In one of those classic, managerial moves to shake things up, Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona mixed up his batting order Sunday in an attempt to turn around Cleveland’s offensive woes.
It didn’t work.
The Indians are currently in last place in the American League Central and are tied for the lowest win total in the AL of teams actively trying to win ballgames (read: everyone besides the Houston Astros). While Cleveland’s pitching has not been good, the offense is what ails it most of all. As ESPN points out, “the Indians have scored three runs or fewer 24 times in their first 44 games after Sunday’s loss.”
It has really been that inconsistency that has plagued Cleveland as their overall season numbers are not that awful. Of course, a couple of the lynch pins of the offense have really had trouble at the plate, forcing lesser players to pick up the slack.
Carlos Santana, the team’s best player, has not gotten anything going yet this season. He is batting .152 on the year, with just 23 hits to his name in 151 at-bats. Fortunately, he is still drawing walks at a stellar clip, which is the only thing saving his OBP from being below replacement-level.
The same goes for Nick Swisher. The veteran first base/outfielder is second on the team with 24 walks yet is batting just .196.
With Michael Bourn still not 100 percent after an early season DL stint and Jason Kipnis out for another two weeks or so as he recovers from his own injury, the Indians’ offense needs its better hitters to start delivering more than bases on balls if Cleveland hopes to climb out of the cellar.