The Cleveland Indians are doing their best to shatter fans’ high hopes for the 2014 season. The Tribe has been notorious in the recent past for slow starts to their season, but the Indians are currently 11 and 14 holding down the 5th spot in the Central Division standings. The team has been holding their own defensively and on the mound, but the simple fact of the matter is they can’t hit.
According to ESPN’s baseball stat department, “The Indians rank 23rd in batting average, 24th in on base percentage and their team leader in average at the plate, David Murphy, is batting a mere .274.” Those are some rough stats for this early in the season.
The team seems to be trying to find an answer for the departure of former Designated Hitter, Travis Hafner whose declining bat was still a threat even in later years. Carlos Santana, Michael Brantley and Asdrubal Cabrera batting at the four, five and six spots respectively went a combined 0 for 27 during the weekend series with the San Francisco, which resulted in a three losses for Cleveland. The Tribe is also lacking the spark at the top of their lineup after releasing Grady Sizemore, as well as a solid RBI hitter the team has not had in years.
“I don’t think they (the Indians) have enough of an offense to make a postseason push,” says former baseball player Ohio University sophomore Jake Mendehall. “They definitely don’t have a hitter that the other team fears at the plate.” “They used to have a lot of big bats when they were really good.”
Not all hope is lost though the Indians have gotten off to slow starts in past successful seasons and they certainly have a more stable manager in Terry Francona than in previous years. However, this season was supposed to be different and it’s that fact that is bugging Tribe fans.
Aside from the home opener at Progressive Field people have not been coming the ballpark. The Indians have not seen more than 15,000 fans in attendance since April 4th. If the team is to turn it around, they have to get the city enthused with the possibility of postseason baseball. For that to happen the team simply needs to start winning games, despite it being early in the season. As the old adage goes you can’t win the World Series in April but you certainly can lose it.