Cleveland Indians: Who is hot and who is not after Week 14

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We have reached the “make it or break it” point in the 2015 season.

After a series win to open up the second half, the Cleveland Indians now sit 11.5 games out of first place in the division and just one game back from the Detroit Tigers. They three wins away from getting to the .500 mark with plenty of baseball left to make a move.

While the Royals certainly appear to be the team to beat in the division, both the Tigers and Twins seem primed for a second half disaster. Cleveland is a much more manageable 5.5 games out of a Wild Card spot as they draw the lowly Brewers in Milwaukee for two games starting tomorrow night.

The next week is huge for the Tribe. Wins against the Brewers and White Sox would have the Indians in perfect position to make their first move of the second half with a three game set at home against the division-leading Royals.

It’s time to put up or shut up.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at who’s hot and who’s not after the fourteenth week of the season:

Jul 1, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco (59) tips his hat to the crowd after he was taken out after he gave up a no hitter with 2 outs out during the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Cleveland Indians defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 8-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s hot?

Carlos Carrasco

Corey Kluber was incredible on Saturday evening, but Carrasco followed up the ace’s performance with an absolute gem on Sunday afternoon. Unlike Kluber, though, Carrasco didn’t get nine runs of support and was forced to play a significant role at the plate. The Indians’ right-hander tossed six innings of one-run baseball opposite Johnny Cueto in a sweltering Cincy afternoon. He collected the first hit of his career in his first at-bat and executed two sacrifice bunts to perfection in his next two times at the dish.

Jason Kipnis

Big surprise here. After a slow end to the first half, the Tribe’s lone All-Star hit .417/.500/.417 in the weekend series against Cincinnati. He had five hits, three walks, a stolen base and two runs coming out of the break. As his teammates continue to struggle with consistency on offense, Kipnis has pretty much done everything well. His power numbers aren’t necessarily as high as expected, but he is hitting .323 with runners in scoring position. That’s something to be celebrated given the misfortune of his teammates in similar situations.

Francisco Lindor

The one person who out-hit Kipnis this weekend was the Tribe’s rookie shortstop. Lindor recorded six hits in 15 at-bats, scoring three runs and driving home a run. Since Lindor was called up, his teammates have raved about the energy he brings to the middle of the infield everyday. He is a defensive stalwart at shortstop and a pesky hitter. While Cleveland almost certainly would love to see him hit better with runners in scoring position (.167 with RISP this season), he has been a breath of fresh air this season, as his season average now sits at .246.

Jul 11, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians third baseman

Giovanny Urshela

(39) celebrates his single in the fifth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s not?

Giovanny Urshela

Urshela has played very well in his first stint in Cleveland, but he came out of the break ice cold. After going 0-for-9 in the weekend series, Urshela has seen his batting average fall to .231. He has hit .200 in 25 at-bats with runners in scoring position. Though he has been on the losing end of a number of hard hit balls, he is also whiffing at an increasingly high clip.

Brandon Moss

The Indians keep waiting for Moss to get hot. They keep sitting back and hoping his batting average will climb closer to his .244 career mark and he’ll hit some sort of power surge as the Tribe attempts a second-half push at the AL Central crown. Unfortunately, Moss has yet to deliver. He was 2-for-10 in the weekend series against Cincinnati despite clubbing a three-run bomb in Saturday evening’s offensive onslaught. Cleveland needs his big bat in the middle of the lineup if they have any shot at challenging for a playoff spot this season.

Cody Allen

After a slow start to 2015, Allen turned his season around in May and returned to the same lights out closer Tribe fans have come to enjoy. He didn’t allow a run in 10 appearances in June and was exceptional again to start July. Coming out of the break, however, Allen struggled mightily in his two appearances this weekend. He allowed two inherited runners to score in meaningless time on Saturday and returned Sunday to blow his second save of the season. The Tribe needs Allen to sure up the back end of the bullpen if they expect to make any sort of playoff push.

Next: Week 12 - Who's hot? Who's not?

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