The Indians are now 7-9 and are officially struggling in my opinion. Defense was an issue last year and it’s back once again. The season is still young, however it’s hard to just ignore the problems the Indians are having.

Through 16 games, we are tied for the most errors in the American League with the Rangers at 15. Only 2 teams have committed more errors. Our fielding percentage is 0.972, which is the second lowest in all of Major League Baseball. It’s hard to win games like this. Last year, our fielding percentage was 0.983, which was ranked 21st in the MLB. It was lower than average and we still managed to make it to the wildcard. That’s encouraging, however there’s a difference between below average and close to league worst. It is hard to place the blame on a single person, because many players are slumping and not performing as well as I expected. I am going to continue to say this, it is very early in the season and I am going to try to stay positive.

Pitching, as always, is also a concern. Last year, our team ERA was 4.27 in April. Our current team ERA is 4.35 which is worse than last year, but it’s still fairly similar. It’s weird that I’m almost not worried about an ERA of 4.35, since we were strong offensively last year. However, offense this year is also in a slump. The bottom line is pitching has been weak and needs to improve if we hope to win more games.

How do we improve the defense?

It’s probably easier to say than to do, but the Tribe has to cut down on the errors. 16 errors through 16 games. Last year we had 98 errors all season long, meaning we averaged an error every other game. Fielding has to improve. Another way to improve the defense would be to play better offense. Only scoring 2 runs is not going to cut it if we plan on playing defense like this. We have to get out of this early season slump.

I thought we were an improved team after Spring Training, but I’m feeling a bit uneasy now. It is a very long season, and for now we can stay a bit optimistic. I believe the Indians are fully capable of doing good things this year, but the question is… Will they do good things?

Roll Tribe.

-Alex Kirby (@CST_AlexK)

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