Saturday, August 19, 2017
Look at how happy Edwin Encarnacion is!
Sure, he may be away from Toronto, where he spent eight seasons and revitalized his career as one of the top DHs in baseball...but now he's on arguably one of the most likable teams in baseball, and on the team that won the American League last year (something the Jays haven't done since Edwin was a teenager), and may be on pace to battle Houston and the battling cousins in the AL East to do it again.
It took a little bit for it to show up, but this Cleveland Indians team might be better than the one that won the AL last year. Some elements are different, but the changes are welcome- Mike Clevinger replaces Josh Tomlin as a sturdier, more ferocious 5th man, among the still-dominant Trevor Bauer, Danny Salazar, Carlos Carrasco and a CAREER FORM Corey Kluber. The outfield may be battling injuries, but Bradley Zimmer has stayed firm, Austin Jackson's having a comeback year (complete with insane outfield catches), and the recent acquisition of JAY BRUCE has severely helped the lack of Lonnie Chisenhall and Michael Brantley. Jason Kipnis is slumping, but the rest of the infield sure as hell isn't.
This isn't a perfect team, but neither was the '16 squad. That squad was a ragtag group of aging vets, established Tribe members, and young talents waiting to break through. Now that the Indians know who they are, they're able to polish out some of the scratches and make themselves known as a powerful, perennial giant in the baseball world.
Towards the end of the season, they're gonna need to fight off the Royals and Twins, who...to be honest, are a little too preoccupied with fighting themselves, as well as the inevitability of the Houston Astros. With the amount of firepower they have right now, as well as the trusty bat of Edwin Incarnation (being used for good), they've got more than a shot at getting back to October.
Coming Tonight: He's powerful, he cracks a mean bubblegum bubble, and he's one of the few reasons to go to Reds games this year.