Cleveland Indians: The inevitable end we should have seen coming

The Cleveland Indians coasted to the playoffs all season and never addressed some major holes on the roster. That doomed the team from the start.

2018 was a weird year to be a Cleveland Indians fan.

It was clear from the start that there would be zero competition within the division. That meant that there was no real need to worry when the Indians played poorly against lesser competition. It didn’t matter.

Well, it may have mattered after all. The Indians had the fewest wins of any American League playoff team and played like it against a Houston Astros team that appeared to be on another level.

The Indians went into the postseason with an untrustworthy bullpen and an outfield that was hardly intimidating. The fact Jason Kipnis and Melky Cabrera were taking up two starting spots will have some fans upset all offseason.

Then came the move for Josh Donaldson. It came late and seemed to be done to try to patch all the problems with one big name player. To be fair, him playing poorly in October is not on the front office. However, Yandy Diaz could have easily taken his spot if the goal was to inject more offense into the lineup.

The bullpen situation is something that was hard for the front office to see coming, but something that became a major issue when it counted.

Just think about the fact that Trevor Bauer was the go-to guy out of the bullpen. The team’s ace had to come on in relief because Terry Francona lacked faith in his regular bullpen arms. And rightfully so, as Cody Allen and Andrew Miller looked like shells of their former selves.

There was no magical winning streak this year or really anything to get fans excited during the regular season. The whole focus was on starting October baseball. That is why it is so tough right now. The organization didn’t make any major changes and hinged the franchise’s championship hopes on a group that we just saw blow a 2-0 lead in the 2017 postseason. We should have seen it coming.

There is plenty to address this offseason, and a few things that have to change on their own. For example, Jose Ramirez needs to figure out what his problems are in the postseason, which is something we will talk plenty about throughout the offseason.

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I woke up today in an odd mood. It wasn’t necessarily sad or angry. Just empty. And I’m sure I’m not alone.