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September Reflections on the Cleveland Indians

Source: Cleveland.com via Google Images


August of 2012 will not be remembered fondly by those who follow the Indians organization. The team finished the month with a record of 5-24, somehow finding a way to go from contending for a playoff spot around the All Star Break to contending for the league’s worst record just over a month later.

There hasn’t been much positive news regarding the Indians at all over the past five weeks. The team was hoping for some kind of a boost when Roberto Hernandez was able to return to the club after serving a suspension for playing under the false identity of Fausto Carmona. Not only did Hernandez not pitch well, but he also got hurt early in his second start and quickly had to go on the disabled list.

Since the Indians decided not to make any moves at the trade deadline, the only place they were going to get a boost or influx of talent was if they brought someone up from the minor leagues. Unfortunately, they lacked the stars in the minors that they possessed in years past to at least appease fans and get them thinking about what could be next year.

Perhaps the call-up who has had the most success, and turned the most heads thus far, has been Russ Canzler. Now, keep in mind that as of this writing, Canzler had only appeared in eight games, but at this point, any silver lining is a positive for the Tribe. In those eight games, Canzler has come to the plate 28 times and is batting .357 with a double, a homerun and 4 RBI. Canzler can hit with power and if he hits with consistency over the next month, he could earn himself a spot on the opening day roster in 2013.

Unfortunately there must be time spent in this monthly report on Tribe closer Chris Perez once again. Far too often has Perez made headlines for something that has happened off the field this season. The most recent example involves him telling reporters while the Indians were on a road trip two things that players may think, but rarely say. First, Perez took the team’s management to task for not making a deal at the deadline, claiming that this action illustrated their lack of belief in the team and unwillingness to work hard to make it better. Second, he took the owners to task by claiming that if the team is losing, the Dolans got what they paid for. While most fans actually agree with what he said, they would probably also agree that things like this are only uttered publicly by a player if they are trying to get themselves a ticket out of town.

An intriguing player the Indians have turned to over the past month is starting pitcher Corey Kluber. The Tribe clearly does not have their rotation set in stone for next year, so there is a spot available for anyone who wants to step up and take it. Kluber hasn’t been amazing during his first eight games in the bigs, but he hasn’t been awful either. He currently has a record of 1-3 and an ERA of 5.26. Kluber has visibly matured during his first month with the club and will look to turn that into a roster spot when the Indians leave Spring Training next year.

The saddest part about this season is that Spring Training is mentioned twice prior to this paragraph in this article. This shows an unfortunate fact about where the Tribe stands right now. Currently, they are one loss away from being in last place in the Central Division. When you consider this is a team that was leading the division at the end of June, the record takes on a whole new perspective. They had the pieces and the drive to put together a short run, but they just couldn’t hold it together to make the season worthwhile.
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