By Eddy Jansen
Lindor, Ramirez Double Play Combo Would be Lethal
It has been said by many that a change in position could be inevitable for Indians second basemen Jason Kipnis. Objects in rear view mirror, as well as changes in the Major Leagues, are usually closer than they appear.
Kipnis has been bothered recently by neck stiffness and his power numbers have dropped since 2013. Despite being on pace to post a career high batting average, the Indians hastily need his power to return to the lineup.
A position change could aid Kipnis in focusing on hitting. And Joe Ramirez could be just the guy to take Kipnis's spot at second base.
Ramirez still has a long road to travel to be a quality hitter, but his electrifying leather, arm, and range more than makes up for it. He is the entire defensive package, and is really more suited to be a shortstop. But with the emergence of top prospect Francisco Lindor, Ramirez won't be manning the most important position on the field anytime soon.
On the plus side, Ramirez has had three multi hit games in the past ten games. Also, he just turned 23 years old earlier in September. So he has plenty of time to improve with his bat.
Chisenhall Rediscovers His Love for the Game
Lonnie Chisenhall has found himself a new home on the Indians roster in right field.
Last year, Chisenhall made 18 errors at third base in only 114 games. This year he has played in 92 games, and has committed only six errors; five at third base and only one in right field.
In 115 plate appearances as a right fielder, Chisenhall is hitting .322 with nearly a run batted in per five at bats. That is the type of production the Indians need from middle of the order hitter.
Former Indians pitcher Cliff Lee experienced the same thing in the late 2000's. In 2007, Lee's career was sputtering out of control. His ERA for the year was 6.29. He was optioned to the minors, and missed the Indians run at the American League Pennant. The very next year, Lee went 22-3 and won the American League Cy Young Award.
Don't expect the same thing to happen for Chisenhall, but his career is certainly on the mend.
Starters Continue to Whiff Opposing Hitters
This season has been a historic one for Indians starting pitchers. Through Thursday, Corey Kluber (230) Carlos Carrasco (196) Danny Salazar (186) and Trevor Bauer (167) have combined for the most strikeouts of any four starting pitchers in MLB.
Carrasco starts Friday against the Royals. There is a very good possibility that it could be the first time in Indians history that two pitchers on the same Indian's staff record 200 or more strikeouts. Recent Cy Young Award winners Cliff Lee and C.C. Sabathia never did that.
Salazar starts Sunday. He'd need 14 punch outs to become the third pitcher on the team hit the strikeout century mark.
Final Week of Season Crucial for Santana
While posting yet another disappointing season at the plate, Indians first basemen Carlos Santana could make or break his future with the Indians in its final week of the regular season. Santana has been in the big leagues for six seasons. His career batting average of .246 has been lackluster, and the team will certainly ponder his future with them this coming winter. Santana, which much of the weight to be the team's top run producer on his shoulders, under-performed once again this season with just 17 home runs and 74 runs batted in to date.