2010 Cleveland Indians Season Preview

The Tribe Will Continue to Rebuild [2010 MLB Previews, Indians]

3/5/10 in MLB   |   derms33   |   17645 respect

2010 Cleveland Indians:  Additions- 1st/3rd/OF Russell "The Muscle" Branyan, OF Austin Kearns, SP Mitch Talbot (who?), C Mike Redmond, IF Mark Grudzielanek, and new coaches Sandy Alomar (1st base), Tim Belcher (Pitching Coach), and Manager Manny Acta

Key Losses: IF Jamey Carroll, C Kelly Shoppach

Players returning from Injury: SP Jake Westbrook, OF Grady Sizemore, IF/OF Russell Branyan


     The Indians season preview does not look overwhelmingly great at this point.  Hiring Manny Acta could be a huge mistake but hopefully I am wrong.  Adding Branyan provides with some needed pop in the middle of the lineup but I don't think their glaring needs were addressed until this point (3-2-10).  The strength of this team will be its ability to score runs, the major weakness will be its inability to make those runs hold up.  Which as we all know, is a recipe for disaster.  The Indians ownership will not fork out any money for another, scratch that, a quality starter.  Also not adding any Right Handed Power is another huge mistake in my opinion.  SO a quick summary...Strength- Hitting...weaknesses Pitching and Coaching.  Sandy Alomar Jr. being added to a coaching staff will be great for loyal Indians fans, but how well he can coach remains to be seen.  Personally I would have hired Minor League Manager Travis Fryman to manage this team, but I am not a part of the Indians brass.  So this is mostly speculation and opinion but the Indians, as they stand now, with their current starters, a realistic prediction would be 4th in the AL  Central with about 72 wins.  Also, according to some current Las Vegas odds, the Indians are one of the most irrelevant teams in MLB in 2010.  I am hoping that is not the case.

     The current lineup looks like this
    Asdrubal Cabrera
     Grady Sizemore
     Shin Soo Choo
     Russell Branyan
     Travis Hafner
     Jhonny Peralta
(who must regain his form to be relevant)
     Matt LaPorta (nursing injuries)
     Luis Valbuena
     Lou Marson/Mike Redmond (both players are just keeping the plate warm for Prospect Carlos Santana)

Others in the mix- OF Michael Brantley, IF Mark Grudzielanek, Santana, Austin Kearns, and perhaps another player soon to added (fingers crossed for Jermaine Dye)

     Starting Rotation looks like this:  Jake Wesbrook (has not pitched for a long time since Tommy John surgery, but one of the best ground ball pitchers when healthy)
    Fausto Carmona, who hopefully is NOT the 2009 Fausto Carmona
    Justin Masterson (acquired in the Victor Martinez trade)
    David Huff (led team in wins last year with 11, but had a 5.81 e.r.a.)
    Aaron Laffey (insert Laffey Taffy jokes)

Others in the mix are Mitch Talbot, Carlos Carrasco, Jeremy Sowers (injured and throws like a girl), Anthony Reyes

    The Bullpen is an area that won't scare many teams but has some viable pieces. 
     Kerry Wood returns as the closer only because he gets paid way too much
     others: Chris Perez, Tony Sipp, Joe Smith, Jensen Lewis, Rafael Perez, and Jason Grilli
     The Pen is of course, subject to change at any time.

     So as the MLB trade deadline approaches on the 2010 season: There won't be the marquee names available as in the past two seasons, but if the Indians are out of it, they'll be shopping some players that could help a contender. Jake Westbrook will be a free agent at the end this season, so he's a prime trade candidate if he has a decent or better season. It will be more difficult to trade Kerry Wood because his $11.0M 2011 option will trigger automatically if he finishes 55 games this season. Peralta is probably tradeable only if he has a good season, and even then the Indians might keep him around another year.

Conclusion

Seven years ago, the Indians were at a similar position, having the year before unloaded Bartolo Colon and let Jim Thome walk via free agency. This team, though, has much better established Major League talent, especially in the field. The Indians probably won't be competing for anything this season, but if they can develop some starting pitching as the season progresses, they'll be in position to challenge for the AL Central a year from now.  Let the Cleveland Indians rebuilding Process continue!!!

Fantasy Watch...Branyan looks to prove his 31 HR season, that was cut short with a back injury wasn't a fluke, Grady Sizemore and SHin Soo Choo are must owns and Asdrubal Cabrera is a solid option at SS and may also be eligible at 2nd base. 

Players to watch for:  C Carlos Santana, OF Michael Brantley, and RP Chris Perez, if he over takes Kerry Wood as a closer

 

 
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3/12/10   |   PJ88Fan   |   468 respect

keebs8 wrote:
Im a die-hard tribe fan and now that im living back in Ohio gonna definitely catch 2-3 games but I wont make the mistake and go when the Yankee's are in town, last time the crowd cheered for the Stankee's me and the crew I went with left after the 4th inning to hit the bars, oh and the tribe was loosing 12-2..

I know exactly what you're sayin Keebs....the Yankees have to have the worst fans I''ve seen. I usually go to about 3-4 games when I can get tickets. I'm like you, die hard Browns and Tribe fan. I know sometimes they are horrible but I still follow them.

3/12/10   |   keebs8   |   1701 respect

PJ88Fan wrote:
Me too, I'm always excited about going to the Jake. Maybe they can pull off a decent season. We can always hope.

Im a die-hard tribe fan and now that im living back in Ohio gonna definitely catch 2-3 games but I wont make the mistake and go when the Yankee's are in town, last time the crowd cheered for the Stankee's me and the crew I went with left after the 4th inning to hit the bars, oh and the tribe was loosing 12-2..

3/9/10   |   djjfrench   |   67 respect

I am actually excited for the season I expect us to have a solid season.  This will be a team that could lightly sniff the playoffs, I am interested to see LaPorta's growth, personally I'm happy to have Branyan back, and I can't lie I got no clue who these catchers are.  I don't know if losing Kelly is a key lose but...I guess so since he was there awhile. 

The thing least noted is that Choo is one year removed from his military commitment so...hopefully that doesn't affect his season.

3/6/10   |   Boski93   |   375 respect

derms33 wrote:
Dellucci, who had to go there didn't you!  Shapiro is finally out of his position for a "raise" in rank next season, so just one more to bear through...They need an ace but anything can happen with Westbrook and hopefully the old and crazy Carmona....Masterson looks legit as well

Sorry, I could not resist.

3/6/10   |   PJ88Fan   |   468 respect

derms33 wrote:
Looks like a looong season, but I am still looking forward to it

Me too, I'm always excited about going to the Jake. Maybe they can pull off a decent season. We can always hope.

3/5/10   |   derms33   |   17645 respect

kramer wrote:
Our postgame show is brought to you by...oh I can't find it, the hell with it!
You can't say that.
Who cares, nobody's listening anyway.

this guy here is dead!  him off then (u like what i did there?)

3/5/10   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

ProfessorPlum wrote:
Just a reminder fans, about die-hard night here at the stadium; free admission to anyone who was actually alive the last time the Indians won a pennant!

Our postgame show is brought to you by...oh I can't find it, the hell with it!
You can't say that.
Who cares, nobody's listening anyway.

3/5/10   |   Alpha_Dawg   |   1258 respect

I hate rebuilding seasons. Too bad we been doing it forever

3/5/10   |   derms33   |   17645 respect

Boski93 wrote:
Excellent job as always sir. 

The Tribe's hill is not too far considering the AL Central hill is not too steep. Also Shapiro has does a better good job in getting good young talent back in trades. This season maybe flying under the radar will lead to better results, Sizemore should be healthy, and there are players on this roster too talented to have continuing bad seasons. The bullpen is better, but their effectiveness is going to come down to how much they can get out of a rotation that has a ton of questions. But no matter what you have to say the season will be better because David Dellucci no longer pull a check from the Indians. 

Dellucci, who had to go there didn't you!  Shapiro is finally out of his position for a "raise" in rank next season, so just one more to bear through...They need an ace but anything can happen with Westbrook and hopefully the old and crazy Carmona....Masterson looks legit as well

3/5/10   |   suzanneclark12   |   435 respect

Yawn...more idle teepee talk  :-P

3/5/10   |   PJ88Fan   |   468 respect

As usual, I'm hoping for the best but they need a stronger lineup. It's not like they don't have the money, they just don't come up off of it. That's pretty sad for all of us fans. If they do have a good player, for some reason they always end up trading him.  Great post Derms! 

3/5/10   |   ProfessorPlum   |   15 respect

Just a reminder fans, about die-hard night here at the stadium; free admission to anyone who was actually alive the last time the Indians won a pennant!

3/5/10   |   Boski93   |   375 respect

Excellent job as always sir. 

The Tribe's hill is not too far considering the AL Central hill is not too steep. Also Shapiro has does a better good job in getting good young talent back in trades. This season maybe flying under the radar will lead to better results, Sizemore should be healthy, and there are players on this roster too talented to have continuing bad seasons. The bullpen is better, but their effectiveness is going to come down to how much they can get out of a rotation that has a ton of questions. But no matter what you have to say the season will be better because David Dellucci no longer pull a check from the Indians. 

3/5/10   |   mk_donley   |   2554 respect

Great post Derms! Right now the Indians are lacking an ACE on their pitching staff; I dont think Westbrook is a legit #1 starter, IMHO. Also, I'm hearing reports that Acta communicates well with young players, and hitting fungoes during batting practice, and he's energetic and enthusiastic, and has a positive attitude. IMHO, the Indians, should've hired Buck Showalter, but that's just me. GO TRIBE!!!

3/2/10   |   josiahchapman   |   2 respect

no kiddin! i hope holmgrim works out. :(

3/2/10   |   derms33   |   17645 respect

Looks like a looong season, but I am still looking forward to it