Terry Francona is aiming to break another curse for the Cleveland Indians

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by joelapinski on Monday 25 March 2013 at 1:04 am

53-year old manager Terry Francona broke the Curse of the Bambino in his time in Boston.  Now he will try his hand at snapping the Curse of Rocky Colavito in Cleveland.  When last seen on a major league bench, Francona led the Red Sox to a 90-72 (55.6%) record, just missing the playoffs by one game.  Francona is now 1,029-915 (52.9%) in his first 12 regular seasons as a major league manager.  He is also a sterling 28-17 (62.2%) in the playoffs so far in his managerial career.  Francona is already in management’s ears as they spent a lot of money over the winter.  I think Francona is going to be an outstanding fit for the Tribe starting right away in 2013.

The Cleveland Indians have a live bullpen set up for 2013

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by joelapinski on Sunday 17 March 2013 at 6:36 pm

The Indians are going to have an outstanding bullpen full of live arms for the 2013 season.  27-year old righty Chris Perez returns as the closer.  He pitched in 61 games (0 starts) for the Indians last year and he was 0-4 with 39 saves, a 3.59 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.  Perez has now pitched in 290 games (0 starts) in his first five years in the majors and he is 10-18 with 107 saves, a 3.23 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.  Perez drilled Indians’ ownership last year about not trying to win, but they opened up the vault over the winter, so he should be focused and content in 2013.  28-year old righty Vinnie Pestano will be the Tribe’s top set-up man in 2013.  He pitched in 70 games (0 starts) for the Indians last year and he was 3-3 with 2 saves, a 2.57 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP.  He has now pitched in 142 games (0 starts) in his first three years in the majors and he is 4-5 with 5 saves, a 2.50 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP.  Sidearming 28-year old righty Joe Smith is very, very tough on right handed batters.  He pitched in 72 games (0 starts) for the Indians last year and he was 7-4 with a 2.96 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.  Smith has now pitched in 369 games (0 starts) in his first six years in the majors and he is 21-14 with a 3.11 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.  30-year old righty Matt Albers and 25-year old righty Bryan Shaw came to the Tribe in the Shin-Soo Choo deal over the winter and they both have live arms.  Albers pitched in 63 games (0 starts) for the D-Backs and Red Sox last year and he was 3-1 with a 2.39 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.  He has now pitched in 300 games (23 starts) in his first seven years in the majors and he is 22-30 with a 4.68 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP.  Shaw pitched in 64 games (0 starts) for the D-Backs last year and he was 1-6 with 2 saves, a 3.49 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP.  Shaw has now pitched in 97 games (0 starts) in his first two years in the majors and he is 2-6 with 2 saves, a 3.18 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.  27-year old Nick Hagadone, 33-year old Rich Hill and 25-year old Scott Barnes are lefty relievers competing for two spots in the Tribe bullpen.  Hagadone pitched in 27 games (0 starts) for the Indians last year and he was 1-0 with 1 save, a 6.39 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.  He has now pitched in 36 games (0 starts) in his first two years in the majors and he is 2-0 with 1 save, a 5.70 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.  Hill is a good bet to get one of the spots, as he has pitched really well when healthy as of late.  He pitched in 25 games (0 starts) for the Red Sox last year and he was 1-0 with a 1.83 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP.  Hill has now pitched in 118 games (70 starts) in his first eight years in the majors and he is 23-20 with a 4.59 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.  Barnes comes into this season as the Indians’ #11 prospect according to Baseball America.  Barnes pitched in 16 games (0 starts) in his first taste of the majors for the Indians last year and he was 0-0 with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.  He also pitched in 31 games (3 starts) in AAA-ball last year and he was 2-3 with 2 saves, a 3.98 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.  24-year old righty Cody Allen has recently been informed that he has made the Indians’ opening day roster.  Allen came into this season as the Indians’ #4 prospect according to Baseball America.  Allen pitched in 27 games (0 starts) for the Indians last year in his first taste of the majors and he was 0-1 with a 3.72 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP.  He also pitched in 31 games (0 starts) in A+AA+AAA-ball last year in which he was 3-2 with 3 saves, a 1.87 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP.  29-year old righty Matt Capps is a longshot to win a spot in the Tribe’s bullpen this spring, and that is a good thing.  He pitched in 30 games (0 starts) for the Twins last year and he was 1-4 with 14 saves, a 3.68 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.  Capps has now pitched in 444 games (0 starts) in his first 8 years in the majors and he is 29-33 with 138 saves, a 3.52 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE BULLPEN IN 2013:  A-

The Cleveland Indians are going to have a lot of competition for rotation jobs this spring

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by joelapinski on Thursday 7 March 2013 at 10:56 pm

The Indians are set with a top three of 29-year old righty Ubaldo Jimenez, 27-year old righty Justin Masterson and 35-year old righty Brett Myers in the starting rotation….but the #4 and #5 jobs are up for grabs.  The Indians hope that Jimenez can get his act together in 2013.  He pitched in 31 games (all starts) for the Indians last year and he was 9-17 with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP.  Jimenez led the major leagues in losses last year with his 17 of them.  He was wild as hell last year as he walked 95 batters, hit 8 batters and he threw 16 wild pitches in only 176 2/3 innings.  Jimenez needs to attack the strike zone in 2013, as he still has good stuff.  Jimenez has now pitched in 180 games (179 starts) in his first seven years in the majors and he is 69-66 with a 4.03 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.  The Indians are also hoping that Masterson rebounds in 2013.  He pitched in 34 games (all starts) for the Indians last year and he was 11-15 with a 4.93 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.  He has now pitched in 180 games (121 starts) in his first five years in the majors and he is 39-53 with a 4.17 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.  Myers pitched out of the pen in 2012.  He pitched in 70 games (0 starts) for the White Sox and Astros last year and he was 3-8 with 19 saves, a 3.31 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.  He has now pitched in 377 games (249 starts) in his first 11 years in the majors and he is 97-93 with 40 saves, a 4.20 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP.  Myers might wind up being the Indians best starting pitcher in 2013.  Now comes the fun stuff as the Indians have seven pitchers competing for the last two spots in the starting rotation.  25-year old righty Zach McAllister is one of the favorites to win one of the open jobs in the rotation.  He pitched in 22 games (all starts) for the Indians last year and he was 6-8 with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP.  McAllister has now pitched in 26 games (all starts) in his first two years in the majors and he is 6-9 with a 4.47 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP.  25-year old righty Carlos Carrasco missed the entire 2012 season due to Tommy John Surgery.  Carrasco pitched in 21 games (all starts) for the Indians in 2011 and he was 8-9 with a 4.62 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP.  He has now pitched in 33 games (all starts) in his first three years in the majors and he is 10-15 with a 4.93 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP.  The Indians still have high hopes for Carrasco.  22-year old righty Trevor Bauer comes into this season as the Indians’ #2 prospect according to Baseball America.  He pitched in 22 games (all starts) in AA+AAA-ball for the Diamondbacks last year and he was 12-2 with a 2.42 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.  He also got his first taste of the majors last year, working in 4 games (all starts) for the D-Backs in which he was 1-2 with a 6.06 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP.  He has by far the highest upside of any of the Tribe’s starting pitchers.  32-year old righty Daisuke Matsuzaka is going to have a shot to make the Indians’ rotation, as he spent most of his career with Tribe manager Terry Francona in Boston.  Matsuzaka pitched in 11 games (all starts) for the Red Sox last year and he was 1-7 with a 8.28 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP.  He has now pitched in 117 games (116 starts) in his first six years in the majors and he is 50-37 with a 4.52 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP.  26-year old righty Corey Kluber is a big time longshot to win a rotation spot.  He pitched in 12 games (all starts) for the Tribe last year and he was 2-5 with a 5.14 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP.  Kluber has now pitched in 15 games (12 starts) in his first two years with the Indians and he is 2-5 with a 5.35 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.  29-year old lefty Scott Kazmir is the longest shot of all for the Indians.  He pitched in 14 games (all starts) in Independent ball last year and he was 3-6 with a 5.34 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP.  Kazmir last pitched in the majors back in 2011 with the Angels.  Kazmir has pitched in 180 games (179 starts) in his first 8 years in the majors and he is 66-61 with a 4.17 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP.  28-year old lefty David Huff is also a longshot for the Tribe.  He pitched in 6 games (4 starts) for the Indians last year and he was 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP.  Huff has now pitched in 55 games (52 starts) in his first four years in the majors and he is 18-26 with a 5.30 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE STARTING ROTATION IN 2013:  C

Drew Stubbs will be moving to RF for the 2013 season for the Cleveland Indians

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by joelapinski on Thursday 28 February 2013 at 2:37 am

28-year old righty swinging Drew Stubbs will be replacing the guy he was traded for (Shin-Soo Choo) as the starting RF for the Cleveland Indians in 2013.  Stubbs played in 136 games for the Reds last year and he was 105 of 493 (.213 avg, .610 OPS) with 75 runs scored, 14 homers, 40 RBIs and 30 stolen bases.  Stubbs played in 135 games (123 starts) in CF for the Reds last year and he had 5 assists and 5 errors there while showing poor range.  Stubbs will likely be much more comfortable in RF than CF, so I look for him to adjust well to the change.  Stubbs has now played in 486 games in his first four years in the show and he is 431 of 1,791 (.241 avg, .698 OPS) with 285 runs scored, 59 homers, 178 RBIs and 110 stolen bases.  Stubbs is a hacker at the plate as he has whiffed 588 times while only walking 175 times so far in his major league career.  31-year old righty swinging Ben Francisco will likely be Stubbs’ top backup in 2013.  He played in 82 games for the Astros, Rays and Blue Jays last year in which he was 46 of 192 (.240 avg, .670 OPS) with 14 runs scored, 4 homers and 15 RBIs.  He played in 29 games (21 starts) in RF last year and he had 1 assist and 0 errors there while showing poor range.  Francisco has now played in 542 games in his first six years in the majors and he is 395 of 1,535 (.257 avg, .751 OPS) with 195 runs scored, 49 homers, 189 RBIs and 30 stolen bases.  31-year old righty swinging Ryan Raburn can also handle playing RF, if needed.  He played in 22 games (8 starts) in RF last year and he didn’t have any errors or assists there while showing poor range.  31-year old righty swinging Matt Carson and 29-year old lefty swinging Jeremy Hermida are also in camp for the Indians this spring.  Carson played in 26 games for the Twins last year and he was 15 of 66 (.227 avg, .489 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 0 homers and 4 RBIs.  He played in 9 games (8 starts) in RF last year and he had 1 assist and 0 errors there while showing poor range.  Carson has now played in 72 games in his first three years in the majors and he is 35 of 166 (.211 avg, .543 OPS) with 11 runs scored, 5 homers, 18 RBIs and 4 stolen bases.  Hermida played in 13 games for the Padres last year and he was 6 for 24 (.250 avg, .708 OPS) with 2 runs scored, 0 homers, 2 RBIs and 1 stolen base.  He played in 6 games (4 starts) in RF last year and he didn’t have any errors or assists there while showing outstanding range.  Hermida has now played in 632 games in his first 8 years in the majors and he is 517 of 2,012 (.257 avg, .749 OPS) with 248 runs scored, 65 homers, 250 RBIs and 22 stolen bases.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE RIGHT FIELDERS IN 2013:  C+

Michael Bourn is going to bring speed to burn to the Cleveland Indians in 2013

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by joelapinski on Thursday 28 February 2013 at 2:24 am

30-year old lefty swinging Michael Bourn is Kenny Lofton, minus 30 points on the batting average.  He played in 155 games for the Braves last year and he was 171 of 624 (.274 avg, .739 OPS) with 96 runs scored, 9 homers, 57 RBIs and 42 stolen bases.  Bourn played in 153 games (151 starts) in CF last year and he had 3 assists and 2 errors while showing really good range there.  Bourn has now played in 871 games in his first seven years in the majors and he is 820 of 3,015 (.272 avg, .704 OPS) with 459 runs scored, 22 homers, 215 RBIs and 276 stolen bases.  25-year old lefty swinging Ezequiel Carrera will likely be Bourn’s top backup, if he makes the team out of spring training.  Carrera played in 48 games for the Indians last year and he was 40 of 147 (.272 avg, .707 OPS) with 20 runs scored, 2 homers, 11 RBIs and 8 stolen bases.  He played in 15 games (13 starts) in CF for the Tribe last year and he had 0 assists or errors there while showing out of this world range.  Carrera has now played in 116 games in his first two years in the majors and he is 89 for 349 (.255 avg, .653 OPS) with 47 runs scored, 2 homers, 25 RBIs and 18 stolen bases.  24-year old lefty swinging Cedric Hunter will be a longshot to make the Indians this spring.  He played in 129 games in AAA-ball for the Cardinals last year and he was 95 of 355 (.268 avg, .729 OPS) with 40 runs scored, 5 homers, 44 RBIs and 7 stolen bases.  His only major league experience came back in 2011 with the Padres.  He played in 6 games for the Padres in 2011 and he was 1 for 4 (.250 avg, .650 OPS) with 1 run scored.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE CENTER FIELDERS IN 2013:  A

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