Wassup Sports!?!?!?!?

17 year old Cale's very opinionated view on everything sports.

MLB Season Preview: #26 Cleveland Indians

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Overview: Two seasons ago, the Indians had the likes of players like P C.C. Sabathia, C Victor Martinez, and P Cliff Lee. Now that those players (and many others) have been traded, the Indians are clearly in a rebuilding mode. They will center the franchise around CF Grady Sizemore. However, Sizemore was injured most of last year, and Cleveland was terrible. Expect more of the same this year from the Tribe.

Offseason Moves: The Indians made very few significant moves this offseason. Their biggest acquisition was 1B Russell Branyan, who is coming off a career year in Seattle. Cleveland also brought in veterans, such as OF Austin Kearns, 2B Mark Grudzielanek, C Mike Redmond, and P Saul Rivera. None of these players will have a great impact, and will serve as mentors and stop-gap players waiting for Cleveland’s young talent to progress through the minor leagues.

Projected Lineups and Pitching Staff:

1. LF Michael Brantley (.313, 0 HR, 11 RBI)

2. 2B Asdrubal Cabrera (.308, 6 HR, 68 RBI)

3. CF Grady Sizemore (.248, 18 HR, 64 RBI)

4. 1B Russell Branyan (.251, 31 HR, 76 RBI)

5. RF Shin-Soo Choo (.300, 20 HR, 86 RBI)

6. SS Jhonny Peralta (.254, 11 HR, 83 RBI)

7. DH Travis Hafner (.272, 16 HR, 49 RBI) —- Will platoon with OF Matt LaPorta

8. 3B Andy Marte (.232, 6 HR, 25 RBI)

9. C Lou Marson (.246, 0 HR, 4 RBI)

Backup C: Mike Redmond (.237, 0 HR, 7 RBI)

Backup IF: Luis Valbuena (.250, 10 HR, 31 RBI)

Backup OF: Matt LaPorta (.254, 7 HR, 21 RBI)

Backup OF: Austin Kearns (.195, 3 HR, 17 RBI)

1. Jake Westbrook (No Stats in ’09)

2. Aaron Laffey (7-9, 4.44 ERA)

3. Justin Masterson (4-10, 4.52 ERA)

4. Fausto Carmona (5-12, 6.32 ERA)

5. David Huff (11-8, 5.61 ERA)

CP: Kerry Wood (3-3, 4.25 ERA, 20 SV)

SU: Rafael Perez (4-3, 7.31 ERA)

SU: Chris Perez (1-2, 4.26 ERA)

MR: Joe Smith (0-0, 3.44 ERA)

MR: Saul Rivera (1-3, 6.10 ERA)

LR: Jensen Lewis (2-4, 4.61 ERA)

LR: Jamey Wright (3-5, 4.33 ERA)

Player to watch: OF Matt LaPorta was the center-piece of the C.C. Sabathia trade a couple of years ago. After a decent rookie campaign, LaPorta finds himself in a log-jam for a spot in the Indians’ outfield, and possibly splitting time at DH with Travis Hafner. If LaPorta lives up to his ability and forces his way into the lineup, it will be interesting where the Indians put him in the field. LaPorta has the potential to be a 30 HR, 100 RBI hitter, and be the right-handed power bat in the Tribe’s lineup for years to come.

Prediction: 60 – 102, 5th in AL Central

The Indians will be the 2nd worst team in MLB this season. They simply have no pitching, and a lineup that will be suspect at times. You need pitching to survive in the American League, and Cleveland doesn’t have it. Not to mention that every other team in the division has good if not great pitching, which will help shut down the Tribe’s offense.

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