The Cleveland Indians team batting average is currently the worst of all time.
The Cleveland Indians can’t hit. It’s why they won’t win the 2020 World Series. It’s also a testament to how excellent Cleveland’ starting pitching has been throughout the pandemic shortened season.
Batting averages may be an old fashioned statistic, but it still counts for something, even if it’s a quick indicator into an offensive player’s performance.
And the Cleveland Indians are bad–historically bad. Entering the game against the Twins Sept. 12, the Tribe, as a team, was batting .225. It’s a number that would make Tris Speaker and the 1920 squad, which hit .308, throw up.
In the 120-year history of the franchise, the no Tribe team has hit below .234. The last two teams do that were the 1968 squad during “The Year of the Pitcher,” as well as the 1972 squad. The bottom rung of team averages. Eight of the 10 worst hitting seasons came during the late 60s and early 70s, when the Tribe and empty municipal stadium were the joke of baseball.
The point here is that these were some of the most forgettable teams in history, and the 2020 offense is in their company, despite being in a battle for the division title.
It also magnifies the question as to why nothing was done to improve the current offense, other than add Josh Naylor to the mix. Gabriel Arias is a fine prospect and may be great, but the current rotation is special. It’s been 72 years since the Commissioner’s Trophy last took residence on the north shore. Now would be a good time to end that drought!
The 2016 squad hit a collective .259, while posting a .759 OPS. That remarkable 1995 club hit .291 with an .840 OPS. The 1948 championship team, which was full of guys who had career years, hit .282 (.791 OPS).
Speaking of OPS, the Tribe has currently put together .678 mark. Again, this franchise is in its 120th season. That’s 22nd from the bottom. Yeesh.
The current Tribe is going to need a major lift in order to stay away from owning the most futile team average in franchise history. Unfortunately, it’s going to take the effort of several players to start trending the right way, and time’s running out.
Cleveland’s outfield was batting .189 through Sept. 11, while Francisco Lindor hardly looks like a $300 million contract. He’s batting .274 with 9 home runs and 19 RBIs, but with runners in scoring position? He’s batting .133 (6-for-45). Jordan Luplow can do that, and you can pay him $600,000.
Jose Ramirez and Carlos Santana need to turn into older versions of themselves, as well. Santana, an All-Star last season who posted a career year, is batting .195 (.667 OPS). Carlos has established himself as a Tribe great, but he’s likely going to be a free agent at season’s end and you’ve got to wonder about the type of offers he’ll receive after posting these numbers.
Cleveland.com’s Terry Pluto noted the following about Ramirez:
“From the start of the 2016 season through the .2018 All-Star break, Ramirez was a .312 hitter (.470-for-1,508). Since the 2018 All-Star break, he is a .232 hitter (200-for-861).”
Pluto basically concludes that Ramirez has the power bug, in which he tries to launch everything out of the park. Too bad, because .312 would basically make him a current version of Ted Williams for this team.
At catcher, the trio of Roberto Hernandez, Sandy Leon and Austin Hedges amount to an automatic out.
The words on Franmil Reyes is that he can get equally hot for as cold as he gets, and he’s Sibera right now, as he’s 4-for-25 in his last seven games. It’s amazing that he’s batting .308 on the season, considering his slow start.
At least there’s reigning AL doubles king Cesar Hernandez, who’s clubbed 15 two-baggers.
If the playoffs commenced today, the No. 7 seeded Indians would face the No. 2 Rays. You can just see how this series would play out. I think it would go very much like 2013, when Indian bats made Alex Cobb look like Cy Young.
The Indians would be lucky to score three runs the entire series, as Tampa’s offense would do just enough too squeak by, with the end result being the trade deadline deal to ship Mike Clevinger away for nothing that really helps in 2020 goes down as the biggest boondoggle of the Antonetti-Chernoff regime.
Would love to be wrong, but got to go pray Zach Plesac pitches a perfect game tonight for the Tribe to have a shot.