CLEVELAND - While many thought that the Indians trade of Asdrubal Cabrera would guarantee the September call-up of Franscico Lindor, Jose Ramirez’s play is one of the reasons why Lindor’s year is over after Columbus was eliminated from the International League playoffs over the weekend.
Since the Cabrera trade, Ramirez is batting .281 with eight extra-base hits and nine RBI. This past week Ramirez had a pair of three-hit games as the Tribe lost three of four to the Tigers but bounced back to sweep the White Sox in a three-game weekend set.
After Monday’s loss to the Angels, the Indians are 4-4 on the homestand with a three-game set against Minnesota starting tonight.
"There’s no pressure. I’m just trying to play hard like always," Ramirez said on Saturday after his eighth-inning triple drove in the go-ahead run in the Indians 3-1 win. "Last year [being called up in September] helped me a lot as far as gaining experience and seeing how a lot of the guys handled things."
Since Ramirez has been moved up to second in the order he is hitting .326 and has an on-base percentage of .368. Manager Terry Francona said he thought that Ramirez was making progress as a hitter even before moving him up.
"When he first came up, he looked a little bit lost. He didn’t have his legs underneath him and they were throwing fastballs by him â even left-handed. (But) the last month or so, he’s been pretty good," Francona said. "He’ll spoil some pitches or shot the ball to left. He’s got a good idea (what he’s doing now).
"He can steal a base, he can move a runner, he can handle a bat. It’s more, if you have to manufacture (a run), he’s a good guy to do it because he can do multiple things."
The Playoff Race
The Indians begin Tuesday five games behind the Royals in the division and trail Seattle by 4 Â½ for the second Wild Card. While Detroit and Kansas City are vying in a three-game series, the Mariners are hosting the Astros. This weekend the Indians travel to Detroit while Seattle hosts Oakland.
* Carlos Santana had three home runs, including a pair of two-run shots in the first inning on Tuesday and Wednesday against Detroit. He also drove in eight runs on the week. Santana has 11 home runs since the All-Star Break, which is tied for fourth in the American League.
* Michael Brantley is 13 for 31 with four RBI. He has also hit safely in his last 12 games.
* The starting rotation has had two complete games â Danny Salazar and Corey Kluber â along with Carlos Carrasco going 8 2/3 innings.
* Tyler Holt has made some nice plays in the field but has gone 3 for 14 from the plate.
* Yan Gomes, who went 0 for 3 on Monday, is now 5 for his last 26.
* In his first three appearances, Bryan Price has allowed six runs and three home runs.