3 Cleveland Indians who exceeded expectations in the first half
The first half of the Major League Baseball season is complete. Whether you count the first half as the first 81 games or all games before the All-Star break, we’ve reached the midway point of the 2021 season. The 2021 MLB Draft is in full swing, as is the All-Star week festivities, but what are teams doing to prepare for the second half?
That process begins with self evaluation and for the Cleveland Indians there have been a ton of highs and just as many lows. From walk-off wins to an injured list that includes nearly every key player the team has, the Tribe have been through it this season.
Despite the bumps and bruises, the Cleveland Indians have been able to hold their ground and will enter the second half within reach of the postseason. A 45-42 record has Cleveland eight games back of the Chicago White Sox and 4.5 back in the Wild Card race. That’s not as great as just a couple weeks ago, but it’s still a doable deficit.
During the first half of the season the Tribe saw the injuries and struggles from the replacements take the headlines. While those surely carried the storyline of the season to this point, the team was able to stay afloat, in large part to other players picking up the slack.
You expect players like Jose Ramirez to be at the top of the league statistically and Shane Bieber to be lights out in more starts than not, but there should always be a few players that go above and beyond their expectations set forth before the season starts.
In the case of Cleveland, these three players were able to do just that. They aren’t All-Stars, but they have already blown past what was expected of them during the 2021 campaign. Now, they just have to carry it over into the second half.