Just Stay Healthy… The Playoffs are Nearing…


(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Cleveland Indians’ Josh Donaldson hits a grand slam off Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Jake Newberry during the seventh inning of a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, Sept. 28, 2018.

Peter Knab, Staff Reporter

As the Cleveland Indians wrapped up their 2018 home schedule on Sept. 23 with a 4–3 win over the Boston Red Sox, it was clear that their main concern heading into game 155 of their 2018 campaign was making sure the team placed itself in proper position to compete in October.

Adam Plutko was the starting pitcher in prime time, setting himself up to make a starting appearance early in the postseason. Now that the team is able to focus most exclusively on the details of being ready for playoff baseball, the question remains: Can the Indians compete effectively enough with a team such as the Red Sox? Boston broke the franchise record, which dated from over a century ago, for most wins in a season.

Looking at the roster, the answer to the question is undoubtedly yes. This is especially true with the addition of a Josh Donaldson. Donaldson was acquired by the Indians on Aug. 31 at the waiver wire deadline.

“When healthy, Donaldson is a premier player on both sides of the ball. He brings power, defense and a pure hitting ability that exceeds what most third basemen bring to the table. The move also allows the Indians to start a former All-Star at every position, with Jose Ramirez moving to second base and Jason Kipnis shifting to center field,” said Scout.com’s John Alfes, a recent John Carroll graduate.

However, like many Indians fans, Alfes still has concerns about the team’s ability to stay healthy. After all, when the team acquired Donaldson from the Toronto Blue Jays, he was on the disabled list and had not played since May 28.

In the past, the Indians have had issues with their pitchers’ ability to stay healthy, and there has been no exception to that trend this year, with Trevor Bauer and Andrew Miller specifically having trouble staying off the disabled list.

“My only concern for the Indians is the health of their players. Will Trevor Bauer have enough time to regain his role at the front end of the starting rotation? Will Andrew Miller find the form that made him the 2016 ALCS MVP?” Alfes asked. Miller has looked very promising after coming back from a year full of. injuries and rehab.

Tom Hamilton, the voice of the Indians, put it this way: “The club is capable of having another long run or could get knocked out early as the first round. The American League is loaded and the teams have no glaring weaknesses. Should be a great fall for baseball fans.”