By: Brian Endicott
The 2016 opening day Cleveland Indians had 6 position players different from opening day last season. Along with starting pitcher Corey Kluber, only catcher Yan Gomes and 2B Jason Kipnis were on the diamond in last year’s opener.
The Indians are lacking starting LF Michael Brantly (shoulder) and RF Lonnie Chisenhall (wrist). Chisenhall is set for a rehab assignment in AAA-Columbus beginning Thursday. Other positions saw off-season moves.
The off season acquisitions of Rajai Davis (CF), Marlon Byrd (LF), Collin Cowgill (RF), Juan Uribe (3B), and Mike Napoli (1B) combined for a mind-blowing 1-for-15 batting with 12 strikeouts and an error against Boston Red Sox ace David Price (1-0).
Corey Kluber (0-1) allowed 4 runs and 9 hits over 5.1 innings, striking out 5.
Mookie Betts and David Ortiz homered for the Red Sox.
On a bright note for the Tribe, shortstop Francisco Lindor picked up where he left off in his rookie season, going 2-for-4 with a run scored. But there were other similarities to the 2015 season that the Indians would rather not repeat. The Indians failed to score more than 3 runs again, an issue they saw over 71 games in 2015. They also lacked the clutch hit, including having 2 on and none out in the 2nd and failing to score a run.
It’s only opening day.
The series continues tomorrow, weather permitting, with Clay Buckholtz (7-7, 3.25 in 2015) against Carlos Carrasco (14-12, 3.63). First pitch scheduled for 6:05.