Diving, track, archery, weightlifting: Cleveland Indians players would make fine Olympians
Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky aren’t the only ones making a splash in the Olympic scene this year. In fact, some of Cleveland’s own are pretty well-versed in the Games, too.
Warning: more cheesy Olympic puns to come.
Take a look at the Indians outfield and you’ll find some of the game’s finest divers. As a team, the Indians have recorded 26 outfield assists, tied for the fifth most in the Majors this year. Rajai Davis leads the pack with eight assists of his own, tied for seventh among all American League outfielders.
Our outfielders are equally good at plate, as Cleveland’s outfield is batting a collective .293 this year, the best average in the AL and 2nd in the MLB. Lonnie Chisenhall’s .298 average is the fifth-highest among AL outfielders.
Track and Field
Sure, Usain Bolt is pretty fast, but can he steal second quicker than Rajai Davis? Probably. Still, Davis leads the American League with 28 stolen bases this season, which ranks fourth in MLB. His success rate of 90.3 percent is also the best in baseball.
The Tribe’s offense has combined for 80 stolen bases, which is tied for the most in the league and tied for fourth in the Majors.
Gold Medal Worthy: Rajai practically creates his own runs.*
*Well, with the help of that wild pitch.
Cleveland’s pitching staff is on target. Indians hurlers have tallied 924 strikeouts this year, the third-most in the AL, while their average of 8.43 strikeouts-per-9.0 innings is the fourth-best in the league. The staff’s 22.4 strikeout percentage also ranks second in the AL.
Two members of the Tribe’s rotation are among AL strikeout leaders, as Corey Kluber’s 153 punchouts are fourth-most in the league, followed by Danny Salazar, who ranks eighth with 133. Kluber also leads all AL pitchers in fWAR (4.4).
Francisco Lindor doesn’t need bars or a balance beam to be a world-class acrobat. He’s flipped his way into 64 percent of Cleveland’s double plays this year, having helped turn 56 of the team’s 87 total.
His 320 assists are the second most among MLB shortstops and his 160 putouts are the third most. Lindor’s worth more than a collection of web-gems, too – his .303 average is the third-highest among all MLB shortstops.
The Indians have notched 144 homers this season, averaging 1.32 home runs per game, the fourth most in the league. Mike Napoli leads the Tribe with 28 bombs, which ranks fourth in the AL and fifth in MLB. It’s also the most home runs by an Indians player in a single season since Grady Sizemore finished the 2008 campaign with 33.
Carlos Santana is not far behind with 24 of his own, tied for 12th in the league, while Jason Kipnis (22) and Francisco Lindor (13) have each set single-season career highs.
You might not see these guys in Rio, but maybe Tokyo 2020?
-TribeVibe contributor Kailey Adams