Week 5 - 3 Stars of the Week
It was not an ideal offensive week. That may be putting it mildly. Indians bats were silent all week, registering only 11 runs over a six game span. The truly remarkable part of the week was that our beloved Tribe somehow salvaged three wins for the week. These three wins can be attributed to three factors: sharp pitching, a bit of luck, and the Royals’ listless bats.
Week 5 (3 games at Detroit Tigers, 3 games at Kansas City Royals)
Indians record: 1-2 @ DET, 2-1 @ KC
The injury bug resurfaced in Detroit. Austin Jackson and Corey Kluber each hit the 10 day disabled list this past week. If you are interested in reading into each of their injuries, IBI’s own Brandon Bowers provides fantastic injury analysis. You can find his Doctor’s Take column on Austin Jackson here and an in-depth prospective of Corey Kluber’s low back strain here.
Adding insult to injury, literally, the Tribe bats managed just three runs on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, a timely triple from Jose Ramirez and the usual quality start from Carlos Carrasco propelled the Tribe to a narrow victory. The incessant rain that cancelled Thursday’s series finale was likely a blessing in disguise for the Indians, given the state of the offense.
Kansas City was more of the same from the offense, but it occurred against the worst offense in baseball. This led to taking two out of three. The Indians and Royals combined to score a riveting 9 runs over the 3 games. Don’t get me wrong, I love dominant pitching, but it’s a stretch to say that the starting pitching was dominant as a whole.
Three Stars – Yan Gomes
Though it was a rough week for most Tribe bats, Yan Gomes provided some entertainment. He is truly an enigma at the plate. Whatever your opinion of Gomes, you can’t argue with the results over the past few weeks. He is working pitchers more in the early stages of this year, with a career best walk percentage of 10.7%. He is swinging at fewer pitches out of the zone and making contact more often.
The big concern with this version of Yan is contact quality. During Week 5, Yan made plenty of solid contact. He put 12 balls in play with an average exit velocity of 94.45 miles per hour. He hit four balls with an exit velocity in excess of 100 miles per hour.
If you aren’t enamored with exit velocity and other sabermetric speak, hitting the ball hard created results, as well. Over 16 plate appearances, Yan reached base eight times. This included a pair of doubles and three walks. Before starting the ‘Yan is back’ campaign, I’d like to see some of the power displayed in 2014 return, but hitting the ball hard and working pitchers is certainly a great place to start.
Andrew Miller (Two Stars) and Cody Allen (One Star)
Three appearances for Andrew Miller translated to zeros on the scoreboard through twelve outs, five strikeouts and one measly baserunner allowed. Three appearances for Cody Allen translated to heavy traffic on the bases, but ultimately yielded zeros in the most important statistic, as well.
The Indians bullpen, bolstered by these two top five in the major league caliber arms, has been downright outstanding. No bullpen has been more effective, according to FIP.
The biggest reason for Andrew Miller and Cody Allen’s appearance on this list, however, is how important they were to salvaging three wins this week. These three wins were all nail-biters, entering the ninth inning either tied or with a one run lead. There is no reason to expect Miller or Allen to slow down, which will allow the Indians to shorten the games on opposing lineups, a la the 2015 Kansas City Royals recipe for success. We all know how that turned out for Kansas City.
Week 4 Stars of the Week
Three Stars - Abraham Almonte
Two Stars – Francisco Lindor
One Star – Jose Ramirez