If ever there was a way to lift morale in the wake of a devastating injury, playing the 2019 Detroit Tigers is probably it. But the Indians must capitalize.
The Cleveland Indians will head to the Motor City to take on the Tigers for a three-game series beginning Tuesday. The AL Central foes have not met since mid-July, a four-game set the Indians swept in convincing fashion.
Not much has changed since then for Detroit, except for the fact that Nicholas Castellanos no longer plays there. The Tigers are 7-17 in August, which is sadly an improvement on their 10-40 mark in June and July combined.
Plenty has changed for the Indians, however, most notably the all-but-season-ending injury to Jose Ramirez. Ramirez underwent hand surgery on Monday, and has received a timetable of 5-7 weeks before he can return to game activity, according to Cleveland.com.
It will be nothing short of a miracle if Ramirez appears in another regular-season game in 2019, so the Indians will have to give him another chance to swing a bat this year by making it into the playoffs without him.
As crippling as this development is to morale, it’s not impossible to overcome. Just ask the Yankees, who’ve been dealing with this type of bad luck all season long. It does, however, leave the Indians with a massive, MVP-caliber void in their lineup.
In any case, the Detroit Tigers have devolved into an organization that is just barely even trying to field a team, let alone win baseball games. The Tribe must exploit the Tigers’ futility beginning on Tuesday night, and carry as much momentum as possible into a weekend series against a similarly injury-riddled Rays club.