Manny Acta? Really? The Cleveland Indians should have done better!

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Monday 29 March 2010 at 10:49 am

When the Cleveland Indians fired Eric Wedge and hired Manny Acta I literally screamed “WHY?!!!” Manny Acta got fired by the Nationals last season after compiling a 26-61 record (29.9%). He has a career record (3 years) in the majors of 158-252 (38.5%)! He has the worst win/loss % of any active manager heading into the 2010 season. Looking at the Indians’ pitching staff combined with Acta’s managing prowess I see the Indians having a long year in 2010.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE MANAGER IN 2010: D-

The Cleveland Indians place Russell Branyan on the D.L.

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Injuries by chinmusic on Monday 29 March 2010 at 10:43 am

Starting 1B Russell Branyan will start the 2010 season on the 15-day disabled list with a herniated disc. Matt LaPorta will take over as the starting 1B at least until Russell Branyan is ready to return. That means that Michael Brantley will likely start in LF for the Tribe for at least the first couple of weeks in 2010. LaPorta & Brantley were the two key pieces to the C.C. Sabathia trade a year and a half ago and Branyan’s injury will give the Indians a longer look at these two guys.

The Cleveland Indians are depending on youth in the pen in 2010

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Thursday 25 March 2010 at 4:55 pm

The Indians will be depending on youth in the pen in 2010. That is because 32-year old righty Kerry Wood will miss the next 6-8 weeks due to a strained back. Wood pitched in 58 games (0 starts) for the Indians last season and he was 3-3 with 20 saves, a 4.25 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. Wood has done a decent job since converting to the bullpen from the starting rotation. In his last two years, Wood has pitched in 123 games (0 starts) in which he is 8-7 with 54 saves, a 3.87 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. Wood has whiffed 147 batters the last two years in only 116 1/3 innings showing just how dominating he can be out of the pen. I look for him to do a good job for the Indians when he returns to health.

24-year old righty Chris Perez will serve as the closer until Wood is ready to return to action. At that time he will likely be switched back to the top set-up man role. Perez pitched in 61 games (0 starts) for the Indians & Cardinals last season in which he was 1-2 with 2 saves, a 4.26 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. He only has allowed 41 hits in 57 innings last season while whiffing 68 batters showing just how good his stuff is. I think he will be up to the challenge for the Cleveland Indians in 2010.

26-year old lefty Tony Sipp will be the top reliever throwing from that side. Sipp pitched in 46 games (0 starts) for the Indians last year and he was 2-0 with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. He only gave up 27 hits in 40 innings last season while whiffing 48 batters showing how good his stuff is. But he needs to clean up his control as he walked 25 hitters in 2009 and that is way too many.

26-year old side arming right Joe Smith will likely be one of the Indians’ middle relievers in 2010. He pitched in 37 games (0 starts) for the Indians last season and he was 0-0 with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. He only gave up 30 hits in 34 innings last season while whiffing 30 batters which is pretty good.

25-year old righty Jensen Lewis will be pitching middle relief for the Indians too in 2010 unless he’s needed in late relief. Lewis pitched in 47 games (0 starts) for the Indians last season and he was 2-4 with 1 save, a 4.61 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. He has now pitched in 124 games (0 starts) in his three years with the Indians and he is 3-9 with 14 saves, a 3.84 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. Lewis is a battler who is capable of pitching late in games and I think he will have a good year for the Tribe in 2010.

27-year old lefty Rafael Perez is hoping to rebound from a terrible year in 2009. He pitched in 54 games (0 starts) for the Indians last season in which he was 4-3 with a 7.31 ERA and a 1.90 WHIP. He gave up 66 hits in only 48 innings for the Indians last season as he was pitching batting practice most of the year. In 2006-2008, Perez pitched in 135 games (0 starts) for the Indians in which he was 5-6 with 3 saves, a 2.89 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. Perez has great stuff so maybe last year was just a bad one for him that he can rebound from in 2010.

35-year old righty Jamey Wright will probably be the long man in the pen for the Indians in 2010. Wright pitched in 65 games (0 starts) for the Royals last year and he was 3-5 with a 4.33 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. He does have issues with control as he walked 44 batters in only 79 innings last season. He doesn’t have much of an upside.

32-year old righty Saul Rivera had a awful year last season for the Nationals but anyone that played for Manny Acta before he got to Cleveland probably has a leg up on the competition for a bullpen job. Rivera pitched in 30 games (0 starts) for the Nationals last season and he was 1-3 with a 6.10 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP. In his first three years with the Nationals Rivera pitched in 215 games (0 starts) in which he was 12-12 with 4 saves, a 3.72 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. If he makes the Tribe’s bullpen in 2010 it will likely be as a middle man.

23-year old righty Jess Todd had a rough time last season in his first taste of the majors. He pitched in 20 games (0 starts) for the Cardinals & Indians last season in which he was 0-1 with a 7.66 ERA and a 1.93 WHIP. Todd also pitched in 44 games (0 starts) in AAA-ball last season and he was 4-2 with 25 saves, a 2.04 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. Todd only allowed 40 hits in 53 innings last season in the minors while whiffing 66 batters as he was awesome in the minors. The Indians need Todd to take the next step in 2010.

29-year old lefty Mike Gosling is a longshot to make the Indians’ pitching staff at the start of the 2010 season. Gosling pitched in 15 games (0 starts) for the Indians last season in which he was 0-0 with a 5.04 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP. He also pitched in 29 games (4 starts) in AAA-ball last year and he was 7-4 with 1 save, a 4.81 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE BULLPEN IN 2010: C

The Cleveland Indians lose Kerry Wood

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Injuries,Needs to Step Up by chinmusic on Tuesday 23 March 2010 at 6:58 pm

32-year old righty reliever Kerry Wood will miss the next 6-8 weeks due to a strained back muscle. Wood pitched in 58 games (0 starts) for the Indians last season and he was 3-3 with 20 saves, a 4.25 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. He still has good stuff when healthy as he only gave up 48 hits in 55 innings for the Tribe last season while whiffing 63 batters. The Indians will be depending on 24-year old righty reliever Chris Perez as the closer until Wood is ready to return to action. Perez pitched in 32 games (0 starts) for the Indians last season and he was 0-1 with 1 save, a 4.32 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. In 61 games (0 starts) overall for the Indians & Cardinals, Perez was 1-2 with 2 saves, a 4.26 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. Perez has the stuff to excel as a closer as he only gave up 41 hits while whiffing 68 batters in only 57 innings last season. The Indians really need Perez to step up while Kerry Wood is out of action.

The Cleveland Indians are depending on youth in the starting rotation in 2010

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Saturday 20 March 2010 at 9:46 am

The only likely starter for the Indians older than 26 years old with be 32 year old righty Jake Westbrook. Westbrook started 3 games in AA-ball last season in which he was 0-1 with a 2.00 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. He last pitched in 2008 with the Indians as he has been recovering from Tommy John Surgery. Westbrook hass pitched 8 years for the Indians appearing in 197 games (158 starts) in which he is 63-62 with a 4.25 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. He has 3 seasons of at least 14 wins for the Indians so he will enter the 2010 season as the Indians’ #1 starter if he can stay in one piece.

The Indians would like 26-year old righty Fausto Carmona to step up and be the pitcher he was in 2007 when he started 32 games for the Tribe and was 19-8 with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. You have to start wondering if 2007 was a fluke for Carmona. In his other three years with the Indians he has worked in 84 games (53 starts) in which he is 14-29 with a 5.78 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP. Carmona was awful last season for the Indians as he started 24 games in which he was 5-12 with a 6.32 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP. Carmona gave up 151 hits and he walked 70 batters in only 125 1/3 innings for the Indians in 2009. He also started 7 games in A+AA+AAA-ball last season in which he was 3-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP. The Indians can’t wait forever for Carmona to turn things around so this will be a big year for him one way or another.

25-year old righty Justin Masterson came over in the Victor Martinez trade last summer. He pitched in 11 games (10 starts) for the Indians last season and he was 1-7 with a 4.55 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP. Masterson pitched in 42 games (16 starts) last season with the Red Sox & Indians in which he was 4-10 with a 4.52 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. Masterson whiffed 119 batters in only 129 2/3 innings last season but he walked 60 batters which is way too many. Masterson has the ability to be a above average starting pitcher in the majors.

25-year old lefty David Huff will likely enter the 2010 season as the Indians’ 4th starter. Huff started 23 games as a rookie for the Tribe last season and he was 11-8 with a 5.61 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. Huff also started 7 games in AAA-ball last season and he was 5-1 with a 4.35 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. Huff has the most potential of the lefty starters the Indians have right now.

24-year old lefty Aaron Laffey might have a slight lead for the #5 starter job for the Indians. Laffey pitched in 25 games (19 starts) for the Indians last season and he was 7-9 with 1 save, a 4.44 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP. In his three years with the Indians, Laffey has pitched in 50 games (44 starts) in which he is 16-18 with 1 save, a 4.39 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Laffey doesn’t have overpowering stuff so he has to be very fine with his control.

26-year old lefty Jeremy Sowers is out of options so he will have to make the Indians’ pitching staff or be subjected to waivers. Sowers pitched in 23 games (22 starts) for the Indians last season and he was 6-11 with a 5.25 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP. He has pitched in 72 games (71 starts) in his four years with the Indians and he is 18-30 with a 5.18 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP. Sowers has almost the exact same kind of stuff as Huff and Laffey. The Indians just can’t afford to have three soft tossing lefties in the rotation at the same time.

23-year old righty Carlos Carrasco came over in the Cliff Lee trade with the Phillies last season. Carrasco is the Indians’ #8 rated prospect coming into this season according to Baseball America. Carrasco started 5 games for the Indians last season in which he was 0-4 with a 8.87 ERA and a 2.28 WHIP. He allowed a stunning 40 hits (6 of which were homers) in only 22 1/3 innings for the Indians last season. He also started 26 games in AAA-ball last year in which he was 11-10 with a 4.64 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. I look for Carrasco to start the year in AAA-ball and be one of the first pitchers the Indians call up in 2010 if they need a starting pitcher.

26-year old righty Mitch Talbot came over in the Kelly Shoppach trade with the Rays over the winter. Talbot started 15 games in Rookie+A+AAA-ball last season in which he was 4-4 with a 3.69 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. His only experience in the majors was in 2008 with the Rays when he appeared in 3 games (1 start) and was 0-0 with a 11.17 ERA and a 2.79 WHIP. If Talbot doesn’t make the starting rotation the Indians might keep him as a long reliever as he is out of options.

22-year old righty Hector Rondon is the Indians’ #7 prospect heading into the 2010 season according to Baseball America. Rondon pitched in 27 games (25 starts) in AA+AAA-ball last season and he was 11-10 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. He has now pitched in 92 games (90 starts) in his four years in the minors and he is 32-30 with a 3.92 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Rondon will likely get his first major league action at some point in 2010 with the Indians.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE ROTATION IN 2010: D-

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