In case you haven’t noticed, and judging by the attendance you haven’t, the Indians have managed to win a few here and there, and are threatening to climb out of the cellar.
-Harry Doyle, Major League
Guess what, Tribe fans – the Indians HAVE climbed out of the cellar and are parked in third place in the division, three games behind the 9-4 Minnesota Twins. Now, a .500 record is nothing to sing about, but really, it’s a lot better than I thought the Tribe would do after two weeks. Honestly, I’m more surprised that the Indians are 6-6 than I would have been if they had gone 3-9.
I guess what’s been most surprising is how they’ve managed to stay at .500. For the most part, unlike what many people thought (including me), it hasn’t been with their offense, which is starting to turn the corner but is still pretty bad. Nor has the bullpen really been a major asset to this team. Not saying that one pitcher defines a bullpen, but Tribe fans can’t be ecstatic about the future of the 9th inning with how shaky Chris Perez has looked.
No, this team is sitting at .500 (and really could be better if the offense wasn’t so bad and the bullpen wasn’t so sketchy) due squarely to the reason I said this team would suck: starting pitching. Really, Tribe starters have done all we could have asked from them: they have kept the Indians in ballgames, and given the team a chance to win.
So is this post an admission that I was wrong about this team? Well, not really. This is a long season, and seeing as we’re only about two weeks into the season, and five of the six wins came against one team (White Sox). Think about that for a second.
So what do we know, less than a month into the 2010 season? Well… not much really. Here are a three snap judgments I’ve made about the 2010 Cleveland Indians. They all center around the offense because the sample size is far too small for me to judge the pitchers…yet.
Michael Brantley really could use some more seasoning at AAA ball.
I know this seems like a personal vendetta against the kid. It’s not. I desperately want Brantley to succeed, which is why I want him sent down as soon as Branyan is back. He looks overmatched against big-league pitching, and the numbers back it up: .229 OBP with just 3 walks and no stolen bases. Not exactly what you want out of a guy you project to be the team’s future leadoff hitter.
Shin-Soo Choo looks like an All-Star.
The lone bright spot in the Indians’ offense has been Choo, with a .500 OBP and a 1.225 OPS, 4 home runs (including yesterday’s slam, which came one section over from where I was sitting yesterday) and three stolen bases. Teams are going to start intentionally walking Choo until someone else in the lineup starts hitting consistently.
Jhonny Peralta is killing me.
OK, OK, this one is completely biased. But seriously dude? Five hits in 37 ABs, and his usual atrocious fielding. Peralta is doing his best to make sure he stays an Indian, because no one will want his ass if he continues to perform the way he has thus far this season.
Indians are off today, but get their first look at Target Field when they take on the Twins tomorrow night. Until then, here’s hoping the Cavs can keep Chicago reeling. Go Cavs!!!