Cleveland Indians: Sandy Alomar making strong impression as manager

While filling in for Terry Francona on the Cleveland Indians, Sandy Alomar is making a strong impression and securing his spot as the team’s next manager.

Before Terry Francona took over the helm of the Cleveland Indians in 2013, the team had gone through years of struggles. Francona was able to revive the team, but with looming health concerns the Tribe might be in the market for a new manager this coming off-season. Luckily, they have a great option in-house in Sandy Alomar.

Prior to Francona, the Indians had finished below .500 for four consecutive years and had made the playoffs just once over the previous 10 seasons. However, since Francona took over in 2013, the Indians have finished above .500 every year and made their first World Series appearance in almost 20 years, falling just shy of their first title since 1948.

Now with Francona sidelined, Sandy Alomar has stepped up as the team’s manager for the second time in his career. During the 2012 season Alomar finished out the year as the interim manager when Manny Acta was fired, going 3-3 over the last six games.

This season has been a much larger sample size of what Alomar can do while calling the shots, and overall he hasn’t disappointed. When called upon during a difficult situation for the team, Alomar has stepped up to the plate and come through for Cleveland, just as he did when he played for the club.

The year has been a bit of a roller coaster, but that should have been expected given the odd circumstances of the season. Even with the ups and downs of the year, Alomar still has the Cleveland Indians in the thick of the division race and the team is actually having one of the better seasons they’ve had recently.

Sure, some of the season has still been under the control of Francona, but for majority of the time it has been Alomar and he has done exceptionally well. Up to this point, the Indians hold a 26-18 record which comes out to a .591 winning percentage.

That stat doesn’t hold the wait it normally would given the abnormal season, but it is still impressive. Under Alomar, the team really hasn’t missed a beat. Over Francona’s seven seasons as Cleveland’s manager before this one he only reached a winning percentage that high once, being in 2017 finishing with a .630 winning percentage.

Offensively, the Cleveland Indians have also sustained rather well from last season, even though it might not seem like it on some nights. Over 44 games this year, the Indians have scored a total of 179 runs, averaging just over four runs per game. Last year, they scored 769 over 162 games to average 4.7 runs per game. The stat regressed a little, but not anything that should be alarming.

Looking at the same stats, but on the other side of the ball, pitching has improved this year so far with Alomar as manager. This season the Indians have allowed just 140 runs over 44 games, allowing an average of 3.2 runs per game. As for last season, the Tribe gave up 657 runs over 162 games, an average of 4.1 runs per game.

As I said, these stats are a bit skewed given the odd state of this season, but it’s hard to argue that Alomar has managed to keep the Indians at the same level that Francona has had them at over the last seven seasons. Not all the stats can be attributed to Alomar, but overall the team is still on the same track as they were a year ago with Francona in the dugout for the full season.

When the time comes for the Cleveland Indians to make a managerial change, which could be in the very near future, it seems that the answer is already in the dugout. Alomar has been a fan favorite in Cleveland for a long time and has been groomed by Francona to be his predecessor.

Everyone wants to see Francona return to form in the Indians’ dugout, but should this be it and he has to step away, it is clear that the Indians are in good hands with Sandy Alomar. Not only has Francona been preparing Alomar, but he has proved this year that he is more than ready when the call comes.