All of our teams have players that can consistently hit well or players that don’t make a single error. But to face the facts, we all have liablities somewhere in our lineups. You can’t deny it either. Every single team has a liablity throughout them. It just so happens that the Indians have well… in lack of a better phrase A TON! Baseball is a game of liabilities and the team with the least throughout the season wins.
Grady Sizemore just came off an injury infested season. His shoulder bothered him throughout his swing, and all he could do is pull the ball. If Sizemore doesn’t get back to normal, the Indians will be getting a chunk bit out of them this season. Grady needs to be the best he can be as a leadoff hitter, but in Acta’s case the 2 hitter. (more on this later) If he can’t produce, than the Indians offense I predict will slump with him.
(Photo via cleveland.com)
It seems as though when Sizemore is going good that the Indians offense follows I guess its like monkey see, monkey do, but that’s just me. Grady is definetely a leader in the clubhouse and really helps out the young guys. He steps up when needed and when he is healthy can give pitchers fits. But the liability behind the whole “package deal” is the fact that he strikes out too much, and no one knows where to put him in the lineup. At times he can go with little striking out, but in some circumstances he can strike out far too much which doesn’t seem promising.
When you put Grady in the leadoff spot, he is comfortable there and it seems as though he is more of a hitter. He takes the first pitch of the game so that he can see what the pitcher has and can feel better standing in the box than he would in any other spot in the order. I don’t like the 2nd spot though. Yes Grady can put a bunt down when needed to move a runner, and can also get things started, but he can’t hit the ball the opposite way. The biggest factor in this whole baffling process is that Grady can’t hit for contact. So the 2 spot is not for him.
But oh Manny Acta would like to differ. He thinks that Grady is a shoe in for the two spot and that Asdrubal Cabrera should be the leadoff hitter. Which brings me to another liability,… coaching. I don’t see why Acta thinks that Grady is such a wonderful 2 hitter. He strikes out way to much and like I said can’t go the other way while Cabrera can hit all fields and strikes out a miniscule number of times. I don’t understand the thought process.
(Image via fangraphs.com)
It’s almost like he’s thinking backwards. Already on my bad side, which is not good counting that we’re not even through the first Spring Training game this year. If anything at all Grady should be at the 3 or 4 spot but 2? What the heck is this guy thinking? Maybe he’ll figure it out during the season when the Indians aren’t producing like he “figures” they will.
I think the biggest liability in Cleveland right now is there young arms. Yes, Jake Westbrook is feeling healthy. And yes I am excited. But it all comes down to the same questions, “Will he produce?” and “Will he play through the injury?”. I would have to say he will produce for the pitching staff, but he’s not going to turn them into a team that is the top pitching staff in the league. Of course, he could come into the season and just stink it up. We don’t know what he is and isn’t going to do yet.
I think that Westbrook has a good chance of being the two guy in the rotation. Maybe others disagree, but until Westbrook proves me wrong, I think he should be glued into that spot. Acta probably disagrees, and that’s why I hate em. As long as Westbrook fights for a good season and gives us 9 or 10 wins, I will be proud to bring him back. And no I won’t bash on him if he doesn’t do so well, the guy is injured give him a break.
(Image via bostonbaseballheadshow.com)
Fausto Carmona also makes me wonder… where did this guy go? Now two bad years after almost being the Cy Young award winner in 07. I just wanna know how a guy can go from so good to so bad. His control was amazing during 2007, and during the offseason he got into some bad habits. He walks too many people now, and his sinker is finding it’s way up in the zone. He’s a huge liability and could be the difference in finishing last in the Central or 2nd (I’m thinking it’s gonna be close).
Suppose David Huff continues to pitch well as he did last year, and our bullpen does not let us lose an extra ten games, then I think that we’ll be okay. But these things are all liabilities and they could go in either direction. As you can see the Indians have many liabilities, suprise suprise. Let’s just try and cut back on a few heading into 2011. I might have a better attitude. Just put on your headresses and paint your faces like chief wahoo cause the seasons a’comin. Good luck, and until next time…
Young guys are proving they can play – the bullpen is showing it can shut opponents down. I think this team is ready. I give us a good two years to contend. The Indians will be AL Central Champs again, and playoff baseball will be brought back to Cleveland. The thought of it sends chills down my spine – remembering the 07 playoff run.
Every team in their brother in this offseason will be looking for ways to get Matt Laporta and Andy Marte out this next year. They will exploit their weaknesses and go after them. Next year should be a tough year for both and Valbuena so don’t be so sure of powerhouse number’s. Let me show you an example.
In 2007 Asdrubal Cabrera hit .283 with 30 runs in 159 at bats. He wasn’t quite figured out until the next year when he went .259 with 48 runs in 352 at bats. When getting almost double the at bats he did in the first season: his number’s slipped because opposing pitcher’s figured out how to pitch to him over the course of the season. They exploited his weakness’s and made him ground out again and again. Once they figure you out – its awful hard to come back strong.
This year: although Asdrubal is hitting .315 with 16 stolen bases and 67 runs. He has been one of the leader’s on the team and has really shown he can fight at the plate. He learned how to hit the away pitch – and every pitch for that matter, and just lines every thing back where it came from. He has come a long way, and it has finally payed off.
The pitching just isn’t deep enough to contend next year: even if Carrasco dazzles. The fact is – that Laffey should be your one starter, with Masterson at two, Huff at three, Carmona four, and Carrasco five. That means Sowers is out – or could fight Fausto for his job. Carmona hasn’t been controlling his pitches at all: and like Masterson, has really gotten behind hitters. Fausto walks alot of people which is what leads to many runs scoring. In his past ten starts: Carmona has walked more than one batter all but once.
That just shows me the batter’s are starting to work him – and he isn’t able to keep pounding the strike zone consistantly. He hasn’t shown he can keep the Indians in ball games giving up 4 or more runs in 5 of his last 10 games pitched. Where did the dominant Fausto go: where he won 19 games? That Fausto controlled his sinker and was one of the most dominant pitcher’s in the game. Until he finds his mojo – the Indians won’t have the pitching.
In 2011 – I figure that we will have Carlos Santana behind the dish: and nor Wyatt Toregas or Lou Marson will have the job. Santana has an absolute gun behind the plate and is a true hitter. Carlos is hitting .290 with 21 homers and 93 RBI at the AA level. Those are some very good numbers: especially for a young guy like Carlos. I expect next year he will get a promotion: and if he can hit at the AAA level, I think he will be a for sure midseason call-up. What have we got to lose?
Playoff fever back in Cleveland would feel amazing. The 07 ALDS was a memory I will always have. The crowd was going crazy: waving their “Its Tribe Time Now” towels all crazily in the air. You couldn’t hear anything – and no one was going to miss any part of the game for oh: a bathroom break, food, or an Indians team shop.
People in the street were happily playing guitars: and playing hermonica’s all for the joy of playoff baseball. I tell you – we have some of the most true fans over here in Cleveland: we aren’t band wagon at all. We love the Indians and have from day one. Some of Red Sox nation and probably a third of the Yankee’s fans: don’t know anything about them. They just like them cuz they are good. That isn’t what being a fan is like though. Winning all the time: just isn’t fun.
When you are on the brink of elimination – and everyone in the stadium is biting their nails: that is fun. Like when Travis Hafner hits a walk off to win the game in the ALDS – that is fun. But what fun is winning 100 games year after year and winning the division? Then you take the playoffs by storm and win the world series: is it that fun to repeatedly say “We win, we win!” And do you cheer? Or do you try to cheer? Like you don’t have the inner fan: to start shouting and screaming and romp around the house.
The Rays made alot of die hards happy when they made it to the world series: something that no one expected them to do. Now that is baseball – the celebration: fans not giving up on one of the worst teams in baseball, and then celebrating the huge win and the world series birth. In fact: I would be happy just to be a part in the world series.
The last time we were in it, 1997: the dang Marlins got us. They came back on us in game 7 and beat us. My dad was there – he experienced it all. The heart break: the long trip back home: the angst of losing. It sucked, but that is what a true fan is being like: always there rooting your team on.
When playoff baseball comes back – I will treat it like church. I will be attending almost every game: ready to cheer on the Tribe. In 2011 the year I picked: I will be there, ready for the Indians to go to the world series. Jon Adams will be there banging his drum of course.
But we need pitching in order to get there: In my eyes – with the talent coming up we have a potent lineup that I would compare to the Red Sox. We have to make our starting pitching better though – we can’t get to the playoffs without pitcher’s who can go 6 to 7 innings giving us a chance to win every night. Hopefully all the young guys will have it figured out by then and will perform well: but you can’t guaruntee anything. That is why I am not so sure about 2011: “Is the pitching going to be there?”
I can’t answer yes. The pitching was there in 07. Although Sabathia sucked in the postseason: he still won the Cy Young, and really led the Indians to the playoffs. Fausto Carmona was a stud: having won 19 games and really showing he could pitch. Paul Byrd had a good 15 wins adding on to the Indians 96-66 record. They have to be complete: and I believe this team can do it.
So reserve your playoff tickets for 2011 Cleveland, make sure you grab them quick: they are selling fast. Make sure we come out with new towels and signs too – we can’t have the old “Its Tribe Time Now” rally towels anymore. Jon Adams: bang away as loud as we can – and we will be yelling with you. Let’s go Tribe – its our turn to win!