In the summer of 2011, the Cleveland Indians (now Cleveland Guardians) selected a shortstop by the name of Francisco Lindor with the eighth overall pick in the MLB Draft. Cleveland had high expectations for Lindor, as they were hopeful he could lead the ball club back to the World Series for the first time since 1997. They were even more hopeful that he'd lead them to their first Fall Classic victory since 1948.

As Cleveland fans know, one of those goals came to fruition in 2016, and the team fell just short of the other. The Indians played the Chicago Cubs during the 2016 World Series. Cleveland jumped out to a 3-1 series lead before Chicago stormed back to win their first World Series since 1908.

The ball club remained competitive after 2016, but they have not reached the World Series since. Lindor was ultimately traded to the New York Mets ahead of the 2021 season. Lindor is set to make his first return to Cleveland on Monday night as the Mets battle the Guardians.

Video via MLB Network:

Before the game, the veteran shortstop was asked about that 2016 World Series.

“Yeah,” Lindor responded when asked if he regrets not winning the World Series in 2016, via Bally Sports Cleveland. “I wish we would have closed it out, man. It still hurts, still hurts. A little piece of my heart, it's with the fans.”

Francisco Lindor returns to Cleveland

Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) hits a single during the fourth inning in game three of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Lindor made all four of his All-Star teams with Cleveland. He also earned two Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards while with the ball club. He is still a star shortstop, but some of Lindor's best years came in Cleveland.

“I hope they got love because I got nothing but love for them,” Lindor said of Cleveland fans. “A lot of respect and a lot of appreciation, so I'm looking forward to tonight.”

Lindor received a mostly positive ovation during his first at-bat on Monday.

Video via Bally Sports Cleveland:

Before first pitch, Lindor also said playing in Cleveland “feels like home,” via Bally Sports Cleveland.

“A lot of good memories. First Gold Glove, second Gold Glove,” Lindor said. “It just feels like home.”

Lindor's performance since joining Mets

New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) waits to bat against the Philadelphia Phillies during the seventh inning at Citizens Bank Park.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Lindor has not been selected to an All-Star team since being traded to New York. He has won one Silver Slugger Award and finished ninth in MVP voting on two separate occasions, however.

Mets fans will likely say that Lindor has not lived up to expectations so far. He has played in over 160 games in back-to-back seasons, though, which is not a common occurrence in today's game.

2024 has been a struggle for Francisco Lindor without question. He entered Monday's game slashing just .197/.273/.355/.628. At the end of the day, the Mets expect Lindor to break out of his slump sooner rather than later.

New York will need Lindor to perform at an All-Star level if they want to compete in 2024. The Mets currently hold just a 21-25 record, which places them third in the National League East. They can still compete but New York needs to get things going soon.

Lindor's performance moving forward will likely play a role in determining how the team fares as the 2024 campaign progresses. At the moment, Lindor is focused on playing against his former team.