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Blog Entry

2010 Cleveland Indians

Posted on: February 9, 2010 7:43 pm
 

Steve Nagy
Senior No Name Guy


Looking over the 2010 Cleveland Indians team before spring training, it does not look good for Tribe fans.  They have alot of question marks all over this ball club.  First year manager Manny Acta has his hands full.    

Starting pitching looks to be the biggest problem.  Jake Westbrook, who is fit to be a number 3 starter on most teams, is responsible for being the clubs ace.  Not only has he been recovering from Tommy John surgery, he has won the ace spot by defualt.  Westbrook is going to be 33 this year and it is hard pressed for someone that is 23 to come back from this type of injury to previous form.  I would not look for Westbrook to be the "inning eater" he once was before being injured.  Let alone finishing a full season. Other then Westbrook, who is the teams only proven starting pitcher, Fausto Carmona should be another lock to make the team.  He also will win a starting roll by defualt.  Out of all the pitchers the Tribe have invited to spring training he has the 2nd most major league experience.  It is hard to say how his season will be.  Could go either way.  He has excellent "stuff" with good location at times.  His biggest problem is that he losses focus after a couple of mistakes agianst batters.  After that it seems to spiral out of control.  One bad pitch turns into one bad at bat, which turns into one bad game, which turns into one bad season.  It sounds crazy but anyone who watches him and knows how he plays would tend to agree.  As far as the rest of the starters, look to see a mess of young talent.  The only lefties worth noting that the Tribe have are Jeremy Sowers, Aaron Laffey and David Huff.  Laffey and Sowers have  experience but Huff has better numbers.  Abviously one of them has to make the rotation due to the fact the Indians have no other left handers ready.  I believe two will.  Huff and Laffey look like the best choices with Sowers getting spot starts and maybe some long relief throughout the season.  Sowers could end up a starter if one of three young arms do not prevail in the 5th spot.  Justin Masterson, Carlos Carrasco and Hector Rondon are very young with little to no major league experience.  I still would look for one of them to fill the 5th spot of the rotation or see some significant playing time at the major league level this season.


Year in and year out every team has question marks about their bullpen.  One year a team can have a dominant bullpen and the next have a terrible bullpen.  With the same exact players none the less.  The Tribe is no different.  On paper it does not look to bad, but it does not look like it did in 07, either.  Kerry Wood, in my opinion, is still living off his 20 strikeout game back in 1998.  He has yet to be tested in a big game or in the American League as a closer.  Chris Perez has a great arm and is the future closer but has control issues.  Jensen Lewis has proven that he can give up alot of home runs without pitching alot of innings.  I feel this is due to being over worked.  The best thing the Indians have going for their bullpen is the fact they have 2 solid lefthanded relievers.    Most teams would love to have one of these guys. The Indians have two.  Tony Sipp and Rafael Perez.  Last year Sipp had an ERA of 2.93 and an excellent .208 versus lefties and Perez was the number one lefty reliever in 07.  I feel his numbers slipped the last two seasons because of being over worked, too.  I look for them to have a difficult season if the starting pitching breaks down early in games.  Which from the looks of it is a high probability.

This team is filled with speed and no power.  Were we not all complaining that the Indians did not have speed when we had power?  Now we are going to complain that we do not have power now that we have speed, right?  I can not really say we have no power.  Travis Hafner has alot of power when healthy.  He is getting up there in age but if healthy, is a good solid bat in a young lineup.  Matt LaPorta is projected to have pop to his bat in the future.  As a righthander in this lineup it can not come fast enough.  I believe he will win the firstbaseman job and we should see improvement in his offensive categories when he becomes an everyday player.  Especially home runs.   Grady Sizemore is this teams best offensive threat.  He is the best overall outfielder and leadoff player in the game.  There is no evidence to support that he will have an injury filled season like he did last year.  But this is baseball and Cleveland so you never know.   Shin-Soo Choo, like LaPorta, should see an improvement in his offensive stats.  He is a great player to have.  Choo is a five tool player.  With some of everything a baseball player wants.  Speed, contact, power, arm strenth and defense. Granted none of his numbers jump of the page but he was above the league average in Avg, HRs, RBIs, Hits, and SBs last year.  I would look for Sizemore and Choo to have an above average amount of HRs and steals this year if healthy.  Joining them in the steals category will be Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Brantley.  Cabrera is a good contact hitter with moderate speed.  Brantley is a average hitter with excellent speed.  Both are very young and have showed signs of being able to play at a major league level.  Not to mention Cabrera has an excellent glove at short stop.  His counter part at second base Luis Valbuena is stricly there for defensive purposes.  The Tribe is spread thin at the middle infield position.  Do not look for him to do much with his bat or legs.  The same goes for the catchers Wyatt Toregas and Lou Marson.  I strongly feel these players are filling a void until Carlos Santana is ready.  As far as thirdbase goes, Jhonny Peralta has one of the nicest swings I have ever seen. Unfortunatly for him it has not transfered into the offensive categories.  Wes Hodges is next in line for the third base gig.  I will expect to see him in the near future.  I do not think Andy Marte will become anything more than a bench player.  But the Indians, understandably, will probably keep him.  Getting burned in the Brandon Phillips trade probably still gives Mark Shapiro nightmares.  Of course it would be nice not to see Marte in an Indians uniform.


A number of things have to go the Indians way in order for them to compete in the Central Division.  Will Hafner and Westbrook's health hold up?  Will Carmona of 2007 show up in 2010?  Will one of the young starting pitchers emerge? Can Jordan Brown and Trevor Crowe show that they not only play well in the minors? To me there are to many 50-50 chances.  I am not saying it is impossible for Indians.  The division looks to be weak.   The White Sox are old. The Royals are the Royals.  The two teams I am concerned about is the Tigers and the Twins.  Niether one of these teams have a lineup that competes with New York or Anahiem.  The Twins have a questionable starting rotation with pretty good bats.  The Tiger on the other hand have a solid rotation with a solid lineup.  The problem with the Tiger is they have yet to win the Central division.  They have had 3 good looks at the Central title in September and have crumbled in the last month.  Once on the last day of the season. I pick the Tribe to finish 3rd in the Central with 79 wins, with Minnesta winning their 6th Central Division Title.   
 

Category: MLB
Comments

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: February 27, 2010 9:21 pm
 

2010 Cleveland Indians

WOW, what was his problem..Undecided 




Since: Feb 13, 2010
Posted on: February 14, 2010 10:34 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: February 14, 2010 12:40 am
 

2010 Cleveland Indians

roglasodor.........
You have been a member on this site for one day.  You came on this blog an immediatly insulted me on spelling and grammer, that wasnt even that bad.  I think I know the difference between ROLL and ROLE and how to spell OBVIOUSLY.  Unlike you I make mistakes when it comes to pointless writing/typing.  I have to know algebra and geometry, not grammer and spelling. If youre going to get this upset over my blog, I cant wait to see how upset you get when you see most other posts/blogs on this site.

This was a blog to get peoples opinions on a baseball team.  Not an English test.  If I knew their were a*****es out there like you, I would of ran a spell check.  I can see why you are such an a****le, though.  You say you own your own business and have a wife.  Sucks for you, man.  

Also, I am a frequent reader of the newspaper.  I see small, minor improper spelling and grammer from time to time in it.  When you see that do you get all pissed off and write a nasty insulting letter to the author?  Just wondering.  They have medical treatments available for you problem.  You ABVIOUSLY have the money for it.



Since: Feb 13, 2010
Posted on: February 13, 2010 11:27 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: February 13, 2010 10:25 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Feb 13, 2010
Posted on: February 13, 2010 12:55 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 8, 2007
Posted on: February 12, 2010 1:41 pm
 

2010 Cleveland Indians

err last paragraph should read "westbrook came out hot" not sizemore.



Since: Oct 8, 2007
Posted on: February 12, 2010 1:39 pm
 

2010 Cleveland Indians

Some points that you didnt make or didnt know:

1.  Why would Laffey have to battle for a spot in the rotation?  He will be 25 and just like any developing pitcher has had some streakiness.  Last season he had some months of dominant pitching and the typical couple rough patches.  There is no reason he would have to battle Jeremy Sowers for a spot in the rotation.  Sowers was used last season as an act of necessity.  I would be hard pressed to believe the Indians would even insert Sowers into an opening day rotation over less experienced talent unless he made a miraculous turnaround.

2.  What is your translation of having no power?  I'm not comprehending a cutoff line.  I consider guys who can hit for power can total 20+ hr's a season.  Regardless of my opinion on the player the fact is Pheralta, Sizemore, Choo, and Hafner have the potential to hit 30+ while LaPorta and Marte are supposed to possess a big league power stroke (remember i said regardless of opinion).  The Indians are very young and the majority of the team is based on potential and not ability.  With the batting ability of Choo, Cabrera and the development of Valbuena and Marson still taking place this team has enough of what it takes to "potentially" put plenty of runs on the board.  There's no other way to look at it.  Bringing in veterans on a severe decline to attempt to swing for power does nothing but make the indians worse.  Marson has more talent than just a gap filler for Carlos Santana.

3.  Valbuena is more than defense.  His only issue is left handed pitching but he's 24, enough quicks to steal a base,  good plate discipline,  hits righties well and has a little pop in his bat.  He has the tools to develop into a great second baseman when including his already solid defense.

4.  Hitting .308 is showing signs of playing at a major league level?  Cabrera was 21st in batting average and 15th in doubles in MLB in 2009.

I believe the Indians offense will be just fine considering the development.  I'll actually go further and say this offense will probably put on some excitement this year if even one of the potential Pete Incaviglia/rafael palmeiro clones turn on and start hammering the ball on top of the power Choo and Sizemore will already be giving daily.  The problem will be the pitching.

Sizemore came out hot last season looking unstoppable straight through camp into regular season just to need tommy john surgery.  I'm not even counting on westbrook to be in the rotation.  Unfortunately going with Laffey as the Ace to start the season, Carmona on a short leash, Masterson, unknown veteran to be signed before season still, and I believe Rondon dominates too much in camp to not be put in the opening day rotation.  If Carmona or Masterson get the quick yank i would expect Huff, Lewis and Carrasco to be next ups.



Since: Dec 7, 2007
Posted on: February 10, 2010 7:11 am
 

2010 Cleveland Indians

Nice breakdown of the Indians.  I think mid 70's is possible for them if the pitching comes through.  

You might be a little off on your assessment of the Central though.  Twins definitely look like the cream of the crop in the division, yet, seem snake-bit on the injury front.  It keeps them from running away with the division.  The Tigers will be their usual enigma this year.  Does the division get the good Detroit or the bad one?  They still look good on paper, but paper doesn't win divisions.  Chicago will be a great unknown.  White Sox still have a good pitching staff, but will they hit outside of Comiskey Park?  Now, my favorite baseball subject the Royals.  They may not be the "Royals are the Royals" this year.  At least they will have good starting pitching, good defense, and a closer.  If they ever get players to have good years at the same time instead of bad years, they might be better than anyone expects.
In the AL Central you can almost always count on one or two teams being much better than anyone expects and one team playing worse than they should with their given talent.  For your sake and mine, lets hope Cleveland and KC are the good surprise teams in the whole AL for 2010.


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