The Cleveland Indians are in last place in the A.L. Central with a 34-54 record which has them 15.5 games behind the White Sox. The second half could be even worse for the Indians because they are likely to be moving some veteran players in trades. Here is a closer look at the surprises and disappointments of the first half of the 2009 season:
Pleasant Surprises: Nobody expecting anything out of 30-year old outfielder Austin Kearns this season. But Kearns got himself some P.T. early in the year and he ran with it. Kearns has now played in 74 games this year for the Indians and he is 73 of 270 (.270 avg, .766 OPS) with 39 runs scored, 7 homers, 38 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. 24-year old catcher Carlos Santana is off to a very fast start to his major league career. He has played in 29 games for the Indians and he is 27 of 95 (.284 avg, .993 OPS) with 17 runs scored, 5 homers and 16 RBIs. It looks like he’s already the best player on the team. 26-year old righty starting pitcher Mitch Talbot came over from the Rays in a trade over the winter (for Kelly Shoppach) and he has been solid for the Tribe. Talbot has started 17 games for the Indians this year and he is 8-8 with a 3.99 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. In 2007, 26-year old righty starting pitcher Fausto Carmona looked like he was going to be one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. In 2008 and 2009 though he pretty much sucked for the Indians. He has rebounded in 2010 and he has made the A.L. All-Star Team. Carmona has started 18 games for the Indians this year and he is 8-7 with a 3.64 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.
Disappointments: The Indians have certainly had their share of guys having bad years but these four are the most disappointing. 24-year old catcher Lou Marson was supposed to start at catcher until Carlos Santana was ready but those plans changed quickly. Marson played in 45 games for the Indians this season and he was 27 of 141 (.191 avg, .530 OPS) with 15 runs scored, 1 homer, 12 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. He is in AAA along with 24-year old 2B Luis Valbuena who has been even worse this year. Valbuena has played in 49 games for the Indians this season and he is 25 of 151 (.166 avg, .514 OPS) with 13 runs scored, 2 homers and 14 RBIs. Valbuena was the starting 2B for the Tribe when the year started but he will have to show vast improvement before getting another chance. 33-year old Kerry Wood was banged up most of this season but he’s healthy now and he’s not pitching good. Wood has pitched in 23 games (0 starts) for the Indians this season and he is 1-4 with 8 saves, a 6.30 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP. 25-year old lefty starting pitcher David Huff was the Indians’ leader in wins in 2009 but he’s already in AAA this year. He started 13 games for the Indians this season and he is 2-9 with a 6.04 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP.