The Cleveland Indians are dealing with a worst-case scenario during what is actually a best-case scenario season.
The bad news is that the Indians are now without Aaron Civale in addition to Shane Bieber and Zach Plesac.
On the flip side of that, the team is 40-31 and only 2.5 games behind the Chicago White Sox in the American League Central.
The Wild Card race is still close as well.
So while this team has been counted out twice before, a third time is now here because of Civale’s injury that will hold him out for a month.
But let’s say the Indians, hypothetically, get all three starters back by August 1.
That gives them two months to keep fighting for a playoff berth.
What are two things the team must do in the meantime to keep the postseason dream alive?
Aaron Civale has a middle finger sprain. He’s expected to miss 4-5 weeks.
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) June 23, 2021
2. Play .500 Baseball
We are not asking the Indians for too much here.
And we have already seen this team respond and do well with the lack of a proper pitching staff for much of the season.
Also, don’t forget Franmil Reyes and Roberto Perez have missed a lot of time as well.
The front office continues to plug and play and the wins keep on coming.
Just think, someone like Harold Ramirez may never have been able to take off if not for injuries.
There is also a Bobby Bradley situation, where he now has a chance to shine because the player in front of him wasn’t getting it done.
So if we assume the front office has contingency plans, the sky is not yet falling.
Yet the only way this .500 goal is possible is if the young, mostly rookie, pitching staff can be at least average.
We cannot see nights where a pitcher is pulled in the first inning because they can’t throw a strike.
And if this happens a few nights in a row, the bullpen will be doomed.
1. Add At Least One Veteran Starting Pitcher
Once again, this is not asking too much.
The front office desperately needs to go out and sign someone to join this pitching staff.
Having all young, inexperienced players go out every single night is just not fair to the rest of the team.
Eli Morgan says getting ahead of hitters was the key to tonight’s success and knows getting through the order for a third time will be an important area of growth moving forward.#OurCLE pic.twitter.com/iiDM35W4e1
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) June 23, 2021
At some point, starters are going to return and Plesac appears to be the first ready to do that.
But why not bring in at least one other player in the meantime?
The Indians could use another reliable arm considering the fact they were only going with three reliable starters from Opening Day in the first place.
They could swing a huge trade for someone like Max Scherzer, or even grab literally anyone who has pitched at the MLB level before.
The front office just needs to do something, for the sanity of fans and to let the team know the goal is still to compete no matter who is missing time.
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