The Cleveland Indians have a really deep starting rotation as all five starters have won at least 15 games in a season during their careers. It all starts with defending Cy Young Award Winner C.C. Sabathia. The 27-year old lefty will be pitching for a huge contract so batters better beware this season. He started 34 games for the Indians last season and he was 19-7 with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. He also led the league with 241 innings pitched last season and the Indians will without a doubt let him pitch deep into ball games this year. He only walked 37 batters while whiffing 209 which shows that he is improving as a pitcher. He could win his 2nd Cy Young Award this season as he will be motivated by cash.
24-year old Fausto Carmona came out of nowhere last season for the Indians. After a failed stint as the closer in the 2006 season the Indians decided to shift him back into a starting pitcher. He made the team because of a spring training injury to Cliff Lee and the rest is history. Carmona started 32 games for the Indians last season and he was 19-8 with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Look for more of the same in 2008 from Carmona.
30-year old righty Jake Westbrook had an off-season. He started 25 games for the Indians last year and he was 6-9 with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. Westbrook was 44-34 from 2004-2006 so the Indians expect him to bounce back and win around 15 games in 2008.
37-year old righty Paul Byrd had a rough off-season as he had to answer to using HGH in the past but that doesn’t dim the season he had in 2007. He started 31 games last season for the Indians and he was 15-8 with a 4.59 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. He only walked 28 batters in 192.1 innings but he gives up a lot of hits.
29-year old lefty Cliff Lee had a year to forget last season. He pitched in 20 games (16 starts) for the Indians last season and he was 5-8 with a 6.29 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP. From 2004-2006, Lee was 46-24 so the Indians expect him to win at least 10 games in 2008.
23-year old lefty Aaron Laffey replace Lee in the rotation at the end of last season and he pitched decent. He started 9 games for the Indians and he was 4-2 with a 4.56 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. He was dominating in the minors last season as he pitched in 22 games (21 starts) in AA+AAA ball last season and he was 13-4 with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.
25-year old lefty Jeremy Sowers was awful to the Indians last season. He started 13 games for them last year and he was 1-6 with a 6.42 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. Sowers has to be real fine on the mound because he doesn’t have much stuff.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: A