As I write this the Indians are six games out of 1st place, and could fall further behind if the White Sox defeat the Rangers on Sunday night. Six games in late July is certainly not an insurmountable deficit, but given the recent moves of the White Sox (Youkilis, Myers, Liriano) and Tigers (Sanchez, Infante), it’s hard to envision the Tribe closing the gap.
As currently constructed, the Indians simply aren’t contenders and this weekend series against the Twins demonstrated that fact in a painful fashion.
This team was supposed to be built on pitching, but after surrendering 28 runs to the lowly Twins, it’s clear this staff isn’t ready to compete. Josh Tomlin, Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez combined to allow 23 of the 28 runs.
While I’m throwing in the towel on the 2012 Indians, I want to make one thing clear: I’m not bitter about the front office’s inaction. Many fans have expressed frustration with the lack of moves, but I actually applaud the front office for not buying into the false hope the Tigers provided us in the 1st half. If the Tigers had played to their full ability the Indians would be 10-15 games out of first place right now.
There’s a lot to like about this team moving forward, and I believe holding on to the trading chips and the money for the 2012 offseason is the right move. If the front office plays their cards right, there’s no reason this team can fill some holes and make a serious run in 2013.
A few other notes on Sunday’s loss to the Twins…
- The Twins 28 runs were their most in a three-game sweep of the Tribe since August, 1977. Al Fitzmorris, Wayne Garland and Dennis Eckersley were the starting pitchers victimized by the Twins offense.
- Jimenez has been with the Tribe for a year now, and posted a 5.08 ERA in 32 starts. Among pitchers with at least 30 starts since last August 1, only Ricky Nolasco and Derek Lowe have a worse ERA. If Jimenez’s first season with the Tribe had occurred in a single calendar year, his 5.08 ERA would be the 9th worst in franchise history by a pitcher with at least 30 starts.