The over/under for the Cleveland Indians is 90.5 wins for 2008

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Monday 31 March 2008 at 10:47 am

The Cleveland Indians won 96 games last season with Cliff Lee and Jake Westbrook having poor seasons. I think both of them will rebound in 2008 and the Indians tinkered with the bullpen in the off-season making it stronger. I like the Indians to win at least as many games as they did last season, so take the over.

The Cleveland Indians have a excellent starting rotation

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Monday 31 March 2008 at 8:24 am

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

Franklin Gutierrez to get his big shot for the Cleveland Indians in 2008

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Friday 21 March 2008 at 10:47 pm

25-year old righty swinging Franklin Gutierrez will likely have the full time job in RF at the start of the season. He played in 100 games for the Indians last season and he was 72 for 271 (.266 avg, .790 OPS) with 41 runs scored, 13 homers, 36 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. Look for Gutierrez to at least double those numbers in 2008. He played in 88 games in RF last season for the Indians and he only made 1 error while showing good range. He also has a cannon for a throwing arm.

25-year old lefty swinging Shin-Soo Choo will miss the first month of the season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. He could work his way into a platoon job with Gutierrez if Gutierrez has problems with righty pitching. Choo played in only 6 games for the Indians last season and he was 5 for 17 (.294 avg, .644 OPS) with 5 runs scored and 5 RBIs. Choo also played in 61 games in AA+AAA ball last season and he was 55 for 213 (.258 avg) with 34 runs scored, 3 homers, 28 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C+

Grady Sizemore is the Iron Man for the Cleveland Indians

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Friday 21 March 2008 at 10:41 pm

25-year old lefty swinging Grady Sizemore never takes a day off and the Indians are better for that. He played in 162 games last season for the Indians and he was 174 for 628 (.277 avg, .852 OPS) with 118 runs scored, 24 homers, 78 RBIs and 33 stolen bases. Sizemore is a little overrated as a defender as he played in 160 games in CF for the Indians last season only making 2 errors but he showed below average range. Look for Sizemore to eventually move to a lower spot in the batting order while also moving to LF, but not this season.

Jason Tyner didn’t make an error in 17 games in CF for the Twins last season but he showed poor range there. Jason Michaels can also handle CF in a pinch.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: A

LF will likely be a platoon position for the Cleveland Indians in 2008

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Friday 21 March 2008 at 10:36 pm

The Indians will likely platoon 34-year old lefty swinging Dave Dellucci and 32-year old righty swinging Jason Michaels in LF in 2008. Dellucci was injured most of last season with the Indians but he appears healthy in spring training. Dellucci played in 56 games for the Indians last season and he was 41 for 176 (.230 avg, .678 OPS) with 25 runs scored, 4 homers and 20 RBIs. Dellucci did wield a wicked mitt in LF as he didn’t make an error in 51 games there while showing outstanding range. Look for Dellucci to hit more like his career averages of .261 with a .788 OPS in 964 games in 2008.

Jason Michaels played in 105 games for the Indians last season and he was 72 for 267 (.270 avg, .721 OPS) with 43 runs scored, 7 homers and 39 RBIs. Michaels also was outstanding on defense as he didn’t make any errors in 74 games in LF for the Tribe last season while showing really good range.

31-year old lefty swinging Jason Tyner will likely make the Indians out of spring trainging because he can also handle CF defensively. Tyner played in 114 games last season for the Twins and he was 87 for 304 (.286 avg, .686 OPS) with 42 runs scored, 1 homer, 22 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. He didn’t make an error in 47 games in LF for the Twins last season while showing outstanding range.

26-year old righty swinging Ben Francisco also will make a push in spring training for a roster spot. Francisco played in 25 games for the Indians last season and he was 17 for 62 (.274 avg, .803 OPS) with 10 runs scored, 3 homers and 12 RBIs. He also played in 95 games in AAA last season and he was 120 for 377 (.318 avg, .878 OPS) with 60 runs scored, 12 homers, 51 RBIs and 22 stolen bases.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C-

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