Since putting starting 1B Nick Swisher and starting 3B Carlos Santana on the disabled list, the Cleveland Indians are 4-1. A sweep of the Colorado Rockies, and a victory to start of this series with the Reds Sox has propelled the Tribe back into contention. Many, including myself, had considered this Indians team as nothing more than a wash, but they somehow keep fighting back ferociously…

Lonnie Chisenhall, because of the injuries, is now playing everyday at 1B/3B. He has been absolutely fantastic since the two aforementioned players went on the disabled list. In that span, he’s hit .294, drove in eight runs and also blasted one over the fence. In general, Lonnie Baseball’s play throughout this entire season has been nothing short of stellar. He’s batting .360 on the season which is in “Ted Williams Range.”

So why do the Indians keep wasting their time trying to get Carlos Santana, on the 7-Day DL with a concussion, out of his elongated slump? I have no idea. We are a contending team that needs guys that are performing well every single game to be out on the field. It shouldn’t take an injury for manager Terry Francona, who can sometimes be a bit stubborn, to make the change.

Santana is batting .159 on the season, and his defense has been mediocre.

Additionally, the Tribe put their biggest investment on the disabled list as well. Nick Swisher, making a whopping 15 million bucks this season, is now sitting on the bench with a left knee injury. Praise the lord, right?

This year, he’s hitting .211 with three home runs and 19 runs batted in.

We’re paying him 15 million, not 15 thousand…

Last season, Swisher finished off the year with a .246 batting average, but for most of the season it was around .220. I was expecting him to pump it up this season, and hit in the .280-.290 range which was expected of him when he signed here. Instead, he’s farting along with 49 strikeouts already. Sometimes, you just know Swish will be overpowered or simply fooled by the opposing pitcher.

Yes, it’s true that Carlos Santana and Nick Swisher won’t be on the disabled list forever, but their replacements have been doing a mighty fine job without them. If I was in Tito’s shoes, I’d make both of these guys earn their spots back in the lineup. Why? Their replacements have been unbelievable, both of them have been struggling and the team is winning without them.

As we start the month of June, the Tribe has actually shown some promise. That’s something that I thought wasn’t going to happen this year. But hey, I’m happy that I’m wrong.

The playoffs won’t happen unless the guys playing the best baseball are out on the field. It’s as simple as that.

-Zach Shafron


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