These Cleveland Indians will make you pull your hair out. They’re capable of going head-to-head with the White Sox, but have lost series recently to lowly Mariners and Orioles.
Now the Indians get the Mariners at home, for a three-game weekend series. If they can’t take two-of-three from the M’s, then you’re guess is as good as mine as what track this team is on.
Here’s five takes to tackle heading into the weekend series.
1. It had to happen: Maybe Jake Bauers puts it together with the Mariners, but more likely than not, he won’t. He’s hit .211 with a .674 OPS. in parts of three big league seasons. Things went so poorly in 2020, he couldn’t get break out of the alternate site.
I can’t get over how powerless he was at the plate. He was supposed to pack a punch, yet was punched out more often than not. Bobby Bradley is going to strike out a lot, too, but at least he’s doing something, with three extra-base hits (two doubles, one home run) in just three games.
2. They might be All-Stars: ESPN had Jose Ramirez and Shane Bieber making the All-Star team in their recent predictions. Those two players are probably a good bet, but I’d make a case for Aaron Civale, who leads baseball with eight wins. I know, I’m a dinosaur, but winning is the point and it’s not like the Indians are giving him huge run sport.
For what it’s worth, ESPN listed Emmanuel Clase as someone who “Just missed the cut.”
3. Pitching help!? There’s plenty to talk about on the trade market, especially with Arizona outfielder Ketel Marte emerging as an obvious target.
While outfield help is a need, the Indians could certainly use some starting pitching. The Tribe kept Jake Bauers forever, but couldn’t deal Adam Plutko soon enough. This isn’t to make him Cy Young, but he could eat some serious innings right now.
Zach Plesac will eventually return, which should make things a little better, but that leaves two spots where the Indians are routinely getting pounded.
Trading for pitching hurts with so many prospects so close to the majors, but at this point, Tito needs a competent starter who can at least go five innings while only allowing three runs.
4. Still hurts: How the Indians determine which player they’ll take a chance on can be very confusing. Yandy Diaz hit at every level of the minors, yet it seemed like Cleveland barely looked at him at the majors league level.
Diaz was in the three-team trade that sent Edwin Encarncacion to the Mariners and brought back Jake Bauers.
He’s hardly Tris Speaker, but Diaz is batting .263 with a .397 OPB. He doesn’t hit for power, but you’d certainly take him in the Indians lineup right now.
The move looked to be motivated by money, as the Indians were able to offload Encarnacion’s contract in exchange for Carlos Santana’s deal, as well as some cash.