The Cleveland Indians were swept away in the ALDS against the Houston Astros. They lost Game 3 on Monday afternoon at Progressive Field in Cleveland, 11-3. This is the second consecutive season the Indians were bounced in the first-round.
The Cleveland Indians have lost six consecutive playoff games. The Indians won the AL Central with a 91-71 record. They played in the weakest division in baseball this season. Cleveland should be back in the playoffs next season because the division will be weak but what about when the year 2020 and beyond comes?
Luckily they don’t have to worry about that right now. The Cleveland Indians window is starting to close on them. They blew a 3-1 World Series lead two years ago against the Chicago Cubs and they should have won that series.
Manager Terry Francona continues to misuse his pitchers in the postseason. Trevor Bauer should not have gone to the bullpen. He looked uncomfortable and Bauer usually never pitchers out of the bullpen.
He should have been the Game 1 starter, Corey Kluber should have been the Game 2 starter, Carlos Carrasco should have been the Game 3 starter, and if necessary, Mike Clevinger should have been the Game 4 starter.
Francona has a good enough starting pitchers and he should have no need to go a three-man rotation. I totally understand if managers want to move their fifth starter to the bullpen in the playoffs. That makes sense, but not a number one starter.
Other than the pitching staff, which will be in good hands next season, the offense won’t be bad either.
Jose Ramirez had a breakout season and he should win the American League MVP. Francisco Lindor is a stud at shortstop. They will most likely not bring back Josh Donaldson and they traded for him in the middle of the season.
There was an outside shot they would acquire outfielder Bryce Harper from the Washington Nationals at the trade deadline, but they could still get him this offseason since he will be a free agent.
Speaking of free agents, outfielders Melky Cabrera, Michael Brantley, and Lonnie Chisenhall will hit the free agent market this offseason. So will relievers Andrew Miller and Cody Allen.
If the Indians struggle to get anyone in the outfield this offseason, they will most likely have to promote people within the organization including 23-year-old prospect Oscar Mercado.
Outfielder Greg Allen could have a breakout season next year. This will be another interesting offseason for the Cleveland Indians none the less. They have not won the World Series since 1948 and it is the longest drought in baseball.