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Second Thoughts Game #20: Rain out edition

Indians, Royals suffer MLB's 18th weather postponement of 2013

Second Thoughts Game #20: Rain out edition
April 27, 2013
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Will the Indians ever play baseball again?

It certainly feels like the Tribe has been in Mother Nature’s doghouse wherever they go this season as they now have four postponements and four games to make up. Fortunately, the team will still be able to get in all four games this weekend as they’ll make up Friday’s series opener on Sunday in a day-night doubleheader.

The Royals are currently leading the AL Central with an 11-8 record while the Indians are sitting in last place, but are only three games behind Kansas City. Both teams’ performances are currently in question, however, as can the Royals maintain this success over a full season and is this as good as the Indians are going to get or will they find their groove and become more of a threat within the division? While this series won’t provide the answers to those questions this early in the season, it should be a good way to gauge where each ball club stands as of now.

Indians could do without the postponements

Weather postponements in April in general are always frustrating, but the Indians are probably suffering more than anyone at the hands of these early-season rainouts. The Tribe already has enough on their plate by way of inconsistency in their rotation and lineup as they’ve struggled to find their stride. Not to mention that they’ve dealt with their share of injuries, so the last thing they need is games taken away to keep them from finding any form of consistency.

Injuries and postponements have been tough on the Tribe, especially with a big chunk of the roster filled with new faces who are new to the team and haven’t played with each other before this year. Now granted they are professionals and should be able to make the transition with little or no issues, but that still doesn’t make up for the fact that the Indians virtually replaced half of their big league roster over the offseason and a period of adjustment is to be expected as the players familiarize themselves with each other and learn how to feed off each other’s abilities.

The sooner they can get everyone healthy and have a long stretch of regularly played games without delay, the better.

Got to keep winning within the division

The Tribe may be 8-11 right now, but they’ve started off division play well this season owning a 3-2 mark thus far within the AL Central following two series' against the White Sox. Winning within the division is important for any team wishing to contend. The same goes for the Indians who among other disappointments last season compiled a 31-41 mark against division foes.

In 18 games against the Royals last season, the Tribe went 8-10 despite putting a shellacking on them in the opening and closing games of the season series where they outscored Kansas City 23-7 in both games combined. Cleveland also did sweep the Royals in the opening series last April, which marked the first series sweep for the Tribe in 2012. Maybe the same could hold true in 2013.

Bourn Return Imminent?

Boy, saying the Indians have missed center fielder Michael Bourn would be an understatement. His absence on the field and at the top of the lineup has been felt heavily this past couple weeks as he’s been on the 15-day disabled list nursing a finger laceration, which he sustained sliding into first base against the White Sox. Having him and his .333 batting average out of the top of the lineup has not been easy as the Indians’ alternate leadoff options have not been quite as productive.

Bourn is eligible to come off the disabled list on Tuesday and will likely not take a minor league rehab assignment. Prior to his injury, Bourn was hitting .333 with two home runs, four doubles, a triple and two RBI’s over the span of ten games.

Quote of the Game:

“They banged it. Doubleheader Sunday. This road trip sucks.” – Chris Perez via Twitter (@ChrisPerez54).

Up Next: Indians vs. Royals @ Kauffman Stadium on Saturday. First pitch at 7:10 ET.

It’ll be the tale of two pitchers on Saturday night as the Indians will send Scott Kazmir to the mound to try and put together a strong start in order to build off of as he continues to make his comeback to the major leagues. The left-hander had plenty of run support in his Indians debut against the Astros, but still failed to make it out of the fourth inning after giving up six runs. Opposing Kazmir will be Ervin Santana, whom the Indians are familiar with from his days with the Angels. While the Tribe does own an 8-2 mark against Santana, he has thrown a no-hitter against them, so it’ll all come down to which pitcher shows up at the ballpark.

Jake Dungan is a communications student at Stark State College and an intern with the Akron RubberDucks. Follow him on Twitter @MajorLeagueJake.

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