Tribe’s Recent Struggles: Reason To Worry?

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Updated: May 28, 2017

Your 2017 Cleveland Indians are in full swing and have already been at it for two full months. With the season already about a fourth done, fans begin to evaluate their team’s season based on how the first 40 games have gone.

For the Indians, the first fourth of their season has been very middling and average at best. With the Tribe sitting at 24-23 (as I type the Indians are playing the Royals, so this record is subject to change), it is clear that they have been under-preforming as of late. In fact, in the month of May, the Indians are 10-13 so far. In those 10 wins, the Indians have scored well, collecting 43 runs but have given up 29 runs. However, in the 13 losses this month, Tribe pitching has given up 65 runs with our offense scoring a moderate 32 runs.

So what has been the root of the Tribe’s struggles?

Look no further than Indians starting pitching during this young season. In fact, look at the sample size of starting pitching just during the month of May. During this span, Indians starters are a combined 7-9 with most of those losses coming after the starters have given up a high number of runs in the first few innings. Furthermore, a third of those losses came from Danny Salazar. A starter many thought would be the x-factor of this rotation but has been extremely disappointing. Because of his struggles, he was sent to the bullpen where he will likely stay until he improves or someone gets injured.

While this article has been mostly filled with negative language, there is still reason to be hopeful for the 2016 American League champs. Keep in mind that last season, the Indians finished the month of May in third place in the AL Central. Currently, they sit in second place behind the Twins at only three games back. Also, remember that Indians pitching struggled mightily last year in the first three months of the season, but heated up with the weather just as the offense did.

While this is not 2016, continue to remember that this 2017 squad is vastly improved from last season. With players like Brantley and Encarnacion heating up and Indians ace Corey Kluber returning within the week, expect the team to perform better than it has been. There are still four long months to go before the playoffs and remember that the MLB season is a journey that has just begun.

 

Follow the author: @ChrisCracker21

Image: MLB.com

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