The Cleveland Indians 2018 postseason came to an abrupt halt when they were swept by Houston. The entire team aside from Francisco Lindor and a couple of others were less than stellar but there are five who stick out like a sore thumb.
The Cleveland Indians coasted through the 2018 regular season. Their spot as AL Central champs was never in doubt so they did not have any pressure all year. Fast forward to the ALDS and that spelled disaster for the team. Everyone forgot to flip to October and stayed in September.
Francisco Lindor, Carlos Carrasco, and Mike Clevinger all seemed to make the jump from September to October but the rest did not. Here are the five who stick out as the most disappointing Indians players in the ALDS.
Jose Ramirez – 0-for-11, 1 RBI, 3 K
Jose Ramirez gets the first nod on the list. Not only was Ramirez disappointing in October, but the entire second half was a dumpster fire for the tribe third basemen.
Ramirez was in MVP-caliber form during the first half of the season. Something went very wrong for him post-all-star as he slashed just .218/.366/.427 with just 10 HRs and 35 RBIs in 63 games.
Ramirez’s drought continued into October as he could not get anything going. This is somewhat alarming for tribe fans to see him have such a prolonged slump and hopefully he can fix that and come out hot in 2019.
Josh Donaldson – 1-for-11, 1 BB, 4 K
The big splash move of the waiver trades period was Cleveland acquiring Josh Donaldson right at the deadline. Donaldson was coming off the disabled list after an injury-riddled season in Toronto.
Upon his arrival, he went back on the DL with rehab games in the minors. He finally debuted as an Indian where he hit .280/.400/.520 with a wRC+ of 149 in 60 plate appearances.
His hot start looked as though it would send the lineup soaring to a great start in October. However, that was never meant to be as Donaldson mustered just one hit in three games in the ALDS.
The idea of placing Donaldson in the lineup smack between Encarnacion and Alonso for October was an exciting one on paper all through September. Then, October came and went and the Indians had nothing to show for it when Donaldson and his former teammate Encarnacion combined for a lovely 2-for-22 with 8 Ks and 3 BBs in the ALDS.
Edwin Encarnacion – 1-for-11, 2 BB, 4 K
Edwin Encarnacion was a huge signing in 2017 and he played a big part in the Indians 2017 offense being atop the majors. He started off extremely slow in 2018 but finished with a .283/.377/.489 slash line and a wRC+ of 133 post-all-star break.
Edwin had a hot streak going like Donaldson and was especially hot after returning from a stint on the DL hitting over .300 in that period. Encarnacion went silent exactly when the Indians are paying him not to.
Encarnacion has one year left on his contract before the club option in 2020. It is likely the Indians pay him the $5 million buyout if he has another disappointing October in 2019 should the tribe make it again.
Yonder Alonso – 0-for-6, 4 K
He seemed to be off to a great start at doing just that pre-all-star break but he broke down post-all-star as his season average dipped from .258 to .250 in that time period.
Alonso finished with similar numbers to Santana and some were worse than Santana. Alonso was obviously cheaper but the Indians looked for a better outcome.
That outcome got even worse in the ALDS when Alonso struck out in 4 of his 6 plate appearances. He played just two games as Encarnacion manned first base in game three.
All pitchers not named Carrasco or Clevinger – 15.2 IP, 25 H, 10 BB, 20 R (19 earned), 2.28 WHIP
This was going to be just a single pitcher but, as you can tell by that lovely line, the Indians entire staff outside Carlos Carrasco and Mike Clevinger deserves blame. I couldn’t bring myself to single out just one when the group was collectively as bad as they were.
The starting pitching rotation was never a question heading into October until Corey Kluber had a terrible outing putting the Indians in a 0-1 hole early. However, games two and three saw solid starting pitching only to be blown by incoming relievers.
Andrew Miller may have had a 0.00 ERA, but he let inherited runners score and that is something that cannot happen. The book on Andrew Miller is likely closed in Cleveland after an awful 2018.
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The Indians bullpen was an issue all season and the hope was they could get it together come October. That hope died when they were shelled left and right and left the ALDS with not one single win to their name in the 2018 postseason.