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2021 Has Been Tough For The Cleveland Indians, But No One Could Have Seen This Name Saving Their Season

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Cleveland Indians fans have been dealt a tough hand in the last year.

First there was the announcement that the team was going to change its name (eventually announcing the new nickname would be Guardians), and then the team had a tough offseason with fire sales yet again. The biggest offseason move dealt superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor and pitcher Carlos Carrasco to the New York Mets back in January.

Many fans have taken to social media to slam the Dolan family about how the franchise is being run. Some have even called for them to sell. So it’s been a tough relationship between fans and the team’s front office.

Luckily for the Indians, their players and fans, the team stayed competitive for the first two and a half months of the season before injuries and poor play finally caught up to them. Now September will essentially be a month-long tryout for the Tribe’s young players.

One position that appears to be locked up for 2022 is the shortstop spot, thanks to some surprise performances from Amed Rosario.

For example, in the Tribe’s recent 7-2 win in Kansas City, Rosario became the first player on record to go 5-for-5 with five RBIs, an inside-the-park homer and an additional home run.

The former New York Met legged out his inside-the-parker in the first inning when his slicing drive fell just beyond the reach of right fielder Edward Olivares.

No one saw this kind of offensive output by Rosario coming. The 25-year-old has gone from platooning with a few other bench players to basically being penciled in daily at the shortstop spot, a spot that can be his in 2022.

Rosario has slowly but surely continued to pile on solid offensive numbers. He ended the month of August hitting .371, which pushes his season average up to .290 with 10 homers and 49 RBIs. He also currently leads the American League with eight triples in 2021.

Indians fans will want to get to know Rosario — at least for the next 30 days. After all, at 25 years old, he is a lifetime .273 batter.

His best season average came in 2019 when he hit .287 with the Mets. So, if he has a decent September in 2021, he’ll set a new career high.

He was born and raised in Santo Domingo Centro, in the Dominican Republic. His English is passable, but he still speaks to the media through a translator.

All year long, Indians fans have kept a watchful eye on the player who they moved as part of the Rosario package, Francisco Lindor.

To say it’s been a tough season in the Big Apple for the dynamic Lindor is an understatement. He did finally ink that 10-year-deal worth $341 this offseason, but between poor play at the plate and the massive letdown that the Mets have been this year, Lindor has been the reason why fans in New York are not happy.

Many still feel that Lindor will eventually get it all together and be back to an All-Star level, but his hitting the last two seasons is concerning.

Following Tuesday’s Mets 3-1 win over Miami, Lindor is hitting just .221 with 11 homers and 38 runs batted in.

Last season, his last in a Tribe uniform, he hit .228 with eight homers and 38 runs batted in. It’s hard to imagine a player with the talent that Lindor has just not being able to get back to form.

Things in New York finally hit a head Monday evening when Lindor, and some teammates, gave Mets fans a ‘two-finger salute’ claiming that players are sick and tired of being booed at home games.

That likely should be the last thing on Lindor’s mind right now. There will continue to be plenty of questions on regrettable trades, and the way things look thus far for Cleveland, the Indians may have pulled off a steal.

 

Written by Matt Loede

Matt has been a part of the Cleveland Sports landscape working in the media since 1994 when he graduated from broadcasting school. His coverage beats include the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. He's written three books, and won the "2020 AP Sports Stringer Lifetime Service Award."

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