The Cleveland Indians are likely to have a new look at 1B in 2012

Blogged under Positional Previews for Season by admin on Monday 27 February 2012 at 5:34 am

The Indians are likely going to go with 29-year old lefty swinging Casey Kotchman as their everyday 1B in 2012.  He played in 146 games for the Tampa Bay Rays last year and he was 153 for 500 (.306 avg, .800 OPS) with 44 runs scored, 10 homers, 48 RBIs and 2 stolen base.  Kotchman has now played in 791 games in his first 8 years in the majors and he is 693 for 2,588 (.268 avg, .733 OPS) with 276 runs scored, 59 homers, 332 RBIs and 11 stolen bases.  Kotchman only had 2 errors in 146 games at 1B last year as he probably should have won the Gold Glove last year.  He has outstanding range and he will make all of the other infielders better defenders in 2012.

27-year old righty swinging Matt LaPorta is running out of time in Cleveland.  He played in 107 games for the Tribe last year and he was 87 for 352 (.247 avg, .711 OPS) with 34 runs scored, 11 homers, 53 RBIs and 1 stolen base.  LaPorta has now played in 269 games in his first three years for the Indians and he is 216 of 909 (.238 avg, .701 OPS) with 104 runs scored, 30 homers, 115 RBIs and 3 stolen bases.  LaPorta played in 97 games at 1B last year and he had 7 errors.  LaPorta has a minor league option left, so I wouldn’t be shocked to see him start the 2012 season in AAA-ball.

Shelley Duncan, Jack Hannahan and Carlos Santana are going to have other primary positions in 2012….but they all played some 1B for the Tribe last year.  Duncan played in 7 games at 1B for the Indians last year and he made 1 error.  Duncan will likely DH and play LF more than he will at 1B in 2012.  Jack Hannahan played in 8 error free games at 1B for the Tribe.  His best position is 3B, but he is a solid player at 1B too.  Carlos Santana played in 66 games at 1B for the Tribe last year and he had 4 errors.  Santana will likely split time at DH with Travis Hafner when he’s not catching.

25-year old righty swinging Russ Canzler is also going to try to win a job with the Tribe this spring.  He can play both 1B and 3B.  Canzler played in 3 games for the Rays in his first taste of the majors and he was 1 for 3 (.333 avg, .733 OPS) with 1 RBI.  He also played in 131 games in AAA-ball last year and he was 149 for 474 (.314 avg, .930 OPS) with 78 runs scored, 18 homers, 83 RBIs and 5 stolen bases.  He has a nice upside.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 1B IN 2012:  B-

The Cleveland Indians lose Chris Perez for a while

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Injuries by admin on Sunday 26 February 2012 at 6:36 pm

The Indians have lost 26-year old righty closer Chris Perez for the next 4-6 weeks due to a strained left oblique muscle.  Perez pitched in 64 games (0 starts) for the Indians last year and he was 4-7 with 36 saves, a 3.32 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.  27-year old righty Vinnie Pestano will likely replace Perez as the closer if he’s not ready to go for Opening Day.  Pestano pitched in 67 games (0 starts) for the Tribe last year and he was 1-2 with 2 saves, a 2.32 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.  Pestano should do a solid job in place of Perez until he’s ready to return to action.  The harder part for the Indians will be finding a replacement as the top set-up man, replacing Pestano.  Rafael Perez, Tony Sipp and Joe Smith will likely share that role.

Grady Sizemore of the Cleveland Indians will likely miss Opening Day

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Injuries by admin on Friday 24 February 2012 at 10:39 pm

29-year old starting CF Grady Sizemore is going to miss Opening Day and probably longer after straining his back fielding grounders a couple of weeks ago.  The Indians signed Sizemore to a 1-year deal over the winter and I thought it was a bad idea due to his recent injury history and lack of production.  Sizemore played in 71 games for the Indians last year and he was 60 for 268 (.224 avg, .706 OPS) with 34 runs scored, 10 homers and 32 RBIs.  In his last three years with the Tribe, Sizemore has played in 210 games in which he is 195 for 832 (.234 avg) with 122 runs scored, 28 homers, 109 RBIs and 17 stolen bases.  He is a shadow of the player he once was.  From 2005-2008, Sizemore averaged 159.8 games played, 116.0 runs scored, 21.8 homers, 81.3 RBIs and 28.8 stolen bases per season.  Sizemore has now played in 892 games in his first 8 years with the Tribe and he is 948 of 3,527 (.269 avg, .830 OPS) with 601 runs scored, 139 homers, 458 RBIs and 134 stolen bases.  I have a hard time believing that Sizemore will ever be the player he once was for the Cleveland Indians.

UPDATE:  (3/1/2012) – Grady Sizemore will now miss the next 8-12 weeks after having a surgical procedure done to his lower back.  It’s look like the Indians wasted the $5 million bucks they signed Sizemore for over the winter.

UPDATE II (4/4/2012) – The Indians have placed Grady Sizemore on the 60-day disabled list, which will keep him out until at least June.

 

The Cleveland Indians are in great shape at catcher for 2012

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by admin on Thursday 23 February 2012 at 6:57 am

25-year old switch-hitting Carlos Santana is likely going to split his time between catcher and DH in 2012.  Santana played in 155 games for the Tribe last year and he was 132 of 552 (.239 avg, .808 OPS) with 84 runs scored, 27 homers, 79 RBIs and 5 stolen bases.  He has now played in 201 games in his first two years with the Indians and he is 171 of 702 (.244 avg, .821 OPS) with 107 runs scored, 33 homers, 101 RBIs and 8 stolen bases.  Santana played in 95 games behind the plate last season and he had 7 errors and 4 passed balls.  Santana also threw out 15 of 74 (20.3%) base stealers and Indians’ pitchers had a 4.19 ERA with him behind the plate.  Look for Santana to hit a lot better in 2012.

25-year old Lou Marson will start behind the plate against lefties with Santana taking over for Travis Hafner at DH.  Marson played in 79 games for the Indians last year and he was 56 of 243 (.230 avg, .596 OPS) with 26 runs scored, 1 homer, 19 RBIs and 4 stolen bases.  He has now played in 180 games in his first three years with the Tribe and he is 118 of 549 (.215 avg, .590 OPS) with 61 runs scored, 4 homers, 25 RBIs and 12 stolen bases.  He has now played in 188 games in his first four years in the majors and he is 124 of 570 (.218 avg, .600 OPS) with 66 runs scored, 5 homers, 47 RBIs and 12 stolen bases.  Marson played in 78 games behind the plate for the Indians last year and he had 5 errors and 5 passed balls.  Marson threw out 24 of 78 (30.8%) base stealers last year and Indians’ pitchers had a 4.30 ERA with him behind the plate.  Marson will get a lot of P.T. due to his defense, but he’s just not much of a hitter.

29-year old righty swinging Matt Pagnozzi is likely going to start the 2012 season in AAA-ball as the Indians like to have veteran catchers to work with their up and coming younger pitchers.  Pagnozzi played in 12 games for the Rockies & Pirates last year and he was 8 for 29 (.276 avg, .598 OPS) with 2 runs scored and 3 RBIs.  He has now played in 33 games in his first 3 years in the majors and he is 22 for 71 (.310 avg, .744 OPS) with 7 runs scored, 1 homer and 13 RBIs.  It might be hard to believe that Pagnozzi is a .310 hitter in the majors so far when you consider that he is a career .220 hitter in 625 games in the minors.  Pagnozzi played in 9 games behind the plate for the Rockies & Pirates last year and he didn’t have any errors but 1 passed ball.  He only threw out 2 of 16 (12.5%) base stealers and pitchers had a 7.91 ERA with him behind the plate.

31-year old righty swinging Luke Carlin will likely start the 2012 season for the Indians in AA or AAA-ball.  Carlin played in 63 games in AAA-ball for the Indians last year and he was 40 for 188 (.213 avg, .700 OPS) with 33 runs scored, 5 homers and 27 RBIs.  He last played in the majors back in 2010 for the Indians.  He played in 6 games for the Tribe in 2010 and he was 5 for 14 (.357 avg, 1.223 OPS) with 4 runs scored, 2 homer and 3 RBIs.  Carlin has now played in 52 games in his first three years in the majors and he is 22 for 126 (.175 avg, .553 OPS) with 19 runs scored, 3 homers and 10 RBIs.

33-year old righty swinging Michel Hernandez will also start the 2012 season in the minors for the Tribe in 2012.  Hernandez played in 56 games in AA+AAA-ball for the Orioles & Indians last year in which he was 48 for 176 (.273 avg, .765 OPS) with 23 runs scored, 2 homers and 27 RBIs.  Hernandez last played in the majors back in 2009 for the Rays.  Hernandez played in 45 games in his first three years in the majors and he is 101 for 425 (.237 avg, .591 OPS) with 14 runs scored, 1 homer, 12 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE CATCHERS IN 2012:  B

The Cleveland Indians sign infielder Cristian Guzman

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by admin on Tuesday 21 February 2012 at 7:05 pm

The Indians have signed 33-year old switch-hitting SS/2B Cristian Guzman to a minor league deal.  He sat out last year due to family problems but he’s back this spring and ready to go.  He played in 104 games with the Nationals & Rangers in 2010 and he was 97 for 365 (.266 avg, .648 OPS) with 48 runs scored, 2 homers, 26 RBIs and 4 stolen bases.  He has now played in 1,406 games in his first 11 years in the majors and he is 1,459 of 5,382 (.271 avg, .690 OPS) with 727 runs scored, 62 homers, 467 RBIs and 125 stolen bases.  Guzman will compete for a backup job in the infield this spring, but he will likely be a longshot.

UPDATE:  (3/28/2012) – The Indians have released Christian Guzman.

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