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Cleveland Indians 2016 Preview: Potential milestones for the Tribe

What to watch for in 2016...

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Indians have now finished with a winning record three consecutive seasons, which may not sound like much, but from 2002-2012 the team never finished with a winning record even twice in a row. Hopefully the team can keep this streak going; in the last 60 years the team has finished above .500 four seasons in a row only once, during the 1994-2001 streak. That streak featured six postseason appearances, while the last three years have featured just one postseason game. A fourth winning season in a row would a start, but the team's first division title since 2007 would be a lot better.

As you may already know, the Indians have not won the World Series since 1948. The team shattered its previous attendance record that season, drawing 2.62 million fans, more than a million above their previous best. The team played well over the next five seasons, winning an average of 92 games during those years, but they didn't win the AL pennant during that time, and for five consecutive seasons, attendance dropped, before bouncing back up in 1954, when the team finished with what is still the best record in American League history. That is the only time in franchise history that attendance has dropped for five seasons in a row. Why do I mention this? Because Tribe attendance has currently dropped for four seasons in a row. If last year's total of 1,388,905 isn't bested, the team will have matched its longest attendance decline in its 116-year history.

In terms of individual accomplishments for players on the team...

Corey Kluber could become only the fourth Indians pitcher to reach 200 strikeouts in three different seasons.

Kluber and Carlos Carrasco both reached 200 strikeouts last year, joining Sam McDowell and Luis Tiant as the only Tribe teammates to do that in the same season. If Danny Salazar (who had 195 Ks last year) can also get there, they'd be only the fourth trio of teammates in MLB history to do it.

Cody Allen has 60 career saves, leaving him 40 shy of 100. That's a tall order for one season, but certainly not out of reach.

Michael Brantley has 909 career hits, leaving him 91 shy of 1000. He has 190 career doubles, leaving him 10 shy of 200. He has 402 career runs and 393 career RBI, leaving him 98 and 107 shy of 500 in those respective categories. He has 94 stolen bases, leaving him 6 shy of 100. The hits, doubles, and steals should happen this season, but the runs and RBI would require career highs. If Brantley collects 150+ hits, it'd be for the fifth consecutive season, which would make him the 11th player in team history with a streak like that. (The franchise record is 10 straight seasons, by Earl Averill.) With 40 doubles he would become only the fourth player in team history with that many in three consecutive seasons, and with 45 doubles he'd join Tris Speaker as the only Indians to hit that many three years in a row.

Mike Napoli has 910 career hits, leaving him 90 shy of 1000. He has 191 career doubles, leaving him 9 shy of 200. If he stays healthy, he should reach both of those marks this year.

Rajai Davis has 870 career hits, leaving him 130 shy of 1000. He has 176 career doubles, leaving him 24 shy of 200. He reached both of those totals as recently as 2014, but doesn't seem likely to get the sort of playing time he'd need to reach them again this year, but it's certainly not out of the question. He has 470 career runs scored, leaving him 30 shy of 500, which he seems much more likely to do.

Juan Uribe has 192 career home runs, leaving him 8 shy of 200. Seems like a good bet to get there this season.

Carlos Santana has 168 career doubles, leaving him 32 shy of 200. He has 421 career RBI, leaving him 79 shy of 500. He's averaged 31 doubles and and 81 RBI over the last three years, so these two could be very close. Santana has 117 career home runs. If he hits 15 of them this season, he'll become the Tribe's all-time leader among players who never hit 30 for the team, which I know matters.

Jason Kipnis has scored exactly 86 runs three times in his career. This is not a milestone, it's an oddity, but it's something I noticed and then spent a somewhat absurd amount of time looking into, so you're going to hear about it. Wally Moon is the only other player in MLB history to have scored precisely 86 runs three different times. It turns out, scoring ANY significant number of runs in three seasons is extremely rare. From 20 runs up (to avoid pitchers), only three players in Tribe history have scored a particular number of runs three times: Kipnis at 86 runs, Shelley Duncan at 29 runs, and Jim Thome at 101 runs. Only three players in baseball history have scored the same number of runs in four different seasons: Barry Bonds at 129, Ichiro Suzuki at 111, and Hal Lanier at 37 (who managed to do that in four consecutive seasons, which is amazing). Lou Gehrig scored 138 runs three times, which is the highest run total anyone has landed on three or more times. Babe Ruth scored 158 twice, which is the highest total anyone has landed on multiple times. You may be thinking it was a huge waste of my time to spend an hour looking into players scoring the same number of runs in different seasons, and it's possible you're right. On the other hand, there's a good chance I'm the first person in history to spend an hour looking into that, which would mean I'm basically Neil Armstrong.