Corey Kluber is on the DL.
Danny Salazar has not been pitching well.
Trevor Bauer has been atrocious, and that’s putting it lightly.
Edwin Encarnacion has been struggling with providing the power that all Indians fans hoped for.
Jason Kipnis is still trying to get back in the groove after starting the season on the DL.
The defense is just down right bad.
So, with all of these problems, why should Indians fans stay optimistic? There’s only 1 reliable starter, poor defense being played, and offense that ranks in the lower 3rd of the league in majority of categories. That normally would spell out a team that has too many deficiencies to overcome and reason to not buy in to their squad.
Many reasons, the first one being that despite all of their current issues, they are still 18-17 and only 2 games out of first in the AL Central. And I know it’s way too early to start dissecting the playoff picture, but they are still right in the thick of things as a wild card team. This is essentially saying that if only half of the issues mentioned turn around then the Indians will have no problem with taking control of the division and regaining their place atop the entire American League.
This leads right into my second reason, this is a proven team with proven players. It would be a bit different as far as optimism goes had this team not gone to the World Series last season, if they were just a .500 team last year then likely there wouldn’t be a sense to stay positive about this team. But this team is good, with a lot of returning players from last season and got even better in the offseason.
Aside from all the negatives, the one main constant positive is how great this bullpen is. That has been the Indians’ saving grace so far, the fact that if they have a lead through 5-6 innings then the bullpen is a steel trap and protects that lead no matter how small it may be. Andrew Miller and Nick Goody still have not given up an earned run this season, Cody Allen has saved 9 games and has not blown a save, and Bryan Shaw, who has been a target of frustration for fans, along with Boone Logan have held their own in relief opportunities. This is all happening with some poor starting pitching, once the starters turn it around then this is going to be an incredibly scary pitching staff as a whole. The bullpen alone should keep Indians fans optimistic, they will win every game that gets turned over to them while in the lead. They’ve been the reason why the record is what it is right now and will continue to be a solid part of the team going forward.
So there you have it, tribe fans. I know watching these games can be painful at times and I know that there were high expectations going into this season and the team has not played up to those expectations, but there’s plenty to remain positive about this team as the season goes on. This team will win the division and make the playoffs and will be a favorite to win the American League pennant, just keep the optimism flowing as the season continues.