Spring Training matters very little in the grand scheme of things. The Indians have had great Spring Trainings with terrible seasons and vice versa. Nothing from Spring Training is contingent on the regular season, but it would be nice for the Indians if it were.
The Indians have gotten off to an electric start in Spring Training. 4-0 thus far, the Tribe has been carried by a revamped offense that is strutting their stuff. As a whole, the Indians have scored 34 runs in 4 games, which averages to 8.5 runs per contest. Some of the newest members of the organization have helped the Tribe’s cause tremendously, especially Ryan Raburn.
Raburn is a bit of an under-the-radar talent for the Indians, especially with the additions of Bourn, Swisher, and Stubbs, but has certainly proved to be somewhat effective at the Major League Level. In 7 major league seasons with the Detroit Tigers, Raburn has hit .256 with a .311 On Base Percentage, and an OPS of .740. While has never been a star, Raburn has certainly been a reliable role player for the Tigers. In Spring Training with the Tribe, Raburn is raking it in. Hitting at an .800 clip with 3 HRs and 5 RBI, Raburn has been the best Tribe hitter and is the MVP of the ridiculously, absurdly, way too early Indians.
In addition to Raburn’s unbelievably hot start, Michael Brantley has yet to make an out with his bat. He’s cashed in thus far with 3 doubles and a single in four at bats, regardless of being “buried” deep within the Tribe lineup.
The Indians are showing, regardless of how early it is, that they are not the offensive team that they were last season. There are hitters up and down this lineup that can put runs on the board.
The pitching has been about as bad as the hitting has been good. Despite Zach McCallister’s two shut out innings yesterday, the Indians have allowed a grand total of 24 runs in the four games thus far. Brett Myers had a shaky start on Saturday along with Giovanni Soto’s terrible outing on Friday. Matt Albers and Joe Martinez, two of the pitchers from the Diamondbacks, have struggled mightily. Martinez gave up 5 earned runs of his own, while Albers gave up 4 in just one inning pitched.
Listen, I know it’s so early and these stats mean essentially nothing, but I just can’t help talking about the Tribe. This is the most excited I’ve been for a season in Cleveland for a long, long time. The Indians are exciting all of us, and Tribe talk is all that should be circulating on the banks of Lake Erie this Spring and Summer. Yes, the Indians are 4-0. Yes, it matters less than I could even imagine, but the fact that baseball is back and the Indians are succeeding is enough to get me incredibly excited.
Follow Hayden on Twitter @H_Grove