The Cleveland Indians entered play Sunday riding a five-game losing streak.
They are also 2-8 in their last 10 as the injuries are piling up this summer.
But all hope should not be lost.
The club still entered the day with an overall record of 42-38, putting them in the hunt for the American League Central and a Wild Card spot.
Let’s look at some reasons why optimism should still be held by fans, regardless of Sunday’s outcome.
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 4, 2021
3. A Returning Rotation
Zach Plesac is set to return soon and both Aaron Civale and Shane Bieber are on track for a return following the All-Star break.
That is some elite talent coming back to a rotation that is currently featuring a list of rookies.
Just staying around .500 until the trio is back puts the team in good shape.
Each one is going to provide a huge boost of confidence to the team and having two full months with a proper rotation could lead to a nice run at the end of the season.
It is unfair to look at the current slide and say the team is doomed when we know these pitchers are coming back sometime soon.
The situation would be entirely different if they were all ruled out for the remainder of the season.
2. The Manager
The Indians are in great hands with Terry Francona as manager.
"That's a hard way to play, and they didn't give in."
Terry Francona commends the fight in his team tonight in a tough game. #OurCLE pic.twitter.com/suMEFjb8Yu
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) July 3, 2021
The team has never finished below .500 with him in the dugout and has made the postseason in five of his eight seasons.
There is just something about his presence that allows the front office to give him a roster filled with question marks and still expect great results.
At some point, it may be impossible for Francona to rally his team if it is truly all Triple-A players.
However, we are still waiting to see that true collapse where the team falls well below .500.
1. The Schedule
The Indians entered Sunday six games back of the White Sox.
However, the two teams still have eight games remaining against each other this season.
And the final five all come in one series near the end of September.
So as long as the Indians stay within six or seven games of the White Sox at all times, the end of the year presents a great time to get motivated with a healthy pitching staff and take the division.
Having a handful of series against the Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, and Minnesota Twins also presents opportunities to make up ground when needed.
The Indians going 2-8 recently is understandable given the state of the roster.
Add in a series against the Houston Astros and there should be no panicking just yet.
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