DH is going to be manned by veterans for the Cleveland Indians in 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Monday 28 February 2011 at 2:26 pm

33-year old lefty swinging Travis Hafner and 30-year old righty swinging outfielder Austin Kearns will likely share time at DH in 2011. It might even wind up being a platoon, which could give Hafner the time off needed to keep his shoulder healthy. Hafner played in 118 games for the Indians last season and he was 110 of 396 (.278 avg, .824 OPS) with 46 runs scored, 13 homers, 50 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Hafner will likely never be the monster he was in 2004-2007 in which he averaged 92.5 runs scored, 31.8 homers and 108.5 RBIs per year. In his last three years, Hafner has averaged 89.7 games, 37.7 runs scored, 11.3 homers and 41.0 RBIs per year mostly due to his balky shoulder. Hafner can still hit but his body has been breaking down.

Austin Kearns will likely split time DHing and playing LF in 2011 for the Indians. Kearns played in 120 games for the Indians & Yankees last season and he was 106 of 403 (.263 avg, .746 OPS) with 55 runs scored, 10 homers, 49 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. Kearns is by no means an impact type DH, but he could produce well in a platoon situation.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE INDIANS DHs IN 2011: C

3B is open for the Cleveland Indians going into spring training

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Monday 28 February 2011 at 2:18 pm

Third base is wide open for the Cleveland Indians going into spring training. 28-year old righty swinging Jayson Nix’ name is likely at the top of the depth chart right now. Nix played in 102 games for the White Sox & Indians last season and he was 74 of 331 (.224 avg, .676 OPS) with 32 runs scored, 14 homers, 34 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Nix went up to the plate hacking last season as he whiffed 87 times while only walking 20 times. Nix has the power to play 3B but not likely the mitt as he is a natural 2B. Nix made 16 errors in 56 games at 3B last season while showing average range.

26-year old righty swinging Jason Donald will get a chance to challenge Nix for the starting job at 3B this spring. Donald is a natural SS who will also be competing for the starting job at 2B this spring. He doesn’t have much power but he would hit for a much higher average than Nix would, while also playing better D.

30-year old lefty swinging Jack Hannahan played in 96 games in AAA-ball last season and he was 79 of 334 (.237 avg, .714 OPS) with 47 runs scored, 9 homers, 45 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. He last played in the majors in 2009 and he has a career batting average of .224 with a .658 OPS. Hannahan’s best chance of winning a job with the Indians would be as a platoon partner for Nix, Donald or rookie Jared Goedert.

25-year old righty swinging Jared Goedert really stepped up in the minors last season and he’s the wildcard at 3B for the Tribe this spring. Goedert played in 125 games in AA+AAA-ball last season and he was 136 of 481 (.283 avg, .890 OPS) with 80 runs scored, 27 homers, 83 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. Goedert had 21 errors in 94 games at 3B in the minors last season so he has some defensive issues he needs to iron out. Out of the 4 guys vying for the starting 3B job this spring, Goedert appears to have the highest upside.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE INDIANS 3B IN 2011: D

The Cleveland Indians sign Chad Durbin

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Saturday 26 February 2011 at 10:25 am

The Cleveland Indians have signed 33-year old righty reliever Chad Durbin to a 1-year deal. Durbin pitched in 64 games (0 starts) for the Phillies last season and he was 4-1 with a 3.80 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. He has now pitched in 308 games (75 starts) in his first 11 seasons in the majors and he is 36-44 with 4 saves, a 5.05 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. The Indians hope Durbin pitches better this time around for them. He pitched in 20 games (9 starts) in 2003+2004 with the Indians in which he was 5-7 with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP. The Indians will likely use Durbin as one of their set-up men from the right side this season. This was a good signing this late in the free agency game for the Cleveland Indians.

The Cleveland Indians look solid at SS for 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Sunday 20 February 2011 at 9:07 am

25-year old switch hitting Asdrubal Cabrera will be back as the starting shortstop for the Indians this season and they need him to stay healthy. Cabrera played in 97 games for the Indians last season and he was 105 of 381 (.276 avg, .673 OPS) with 39 runs scored, 3 homers, 29 RBIs and 6 stolen bases. Cabrera is a career .284 hitter (.741 OPS) in his first four years with the Indians so I look for his bat to improve in 2011. Cabrera had 12 errors in 95 games at SS last season while showing off pretty good range. Cabrera is a solid all around player, period.

26-year old righty swinging Jason Donald will have a good chance of winning the utility infielder job for the Indians this spring. He is a natural shortstop and he’s a pesky hitter. Donald made 9 errors in only 47 games at SS last season for the Indians while showing off good range. Donald’s versatility will give him a really good chance of sticking with the Indians this season.

34-year old righty swinging Adam Everett will also have a chance of winning a bench job with the Indians this spring. Everett played in 31 games for the Tigers last season and he was 15 of 81 (.185 avg, .468 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 4 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Maybe his bat will rebound a bit as he is a career .243 hitter with a .642 OPS in his first 10 years in the majors. Everett is a wizard with a mitt only his hands as he only had 1 error in 31 games at shortstop last season while showing outstanding range.

36-year old righty swinging Orlando Cabrera (the Indians’ likely starting 2B in 2011) played in 121 games in 2010 for the Reds at shortstop in which he made 11 errors while showing poor range. He can slide over to SS if the need arises for the Indians in 2011.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE INDIANS SS IN 2011: B-

The battle lines are being drawn at 2B this spring

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 15 February 2011 at 8:47 am

The Cleveland Indians will have an open battle at 2B this spring between 36-year old Orlando Cabrera, 26-year old Jason Donald and 25-year old Luis Valbuena. The righty swinging Cabrera will have his name at the top of the depth chart written in pencil. He played in 123 games for the Reds last season and he was 130 of 494 (.263 avg, .657 OPS) with 64 runs scored, 4 homers, 42 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. If Cabrera wins the starting job at 2B, I see him hitting around .270 with 8-12 homers and around 15 stolen bases as I think he still has some gas left in the tank. He played in 121 games at SS for the Reds last season and he had 11 errors while showing below average range. His range should be masked at 2B and he has won 2 Gold Gloves (at SS) in his major league career.

25-year old Luis Valbuena looked like the Tribe’s answer at 2B as he finished 2009 strong. But, his bat completely disappeared last season. Valbuena played in 91 games for the Indians last season and he was 53 of 275 (.193 avg, .531 OPS) with 22 runs scored, 2 homers, 24 RBIs and 1 stolen base. He’s a better hitter than that but he will have to rebound this spring or he will be starting the season in AAA-ball. He made 4 errors in 71 games at 2B for the Tribe last season while showing out of this world range. He is a outstanding defensive 2B.

26-year old righty swinging Jason Donald replaced the slumping Valbuena at 2B last season and he was o.k. in his first taste of the majors. Donald played in 88 games for the Indians last season and he was 75 of 296 (.253 avg, .690 OPS) with 39 runs scored, 4 homers, 24 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Donald could probably hit around .270 if he got to play everyday. Donald had 3 errors in 41 games at 2B while showing good range. Donald has a good shot of winning a backup job this spring if he doesn’t win the starting job at 2B as he can handle SS and 3B defensively. Lee has been the most impressive player out of the Cliff Lee trade with the Phillies so far.

34-year old righty swinging Adam Everett will try to win a bench job with the Indians this spring. He’s a banjo hitter but a solid gloveman. He had 1 error in 31 games at SS for the Tigers lat season while showing good range.

28-year old righty swinging Jayson Nix will likely be the starting 3B for the Indians when the 2011 season starts, but, 2B is his best position defensively. Nix played error-free in 28 games at 2B last season while showing outstanding range there.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE INDIANS 2B IN 2011: C

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