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Cleveland Indians: Defensive mishaps keep piling up

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MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 08: Jason Kipnis #22 and Brandon Guyer #6 of the Cleveland Indians collide during the fourth inning of a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on May 8, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 08: Jason Kipnis #22 and Brandon Guyer #6 of the Cleveland Indians collide during the fourth inning of a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on May 8, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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The Cleveland Indians offensive woes are already well known by Tribe fans. To make things even worse, the defense has gone downhill now as well.

Three errors last night. Jason Kipnis misplays a routine ground ball. Kipnis and Guyer can’t communicate and collide, allowing the ball to drop. And Edwin Encarnacion dropping a foul pop up that could’ve ended what would be a 15 pitch at bat. These are simple mistakes that professional players simply should not be making.

The defensive issues have dated back longer than just Tuesday’s game. With nine errors in the past five games, and 24 on the season, the Indians have struggled to win games because of all the extra outs they’ve given up.

Where are the errors coming from?

Francisco Lindor, who was a Gold Glove winner in 2016 and thought to be a contender for that award again this year, leads the Indians in errors with seven already on the season in only 35 games.

The Cleveland Indians catching corps has pretty low expectations on offense. Defense is the strong suit of Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez, but they’ve struggled with the glove as well this year. Perez has four errors, second most on the team, in only 13 games played. He’s caught only one base stealer in seven attempts so far. Gomes has three errors to his stat line and has only caught two base runners while allowing seven to steal a base.

Jason Kipnis has three errors as well after his mishap last night. He could have been given another one for his collision with Guyer as both are at fault for that ball falling. Kipnis has to know that Guyer has priority on that ball and should give way to him. Meanwhile, Guyer needs to call Kipnis off and say it as loud as he can to make sure Kipnis knows.

Why is this a big deal?

Look at the positions each of those four players are at. Shortstop, second base, catcher. All those positions are up the middle of the field. That middle of the field defense is generally where your best defenders are and they’re the ones that make the big plays the team needs.

But they aren’t doing it. The middle of the field breaking down defensively has only piled on to the fact that the offense can’t get anything going consistently. With those struggles together, it’s shouldn’t surprise anyone to see the team below .500. What makes it surprising is that this team has too much talent to be a below .500 team.

There isn’t really a clear explanation for why this team has been so bad defensively over the past week. Could be a lack of focus, could be anything, really. Whatever it is, the Cleveland Indians will need to figure it out and get back to playing the way they know they can. Thankfully, the rest of the AL Central is pretty weak this year, but that won’t stop the Minnesota Twins from making a push.

Next: 3 takeaways from the 3-2 loss to the Brewers

The Cleveland Indians will figure it out eventually. They’re a talented team that has legitimate title chances. It’s still early in the season.

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