The Cleveland Indians have recently put me in a spot where I am forced to question how the next two and a half months play out. Are the Indians legitimate contenders for the postseason or is it just another pipe dream we loyal Tribe fans hang onto for as long as we can?
While many fans are screaming for the right-handed bat local sports talk radio tells us we so desperately need, I continue to scream for starting pitching with Justin Masterson in a season-long funk, Ubaldo Jimenez continuing to be inconsistent, leaving us with a mediocre Josh Tomlin and an aging Derek Lowe to keep runs down in the hope the offense shows up for the game.
It goes without saying the Indians have multiple holes that need to be filled if they hope to compete come October. Left field is another area that is in desperate need of stability. Johnny Damon, Aaron Cunningham, and Shelley Duncan are doing the best they can but none of them are legitimate everyday ball players.
With so many holes to fill in order to compete with the "big boys" I question if there is even enough depth in the minor league system to make all the improvements fans are calling for. Riots would occur if the front office gave up the likes of Francisco Lindor or T.J. McFarland for a "rental" player. I seriously doubt any team could be fooled into thinking Matt LaPorta or Jason Donald is a "prospect" either. With that being said, who is even available to the Tribe that can make a difference? I would not be surprised if nothing more than a minor move can be made when all is said and done.
So what is a fan to do?
Do we continue to plead for help knowing it will likely not come or urge the team to become sellers and try for a legitimate run in a couple of years? Is it too soon to give up hope or is the team as a whole better than what they have shown so far this season? At 47-45 the Indians are not a bad team but they are also not playing consistent high quality baseball like the New York Yankees or Texas Rangers. It is certainly a rough time for the decision makers in the front office.
There is still some time to see what can be done and if the Tribe has a shot this season at a legitimate postseason run. I have a feeling sooner rather than later we will find out just how realistic that option may be.
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