Race for the Division- AL Central Edition
The trade of Trevor Bauer baffled me, at least when it happened. I thought hey you have a playoff-type pitching staff and Trevor is a stud don’t give up yet!
Yes he did throw one of the worst temper tantrums I have ever seen mid-game on the mound when he hurled the ball over the center field wall (great Statcast numbers on that toss) after a few frustrating plays but I just did not think the Indians could give up a young pitcher with so much talent and get back an even return (yes I’m aware Bauer would become a FA).
Bauer was obviously not a big clubhouse guy from all the reports and since the trade, The Tribe has gone 10 and 4 including winning 3 of 4 against their only competition for the AL Central Pennant, the Minnesota Twins. In other words, I’m not an MLB GM for a reason. The human effect has so much power in baseball, I love statistics but we can never forget how tight-knit these players have to be.
While losing Bauer Cleveland added some top-notch bats in Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes, to a lineup that already had Lindor, Ramirez (who all of a sudden has turned it on after a more than dreadful start to the season) Carlos Santana and the suddenly hot Jason Kipnis. Their rotation is top of the line with some nice young arms and I always believe that pitching is what will carry a team to and through the playoffs.
While Cleveland has ridden the high of their new additions the surprising (to most but not me I believed in that lineup since Opening Day) 2019 Twins seem to be running out of fuel. The lineup is still potent and rotation solid, just not as potent and solid as earlier in the season.! Watching The Tribe take it to them this past weekend the team just appeared deflated. That’s a bad look in an August playoff hunt.
Its obvious either of these teams could be crowned AL Central Champs but my prediction is the Indians will take it once again. That’s a scary team in the playoffs. Every game will be more intense for these two squads going forward and to add on to that Kipnis has gone on record stating the Indians have been circling games versus the Twins for months. You have to love that as a baseball fan.
Stay tuned, this is going to be a fun race to watch down the stretch.