A bit different than what some of you may expect, but this weeks review is on the Cleveland Indians of 2016, and what may come from them in 2017. Many Cleveland fans faced a devastating heartbreak back in the beginning of November.
Flashback: “Two down, runner on first, Cleveland down by one here in the bottom of the tenth.
Michael Martinez is the last chance for Cleveland. Here’s the pitch, swung on, soft grounder to third. Up with it is Bryant, on to Rizzo, Ballgame! The Cubs are World Series Champs.
It hurts, deep to the core. But, for Chicago, it was a momentous win. They played hard, and they earned it. But 2016 was one of the best seasons we’ve seen out of Cleveland, and despite the loss in Game 7 of the World Series, they proved they are a force to be reckoned with. With many different working parts, the Indians showed off, what a well oiled machine can accomplish.
The 14 Game Winning Streak- From June 17th, through July 1st, the Indians went on a massive win streak, stretching 14 games before losing to the Toronto Blue Jays on July 2nd. They swept the Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Detroit Tigers, Atlanta Braves, and took the first two games against Toronto. Included in this streak was a 19 INNING GAME, which notched win number 14, against Toronto.
Corey Kluber – Cleveland’s Ace in the hole, was just that. Coming through with a tremendous season, second best to his Cy Young season in 2014. He was in contention for
the Cy Young once again this year. Finishing the season with a 3.14 ERA, 18 Wins, and 227 strikeouts. He also showed his arm in the World Series. He even shutout the Chicago Cubs in game one. Many batters fear his Sinker, and find him “tough to hit”.
Jose Ramirez – Clearly one of the biggest surprises of 2016. With a .312 batting average, 46 doubles, and 76 RBI, Ramirez had one of the best seasons on the team. Also, for a good portion of the season, he led the league in batting average with runners in scoring position, with over .400. He also had some comedic moments, one of which was sliding into second base, his helmet flying off (Like it always does), hitting his foot, then flying back up about 15 feet, and coming down on his back.
Francisco Lindor – Can we say enough? No. I could list you an entire blog post worth on this kid. Lindor shined the entire season, batting in the 3rd spot in the lineup. The source of many web gems on the field, on the base paths, and even a car commercial or two. Lindor is a star in the making, and is a great piece to have on this team.
Andrew Miller – A controversial trade halfway through the season, could be the single most arguable reason the Indians made it to the World Series. Andrew Miller has a slider that virtually nobody can hit. When batters see him come from the bullpen, the shake in their cleats. Miller is one of the best acquisitions of 2016.
Looking forward to 2017, there is still a lot of uncertainty with the roster. Nothing has been made official about the future of Mike Napoli, but here is what we do know:
- Carlos Carrasco is said to be 100% healed and ready by spring training.
- Edwin Encarnacion is here, and ready to win. He has stated that he believes that
with the team they have now, plus him, they have a good shot at a World Series win.
- Michael Brantley, who was missing for 90% of the 2016 season, is looking to be back and ready by spring training. However, based on how his rehab went during the 2016 season, only time will tell if he is actually ready.
- Tom Hamilton has signed a contract extension and will continue on as the Voice of the Tribe on WTAM 1100AM and the Indians Radio Network.
It is only January, and spring training begins at the end of February. We will see what happens between now and then, but many people are optimistic about what 2017 will bring for the ball club. Keep an eye out, as if there are any major breakthroughs, we will let you know.