Indians Red Hot, But Who’s Hotter?

 

  If you’re an Indians fan, you’re probably pretty happy. The team that was 21-24 at home before winning a game has just swept their homestand, won seven in a row, and flip-flopped their home record to four games over .500. This puts their win/loss total to ten games over .500, which should be a comfortable place to rest.

  But is it? Although the Kansas City Royals are two games behind Cleveland, they’re one game ahead in their win streak, technically making them hotter (at least for now). They’re no strangers to contention and they’re not going to give up. It just feels like these guys never lose games. Every time you hear something about them, they’re winning whatever it is. But even that is just a worry that Cleveland has only in their own division.

  The remainder of worries lies in any other division in baseball other than NL Central. As a matter of fact, the only first-place team who has a worse record is the current MLB champions. In a nutshell, the two teams who seem to have the most attention are the two teams who played against each other in the World Series, and out of all the first-place teams, they’re both dead last in their respective leagues.

  So who’s really hotter? Cleveland has won 55 games. Boston has won 56. Washington, 61. Houston, 67. LA Dodgers, a whopping 71. The Dodgers are winning in a division where the next team down (Arizona) is 12 games behind, and even they are 16 games over .500, just ahead of Colorado, who are 13 games over .500. That can only partially be blamed on the Padres and Giants.

  My opinion is this: The National League has more bad teams, which makes the good teams look better, whereas the American League has more good teams, making the better teams look worse. But we all know what opinions are like, and everbody has one.

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A Few Honorable Mentions

     I recently wrote about the possibility of Cleveland needing another outfielder in my first post. The organization has been keeping an eye on Zach Walters, although he has been an infielder during most of his career. As of now, they are training him solely as an outfielder, allowing him a chance to compete for one of the available outfielder positions. Throughout his brief two years and eight game career, his numbers have significantly dropped from one year to the next. It is possible he was playing with a problem waiting to happen, and it finally did when he tore the labrum in his shoulder diving into home plate on October 2, 2015. This is only a guess on my behalf, of course. There must be something about him, because they certainly haven’t given up on him. We’ll have to see when the time comes.

     Manager, Terry Francona has also been keeping an eye on newbie center fielder, Tyler Naquin, who has been swinging the bat very well in Akron’s minor AA Rubberducks. In 76 games, he pulled in a .313 average with 30 RBIs and 14 stolen bases.

     As far as the fifth spot in the pitching rotation, it appears as though Josh Tomlin and Cody Anderson are the two main competitors. They will be the first two pitchers to start the Cactus League games, Tomlin will start on March 1st and Anderson will start on the 2nd.