The Cleveland Indians got off to a slow start in 2019 and the Opening Day lineup reflects some of the early-season problems.
The 2019 Cleveland Indians season began on a cold March day up north in Minnesota. The season only begins earlier in 2020, so brace for the cold.
It all began with a 2-0 loss to the Minnesota Twins that ultimately looks like the theme of the 2019 season now that it has been completed. To be fair, it was cold.
My reason for looking back at that game is because it shows why the Indians got off to a slow start. The team had some missing pieces and didn’t properly prepare for such a scenario. In fact, it seems that everyone but the front office saw it coming.
Are you ready to relive the horror of that lineup? Here it is:
- Leonys Martin, CF
- Jose Ramirez, 3B
- Tyler Naquin, RF
- Carlos Santana, 1B
- Hanley Ramirez, DH
- Jake Bauers, LF
- Roberto Perez, C
- Brad Miller, 2B
- Eric Stamets, SS
So the entire lineup isn’t a disaster. Jose Ramirez, Naquin, Santana, and Perez are all regulars. Aside from that it was not good.
Martin, Hanley Ramirez, and Miller were let go during the year while Stamets and Bauers were sent back to the minors.
This lineup is obviously different than the one that finished the year. The Indians got reinforcements in the outfield and the infield featured both Francisco Lindor and Jason Kipnis instead of the dynamic duo of Miller and Stamets.
Yet there is no excuse as to why this lineup was trotted out. Oscar Mercado was waiting in the minors and the Indians could have spent some money to have some better fight at the DH spot. It made no sense to keep Hanley around only to let him go after 16 games.
A bad Opening Day lineup is frustrating because a slow start is what doomed the Indians this year. Falling 11 games behind the Twins put the Indians in a situation where they had to be perfect to overtake Minnesota considering both teams played some legendary tanking organizations.
It’s all in the past now but I hope the Indians come out with a proper Opening Day lineup in 2020. Even if there are some injuries, there is no excuse to have a major hole in the lineup. A few early losses could end up being huge in September.