Which Cleveland Indians have repaid the team’s faith and who has not?
Coming into 2021 the Cleveland Indians had plenty of question marks, particular in relation to the offense. That reality left the door of opportunity open for fringe players, both on the major league club, and in the minors, to make a mark whenever the situation presented itself. Conversely, players who broke camp with the team out of Spring, or were called up to replace a struggling or injured teammate, were equally at risk of squandering the team’s faith in them.
There are, arguably, several of candidates who sit on both sides of the fence, being that there has been a lot of moving pieces, so far, in the first half of the season. But I am going to focus on three individuals, in particular, who have played or pitched a decent portion of the season.
Unfortunately, that excludes Bobby Bradley, who has taken the bull by the horns since he earned his first call up of the season, and is hitting .375 in just 32 big league at bats. I also think it would be wrong to include him since the Tribe front office showed a clear lack of faith in him by not giving him a spot right out of spring training, after hitting .303 in March.
Some honorable mentions are worthy of note before I reveal my final verdict. Despite a .177 average, and striking out 30% of the time, on the season, Jordan Luplow provided some pop in the early going – hitting six dingers in April – while delivering in the clutch. Luplow is hitting .360, with a .500BP, with RISP, and an even more eye-watering .444 average and .583 OBP with RISP and two outs. But he hasn’t played since May 26 due to an ankle injury, and I can’t give too much kudos to a guy hitting. 177.
On the negative side, I want to give an ignominious shout out to Logan Allen. He didn’t make the final list given that he was booted down to Triple-A after just 15 2/3 innings – although those innings managed to span five starts (oof!) – and hasn’t pitched since April.
Allen was mediocre in a brief 2020, but the Cleveland Indians rewarded him with a rotation spot in 2021. His last three starts before being optioned to Columbus amounted to just 5 2/3 innings, while allowing an astonishing 13 runs and six home runs. Nothing much has changed in his fortunes since he was sent to the minors on April 28.