2011 Cleveland Indians Spring Training Look into the Season!

As a Cleveland Indians fan, I wanted to put my spin on what the spring training and preseason looks like for 2011. The team is looking to Get veterans back on te field, start getting the most out of the trades over the last two years and get the prospects turning into the stars projected upon them? So here goes my look and expectations of the 2011 season.

The Hitters
1st Base: Matt Laporta Projected Stats
 530AB/150H/65R/22HR/75RBI/2SB/60BB/100SO/.280 AVG 
A very modest look at a player that really struggled last year to meet the expectations that his great minor league stats showed. Must see the improvement or "Bust" tag will be placed on him!

2nd Base: Orlando Cabrera Projected Stats  600AB/165H/80R/5HR/50RBI/15SB/35BB/65SO/.275AVG
Newly acquired 2nd baseman will get most of the at bats from the two bagger spot. The defense will help the middle infield but, we need his production at the plate to be better than last years numbers that started to decline due mainly to age. He will help the youngsters grow and still get a few steals to help move the runners.

Shortstop: Asdrubal Cabrera Projected Stats  500AB/150H/75R/5HR/75RBI/15SB/45BB/80SO/.285AVG
Let's hope the broken forearm is behind us and we get a full healthy season out of Asdrubal. He is a decent glove for a middle infielder and has a little speed on the basepaths like the other Cabrera hopes to keep the basepaths moving to disrupt the pitchers to allow the best chances for the runs scored. As he will most likely lead off in 2011 staying healthy and getting on base will be his most important contribution to the team.

3rd Base: Jayson Nix Projected Stats  400AB/80H/40R/15HR/36RBI/1SB/20BB/85SO/.230AVG
Indians acquired the 3rd baseman mid season last year and had some struggles getting the bat on the ball. His .224 batting average in 2010 will need to improve to be able to stay on the field. He does have a little pop in the bat and may if he stays on the field hit 20 home runs. Let's keep our fingers crossed that we see the ball clear the fence more than hear it pop the glove of the catcher.

Catcher: Carlos Santana Projected Stats  475/AB/125H/75R/20HR/75RBI/5SB/77BB/80SO/.285AVG
Well the injury bug also got to Carlos last year when a knee injury literally took his legs out from under him and the prospects ascension to greatness. We should see a healthy Santana in 2011 and be ready to show his talents behind the plate and in front of it! We should see him in the middle of the line up moving the runners through home plate and getting the occasional bomb to put to rest the prospect tag and make this rising star a bonafide major leaguer and future star.

Left Field: Michael Brantley Projected Stats 350AB/85H/40R/5HR/30RBI/18SB/25BB/42SO/.265AVG
Brantley needs to start producing with the bat, toward the end of the season his speed on the base paths are electrifying but, we need him to get there. He will be splitting time with Trevor Crowe and Austin Kearns which both have a little more homerun power.

Center Field: Grady Sizemore Projected  Stats 575AB/150H/100R/20HR/75RBI/30SB/70BB/100SO/.265AVG
Sizemore may not be 100% opening day but soon after we hope to see the resurgence of the franchise player we grew to love in 2008. Grady has possessed all the skills to be an all star. We need to see him rebound into that 100/30/30ish  guy! I am hoping for the upside this year to show the kids on the team what a veteran that can do when healthy. He will probably hit 2nd in the line up this year instead of lead off but don't count out the steals if the knee is healthy! Fantasy Players this could be a steal on draft day!

Right Field: Shin-Soo Choo Projected Stats 570AB/180H/88R/24HR/90R/20SB/80BB/125SO/.305BA
Finally a batter in this line up that can hit for a .300 or better average. Choo is the bright spot of the Cleveland Indians. South Korea won the gold medal in the Asian Games and has allow Choo to stay in the majors and not serve in the military. With a healthy Sizemore and Cabrera getting on the base paths Sanatana and Choo should pick up some healthy RBI's adding to his consistency over the past two years. Look for another all star year and the growing jersey's in the seats at Progressive Field.

Designated Hitter: Travis Hafner Projected Stats 400AB/108H/50R/15HR/55RBI/0SB/48BB/99SO/.270
How much DH time will we see him in an Indians uniform with the diminishing skills we have seen from "Pronk" over the last three years? Will Austin Kearns get more AB's in 2011 or will the real Travis Hafner show up? Lot's of questions for the Indians in 2011 at DH. With all the young talent getting their looks this year the veteran play of Hafner and Sizemore will need to shine to help get over last years' disappointing year. Stay healthy and swing for the fences!

Starting Pitchers

Starting Pitching: Fausto Carmona Projected Stats 
13Wins/11Losses/ 200IP/200H/75BB/125K/3.82ERA/1.39Whip
Could the offense being better help the pitching? Carmona has been inconsistent something you do not want from your "Ace" but he is the Indian veteran on the staff and with 125 Strikeouts and an era of 3.82 we need more! Hopefully we can see the better side of Carmona like the 2007 season and see the all star emerge in 2011. If we don't the Yankees are looking?

Starting Pitching: Justin Masterson Projected Stats
Our number two starter has needed a lot of growing pains. Coming from Boston as a reliever and trying to turn him into a starter has had a few bumps in the mound. He needs to learn how to pitch not throw! Once he learns how to do that, which I hope is sooner than later, we will see some rewards. Would like to see the 159k's this year after throwing 140 last year I think he can do it he just believes in his stuff.

Starting Pitching: Mitch Talbot Projected Stats
A reclamation project from Tampa Bay with a full year in Cleveland last year with hopes to getting better this year. He kept the ball in the park last year and needs to watch what happened late in the season to rebound this year. Watch some film and keep the ball away from hitters. Hopefully we will see the improvement!

Starting Pitching: Carlos Carrasco Projected Stats
Sleeper? Sleeper? Could the potential start to develop this year? We need to give this kid the opportunity to see what he can do. His strikeout to ball ratio was 7.7K/9 to 2.8BB/9 last year if he can expand those with more starts maybe they will get a front end starter that was projected.

Starting Pitching: Josh Tomlin Projected Stats
Mainly a Fastball/Cutter pitcher that lacks a breaking ball the hitters will sit. Last season that is what they did and we saw a lot of balls hit out of the yard. Here is another Indians pitcher that needs to learn how to pitch and not throw. If he can find another pitch or learn location and speed control then we may see him reach potential.


Closer: Chris Perez Projected Stats
The air apparent closer. After last season's brilliant performance he earned the closer job left vacant from Kerry Wood's departure to the Yankees. Chris had an era of 1.71 last season a career number after the previous year of 4.26. If he can as a closer limit the walks given up and not scare us into the save it would be great! Looking forward to a few more save chances if the rest of the team can put a few more runs of support.

Relief Pitching: Rafael Perez Projected Stats
Having a left-hander in the bullpen is a must have. Can we expect more from this lefty? Signing a one year contract this year will keep his status on the ball club. Here is an example of a reliever pitching that needs to just throw it, too often he tries to pitch around the batter and not go after the hitter to try get the strike out or ground ball. Which he is an excellent ground ball pitcher!

Relief Pitching: Tony Sipp Projected Stats
Another lefty that should contribute greatly in the 2011 season. Having a high strikeout rate will help Sipp keep is setup role in 2011. He must watch his balls given to the spectators in the home runs seats.

So, there is my look into a season that looks in the upward direction. Getting Santana and Sizemore back, adding Cabrara, and another year on the prospects we may see us improve on our 2010 season of 69-93 to get us closer to a winning season. Manny Acta is ready.


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