2020 MLB PREVIEW: Cleveland Indians
The Indians seemed to be living on borrowed time, winning titles with unspectacular performances. After consecutive years of this, the Minnesota Twins pulled the plug. The Twins held a nice service at the Indians’ funeral, which included clubbing more homers than any team ever and striking out a franchise record number of opponents.
Cleveland’s response was to not only stand pat but to sit on the fence while right fielder Yasiel Puig remains unsigned. Puig’s a funny cat. Lots of offense, lots of talent, massive immaturity streak (that has improved over the years).
Offensively the Tribe have seven guys who hit .250 or better and drove in more than 50 runs. Shortstop Francisco Lindor and first baseman Carlos Santana lead the way. They’re pretty good but they don’t have a lot of offensive depth after those seven. A big bat sure would be nice. One thing they do really well: put the ball in play. They struck out the third-fewest times in the American League last year.
Pitching-wise they hope that Carlos Carrasco comes back from Leukemia and claims the third spot. They traded pitcher Corey Kluber and now have Mike Clevinger (2.71 ERA, 1.06 WHIP) and Shane Bieber (259 Ks, 3.28 ERA) in the 1-2 spots.
Maybe the play is to tread water for 40 games and pick up a bat late in the season?
I can’t see the Twins repeating last year’s astounding performance. So, Cleveland will likely be there once again. With Puig, they’re a 95-win team. Without, closer to 91. He saves so many runs by keeping runners from taking the extra base it’s not even funny.
Coronavirus 60 day season prediction: 34-26.
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