Cleveland Indians rookie Oscar Mercado got off to one of the best starts a young rookie could ask for, hitting .314 with five home runs prior to the month of July. All of that changed as soon as July 1 hit when Mercado began a 1-for-25 slump. Terry Francona’s comments regarding Mercado’s July performance had a lot to do with Mercado taking longer, bigger swings while “pressing to do more at the plate.”
After speaking with Francona and the hitting staff, Mercado followed this up with a three-hit game Monday night that helped the Indians grab the win against the Detroit Tigers. Mercado singled in the first inning and then hit two home runs, one in the fifth, and the other after a 54-minute rain delay.
That not only snapped Mercado out of his slump but also helped him reach a career milestone, making it his first career multi-homerun game. While Mercado admittedly got down on himself about his July slump, his teammates were right there to pick him back up and encourage him to get back on his feet.
“They know what it’s like…they just kind of told me that’s how it’s going to be sometimes. You’re not always going to be great or even good, but sometimes you gotta just bear down and grind through these situations.”
Mercado’s words and the words of his teammates are something that us fans need to remind ourselves when watching these players. I personally believe the level of talent on this team is great, but every now and then you see some guys slump and that’s just part of the game of baseball, unfortunately.
Which leads me to my next point, Jose Ramirez. Oscar Mercado isn’t the only Indian who is cracking a slump. As we all know, Jose Ramirez has been a shell of himself since August of 2018 and has had a lot of Tribe fans angry with his overall performance. However, lately, Ramirez has seemed to be able to find his groove. In his last 15 games, Ramirez has hit .321 (18-56) with a .988 OPS and 11 RBIs, including going 2-for-4 on Monday night against Detroit. Teammate Francisco Lindor also had some positive things to say about Jose’s performance of late, mentioning that,
“he’s starting to look more like Jose…he’s going to get better.”
Monday’s performance also extended Ramirez’s current hit-streak to seven games, a time-frame where he’s hit .345 with eight RBIs and gave the Tribe some life this past weekend against Minnesota. The most impressive stat I’ve seen recently? The Indians are 22-3 in 2019 in games where Jose Ramirez records an RBI.
Jiggy’s Thoughts: Don’t let Jose Ramirez get hot unless you want to see the MLB just give us the World Series trophy.
Cheers friends, Jiggy