Over 50 games remain on the 2012 MLB schedule but Cleveland Indians management already wonders where the Tribe went wrong, reports MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. A week-plus long slump started late July led Bastian to reveal some unflatteringly facts about the 2012 Indians. For instance, from May 17 to August 6 Cleveland possesses the worst American League record. This re-emphasizes the question, where exactly did the Indians go wrong in 2012?
Tribe general manager Chris Antonetti attempted to provide answers for the Cleveland media. He dismissed the notion manager Manny Acta deserves blame saying, "I think he's (Acta) continued to provide very good leadership not only throughout the road trip, but throughout his tenure here. I certainly think he's part of the solution, not part of our issues."
Instead Antonetti discussed ensuring the organization offers players the best resources possible. "We're focused on how do we get the guys here performing better. We're committed to giving those guys every resource at our disposal to be successful." To paraphrase, "We just haven't played our best baseball."
Personally, I think the Cleveland Indians' problems extend beyond resources. As a fan what concerns me involves relying greatly on players who quite frankly don't carry established track records. Take starter Justin Masterson for example. 2012 serves as Masterson's third full year starting at the big league level.
The Indians named Justin Masterson their ace before the season started, much thanks to him going 12-10 with a 3.21 ERA in 2011. Sadly Masterson's 2012 stats resemble the pitcher's 6-13, 4.70 ERA 2010 campaign. Through his first 23 starts this season Masterson holds a 7-10 record and 4.78 ERA.
Catcher Carlos Santana demonstrates the above too. His first full big league season came in 2011 where he hit a team leading 27 home runs. Entering play Tuesday, August 7 Santana lays claim to a less impressive 12-homer count. Considering Cleveland typically bats the catcher cleanup illustrates the team relies too much on him.
Ultimately guys like Justin Masterson and Carlos Santana represent a core of young exciting players but we need to remember they are precisely that, young. Asking Justin Masterson to act as the Tribe's ace or Carlos Santana to bat cleanup doesn't seem healthy for their ongoing development or the Cleveland Indians' future playoff hopes.
Zachary Fenell fell in love with the Cleveland Indians during the 1995 season when the Tribe powered their way to the organization's first World Series appearance since 1954. While the Indians lost some allure since the 1990s you will still find Zachary watching the games on TV, listening to them on the radio, or best yet taking in a game from the stands at Progressive Field.
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