Will Andy Marte fulfill on all his promise?

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Positional Previews for Season by High Heat on Thursday 22 February 2007 at 11:06 pm

The Indians seem content to hand the 3B position over to 23 year old Andy Marte.  That is now without risk as Marte often looked over matched with a bat in his hands last year.  He played in 50 games for the Indians and hit .226 with 5 homers, 23 RBIs and a .707 OPS.  Marte will need to bring up his batting average and OPS while maintaining his power numbers and that will be easier said than done for him.  He does have tremendous range at 3B but he made 6 errors in 50 games and that will need to improve.  It will be very interesting to see if Marte will be able to meet expectations this season.

Whoever wins the reserve infield jobs between Hector Luna, Joe Inglett, Luis Rivas and Keith Ginter will have to back up Marte.  Casey Blake could also move there if the Indians need him to.

The Indians need Peralta to rebound at shortstop

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Positional Previews for Season by High Heat on Thursday 22 February 2007 at 10:55 pm

24 year old Jhonny Peralta had an off year in 2006.  He hit .257 with 84 runs scored, 13 homers, 68 RBIs and a .708 OPS and that was a huge drop from his solid 2005 season.  He also had problems in the field on defense as he made 16 errors despite showing decent range.  The problem on defense is that the Indians thought he didn’t get to as many balls as he needed to.  The Indians need Peralta’s power to return as he smacked 24 homers and knocked in 78 runs in 2005, and they hope they get similar production to that this season. 

27 year old Hector Luna is the likely back up at shortstop for the Indians.  He has decent range at shortstop and didn’t make an error there in 24 games last season.  Luna also is a solid hitter as he hit a combined .285 with the Indians & Cardinals last season with 6 homers and 38 RBIs in 350 at bats.  Look for Luna to get a lot of playing time for the Indians this season.

The Indians stole their new starting second baseman from the San Diego Padres

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Positional Previews for Season by High Heat on Thursday 22 February 2007 at 10:44 pm

The Indians didn’t waste any time improving their team in the off season as they traded Andrew Brown and Kevin Kouzmanoff to the Padres for 24 year old second baseman Josh Barfield.  It’s amazing that the Padres would give this kid up as he has a very bright future.  As a rookie last season he hit .280, scored 72 runs, smacked 13 homers, drove in 58 runs, stole 21 bases and had a .741 OPS.  His power numbers will be better with the Indians as Barfield’s home park last season (Petco Park) is one of the biggest fields in the majors.  He also is a solid defensive second baseman.  He needs to improve his range a little bit but he only made 9 errors in 150 games last season.

28 year old lefty swinging Joe Inglett will battle for the back up job to Barfield this season.  Inglett hit .362 in 58 games between AA+AAA last season and then he came up to the Indians and hit .284 in 64 games with the Indians.  Inglett showed great range at 2B for the Indians but he made 4 errors in 53 games in the field at 2B and that must improve if he’s going to make the team out of Spring Training.

27 year old Hector Luna is also battling to be a reserve infielder on the Indians.  He didn’t play well on defense at 2B as he made 9 errors in 61 games there.  He’s a natural shortstop and a decent hitter.

27 year old Luis Rivas last played in the majors in 2005 when he hit .257 in 59 games for the Twins.  Over his career, Rivas has played in 565 games and he has a .262 batting average, 78 stolen bases and a .690 OPS.  If the Indians are looking for defense off the bench, Rivas is much better than Luna and Inglett.

30 year old Keith Ginter also is in the hunt to win a reserve spot in the Indians infield.  He was last seen in the majors in 2005 as he hit .161 in 51 games for the A’s.  He has played in 325 games over his career and he has a batting average of .243, with 38 homers, 140 RBIs and a .751 OPS.  He’s a long shot to make the team.

Keith Foulke retires

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page by High Heat on Saturday 17 February 2007 at 12:35 am

35 year old Keith Foulke retired today because of pain in his right elbow.  He finishes his career with a 41-34 record with 190 saves, a 3.30 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP.  This pretty much means that Joe Borowski will be the Indians closer this season.  This was not a good development for the Indians.

The Indians sign reliever Cliff Politte

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page by High Heat on Thursday 15 February 2007 at 8:32 pm

The Indians have signed 33 year old Cliff Politte to a minor league contract.  He didn’t pitch too well last season as he had a 8.70 ERA and a 2.07 WHIP in 30 games (30 innings) for the White Sox last season.  In his defense, he was hurt most of the season.  This is a low risk, high reward move for the Indians as Politte pitched really well in 2005 with the White Sox as he was 7-1 with 23 holds, a 2.00 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP.

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