Jun 13, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis (22) makes a throw to first in an attempted double play as Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) slides into second in the fifth inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The Rest of the Division Is Fading
The Indians have won five games in a row, and they’ve crept back up to three games below .500, and eight games back from the division-leading Royals. They’re also only 3 1/2 games back in the Wild Card race.
Meanwhile, the Tigers found out on Friday that they would lose Miguel Cabrera for at least six weeks with a Grade 3 calf strain, and they have lost five of their last ten games, bringing them down to just one game over .500. The Tigers’ back end of the rotation has struggled, and they recently blew up their bullpen, designated Joba Chamberlain and Tom Gorzelanny for assignment.
The Twins have lost six of their last ten games, and are just four games over .500 themselves. Although they get Ervin Santana back from his 80-game PED suspension on Saturday, the rest of their rotation has been shaky as of late. No one expected the Twins to be this good, and while they have certainly made an impression, it’s hard to imagine them being competitive for the remainder of the season.
The White Sox are even further back than the Indians, 10 games behind the Royals, so there’s little competition from them. The only major obstacle is the Royals themselves, and even they have shown some cracks lately. For instance, second baseman Omar Infante might find himself benched after the All-Star break, because he’s been struggling at the plate all season.
With a division that suddenly looks less competitive than it did a month ago, the Indians have the opportunity to surge ahead and make a run for the pennant.
There’s no reason to give up just yet. The Tribe shouldn’t sell at the deadline, unless something drastic happens between now and the end of July.