Ramirez, Rosario Help Guide Tribe Into first

Ramirez, Rosario Help Guide Tribe Into first

Cole Paganelli
3 years ago
2 min read

The Cleveland Indians capped off a four-game road sweep of the Kansas City Royals; the fourth and final game won in a fitting 4-0 shutout. With the sweep, the Indians are entering Friday in sole possession of the first place in the American League Central at 17-13.

While their lead over the Royals and White Sox are within a single game, Cleveland’s rise up the division should definitely still be recognized. And with that, there have been two players in particular who have overcome slow starts to bring the team back to the front of the division; Jose Ramirez and Eddie Rosario.

3B Jose Ramirez

A few weeks ago, we were looking at the struggling Ramirez, confident that it was an early-season funk similar to what he’s done in the past and that the All-Star and MVP candidate would reveal himself soon enough. Now, after 30 games, the Ramirez fans expected to see his delivering for the Tribe.

In the last week, Ramirez is hitting .292 with a dazzling 1.160 OPS. The power has arrived as well, with three home runs in that stretch to bring his season total to nine, one behind the MLB lead.

In addition, we’re seeing consistent contact at the plate. Going back to April 22, the start of a four-game series with the Yankees, Ramirez has at least one hit in all but two games, as well as a run scored in all but two games. He also has just seven strikeouts in those 14 games, four of them coming in the last series against Kansas City.

It should be obvious to see how Cleveland’s improved play is correlated to Ramirez breaking out of his early slump and being one of the best hitters in all of baseball again. The team will go as he goes.

LF Eddie Rosario

Signed in the offseason after years with the Twins, Rosario also started the year off slow and ended up ceding some playing time to guys like Jordan Luplow. But we are starting to see him flourish in Cleveland after a couple of big games in the sweep.

Despite playing in just two of the four games against the Royals, Rosario made the most of his at-bats. On Monday, the veteran went 1-for-2 with a three-run blast, his third home run of the year. Then on Wednesday, Rosario had a 2-for-4 day with another two runs batted in and a run scored.

If there’s one thing Rosario has been able to do better than almost anyone on Cleveland so far, it’s drive in runs. The 29-year old had a stretch of five straight games last month with an RBI, and had five RBI om two games versus Kansas City. Only Franmil Reyes has more than Rosario’s 19 RBI on the season.

While his overall average is still a tepid .240, the fact he’s hitting .333 in the last seven days bodes very well. Rosario is still an integral part of the Tribe going forward, and his ability to drive in runs is the main reason for that.

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