2021 Spring Training: A Final Look at the Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians are going to be in a very interesting spot heading into 2021. Cleveland feels like they are in win-now mode, but are they actually in win-now mode with trading away shortstop Francisco Lindor to the New York Mets this past offseason?
The answer is probably not. They are too good to be tanking and they are not good enough to win a World Series title, let alone make it to the playoffs. The Cleveland Indians will find a way to tease fans at some point this season.
Cleveland isn’t even the best team in the American League Central. The Indians aren’t going to better than the Chicago White Sox or the Minnesota Twins, but the Cleveland Indians will be better than the Kansas City Royals and the Detroit Tigers.
It will be another season with Terry Franconia being the manager for the Cleveland Indians, but will it be a successful one? I don’t see it happening honestly because they don’t have enough offense. Cleveland has one of the better farm systems in all of baseball, but upper management is too cheap to pay for big-time bats.
Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale, Zach Plesac, Triston McKenzie, and Logan Allen will be the starting pitchers for the Cleveland Indians this upcoming season. Bieber won the American League Cy Young Award last season.
Bieber, Civale, and Plesac will be one of the most underrated top three in a starting rotation. McKenzie will also have some potential to be very good this season for Cleveland. Allen will be more of a true fifth starter more than anything else for the Cleveland Indians.
James Karinchak, Nick Wittgren, Emmanuel Clase, Adam Plutko, and Olivier Perez will be in the bullpen for the Cleveland Indians. It is unknown at this time who will be the primary closer. Plutko and Perez are also capable of starting ball games, if necessary.
The bullpen could be the weak link of the Cleveland Indians this season, after having Brad Hand for the past few years.
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Eddie Rosario played with the Minnesota Twins last season. He will provide some pop to this lineup.
Amed Rosario played for the New York Mets last season. He was a part of the Francisco Lindor trade and so was shortstop/second baseman Andres Giminez.
Jose Ramirez is very inconsistent but if he gets hot at any point this season, the Cleveland Indians could make it back to the playoffs once again this season.
Ramirez is the heartbeat of the Cleveland Indians ball club and franchise. We will see what kind of numbers he decides to put up this season.
This team will go as far as this offense takes them. Cleveland hopes to make its fanbase happy this season by winning as many ball games as possible.
Sunday, February 28th: First spring training game against the Cincinnati Reds.
Thursday, April 1st: Opening day on the road against the Detroit Tigers.
Monday, April 5th: Home opener against the Kansas City Royals.
Do you think the Cleveland Indians will make it back to the playoffs once again this season or no? Leave a comment below.
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Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.