With this weekend’s clean sweep over the Detroit Tigers, the Tribe improves to 42-35, going 14-6 in the month of June, winning eight out of their last 10, moving into the Wild Card spot and situating themselves eight games back on the Twins in the AL Central. Folks, it’s happening.
This team has officially turned it all around, and by “team” I literally mean everyone within the organization. We have our heavy hitter, and superstars Francisco Lindor and Carlos Santana who have continuously provided both offensive and defensive dominance with nearly every game they play. We expect this out of them, but it’s impressive to see them continue this trend through June.
We have, who I like to call, the “middle” guys, Tyler “Billy” Naquin, Jordan Luplow, Jake Bauers, Jason Kipnis, and my main man Roberto “Robo” Perez who have all stepped up in a giant way. Kipnis, in his last 15 games, has hit .309 with 15 RBIs and three home runs. Perez, in his last 15 games, has hit .288 with 12 RBIs and six home runs, talk about “Whammy!” And the others (Naquin, Luplow, and Bauers) have produced exactly how we need them to, hitting around .250 and playing stellar defensive ball, most specifically Naquin and Luplow’s recent right field play. Even Jose Ramirez (remember him?) has hit .286 in his last seven games, which isn’t stellar but it’s a giant step in the right direction for our beloved Jose.
We have seen rookie after rookie, prospect after prospect get the call to join the big league club when the Tribe has been in toughs spots due to injuries and man, have they stepped up. At pitcher, we’ve seen Jefry Rodriguez come up and pitch eight solid games with Cleveland before being put on the DL, Zach Plesac got the call and has been absolutely lights out on the mound sporting a 2.33 ERA in six games with 28 strikeouts, and most recently Aaron Civale, who I don’t think most people knew about, came up and pitched an absolute gem, throwing six strikeouts over six innings and not giving up a single run. On the offensive side, we’ve had Oscar Mercado, who I think is the next Indians superstar, come up and look like anything but a rookie. In his rookie season with the Tribe, Mercado is hitting .310 with four home runs, 15 RBIs, and six stolen bases, grinding his way into the mouths of every man, woman, and child who has any say in Rookie Of The Year voting. And lastly, we finally got the news we’ve been waiting for for what seems like this entire season, Bobby “The Assassin” Bradley got called up and in his very first at-bat hit an RBI ground-rule double and came around to score, ultimately directly contributing two runs in a monster five-run second inning for the Tribe. It goes without saying that this Indians farm system is quite impressive.
With that being said, thanks need to be given to this Cleveland Indians organization, meaning everyone from Tito and Millsy, to Chris Antonetti, to the scouts who find these stellar young prospects, to even, dare I say it, Paul Dolan. These guys, year after year, have put together great draft classes, most notably the 2016 draft class, that continue to feed this ball club young, hungry, and incredibly talented players.
What To Expect: I expect the Indians to continue this tear through divisional opponents as Kansas City comes to town. I know the Royals are nothing to sneeze at based off their recent series against the Twins, but this Indians team is special. Hell, Cleveland itself is a special place and when our teams and (finally) our fans step up and #RallyTogether, there is no stopping us. I predicted this a few weeks ago and I’m sticking to it, the Indians will close the AL Central gap to 5 games or less by the All-Star break. The youngsters will continue to grow and the superstars will continue to shine, especially Lindor who I think is going to make everyone who didn’t vote for him pay for their actions by murdering their baseball teams. Boom.
Have a great and safe week, get out of your house and go to Edge Water Live this Thursday, and flick on the tube to watch some very entertaining Tribe Baseball.
Cheers and Roll Tribe, Jiggy