Eric Wedge could be on the hot seat for the Cleveland Indians

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Thursday 29 March 2007 at 12:22 am

When the Indians signed Buck Showalter as a consultant in the off season it should have put Eric Wedge on alert as he must start to win consistently or he’ll be out of a job.  Wedge has been the manager of the Indians for four seasons now and he’s only been over .500 once (2005).  His career record is 319-329 (.492) which just won’t cut it as it’s probably playoffs or bust for Eric Wedge.

The Indians lose veteran reliever for a month

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Injuries by chinmusic on Tuesday 27 March 2007 at 6:51 pm

Veteran righty reliever Matt Miller will miss the first month of the season for the Cleveland Indians with a strained right forearm.  This could hurt the Indians as they were depending on Miller to give them some quality innings out of the bullpen.  This probably opens the door for Tom Mastny to make the Indians opening day roster. 

The Cleveland Indians bring in some veterans in to attempt to fix their bullpen for 2007 season

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 27 March 2007 at 9:38 am

The Indians have brought in Joe Borowski, Roberto Hernandez and Aaron Fultz to give the kiddie corps some veteran leadership and hopefully some results.  Soon to be 36 year old righty Joe Borowski will be the Indians stopper this season as long as his shoulder holds up.  He had signed a 2-year contract with the Phillies but the contract was voided because of an issue with his pitching shoulder, which is not a good thing.  Borowski was 3-3 with 36 saves, a 3.75 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP in 72 games last season for the Florida Marlins.  Batters only hit .235 against him last season but he walked 33 batters and that’s way too many for a closer.  Another thing that should worry the Indians a little bit is the fact that Borowski had a 3.07 ERA at the gigantic Dolphins Stadium and a 4.71 ERA on the road.  Look for Borowski to save around 30 games if he stays healthy, but his ERA will likely be over 4.00 in 2007.

42 year old righty Roberto Hernandez was signed on to handle the set-up job for the Tribe.  He was 0-3 with 12 holds, 2 saves, a 3.11 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP in 68 games for the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates.  Batters only hit .248 against Hernandez last season but he walked 32 batters in 63.2 innings and that could cause problems late in games.  Look for Hernandez to pitch relatively well as long as he cuts down on his walks this season.

33 year old lefty Aaron Fultz has been brought in to give the left-handed side of the bullpen some experience.  Fultz was 3-1 with 9 holds, a 4.54 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP in 66 games (1 start) for the Philadelphia Phillies.  Batters hit .288 against Fultz and lefties hit .277 against him so this signing has me scratching my head a little bit.  Also, Fultz has only had one good season (2005) in his 7 year career in the majors.  Look for Fultz not to be worth the money the Indians are giving him in 2007.

Soon to be 32 year old Rafael Betancourt returns to throw some more very straight 92 mile per hour fastballs in 2007.  He was 3-4 with 7 holds, 3 saves, a 3.81 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP in 50 games in 2006.  Batters only hit .241 against Betancourt last season and he only walked 11 batters in 56.2 innings for the Tribe last season.  Betancourt will do a decent job for the Indians as long as they don’t trust him late in games where he tends to melt down just like David Riske used to do.

25 year old righty Fernando Cabrera has an electric arm but he didn’t get any good results last season for the Indians.  He was 3-3 with 6 holds, a 5.19 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP in 51 games in 2006 for the Tribe.  He only allowed batters to hit .243 against him and he whiffed 71 batters in only 60.2 innings last season.  But, he walked 32 batters and allowed a stunning 12 homers!  Look for Cabrera to pitch better this season if he can keep the ball down and cut down on his walks.

35 year old righty Matt Miller comes from an odd submarine style that gives the Indians bullpen a new look and he’s been very effective for them the last 3 seasons.  Last year he only pitched in 14 games and he was 1-0 with 1 hold, a 3.45 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP in 2006.  In three seasons with the Indians, Miller has a 6-1 record with 12 holds, 2 saves, a 2.77 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP in 94 games.  Look for Miller to pitch well again for the Indians in 2007.

26 year old righty Jason Davis has been a big tease his whole career for the Indians as he has great stuff but he’s never really learned how to pitch effectively.  Last year he was 3-2 with 6 holds, 1 save, a 3.74 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP in 39 games for the Indians in 2006.  Batters hit .302 against Davis last season and that should never happen with the stuff that he has.  Look for Davis to have another season that makes you scratch your head in 2007 for the Tribe.

26 year old Tom Mastny was the stopper for a little while as a rookie last season and the results were mixed.  Mastny was 0-1 with 5 saves, a 5.51 ERA, and a 1.53 WHIP in 15 games in 2006 for the Tribe.  Batters hit .279 against him in the majors and he allowed 8 walks in only 16.1 innings and that hurt him last season.  He was a very effective pitcher in the minors last season as he was 2-2 with 6 holds, 1 save, a 2.01 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP in 36 games (1 start) in AA+AAA ball last season.  He did whiff 76 batters in 62.2 innings in the minors. 

24 year old lefty Rafael Perez pitched in 18 games for the Indians last season and he was 0-0 with 1 hold, a 4.38 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.  Batters only hit .204 against Perez and he whiffed 15 batters in only 12.1 innings.  Perez is a pitcher to keep you eyes on as he has outstanding stuff.  Perez was 4-8 with 4 holds, a 2.76 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in 25 games (12 starts) in AA+AAA ball last season.

26 year old lefty Juan Lara pitched 5 innings for the Indians last season and he only gave up 4 hits and 1 earned run.  Like Perez, Lara pitched well in AA+AAA ball last season.  He was 5-3 with 9 holds, 8 saves, a 2.77 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in 53 games.  He whiffed 63 batters in only 61.2 innings in the minors.

22 year old righty Edward Mujica was 0-1 with a 2.95 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP in 10 games.  Those are amazing numbers given the fact that major league batters hit .333 against him but he minimized the damage by not walking anyone in 18.1 innings for the Tribe.  Mujica dominated in AA+AAA ball last season as he was 4-1 with 1 hold, 13 saves, a 1.57 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in 34 games. 

26 year old righty Brian Slocum had a rough first experience in the majors.  He only pitched in 8 games (2 starts) for the Indians last season and he was 0-0 with a 5.06 ERA and a 2.04 WHIP.  Batters hit .360 against him in the majors and he walked 9 batters and gave up 3 homers in only 17.2 innings.  He will need to start the season in the minors and learn how to throw strikes and miss bats more often.

32 year old righty Brian Sikorski was 3-2 with 2 holds, a 5.03 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP in 2006 for the San Diego Padres and the Indians.  Batters hit .273 against him (lefties .346) and he gave up a whopping 8 homers in only 34 innings.  He will have a hard time making the Indians this season but he could hook on with someone else if they let him go.

 

The Cleveland Indians will be without Cliff Lee for a little while

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Injuries by chinmusic on Sunday 25 March 2007 at 5:46 pm

Cliff Lee will start the 2007 season on the Disabled List with a abdomen injury.  He will likely return to the rotation in mid to late April.  This could be a huge loss for the Indians who have gotten off to slow starts the last few seasons.  Lee is 46-24 over the last three seasons so the Indians are smart for being careful with him.  Fausto Carmona will replace Lee until he’s ready to return.  Hopefully Carmona can focus on his job and forget about his meltdown last season when the Indians made him the closer for a week.

The Indians have a very good rotation

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 13 March 2007 at 6:28 pm

The Indians have a really good rotation set up for the 2007 season.  Maybe this is the season that 26 year old lefty C.C. Sabathia turns into a dominant starting pitcher.  He showed signs of being one last season as he was 12-11 with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP in 28 starts last season.  Sabathia really cut down on his walks as he only walked 44 batters in 192.2 innings pitched.  So it seems that Sabathia is maturing into a good pitcher instead of just being a thrower.  Look for Sabathia to win 17-20 games this season and to whiff over 200 batters with an ERA of about 3.00.

29 year old righty Jake Westbrook is a tough pitcher as he keeps the ball down and gets batters to pound the ball into the dirt.  He was 15-10 with a 4.17 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP last season as he allowed 247 hits in 211.1 innings pitched.  Look for Westbrook to be really motivated this season as it’s his free agent season.  Look for Westbrook to win 15-17 games with an ERA around 4.00 in 2007.

29 year old lefty Cliff Lee will miss the start of the season with an abdominal strain but he should only miss 2-3 starts.  Lee was 14-11 last season with a 4.40 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP in 33 starts for the Indians last season.  Lee gave up 224 hits in 200.2 innings pitched and he will need to improve on that if he wants to have a really good season in 2007.  The Indians really need Lee to come back healthy early in the season as he’s an icredible 46-24 over the last three seasons.

36 year old righty Paul Byrd will be the Indians #4 starter this season.  Byrd didn’t have a good season in 2006 as he was 10-9 with a 4.88 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP.  Batters hit .308 with 26 homers against him in only 179 innings (232 hits).  Byrd’s greatest strength is also his greatest weakness as he rarely walks anyone (only 38) so batters come up to the plate ready to swing the bat.  Byrd must keep the ball down in 2007 to be effective for the Indians.  Look for Byrd to have a .500 record with an ERA of over 4.50 in 2007.

23 year old lefty Jeremy Sowers will be the Indians #5 starter this season.  He really pitched well in his first exposure to the majors last season as he was 7-4 with a 3.57 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.  He also threw 2 complete game shutouts in only 14 starts last season.  Sowers is a Tom Glavine clone as he doesn’t throw real hard but he knows how to pitch by moving the ball around and changing speeds.  Look for Sowers to win about 15 games for the Indians with an ERA around 4.00.

23 year old righty Fausto Carmona has a big arm but he hasn’t learned how to pitch yet.  He had a rough time last season, especially after the Indians trade Bob Wickman and elevated Carmona to the stopper role.  All he stopped was the Indians from winning as he only held the role for a week as he blew all 3 of his save attempts in spectacular fashion.  He wound up 1-10 last season with a 5.42 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP.  Carmona started 7 games for the Indians last season and he was 1-4 with a 6.08 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP in those games.  Look for Carmona to continue to struggle until he can relax on the mound and just let his talent take over.

22 year old righty Adam Miller is close to being ready for the Indians.  He pitched in 27 games (25 starts) in AA+AAA ball and he was 15-6 with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.  He also used his blazing fastball to his advantage as he whiffed 161 batters in 158.1 innings in the minors last season.  Look for Miller to pitch for the Indians at some point in the season and he will pitch well when he gets there.

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