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Indians Bats Heating Up For Summer: How To Sustain This Offense
Don’t look now, but the Indians are starting to field a major league roster.
Since the injury of Franmil Reyes, Cleveland bats have taken a complete 180 and picked up the slack for the weak pitching rotation. As long as Zach Plesac isn’t sidelined for too much longer with his broken thumb, the Tribe might be able to make a push for a Wild Card spot; however, there needs to be a few changes made to keep this momentum rolling.
Play your best lineup
In theory that might seem like a very easy situation but the Indians have managed to make that look very difficult throughout the year. Cesar Hernandez, Amed Rosario, Jose Ramirez, and Eddie Rosario have been the only mainstays in the roster throughout the year. The rest of the team has bounced in and out of the lineup, but now it seems a few players need more consistent ABs.
Josh Naylor has been in a bit of a slump recently, but anyone hitting .247 in Cleveland needs to see more time at the plate. He started the year off slowly but managed to really get going throughout May, so I don’t see this slump lasting forever. With an easy schedule of the Orioles and Pirates due up, it would be nice to see him warm up before the big series with the Cubs and Twins.
Next up, we have Harold Ramirez and Bobby Bradley. Ramirez hits the ball hard and puts it in play. He has a 21.6 line drive percentage which is slightly above league average while only having a .286 BABIP (batting average on balls in play), slightly below league average. This means despite him hitting the ball hard, he’s getting quite unlucky with balls dropping into gaps. If his BABIP goes up to even league average (.300), he could start to become a deadly hitter.
Then you have the Assassin, Bobby Bradley. I’m not going to overreact to someone who’s only dipped his toes in the major league waters, but I will give you one comparison. In 43 games with Cleveland this year, Jake Bauers managed to hit 2 HRs and 7 RBIs. Bradley did that in just 5. Keep the dang bat in his hands.
Moving around the roster
As much as I wanted to see Owen Miller crush baseballs, it seems that he isn’t ready for that just yet. He isn’t getting consistent ABs and when he is, they’re usually strikeouts. Send him back down to AAA, and let Daniel Johnson, Nolan Jones, or even Ernie Clement get a shot in the majors. There’s no use in letting Miller rot away on our bench, send him to Columbus where he can go and try to get his confidence back up.
Finally, it pains me to say this but Yu Chang shouldn’t be on a major league roster. I know he’s a very loveable guy, but he’s a horrific hitter, and despite his ability to play a lot of different positions, he doesn’t play any one position that well.
Will these changes turn Cleveland into a contender, maybe? But there’s no reason to wait around and let Bieber, Civale, and this bullpen have wasted years.
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