Indians defense struggling in early season
CLEVELAND — At the beginning of the season, most expected the Indians to have some struggles fielding with Carlos Santana moving to third base. Santana though has done better than expected but the problems have been elsewhere.
The Indians have the worst fielding percentage in the American League and have the most errors with 22. Of the Indians 22 games, they’ve had five with multiple errors.
During Thursday’s 5-1 win over Kansas City, the Royals scored their lone run on an error when Nick Swisher had trouble fielding a Mike Moustakas’ grounder that got by him for an error and rolled into the right-field corner.
"They are part of the game and we have to make sure we do learn from it. If we put ourselves in the best position mentally those errors won’t continue," said third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh, who also works with the defense.
The biggest surprise has been Yan Gomes, who has six errors with four coming on throws to second base in trying to get runners out. Terry Francona would rather have Gomes be aggressive as has thrown out 5 of 13 trying to steal. The next catcher with the most errors is Kansas City’s Salvador Perez with three.
Said Francona of Gomes: "He’s so quick behind the plate. Like the rest of our team he has made some errors that normally he won’t do. … As a team we have not played very good defense yet and I think we will be better. We need to be better. We’re that type of team where if we play clean baseball we generally give ourselves a chance to win."
Santana, who has made 10 starts at third base, has only one error in 46 chances.
QUITE A HOMESTAND: Michael Brantley, who drove in the Indians’ first run of Thursday’s game, has a five-game hitting streak and went 8 for 25 with four RBI during the seven-game homestand.
COMING UP BIG: David Murphy’s two-run single in the fifth inning makes him 3 for 4 with nine RBI with the bases loaded this season. For his career he is batting 28 of 80 (.350).
NO EXTRAS: The Indians and Reds are the only teams that have not played an extra-inning game this season. The Dodgers lead the majors in extra baseball with five.
RESCHEDULED: The Indians will have a day/night doubleheader in Detroit on Saturday, July 19. Game one will be at 1:08 p.m. and the nightcap will have a 7:08 p.m. start. The day game is a makeup for the April 15 game that was postponed due to cold weather.