CLEVELAND

The Cleveland Indians Debut Their New Look

After a roller-coaster season, the Cleveland Indians turned some heads with a big trading deadline move. How did the new faces fare in their debut?

Photo courtesy of WKYC.com

A lot of things can happen over a 162 game Major League Season. The 2019 Cleveland Indians might be a case study in how to make all of those things happen in one season. The incredible range of highs and lows the Indians have endured since the beginning of the season is almost unparalleled. Before even one pitch was thrown, comments from ownership made many fans question the team’s commitment to winning. After featuring a pedestrian offense and losing both their top two pitchers in their rotation, it certainly appeared this was a lost season. Suddenly, the beginning of June marked a complete reversal of fortunes for the Indians. Since June the Indians have been among the top teams in all of baseball.

Adding to the bizarre nature of this season was that, despite the fact that the Indians had crawled back into striking distance of the division lead, many pegged the team as sellers at the league’s trading deadline. It has been a tough few weeks for fans hoping that they would not abandon the good work the team had put in over the past couple months.

After weeks of rumors that the Indians would deal long time starter Trevor Bauer, he ensured those rumors were prophetic himself. Bauer essentially wore out his welcome in the Indians clubhouse and found himself expendable. While many worried about Bauer’s value on the open market, his return was more than anyone could have expected.

Bauer was shipped to the Cincinnati Reds in a three way trade also including the San Diego Padres. The Reds sent back star outfield Yasiel Puig and the Padres included power hitting phenom Franmil Reyes. For an Indians team lacking in consistent power the addition of these two players gives the Indians lineup a whole new look.

Danny Salazar looked to be a shell of his former self in his first start with the Indians in over two years. Photo courtesy of Cleveland.com

Thursday night the new-look Indians lineup made their debut versus the Houston Astros. Not only was the team with their new lineup, but an old friend looked to fill the void left by Bauer’s departure. Danny Salazar made his first start for the team in over two years. Once upon a time, Salazar was known for his lively arm. With a fastball in the high 90’s and some very lively off-speed pitches, Salazar was once one of the filthiest pitchers in the MLB. Unfortunately Salazar looked to be a shell of his former self. While reports were that he was throwing in the low 90’s, his fastball never touched 90 mph. While only yielding two runs in his four innings, Salazar lived dangerously his entire start. Most pitches seemed to be up in the zone and his once filthy off-speed pitches were no where nearly as impressive as they once were.

On a brighter note both Puig and Reyes got a hit in their Indians debut. Reyes lined a base hit in his first at-bat, while Puig smashed a double off of Astros starter Garrett Cole. Sadly both players were eventually gunned down at home plate by a very talented Astros defense.

The Indians dropped the final regular-season game against the Astros 7-1. This allowed the Astros to take the season series four games to three. If the Indians are going to meet their ultimate goal they will most likely have to reverse that record in the post season, as all indications are that the path to the World Series goes through Houston. But this game is just one of 162, so time will tell if this big move will work out for the Indians.

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