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Cleveland Indians: Thoughts after Saturday’s loss to the Rays

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(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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The Cleveland Indians lost in what was the first game with Josh Donaldson on the active roster. One player affected by the move made a statement.

Cleveland Indians fans got to see Josh Donaldson in an Indians uniform for the first time, although he never did enter the game. It may be some time before that is the case.

Saturday night brought with it a 5-3 loss at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Shane Bieber only gave up four runs but was beat by Blake Snell, who only allowed one earned run in 6.2 innings.

It was a familiar game for Indians fans in 2018. The offense had nine hits but left six on base.

A main story to follow this month has to do with the center field position. Saturday night saw Brandon Guyer get the start in center. Jason Kipnis pinch-hit for Guyer late and hit a home run.

Was Kipnis’ home run a statement that he should not be booted from the starting lineup? Maybe. But even when Donaldson is deemed healthy and Kipnis is bumped from second, he should see regular time in the outfield. Terry Francona will make sure of that.

At this point it is hard to analyze a game like this and get too angry. The whole goal for the month is to set the best lineup and have that group get game action to see how the construction works.

As for Kipnis, no one wants to lose their job. But his .229/.316/.379 slash line wasn’t enough for the front office to be comfortable. That is where Donaldson comes in, injuries and all.

The Indians are back in action this afternoon with a later 4 p.m. start in what will be a hot day to be sitting outside. But tomorrow is a holiday so it serves as a nice recovery day.

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Win or lose, the focus on October doesn’t change. The focus now is on finding the best outfield combination and making sure these changes don’t disrupt the ultimate goal. I doubt anyone on this team will raise too much of a fuss, especially Kipnis.

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