With an unimpressive season currently underway for the Indians, especially in the wake of that back-to-back shellackings from Baltimore, most Cleveland fans will take any bit of solace that is out there on this team. On the bright side, all eyes will be on Progressive Field when July 8th and 9th arrive next week for Major League Baseball’s annual All-Star Weekend.
It gets better, though. Just like an 80’s infomercial persists the tagline, “But wait! There’s more!” Certainly, everyone recalls a few days ago when the news was released that Cleveland fans put forth their best effort and got first baseman Carlos Santana elected as a starter for the game. It was a last minute drive to get what feels like the only lively bat we have into the lineup of the crème de la crème. At the time of this article, Santana is putting up some impressive numbers with a .293 average and 18 home runs.
Good things come in threes, or so I’m told, and the same holds true here. Along with Santana, fellow infielder and perennial all-star Francisco Lindor will be on hand, though not as a starter, but will most certainly get playing time in the middle of the game. Lindor finished off June slightly behind Santana with a .291 average and 12 dingers.
Last, but certainly not least is closer Brad Hand, whose wicked save streak recently came to an end against the Royals. Hand has been the most reliable bit of relief pitching the Indians have seen in some time as he enters July with 23 saves, four wins and a 2.24 ERA that only recently inflated from that loss to Kansas City.
So, all is not lost in an otherwise disappointing year for the Tribe. We will be represented at the plate and on the mound next week. Let’s not also forget that Santana will be taking part in the Home Run Derby contest 24 hours prior. Win or lose, it will be a spectacle for sports fans around the globe as the spotlight will be on Cleveland for a glorious two days.