Cleveland Indians: Once healthy, Cleveland’s roster can still contend

Zach Plesac #34 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
Zach Plesac #34 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Indians, Roberto Perez
Roberto Pérez #55 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Cleveland Indians Lineup

Most of the Cleveland Indians offense is now back and healthy. Jose Ramirez has missed a couple games with elbow soreness, but other than that the lineup is nearing full strength. With that being said, a fully healthy Tribe batting order is now rather strong. Going off what we’ve already seen from Terry Francona, this is something along the lines of what opposing pitching would be looking at when facing Cleveland.

  1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
  2. Amed Rosario, SS
  3. Jose Ramirez, 3B
  4. Franmil Reyes, DH
  5. Bobby Bradley, 1B
  6. Eddie Rosario, LF
  7. Harold Ramirez, RF
  8. Roberto Perez, C
  9. Bradley Zimmer / Oscar Mercado, CF

That’s not awful by any means. A few spots are interchangeable, but overall this is probably what the club is looking at having moving forward.

With the addition of Bobby Bradley to the lineup instead of Jake Bauers and the return of Reyes, the core of the lineup is all of sudden a bit dangerous. With Jose Ramirez (switch-hitter), Franmil Reyes (right-handed), Bobby Bradley (left-handed), Eddie Rosario (left-handed) and Harold Ramirez (right-handed) in succession the opposition could have a hard time navigating that part of the lineup.

Roberto Perez has the occasional big knock, but his defense is what is important. As for center field, Francona can ride the hot bat or use a situational approach to the position. Neither are hitting the cover off the ball and there’s always a chance that the club could make a trade deadline addition to upgrade center.

Is this the lineup of the late 1990s Cleveland Indians? No. Is this lineup still much better than they are given credit? Absolutely. Ramirez and Reyes were both among the game’s best power hitters before Reyes went down and Bradley has brought another layer of power to the lineup with eight home runs in 25 games.

If this lineup can continue to produce once the pitching stabilizes, then the Tribe will be in a lot more games than they should have been over the last month. And they have still managed to stay within six games of the American League Central during the struggles.