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The Indians 1st Year Under Francona Should End Up A Success – Even If It Doesn’t Mean Playoffs

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Thursday August 15, 2013 

The Cleveland Indians are having a decent second half, but will it be enough to make the playoffs? It shouldn't really matter to Indians fans because they have a great future ahead of them. They have a great manager in Terry Francona and great young players in Jason Kipnis, Michael Bourn, Asdrubal Cabrera and many more.

The Cleveland Indians are having a decent second half, but will it be enough to make the playoffs? It shouldn’t really matter to Indians fans because they have a great future ahead of them. They have a great manager in Terry Francona and great young players in Jason Kipnis, Michael Bourn, Asdrubal Cabrera and many more.  The truth is that they just are not in the same competitive stratosphere as the Detroit Tigers at the present time.  They have a better chance to reel in a Wild Card Position.  As of today, they are 3.5 Games Behind Wild Card Leader #1 holder (Tampa Bay) – and are 3 Games Behind the Oakland Athletics for the 2nd spot.

Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer):

The Cleveland Indians have had a tremendous season under first year manager Terry Francona. It isn’t very often for a team like Cleveland to get a manager of his caliber.

Francona broke the curse in Boston, can he break the streak of Championshipless in Cleveland – since the days of Bob Feller via 1948?

I wrote an article right before the All-Star Break stating that the Indians would make a run in the second half and make the playoffs.

Well the best player on the planet Miguel Cabrera has spoiled that idea with all the Home Runs he has been hitting here lately. The Indians can’t make up any ground on the Tigers and they are running out of time.

It might not be this season but give Francona some time, he will make Cleveland a contender in no time. 

Kipnis – Inside The Park HR:

Jason  Kipnis may have a funky stance at the plate but he is leading the Indians offense in every major offensive category. It isn't very often that you can say that about a second baseman.

Jason Kipnis may have a funky stance at the plate but he is leading the Indians offense in every major offensive category. It isn’t very often that you can say that about a second baseman, unless you are Robinson Cano. Kipnis has become the leader of this team on and off the field. Everyone thought Swisher would be that guy but he has yet to do anything on the field in 2013 besides smile. Look for Kipnis to rally the troops in the last 40 or so games and try to make a run at the playoffs.

2013 All-Star Jason Kipnis, is having his best offensive he has ever had. He is leading the Indians in every offensive category. He has done his part this season there is no doubt about that.

Should he be upset if they don’t make the playoffs? I don’t believe so. If they don’t make the playoffs this season there is always next. 

The Cleveland resident would say “We say that every year”, yes you do, but you have one of the best managers in baseball in Terry Francona

“Tito” knows what he is doing and has done a great job with the roster he was dealt. Give him this offseason to pick up some free agents and this Cleveland team will be a contender.

Michael Bourn, Asdrubal Cabrera have played spent time on the DL this year, to add more of a obstacle for the 1st year Tribe Manager.

When healthy, Bourn has struggled to reach base in the 2nd Half (.290 OBP)  – and Cabrera is having an abysmal Post ALL – Star campaign (.175/.205/.505) – to accentuate the former Braves struggles.

Despite two of their key performers mightily not doing their jobs, the club is hanging in contention.

You can look directly to the Pitching for saving the teams collective bacon.  The Staff is 14 – 12, with a 3.31 ERA in 26 games since the ALL – Star Game.

The chuckers also still leda the entire MLB in Shutouts for the campaign with 15.  Having hit and miss throwers, has negated the teams not having the strongest Starting Rotation around.

Justin Masterson is 13 - 8, with a 3.59 ERA so far this year.  He has authored 3 Shutouts - and has anchored a much improved Starting Staff.  Kazmir (2 -1 , with a 2.89 ERA in 5 GS in the 2nd half) and Jimenez (lugging a 2.25 ERA in 4 GS since the Break himself) could both be nominated for AL comeback player of the year.  All 5 Pitchers are under the age of 30.

Justin Masterson is 13 – 8, with a 3.59 ERA so far this year. He has authored 3 Shutouts – and has anchored a much improved Starting Staff. Kazmir (2 -1 , with a 2.89 ERA in 5 GS in the 2nd half) and Jimenez (lugging a 2.25 ERA in 4 GS since the Break himself) could both be nominated for AL comeback player of the year. All 5 Pitchers are under the age of 30.  Scott Kazmir is the only Pitcher not to be under contract in 2014, but perhaps he will sign a favorable incentive – laden deal, to a club that gave him a chance to resurrect his career this year.

Justin Masterson, Scott Kazmir and Ubaldo jimenez have been better than expected, and Corey Kluber and Zach McAllister have risen to the challenge on the back end.

4 of the 5 Starters have winning records and the ERA’s range from 3.54 to 4.18.

There are plenty of outfielders on the market that the Indians could possibly pick up for defensive and offensive help.

Reynolds helped Cleveland burst out of the gates in the 1st 3rd of the season, cracking 13 HRs and collecting 41 RBI in his 1st 53 GP.  Since he only hit 2 HRs and drove in 7 RBI in the subsequent 160 AB, the team had no choice - but to DFA him earlier this month

Reynolds helped Cleveland burst out of the gates in the 1st 3rd of the season, cracking 13 HRs and collecting 41 RBI in his 1st 53 GP. Since he only hit 2 HRs and drove in 7 RBI in the subsequent 160 AB, the team had no choice – but to DFA him earlier this month.

Slugger Mark Reynolds didn’t work out as he was designated for assignment earlier this week.

Nick Swisher hasn’t been the same hitter either ever since he left the whiffle ball field of Yankee Stadium – although he does manage to get on base at a healthy clip.

Now that we have about 40 games left in the regular season, I don’t see the Indians making the playoffs this season. They just don’t have enough fire power to get them there.

The Cleveland faithful shouldn’t be too upset as they do have the possible American League Cy Young in Max Scherzer – and a possible second consecutive ‘Triple Crown winner’ Miguel Cabrera in their division to spoil their playoff hopes for at  least the Division.

There is always next year Cleveland, and this time I actually mean it.

Terry  Francona has done a fantastic job in his first season as the Cleveland Indians manager. He has them in second place in the American League Central behind the Detroit Tigers. We all love a cinderella story but it doesn't look like the Indians are going to make the playoffs this season.

Terry Francona has done a fantastic job in his first season as the Cleveland Indians manager. He has them in second place in the American League Central behind the Detroit Tigers. We all love a Cinderella story but it doesn’t look like the Indians are going to make the playoffs this season.  The good news is simply that they are in the hunt in 2013 – when Vegas pegged them for a losing season.  The future looks bright indeed.  Can Francona end a 65+ year World Series drought in Cleveland – like he was able to do Boston – in erasing a 86 year time frame between Titles?

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners ***

A big thank-you goes out to Our ‘Baseball Writer‘ Ryan Ritchey for preparing today’s featured article.  Ryan is a Baseball Writer for MLB reports. He is a sophomore at Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky.

Ryan is a huge fan of Barry Larkin and Brandon Phillips  He has been a baseball fan his whole life and has been writing about baseball since his freshman year of High School.

You can reach Ryan on Twitter  

a ryan ritchey

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Posted on August 15, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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