Saturday, June 25, 2016
Francisco Lindor: The Difference-Maker
You can be an okay team for years without that spark. The Indians, lately, have had SOME momentum, and have had people like Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley, but never one guy that's lighting the rest of the roster on fire with his sheer presence.
...Until Francisco Lindor showed up, that is. Since he joined the roster, the Indians have had a reason to exist- they were still fighting by the end of the season, coming short of a playoff entry thanks to the Astros catching up. The momentum stayed, especially with Lindor, turning a fantastic rookie season into a fantastic habit that he didn't want to break.
Lindor's the best offensive performer on the team right now, and also is a fantastic shortstop. He's exactly what the Indians needed- quick, reliable, high average, large range of abilities. He's leading by example, too- a team that would have been absolutely nothing without that kind of spark is currently leading the AL Central- people like Rajai Davis, Juan Uribe, Lonnie Chisenhall and Mike Napoli all have starting positions, and all of them are doing surprisingly well under the circumstances. Chisenhall is getting more playing time than ever as the reigning right fielder, and is hitting pretty damn well for himself. Also, this is a team that doesn't have to hit home runs to be relevant- only two guys on this team have over 10 home runs.
I don't know how they're doing it, but it's thanks to the pitching staff, who've BEEN awesome for a while, and the hitters who've finally caught up to them. What Lindor needs to do now is keep the momentum going himself, so he can keep the rest of the team in line as well. I love this Indians story, and I want it to stay alive as long as possible- if the Cavs can win it all, there's hope for a successful Indians team.
Coming Tomorrow- One of the many Cubs infielders that will likely be starting the All Star game.