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Are Cleveland Indians going to wake up?

The Cleveland Indians were a trendy pick before the season started to unseat the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central. Cleveland had the reigning Cy Young award-winner in Corey Kluber along with a host of hitters who can do damage including Carlos Santana, Yan Gomes, Brandon Moss, Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall.

So far, the Indians are struggling to get much of anything going. Currently, manager Terry Francona’s club is sitting at 27-29, six games back of the surprising and surging Minnesota Twins. Cleveland was supposed to have a bevy of young talent on the mound, but we haven’t seen much of that potential come to fruition yet. Trevor Bauer is the one exception to this point, pitching like a front-of-the-rotation starter. Bauer is 5-2 with a 2.94 ERA, helping to keep Cleveland afloat while the rest of the crew gets rolling.

Danny Salazar has been decent but not terrific as some expected, posting a 3.50 ERA. However, Salazar has used his blaszing fastball to fan 81 hitters this year, ranking him tied for third in the Junior Circuit with Felix Hernandez. Carlos Carrasco has a team-leading seven wins, but his 4.35 ERA has left plenty to be desired. In 12 starts, Carrasco only has five quality starts.

Kluber has been the biggest problem, however. The man with the hardware is pitching like just another guy with his 3.61 ERA and 3-6 as evidence. Kluber needs to be the ace that Cleveland is expecting, or the Indians will have a brutal time climbing up the standings board.

At the plate, the Indians are seventh in the American League with 247 runs scored. Kipnis has been the engine of the offense, leading the AL with a 3.5 Wins Above Replacement. The second baseman is hitting a team-high .338 with 18 doubles and 27 RBI, showcasing his gap-to-gap power. Outfielder Michael Brantley is hitting at a .302 clip with a beautiful .384 on-base percentage, but his power is down with just four home runs. Brandon Moss, who the Indians acquired from the Oakland A’s from a minor leaguer, is pacing Cleveland with 10 homers and 33 RBI.

Yet, there are plenty of issues. Chisenhall was supposed to breakout in 2015, but instead is hitting .209 with four homers and 19 RBI. Chisenhall does not need to be an All-Star, but Cleveland can’t afford him being an anchor in the order. Perhaps the biggest anchor of them all is Nick Swisher, who signed a four-year, $56 million deal to be the face of the franchise before the 2013 season. He has proven to be possibly the worst free-agent signing in franchise history. This year, Swisher has played in 28 games and is hitting a grizzly .213 with a .279 OBP.

The Indians have the talent to make a run, but their stars need to start playing better from Kluber to Santana. Just remember, Cleveland, it’s a long season.

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