Cleveland Indians 2011 Preview

2010 Record: 69-93

2011 Projected Roster

  • Catchers: Carlos Santana, Lou Marson
  • Infielders: Asdrubal Cabrera, Matt LaPorta, Travis Hafner, Orlando Cabrera, Jason Donald, Jayson Nix
  • Outfielders: Shin-Soo Choo, Michael Brantley, Austin Kearns, Grady Sizemore, Trevor Crowe
  • Starters: Fausto Carmona, Justin Masterson, Mitch Talbot, Carlos Carrasco, Josh Tomlin
  • Bullpen: Chris Perez, Rafael Perez, Joe Smith, Tony Sipp, Chad Durbin, Vinnie Pestano, Jensen Lewis

Notable Signings

  1. Orlando Cabrera: 1 year, $1MM
  2. Austin Kearns: 1 year, $1.3MM
  3. Chad Durbin: 1 year, $800K

Notable Losses

  • No notable losses

Top Prospects

  1. Jason Kipnis – 2B
  2. Lonnie Chisenhall – 3B
  3. Drew Pomeranz – LHP
  4. Alex White – RHP

Key Position Battles

  • Second Base: Jason Donald vs. Luis Valbuena vs. Orlando Cabrera vs. Jason Kipnis – Orlando Cabrera will have to compete for the 2nd base job in Cleveland even though he is the only seasoned veteran of the bunch. Jason Kipnis is likely not ready for the majors as his highest competition consisted of only a half season worth of AA ball under his belt. Jason Donald will likely be a better fit for third base job and Luis Valbuena has hit only .226 in 643 at bats over the past two seasons for the Tribe. Second Base Pick: Orlando Cabrera
  • Third Base: Jason Donald vs. Jayson Nix – Jason Donald will be in the mix for the 2nd base job as well but will likely snag the 3rd base job considering Orlando Cabrera will need to give veteran presence to the infield at 2nd base. Nix can’t hit a lick so that should make this decision quite easy for manager Manny Acta. Third Base Pick: Jason Donald
  • 5th Starter: Josh Tomlin vs. David Huff – Neither are great options but they are the best the Indians have got right now. Tomlin has to have the edge based on past performance (he was 6-4 against Huff’s 2-11 record in 2010.) The Indians could still very well sign Kevin Millwood and both of these guys could be out of work. Tomlin should start as the #5 starter but Huff and Jeanmar Gomez will likely see time with in the bigs at some point during the season as well. 5th Starter: Josh Tomlin

Like most of the teams that have been previewed so far there is not much to expect out of the Cleveland Indians this season. Rumors will float all the way through the trading deadline of a deal involving Fausto Carmona being shipped off to a contender only have one hitter who should scare opponents on a game to game basis in Shin-Soo Choo. Choo is a stud at the plate who should produce a .300 average, 90 runs, 90 RBIs, 20 HRs, and 20 SBs; it does not come much more well rounded than that. Carlos Santana, may be one of those guys eventually but he has to prove he can stay healthy and that he can perform consistently at the major league level. The health of Grady Sizemore will be a big story throughout the season considering he has not been truly healthy the past 2 seasons. This is not to mention that Sizemore’s batting average has declined in each of the past 5 seasons including an atrocious .211 over a mere 33 games last year. Chris Perez absolutely has closer stuff and has been blocked by Kerry Wood for the past couple of years but he will finally get his shot in 2011. Perez could be in the top tier on a better team but it is unlikely to expect more than 25 saves because the Indians are just really that bad. I wish there was more to say about their pitching staff but there really is not.

WTP Projected 2011 Record: 67-95

 

 

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About jacarfagno

Live, Breathe, and Bleed Baseball
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