This run by the Indians kind of, sort of mirrors the run by the 2015 Cavs. I'm not sure people who don't follow baseball all that closely know that they're down three of their best players, including two absolute stud pitchers who would be aces on a lot of other teams. The Indians are fortunate enough to have Corey Kluber as our ace, and he's phenomenal. He'll probably be the AL Cy Young winner this year.
Make no mistake, the Tribe had THE best rotation in baseball when healthy. Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar were both in the conversation for the AL Cy Young themselves through the first half of the season.
Salazar's regular season ended with an injury to his forearm. There are reports he could be back as soon as this series -- the ALCS against Toronto -- but certainly nothing is for sure and we don't know what he'll look like coming back from injury and being off for a month.
At least we NOW KNOW
that he is throwing in the bullpen during practice.
It's unlikey that he'll resume his spot in the starting rotation at this point in the season, but he could be another incredible relieving option to put alongside Andrew Miller ... who is currently re-defining what a middle relief pitcher can be. He's probably the most important player for the Indians and he's a middle-reliever.
He's that dominant. The reliever version of Randy Johnson.
Sets you up with the 95+ mph fastball:
Destroys you when he drops the floor out:
So, you add Salazar as a guy who can keep Miller fresh and that's still something pretty important.
Carlos Carrasco, on the other hand, is just done. He was the #2 behind Kluber.
But, to think...
A shortened rotation of Kluber, Carrasco, Salazar, and Josh Tomlin/Trevor Bauer.
The best middle reliever in baseball by a mile in Andrew Miller, joined by Trevor Bauer or Josh Tomlin due to the shortened starting rotation.
And then a really good closer in Cody Allen, with the possibility of using Andrew Miller in that spot as well to help balance things out if arms are tired?
It could have been domination.
Then, we go to the other side of the plate. We're missing All-Star outfielder and Golden Glove finalist Michael Brantley, who has been unquestionably our best offensive player on the team over the last three years or so. He's out for the year.
So, yeah... this is fun and I still think the Tribe has a shot, especially since we have home field all the way through now. But, it could have been a dominating run if the injury gods had been a little less cruel.
Hopefully we get Salazar back. That would be good enough.
I will say, I haven't been this excited about an Indians team since the mid-90s and there are a lot of young pieces on the roster that should make us title contenders for years to come.