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Cleveland Indians down to No. 8 in ESPN MLB power rankings

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(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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The Cleveland Indians had a rough weekend in New York, but are still ranked among the best teams in baseball in ESPN’s MLB power rankings.

The Cleveland Indians remain in first place in the American League Central division entering today. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that the team had a rough weekend in the Bronx, getting swept by the New York Yankees. The bullpen was less than stellar while the offense couldn’t replicate the results from earlier in the week.

It is only May but it is clear that this team needs some more help in the bullpen. The team is dealing with the absence of Andrew Miller in the short-term, but still need more than just him to succeed in the long-term.

The Indians are now 17-17, which is good enough for a two-game lead over the Twins in the division. And even after a rough weekend, the Indians only dropped two spots down to No. 8 in ESPN’s latest power rankings:

"Before their bats went silent over the weekend, the Indians finally sprang to life on the scoreboard last week, scoring 55 runs in six games Monday through Friday, thanks in large part to Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez and Edwin Encarnacion. A dozen homers for the week was another strong sign that they’re finally thawing out the offense, but with the Indians’ walk rate below 8 percent and in MLB’s bottom third, they’re not out of the woods yet."

As stated above, the offense is indeed beginning to come around. Jose Ramirez is hitting .285 and Francisco Lindor is right behind him with an average of .283. There is also the breakout play of Tyler Naquin, who has his average up to .319, along with an OBP of .356. He is playing well enough where it will be hard to take him out of action when Lonnie Chisenhall is ready to return.

Guys like Edwin Encarnacion, Yonder Alonso and Jason Kipnis are still scuffling at the plate, but I must remind myself it is only May and the team has only played 34 games. We saw how fast Lindor and Ramirez turned things around, so it should only be a matter of time for those struggling.

Next: When will Andrew Miller get back?

The Indians are off tonight and are preparing for a two-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers. Hopefully, the Indians will be rested and ready to take out some anger on the Brew Crew.

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