnie Chissenhall and Brandon Guyer (among others) has delayed the opportunities that Naquin should’ve gotten. It’s pretty clear that with few stepping up, that Naquin is a very productive and necessary part of the Indians offense.
The Indians are now 23-14 after winning their third series in a row, this time against the Kansas City Royals. Helping Naquin win the final game in Kansas City was Triston McKenzie, who only gave up three hits across six innings while tacking on six strikeouts and handing out zero walks. McKenzie now advances to 2-0 for his rookie season.
The Indians have regained sole control of first place in the AL Central, with the Chicago White Sox a game back and the Minnesota Twins a game and a half back in the standings.