Mar 042011

Major Changes

I’m not sure that anything this team does qualifies as major. They’re going to play the kid catcher, Santana, and he looks like a good one. They brought in Orlando Cabrera to play second, and he’s essentially worthless. Asdrubal Cabrera is NOT worthless at short. Who knows which Grady Sizemore will show up, his WAR read 1.5, 5.9, 7.3, 6.1, 5.1, 2.9, -0.9. So predicting 1.5 is sure to be wrong – either he’ll be much better than that or much worse. But in effect NO major signings, no major losses, no real change in Cleveland.

Hitters 2010 D- 2011 D

I think they’ll be a bit better (nowhere to go but up?) – I expect the kids to be better, Sizemore be better, and the others to be bad, but no worse than last year. I don’t know, frankly, what I base this on.

Starters 2010 D+ 2011 C

I think some of these kids (Masterson, Carrasco) can pitch, so I am going out on a limb and predicting that they will be better in 2011. Of course, I don’t think Pavano can pitch, at all, but when you are as bad as the 2010 Indians, you grasp at straws.

Bullpen 2010 B- 2011 D

I do not see a reason to be optimistic about this bullpen, though it is the same bunch that produced that gaudy B- (gaudy for the Indians, that is) last year. They got value out of all these relievers, which is good, but their peripherals (K/9 BB/9 etc.) suggest that they were over their heads. Yes, they are fairly young, and so I could be surprised (but remember, young pitchers can break your heart) but I just don’t see this as a group of true quality relievers. 100% of Perez’ career WAR was earned in 2010, and most of the other pitchers have the same situation.

Overall 2010 F 2011 D-

This team should be better than the Royals, but that is not saying a whole lot. I do expect their offense to work better – an offense with 3 or 4 productive hitters CAN score some runs, Santana there all year should help a bunch, Sizemore if he returns to form, etc. But I expect them to still not score enough, and the pitching will not be there.

Charts

Player Position 2011 2010
Carlos Santana Catcher 3.0 0.9 Marston
Matt LaPorta First Base 0.2 -0.1
Orlando Cabrera Second Base 0.4 -0.1 Valbuena
Jayson Nix Third Base 0.5 2.0 Peralta
Asdrubal Cabrera Shortstop 2.7 1.3
Michael Brantley Left Field 0.5 1.4 Kearns
Grady Sizemore Center Field 1.5 0.7 Crowe
Shin-Soo Choo Right Field 6.8 7.3
Travis Hafner Designated Hitter 1.4 2.6
17.0 16.0

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Fausto Carmona Starting Pitcher 1.0 1.9
Justin Masterson Starting Pitcher 1.0 -0.8
Jeanmar Gomez Starting Pitcher 0.5 -0.6
Carlos Carrasco Starting Pitcher 1.5 0.3 Westbrook
Josh Tomlin Starting Pitcher 0.5 0.1
4.5 0.9

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Tony Sipp Relief Pitcher 1.0 0.1
Rafael Perez Relief Pitcher 0.3 0.8 Hughes
Joe Smith Relief Pitcher 0.3 0.3 Farnsworth
Jensen Lewis Relief Pitcher 0.3 0.6
Frank Herrmann Relief Pitcher 0.0 -0.1
Chris Perez Closer 1.0 2.7
2.9 4.4

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