Cleveland Indians: Chase For Division Starts in June

Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s a classic street fight at the top of the American League Central. The World Series Champs the Kansas City Royals, the pesky Chicago White Sox, and our own Cleveland Indians, are the top three teams that are all within striking distance of one another. So with first place up for grabs, who wants it?

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The Royals were dealt a crushing blow when Mike Moustakas went down with a season-ending ACL tear. Other noticeable injuries are pitches, Jason Vargas, Mike Minor and Tim Collins. Alex Gordon remains out with a fractured right wrist while Salvador Perez is day-to-day with a bruised left thigh. The Champs who hold a two and a half game lead over the Indians, but will do battle with the Tribe for seven games in the next couple weeks. A golden opportunity for the streaky Indians to once again pull ahead of the Royals and retake the division.

The other dog in the fight is the Chicago White Sox. Lead by pitching ace Chris Sale, the White Sox are once again right in the thick of things. The addition of former Reds slugger Todd Frazier has been the focal point of the Sox attack. Chicago is healthy and hungry, and they seem to be able to smell the blood in the water, as the injured champs cling to the divisional lead.

The return of Carlos Carrasco couldn’t come at a better time for the Indians as they get ready for a four-game showdown with the Kansas Royals at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Carlos who suffered a left hamstring strain is expected to start against those Royals on Thursday, June 2nd. After the four-game set with the Royals at home they later travel to Kansas City for another three-game tilt, then it’s back home to face the White Sox for three. Needless to say, the month of June, even though it’s early in the season, could ultimately have huge implications on the division.

"“He’s passed all his test, “Francona Said. “So on Thursday, we will have to make another (roster) move to get Carlos.“I just want to get back to help my team win some games”, Carrasco said."

Are more reinforcements on the way? The timeline for All-Star left fielder Michael Brantley, who is still sidelined with the right rotator cuff impingement, is really anyone’s guess. Brantley has currently resumed the Tribe’s hitting program as of May 27th and is trying to get back into the Indians’ lineup, who in the month of May had the majors’ second-highest scoring offense.

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The Tribe have a great mix of young and old, the pitching has the potential to be as good or better than any team in the Majors, it just seems like they need something to pull it all together. Maybe in June, the Tribe will do something historical and get on top of the division and stay on top right to the end.

Go Tribe Go!