So far, the Tribe has hushed the critics and put together a good season. They’re in the thick of the playoff race with a big-name lineup and not-so-big-name starting rotation that’s been surprisingly great. Carlos Santana, Nick Swisher, and Jason Kipnis are the main power hitters on the team, and Kipnis is a top-five second baseman in baseball with his power-speed combo. Free agent signee Michael Bourn hasn’t stolen as many bases as expected just yet but there’s no doubting he brings a spark to the lineup. Mark Reynolds kind of fizzled out but Ryan Raburn has picked up the production for him. The Indians don’t have your average lineup but are solid up and down.
Of all the big names on offense, Terry Francona was definitely the biggest name brought in during the offseason. He said nonsense to critics that told him he had no rotation and lo and behold, his starting pitchers comprise one of the better units in the AL. None of Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez, Corey Kluber, Scott Kazmir, or Zach McAllister resembles a true ace, but none of them have been pitching like a #5 either. With a staff of guys who will keep the Indians in games late, the good bullpen and timely offense takes over. Chris Perez, Bryan Shaw, Cody Allen, Joe Smith, and Matt Albers are the guys ending games in Cleveland. Their winning formula has worked fairly well so far, but Francona rarely lets a pennant race get the best of him. Look for the Indians to make a late surge, and be there live with Gold Coast Tickets!