2010 Cleveland Indians Baseball Preview
The Cleveland Indians (65- 97) were at the bottom of the heap last season. It’s been a fast plummet since winning 96 games and the division in 2007. How did it happen? Well it did not help to get rid of premium starters and Cy Young winners C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee. As the Indians head into the 2010-season, they need starting pitching desperately.
Starter Fausto Carmona (5-12, 6.32 ERA, 79 SO) is a big, strong man who struggles with control. He needs to learn to make adjustments as he goes along in the game. Jake Westbrook did not pitch last season as he was recovering from Tommy John surgery. He’s got some good stuff when he’s healthy. Can he stay healthy? Justin Masterson (4-10, 4.52 ERA, 105 SO) has a sweeping delivery that can overpower; Masterson must continue to develop his changeup and consistency.
Two lefties round out the rotation—Aaron Laffey (7-9, 4.44 ERA, 59 SO) and David Huff (11-8, 3.61 ERA, 65 SO). Laffey is a control pitcher coming off of a right oblique strain. He can be a quality fourth starter. Huff offers a limited array of pitches.
Closer Kerry Wood (3-3, 4.25 ERA, 30 SV, 63 SO) is a power pitcher who has durability concerns. Lefty Rafael Perez (4-3, 7.31 ERA, 32 SO) can be a reliable setup man, while Chris Perez (3-3, 3.46 ERA, 68 SO) is a strikeout pitcher who needs to control his fastball.
Right fielder Shin-Soo Choo (.330 BA, 20 HR, 86 RBI), the team’s number four batter, is a selective hitter with power. He has to learn to lay off the high, fast stuff when down in the count. He’s a natural in the field. Leadoff hitter Grady Sizemore (.248 BA, 18 HR, 64 RBI) is coming off of season-ending surgeries. In center, he’s very athletic, although he does not have a good arm. At the plate, Sizemore likes the ball up and in. He’s got a quick, live bat.
Last season saw DH Travis Hafner (.272 BA, 16 HR, 49 RBI) put up some decent numbers after coming off the DL. The catching duties will either go to rookie Lou Marson or prospect Carlos Santana. Santana has shown a lot of promise but will start in AAA as he recovers from a broken hamate bone.
GM Mark Shapiro needs to find pitching first and foremost. New manager Manny Acta comes from the Nationals after proving that he can work with young players and get them to the next level. No, he did not make the Nationals into a contender. But that doesn’t make him a bad manager. He’s expressed optimism about the club and its potential. Hopefully, he’ll keep that enthusiasm throughout the season.
With dropping attendance, a dwindling pitching staff and no
key arrivals, it’s hard to imagine the Indians doing much
more than they did last season. In fact, they will most likely
do worse. There’s a lot of rebuilding to do before this
team can compete again.
For more info on the Indians check out the MLB official page for Cleveland baseball news.