Unfinished business is the best way to describe the 2016 Champions of the American League. The Cleveland Indians were involved with one of the most historic World Series with the Chicago Cubs. The series involved two teams who were in the longest drought without winning a World Series. The series lived up to its hype as it went 7 games, the final game went extra innings. Outside of the Minnesota Twins the Indians were one of the last teams experts picked to win the AL Central, most of the hype belonged to the 2015 World Series Champion Royals, the Detroit Tigers, and the Chicago White Sox. Indians manager Terry Francona is not used to losing and was able to coach his team to a division title.
Terry Francona is entering his 5th season as the skipper of the Cleveland Indians. The Tribe are one of the favorites to win the AL Central in 2017 and have some new additions to make sure that happens. After losing Mike Napoli to the Rangers due to the free agent market, the Indians decided to sign somebody with the same amount of power. Napoli hit 34 homeruns in 2016 which tied the team with Carlos Santana, the Indians signed free agent Edwin Encarnacion from the Toronto Blue Jays. Edwin hit 42 homers in 2016 for the Jays and knocking in 99 runs. Ecarnacion will join the powerful infield of the Tribe featuring, Jason Kipnis, Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez. The 3 infielders combined for a total of 236 RBI’s 2016 that is almost half of the amount of RBI’s the Philadelphia Phillies entire team had combined last season (574 lowest in MLB). Lindor was the runner up in the AL rookie of the year voting and is looking to have a even better year in his 2nd full year in the Majors. The pitching staff also looks to be strong for Cleveland in 2017 with mostly familiar faces.
The 2014 CY young winner Corey Kluber will still be the ace of the pitching staff coming off a record of 18-9 last season. There is a few questions behind Kluber, other starting pitchers Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco are battling injuries. Terry Franconas staff is still backed up by Josh Tomlin and Trevor Bauer who combined for 25 wins in 2016. Even if the Indians are without two key starters to start the season they still have 3 guys who can carry this team to another division title. The Indians also have returning closer Cody Allan who had 32 saves in 2016. Allan posted a 2.51 ERA in 68 innings pitched out of the bullpen.
The last time the Cleveland Indians have won a World Series was in 1948. This is the longest championship drought in Major League Baseball without a World Series win. Terry Francona is no stranger taking teams out of World Series droughts. Terry won with the Boston Redsox in 2004 that was the Sox first World Series Win since 1918. The Redsox also won the World Series in 2007 with Francona as the manager. The Indians have the tools to win and defiantly a team will most likely be playing in October.