How much longer will baseball be able to go until they have to make the tough decision of cancelling their season? My early impressions of the Tribe and more. Welcome back to the Broulis Beat Report.
First things first. With all the players that have tested positive for Covid-19 recently and now Milwaukee Brewers star outfielder Lorenzo Cain opting out for the remainder of the season, is major league baseball on the verge of cancelling their season? As of now, I’d say that the season should stay on. My question is this. Are the players being responsible when it comes to being in the dugout and when they return to their hotel at night? Meaning, are they going out on the town and being reckless? Are these managers allowing their players to do whatever they want? I’m not sure, but if these players are not being responsible, that could end up costing the league. Every person in every organization has to be better right now in order for this to work. It was bad enough that the players and owners were fighting over money and now multiple teams and multiple games have been postponed due to, what I think are people not being responsible.
ABOUT THE TRIBE STARTING PITCHING-
I’ve been very impressed with all five starters for the most part. Shane Bieber has looked like the best pitcher in baseball. I’m saying that and I haven’t watched any other pitchers in baseball aside from highlights. I will say this, does any other pitcher have two wins, 14 innings pitched, a WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) of 0.57 and 27 strike outs to start their season? I don’t know, but that’s really impressive. He looks like a Cy Young candidate so far.
With the season being so short, there isn’t much time or room for error. While Mike Clevinger hasn’t looked terrible, Clevinger is getting hit early. In 11 innings so far, he’s allowed 4 home runs, 6 earned runs and he’s missing his spots worse than normal. In a normal year, I’d say no big deal, but this is a short season. He needs to get back on track fast. Cleveland needs him to be good if they want to be a serious contender.
Through the first couple of series against the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox, the Indians were looking good at the plate. Right now, Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor have to have great seasons in order for Cleveland to do anything on offense. Now, I do expect Franmil Reyes to get going and be a big hitter from the right side of the plate. I have confidence that Carlos Santana will be the power hitter from the left side that Cleveland needs.
A lot has been made of outfielder Bradley Zimmer changing his stance at the plate and the way he holds the bat. I personally don’t pay a lot of attention to stuff like that, but it does make a difference. Zimmer has missed so much time due to injury, but this year, I’m hoping he gets a fair chance to prove he’s a keeper. With Cleveland’s outfield in a situation where they need quality, stability and consistency, it would be a huge plus if Zimmer can stay healthy and get back to playing. I think he could be a really solid player if he stays healthy.
Brad Hand isn’t a bad closer, but let’s not forget that Hand didn’t exactly finish the season strong last year. Myself and others do not want to hear about his arm being tired right now. Every player has had plenty of time off due to the Covid-19 pandemic. If he’s a little rusty, I can understand that, but once again, this is a shortened season and Cleveland doesn’t have time to hope that’s his problem.
James Karinchak has the stuff to be a closer, but he doesn’t have the experience. It takes a different mindset to be a good or great closer. With the Indians not having the greatest lineup, they need a closer that can come and protect a small lead. The Tribe won’t be winning many games by more than 6 runs. The team isn’t built like the Minnesota Twins. So, here’s a question for everyone. Do you give Hand a week and see if he gets himself back on track or do you allow Karinchak a chance to become your new long-term closer? I’d like to see Karinchak get a chance.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Nick Broulis