The Cleveland Indians begin the final week of April sitting right in the middle of the American League Central standings.
A 9-11 start is not great, but this is not some rare start under Terry Francona.
2013 8-12 5th place
2014 9-11 5th
2015 7-13 5th
2016 10-10 4th
2017 11-9 T1st
2018 12-8 1st
2019 12-8 1st
2020 11-9 2nd
2021 9-11 3rd https://t.co/M2Hfy3bKdb
— Bryan Shaw (@WxShaw) April 25, 2021
Fans have seen the offense struggle before and the storylines have been similar for a lot of the manager’s tenure.
The team to beat thus far?
That would be the Kansas City Royals.
Royals Leading the Pack in 2021
The Royals got the week started on a high note by taking down the Detroit Tigers Monday afternoon.
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) April 26, 2021
That improved Kansas City to 14-7 on the year, while dropping the Tigers to a dismal 7-16.
2021 began with the idea that the Indians, Minnesota Twins, and Chicago White Sox were in a three-team race to win the Central.
But the Royals made real additions, including adding former Indians great Santana, and are no joke this year.
That 14-7 record has the Royals two games ahead of the White Sox and 4.5 ahead of the Indians ahead of Monday night.
Surprisingly, the Twins come to Cleveland to begin the week with a record of 7-13.
The team has had COVID-related issues, but fans in Minnesota have to be wondering if the team is headed down the same path as the rebuilding Tigers.
Division Rivals on the Upcoming Schedule
The Twins are in town Monday through Wednesday.
Then comes yet another series against the White Sox Friday over the weekend.
The Indians then get a chance against the first-place Royals in a four-game set beginning next Monday.
For those wondering, Shane Bieber will pitch against the White Sox and Royals.
So far this season the Indians are 7-6 against the Central.
A full week-and-a-half against the top three teams should give fans an indication of where the Indians truly stand.
This is the time of year when changes can finally be made.
May arrives Saturday and time may be running out for a player like Jake Bauers.
We hate to keep picking on him in articles, but it is just the reality of the situation.
Let’s circle back to the tweet earlier in the article about starts under Francona.
The worst finish the Indians have had under the skipper is a .503 winning percentage back in 2015.
So fans have still not seen a truly terrible season under his leadership.
A 9-11 start should not have fans acting like this year will indeed be that first awful season.