BY COLIN HITCH
The Cleveland Indians have had to say the least an underwhelming season so far. They sit at a 20-17 record on the year, only three games above .500. Although things may be looking shaky right now, there are reasons for this lack of outstanding form by the defending AL champs and there is no reason to be worried.
One key factor for the Indians losing more games than would be ideal is the fact that ace pitcher Corey Kluber has been placed on the DL list until further notice. He last pitched May 2 against division rivals Detroit Tigers, giving up 5 runs in 3.66 innings pitched. Corey isn’t one to complain about being hurt, and although it shows outstanding perseverance and character, it would be a poor decision by Terry Francona to play him while he isn’t playing well enough. The loss of Kluber messes up the pitching lineup and causes difficulties on defense for the Indians.
A simpler explanation is the fact that it is early on in the season. Things usually tend to get better from here on out in the MLB season for a lot of teams. Another example is the team that defeated the Indians in 7 games last October, the defending World Series champions Chicago Cubs. They sit at a disappointing 18-19, but it is obvious this provides no reason to panic, and this goes for the Tribe as well. Both teams have arguably only improved from last year’s squads. A lot can and likely will change for the Indians with time.
When asked if worried over the slow start, Austin Trout(10) said, “Not really. The Indians took the Cubs to seven games last year and at this point the record was similar so it isn’t anything to be worried about.” Noah Porter(10) had a similar opinion, saying, “It’s no big deal. Once we get Kluber back we will be winning a lot more.” It is a general consensus that there is no panic necessary for the AL champs.
The Indians have a bright season ahead of them, as they are only a fraction of the way in. With the return of Michael Brantley, the blossoming of Francisco Lindor into a star, and the relieving ability of Andrew Miller, the Indians are looking like one of the top teams in baseball, even if their record doesn’t show it yet.