Sep 14 2014
I get it..You can be frustrated. We got guys underachieving, not playing well, no ones hot and no real mashers, AND WERE STILL IN THIS THING— Jason Kipnis (@TheJK_Kid) September 14, 2014
So don’t ever question this teams heart or effort.. You should want over achievers! That means they have a pulse and give a damn each game!— Jason Kipnis (@TheJK_Kid) September 14, 2014
I get where Jason is coming from, as I can only imagine the amount of Tweets he is getting a day about this season, especially the last couple weeks. The issue is deeper than there being 1) underachievers; 2) not playing well; 3) no one being hot; and 4) no real mashers.
Kluber has been hot basically all year. This team, whether it be the offense or bullpen hasn’t got him nearly the amount of wins he should have. Brantley has been dependable all year as well. Lately, Carlos Carrasco comes to mind as having some pretty hot starts, but still taking a few losses because of insufficient run support or the bullpen blowing a game. This team has had clutch performances by players only to see another player choke it away. Having some hot players doesn’t fix anything.
As far as underachieving… Players are only “underachieving” because of the contracts they were given. I’ll be the first to admit I loved the signings of Bourn and Swisher when they happened - but those have got to go down as two of the worst free agent signings from that year by far. Jason himself has admitted he was not performing up to his contract extension. Those things are going to happen and while it certainly angers fans, it’s no where near my biggest issue - and I doubt the biggest issue for fans in general.
My biggest issue is the focus of the team. You don’t lead MLB in errors and then get to go on Twitter and act like the fans should be happy you’re still in it. Jason claims I should want a team of overachievers - but if this team is overachieving by leading MLB in errors, then I’m scared to think what could be. Since game one of the regular season the fundamentals of baseball have been the worst areas of the Cleveland Indians. At some point you would think there could be improvement, but there hasn’t been. I’m not sure if that’s on the coaches or the players, likely a mixture of the two. A league can be so bad that you could still be in the hunt for the playoffs even with an awful record. Being in playoff contention is not the type of overachieving one should be proud of. Making it to the playoffs and actually winning some games is a good starting point for that.
Unfortunately, anyone who has watched the Indians these past two weeks knows they aren’t actually in the playoff hunt. Technically, numbers wise - yeah, they’re in it. It’s not going to amount to anything though, there’s not enough consistency there. I understand there is an argument that a lot of players are playing out of position. That’s fine. I’ll go right back to the manager and the GM for allowing that to happen then. Every time the Indians face a left handed pitcher I see some of the worst defense ever, because the ideal starting lineup is so left handed heavy that backup players are assured to be trying to play a position they are not familiar with and in the starting lineup.
The other issue I have with this team, more so the franchise in general, is that I know Kluber is only going to be here for another couple of years or so before we trade him away for some prospects so the next rebuilding project can begin. The history of this franchise shows that is the only way this is going. No way the cheap Indians are going to pony up the cash to keep an ace on the pitching staff, it just doesn’t happen. Trevor Bauer would ideally step in at some point, but he is unfortunately the definition of inconsistent right now. He will show ace potential for 8 innings, but it’s that 1 inning where he gave up 6 runs that made you lose the game.
So… Knowing our best pitcher will be gone when his contract is coming to an end let’s look at the players the Indians got back for trading away CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee… Carrasco is the only player remaining from the Cliff Lee trade while Michael Brantley is the only one remaining from the Sabathia trade. Both have turned into good players this year, Michael an All-Star, but when you’re trading away a CY Young Award winner the return should be greater. Is it poor scouting, poor negotiation, a mix of the two… I don’t know. Whatever it is, hopefully it is solved before the next roster purge.