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Corey Kluber has lost his edge

...and other hot takes from the Let’s Go Tribe community.

MLB: Spring Training-Cleveland Indians at Milwaukee Brewers Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Every week I ask for your sizzling hot takes on Twitter and Facebook so we can argue about them because arguing is fun and you’re mostly wrong. This is the Hot Take Corner.

Hey, so, about that baseball season. It sure started alright, and it hasn’t been great for the Cleveland Indians. Things certainly could be worse, and it’s only the first week, but winning and hitting grand slams set to the Titanic theme is way more fun than get drilled by Shoehei Ohtani.

Given his performance in his debut Tuesday, the hot takes this week have a certain Josh Tomlin flavor to them. Like they were marinated in Tomlin for several hours before hitting the grill. That’s weird.

Let’s ignore that and get to your hottest of hot takes.

If we want to get literal with it, and ignore the idea of small sample sizes, Josh Tomlin’s 24.00 earned run average is significantly worse than anything on the San Diego Padres right now. His 20.63 FIP isn’t much better either, but at least he’s striking out three batters per nine innings. That’s almost four!

But over the long haul? Maybe Tyson Ross will be better? Maybe Clayton Richards has a renaissance and pitches like he’s in his late-20s again? I don’t know, but it’s a good reminder that we are very, very spoiled with the Indians starting rotation.

You don’t know that. I wouldn’t count out him robbing a train or two in his day, he is a cowboy after all. I’ve played Red Dead Redemption, I know how these things go.

Give the guy more than one shot, geeze. It’s hard to imagine he survives past Danny Salazar’s return, though. And I’m a fan of keeping Tomlin around, but if he stays in the rotation instead of Mike Clevinger, I will be very mad online.

Kluber has lost his put away power.

- Aaron Mahl, Facebook

It’s true. Kluber only struck out six batters in his last start, which is down from eight in his debut. In fact, if you look at his first two starts, he’s on a clear downward trend. Might as well cut him now.

2016, is that you? Sorry, it’s just not true in 2018. He’s not projected to be good, he hasn’t been good, and he’s not going to be good. I love the idea of him being the fourth outfielder and a player coach on the bench, though. And there is no one I trust to steal third base more in a pinch-run situation than Davis.

By the sounds of it, Terry Francona does at least agree he should be starting over Naquin. You have to read between some lines, but he seems to imply that Davis (along with Brandon Guyer) will be around when Michael Brantley returns, but not a certain inside-the-park hitting outfielder.

At this point, I’m saddled with riding Bradley Zimmer’s hype train down to the burning pits of Quad-A if I have to.

Michael Brantley isn’t going anywhere. The Indians paid $11 million to bet him being healthy, and there’s no way they get value in return that would be the equivalent of him being completely healthy. You have to remember last year he slashed .299/.357/.444 in the 90 games he played. It sucks that he’s hurt so much, but he can still play like vintage Michael Brantley. You don’t just dump that for nothing.

The lineup we take into the playoffs will be less than 50% of our opening day one.

Only Lindor, Alonso, JRam, and EE will remain. (There were 11 starters)

- John Millin, Facebook

Unique, specific, and only tangentially refers to Tyler Naquin. I dig this take a a lot. Let’s break this down and try to make John correct before deciding if it makes sense.

The Opening Day lineup was as follows: Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis, Jose Ramirez, Yonder Alonso, Edwin Encarnacio, Lonnie Chisenhall, Yan Gomes, Tyler Naquin, Bradley Zimmer.

You obviously leave the big four, so we have five players to replace over the next six months.

Let’s start with Jason Kipnis. We can knock out two birds with one Randy Johnson right here: Trade Kipnis for an outfielder, move Jose Ramirez to second and call up Yandy Diaz. With a new outfielder — let’s call him Shmackie Bradley Jr. — playing right field, the Indians no longer need Lonnie Chisenhall. Two gone.

Michael Brantley returns and Tyler Naquin is no longer a left fielder. Three gone.

Greg Allen excels in Triple-A while Bradley Zimmer continues to struggle. Four gone.

Greg Allen : Bradley Zimmer :: Francisco Mejia : Yan Gomes. Five gone.

That... is shockingly realistic. I don’t even think it’s a bad thing. If we get to this point, it might just mean the Indians have several key hits on young prospects, which is a great thing. If Allen and Mejia actually beat out Zimmer/Naquin and Gomes, that paints a very bright future for the Indians.

A couple caveats, though. Terry Francona loves his guys, so I expect Rajai Davis gets a spot somewhere, and he’s less likely to give up on the Lonnie Chisenhall/Brandon Guyer platoon anytime soon. I also don’t think the Indians are going to give up on Zimmer this year for any duration. He’s just too young, too fast, and with too much potential to completely ditch in a competitive season.


I’m somewhere between disappointed in Tyler Naquin and THE BIGGEST NAQUIN H8ER EVER! depending on which Facebook commenter you ask, and even I think he might be a bit better than a Single-A hitter. He’s looked pretty awful this season, but so has Bradley Zimmer. Give it time.

That, or give Greg Allen a shot already. He made his debut last season and he’s starting with the Triple-A Columbus Clippers this year. I have to believe the longer Zimmer and especially Naquin struggle, the more eyes will start to turn to Allen, who is fast, might be even better defensively than Zimmer, and can hit a baseball, in theory.

They won’t make the post season.

- Gary Hulett, Facebook

Chill out, Satan. There’s plenty of time and no reason to think anyone but the Minnesota Twins are going to be competition in the American League Central. B3lieve.

Roberto Perez swipes 20 bags

- Ben Braden, Facebook

OMG YES. I need it. I’ve been a fan of Roberto Perez’s sneaky smart base-running since I first started writing at Let’s Go Tribe (literally my first FanPost). I don’t care that he’s never stolen a base in his entire career. I need 20 stolen bases from the big man and I need it now.

That’s not how trades work. You’re not going to get a major upgrade at either position for Yan Gomes. He’s better off being in Cleveland and handling pitchers as well as he does while he keeps the seat warm for Francisco Mejia.

Wash your mouth, son.

‘Los regrets taking the $$

- Ron Angerer, Facebook

I doubt any player will ever really regret securing a financial future for himself and his family, but man the Philadelphia Phillies are a mess. I’d like to think he thinks about the “what ifs” of re-signing when the Indians while staring up at the stars. Sometimes I look at the moon and smile knowing Carlos is looking at the same moon as me at that very moment.

Shutup, I don’t miss him.

I’m putting this take last because I’ve never played Backyard Baseball okay bye see you next week, everyone.