Maybe our off-season hopes were raised too high by the hiring of Terry Francona as Tribe manager and the signing of names like Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn to the roster, but the first month of the regular season was not exactly pretty. Not in the least. We had four rainouts (only one of which has been made up) and finished below .500. So not good. Here’s a quick summary of the last month.
Where do we stand?
We finished the month with an 11-13 (.458) record in 4th place in the division. On the plus side, the Tribe has won its last three games and they’ve all been blow-outs. We don’t need 7 home runs per game but scoring more than 3 runs is nice.
What was the biggest surprise this month?
We’ve had to do a lot of roster juggling very early in the season. First our catchers started getting clobbered, with Lou Marson taking a nasty hit and spending time on the DL and then Carlos Santana getting banged up enough to call up Yan Gomes. Scott Kazmir spent some time on the DL, and Michael Bourn is still on it. Jason Giambi started the season on the DL, and Brett Myers is on it now. Corey Kluber has spent enough time on I-71 between Cleveland and Columbus that they’ve named a rest stop after him. Oh yeah, and Matt Albers was placed on the paternity list for a time as well. People go on the DL all the time, but this seemed like an unusually high number of roster changes early in the year. I’d like to think that the stop-and-start nature of the team this month has something to do with the constant roster shuffling plus four momentum-killing postponed games.
What was the biggest disappointment?
Nick Swisher, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Jason Kipnis took varying amounts of time to come around offensively this year. Only Kipnis is still lagging a bit, but he seems to have found his form. Carlos Carrasco clearly not learning the lesson about throwing at people is a close second.
What is our biggest challenge for the rest of the season?
Consistency. While the Indians won their last three games of the month by tremendous margins, there were also 14 games (out of 24 played) in which they scored 3 or fewer runs. It’s kind of like binge hitting.
Bonus question: What did Ubaldo Jimenez eat before his fabulous start on Monday night?
I don’t know, but perhaps he can have it before every start.