(The season is still young, but there are a few teams who have underperformed and played below expectations. Is it time to worry? Or is this just a bad stretch? That's up for debate.)
Record: (11-21) Last place in the AL Central; Worst record in baseball
What's Wrong?: Where do we begin with this team?
-No relief pitching
-Key hitters struggling
-9th in AL in batting average
-2nd in AL in strikeouts
-.238 batting average with RISP
-Grady Sizemore: (.227, 6 HR, 23 RBI)
-Mark DeRosa: (.238, 6 HR, 21 RBI)
-Jhonny Peralta: (.229, 1 HR, 10 RBI)
-Travis Hafner: DL already!
-Bottom Line: The Indians offense is simply not getting the job done as the big guns (Sizemore, DeRosa, Peralta, etc.) have struggled to produce thus far. Outside of Victor Martinez and Asdrubal Cabrera, the lineup has dramatically underperformed. Everything that could go wrong, just about has gone wrong. In their defense, there has been a great deal of pressure for the offense to produce with the pitching staff struggling to mightily.
-Last in AL in ERA (5.83 ERA)
-Last in AL in Walks allowed (128)
-Last in AL in earned runs allowed (182)
-13th in AL in hits allowed (321)
-Fausto Carmona: (1-4, 5.57 ERA)
-Carl Pavano: (2-3, 6.61 ERA)
-Anthony Reyes: (1-1, 7.20 ERA)
-Rafael Perez: (0-1, 15.19 ERA)
-Masa Kobayashi: (0-0, 8.38 ERA)
Bottom Line: This pitching staff sucks. Outside of Cliff Lee, this group has been absolutely terrible. The starting pitching has been downright disgraceful as Fausto Carmona has struggled to find the plate, Anthony Reyes has not looked like a competent major league pitcher, and Carl Pavano is Carl Pavano.
As for the bullpen, there is not one guy out there, who is having a good season. From Rafael Betancourt to Rafael Perez to Kerry Wood, this group has been horrible and inconsistent. The guys, who Indians management thought they could count on this season have underperformed.
Time to Panic?
The first 32 games have gone about as poorly as they possibly could have for the Indians. It remains to be seen if the Indians have hit rock bottom yet. You have to wonder just how long guys like Sizemore, DeRosa, and Carmona can underperform for. Is this just a bad couple of weeks? Or are the Indians simply a bad baseball team built around players, who they had higher expectations for?
For Indians fans, I do believe that it's time to worry about this team. I understand it's early and that there is so much baseball to be played, but it's alarming to see so many crucial players playing so badly. We all look for bright spots and signs of hope in every bad situation, but the only comfort I can give to Indians fans is this:
It can't get any worse, right?