Sep 21, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcherCorey Kluber
(28) pitches in the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
4: Cleveland Indians (80-82)
I know … how can a team with the reigning American League Cy Young winner in Corey Kluber and Top-3 MVP finisher Michael Brantley, being run by manager Terry Francona, finish this low in the division?
Well, the bullpen is a bit unsettled (and White Sox fans know how that goes), although Cody Allen had a nice run as the team’s closer following John Axford‘s implosion that cost him his tenure in Cleveland.
Jason Kipnis has regressed, Nick Swisher was having a poor season before having surgery on both knees and they are looking to strike lightning in a bottle in the bottom half of their admittedly underrated rotation.
White Sox fans do not need to be reminded of the ups and downs of Gavin Floyd, who is most likely to be the club’s fourth starter. Brandon Moss may as well have been gifted to the Tribe since Cleveland did not need a 24-year-old second base prospect behind the aforementioned Kipnis, who is only 27 and already had one All-Star effort in 2013.
The Indians would be in a better position if not for their being in arguably the most improved division in baseball.