With the Indians and their awful pitching and bullpen last year, it was hard to swallow in the offseason and try to move on to Spring Training. But we did it. And I do think that if this staff gets better with a halfway decent bullpen, we can win the Central.
Yes fans, I did say a few posts ago and I still have a gut feeling that my Tribe has no chance of contending, but then again who is in the Central that really “wow’s” you and makes you think that everyone will be forming a line behind them? The answer is no one. The Twins were favored, but then Nathan went down. Now it’s anyone’s game to take home. This is going to be an interesting year.
Reasons we can contend: We have a good offense. We are young, and have full potential to hit at every position. Yes we will have our team slumps, but together we have a team that has a new hitting coach, that focuses on smooth swings and lives and dies off of working pitchers. I do think that this is an upside to our offense. No more dilly-dallying around. We are getting straight to business and straight to the point.
One of the reasons that we faultered last year was that Grady was injured and missed a good chunk of at bats. This really sunk our ship, and we slumped because of this loss. I think with a healthy Grady, and with Branyan in our lineup, we will be the most feared offensive team in the Central. I think 1 through 9 in our lineup can hit the gaps, and I think that we have the possibility of being in the top 5 in the MAJORS in extra base hits.
Luis Valbuena will be carrying that load by constantly hitting the gaps and circling the bases. I really like this kid, and if he can hit 7 homers and eh have maybe 60 or so RBI’s which he is capable of, I’m happy. Because his gap hitting power will always be there, and he will always score a good 60+ runs for us. I really like our chances in the Central.
We don’t have 5 clear spots etched in stone that are going to contribute on the mound, but when your the Cleveland Indians, if 3 of those guys don’t work, we have about another 5 in line. Just think about it, we have so many average minor league pitchers that we can bring up if our rotation isn’t contributing. It could be alot like “Guess Who” but you never know. We might find the guy that just might fit. Kind of like the Orioles did last year.
We could have a Brad Bergesen awaiting somewhere in the minors. I think the big contributor to this team is going to be their bullpen. If we keep a strong and consistent bullpen, this team will be alot of fun to watch. Just like in ’07 when the team had a ton of walkoff hits, we could do the same this year. We just need our bullpen to put up solid numbers, and we need inherited runners to not score.
I have been saying this the whole time, Tony Sipp is the man that I think might be the best relief pitcher on our team. Last year he hardly let inherited runners score, and he constantly got big outs when he needed. This could be contention time for the Cleveland Indians. We have most of the tools, and we cleaned house. Plus we have such a great ballpark and great fans. This year could be a whole heck of a lot of fun.
The Twins aren’t a team that we need to keep a huge eye out for anymore. Since there best pitcher is gone, they are going to be in panic mode. Yes there offense will still have a strong core, but their pitching will go down the drain. I would compare them to us this year, I don’t think that they will be any better though do to their loss of Nathan. I think if Mauer plays better than he did last year, then the Twins might win the Central over us.
But this speculation is fun. Who knows who could win the central. The Royals have a great pitching staff with a poor offense, while the Tigers have a decent offense with questionable pitching. Every team in the central has at least 3 or 4 flaws in them and could easily win the division. If the Indians want to win it though, they need to come out from the start hard and looking to win the central. The Tribe needs to work the counts, get good pitches, and steal bases.
That is another thing on my list that I forgot to mention. The stolen base part of the Indians game. With Choo, Cabrera, Sizemore, Valbuena, and Brantley able to steal bases, the Indians will definetly get into scoring position more often. We will see more RBI’s by the power hitters for sure this year, due to the reason we will be taking off more so than not. I think that if we swipe a good 80+ bags this year, we will have more productive numbers from guys in the lower spots in the order. And that just juices up the stat line, and the run production.
This year is going to be very lopsided, and we aren’t going to be happy for parts of the season. But I think it’s contention time, and it’s time that we recognize that. We are a contending team with lots of potential and lots of talent. Let’s just hope that no injuries occur, and that we can take a shot at one of the weakest divisions in baseball. I would like to thank the baseball gods…
Well… first the problem lies that we can’t trade him because no one wants him and his monstrosity of a contract he owns. Maybe we could file some propaganda and a disclaimer
stating “We will pay half of his salary!”. That could be one way to go.
Fans, let’s get real. Would you want a guy who is rigged and old on your team? Add in the fact that he is on the DL almost every year and plus he is worth $11.5 million. This isn’t a guy most people want on their team.
And he produces pretty poorly. So Kerry what do we get out of you? I know what you get from us, a heaping amount of cash that sticks out like a sore thumb. Could you possibly lend me a dollar? Or maybe two? Maybe you could uh,… take me out to dinner sometime and pay the bill?
Nah. Yes you did produce in the second half of the year, but you have the hot streak of magma from the earth’s mantle when it comes out of the Mid Ocean Ridge, and it ain’t too long. The mulitude of times you have been on the DL slap you in the face and give you a ‘trade me’ sign on the back of your jersey. Yes dear fans, it is Kerry Wood’s time to leave the Indians. Whether you put a thumbs up or give a thumbs down you know that he has to go. We will praise the team that takes him off of our hands.
Maybe we can sucker the Twins into taking him? Joe Nathan is down. Either way, Kerry Wood you suck eggs!
There are days where you wish you weren’t the fan of your favorite team. Don’t deny it. There are days when I look at ESPN and see how the Yankees and Mets,… well not this year, pumble every team. Sometimes you just want to branch out and look at things in another fans prospective.
The Twins – Tigers game was the most exciting game I have ever seen in my entire life. From
Carlos Gomez jumping like a ballerina, to the likes of Jim Leyland scorning with his tobacco filled face. That game was when I, Ted, wanted to become a part of Twins Territory. The Dome was packed, and there wasn’t a seat left in the place, as the Twins put on a show that wouldn’t ever be forgotten. The towels were waved, and the “al-co-hol-ic” chants spilled out of the obnoxious Minnesota crowd towards Miguel Cabrera. What a wonderful atmosphere.
Sadly, the Twins two – game winning streak was cut short to the infamous Yankees yesterday night. But that won’t stop the fight in the miraculous-crazy-energy filled Minnesota Twins from competing day in and day out.
Nothing. I hope that the Twins go all the way in the playoffs they deserve it. Feeling kind of blue right now due to the fact that the ill-fated Yankees had to stand in a teams’ way that was the Cinderella of this season. But don’t you see something here? In 2007 the Cleveland Indians were the Cinderella Central team that went all the way to the ALCS. David the Indians, sure did defeat Goliath, the Yankees when the Indians took the series in four games.
The over-paid, money throw away-ing, high payroll-ing, annoying (heavy breaths), piece of crap, no good, dirty, rotten Yanks are standing in the way of this David. Let’s go Twins, nothing can stop you. You have Ted on your side.
Go get em.
The Indians, are dazed, wobbling, and teetering, but still, they are not out of the Central. They just haven’t gotten that finishing punch just yet and could still be a threat to the division at large. 12 back, at the start of today, the Indians are very well in the hunt for the AL Central Pennant. The Tribe has gone (14-9) in their last 23 games, and if they get the win today, will have won 6 out of their past 8
series’. Who says that they “Can’t” come back? Why “Can’t” they take a few series from the Tigers and White Sox. It’s possible, anything is, and this seems in reach.
Asdrubal Cabrera is hitting .310 entering play today, which ranks 12th in the American League. Over his last 20 games, Cabrera has hit .344 with three homers, two triples, eight doubles, and 10 RBI’s.
Ted’s Take: Asdrubal has been seeing the ball well, as today is his second start in the No. 3 hole. He is sizzling, as he seems to build off of each game, and has been hitting the gaps very well. It won’t be too soon before Cabrera anchors the No. 3 spot in the Tribe batting order.
He has caught my eye, the way he plays… He goes out day after day and has fun, just like being a kid out there. He plays a solid defense, and can steal a base if you aren’t careful. Watch for him to keep on going.
Aaron Laffey, (6-3, 3.25) has been the Tribe’s ace this year. Aaron Laffey is (3-1) with a 1.40 ERA in his past four starts. In three of those outings, he didn’t allow an earned run. “He’s been more aggressive around the plate,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. In his last 10, Laffey is (5-2) with a respectable 3.17 ERA. As said on http://indians.mlb.com/ Laffey’s ERA would rank eighth among all AL pitchers if he had the required number of innings—40 short.
Ted’s Take: Laffey has caught the eye of Eric Wedge, and me. He has been the Tribe’s ace as of late, and has always been a great pitcher. He can go 6 innings and always give his team in his case (the Indians) a chance to win, everytime he goes out there. He is a warrior, who lives off of changing speeds and fooling hitters. If he keeps up his hot streak, the Indians could gun down the top teams of the Central. It is possible.
David Huff, who pitched Friday vs. the Twins, went 5 strong giving up 9 hits, and 2 Earned Runs. Huff, (7-6, 6.55) is (2-0) with a 5.28 ERA. He is continuing to throw strikes, and get ahead of hitters, but also continues to give up way too many hits when he is ahead in the count. Huff, has also struggled against lefties, a stat that is rare for a left hander to do. Lefties are hitting .386 (51-132) against Huff this year, and the Twins lefties, (Mauer, Span, and Morneau) went 3-7 against him in Friday’s game. Huff had to say about Mauer, “Mauer is unbelievable. I tried to throw everything at him today. The only time I got him out was a changeup that I accidentally left up around the letters and he hit it straight up in the air. I guess that’s what I need to do — I just need to start making mistakes to him.”
Ted’s Take: If Huff continues to be knocked around by lefties, then maybe he just needs to face the White Sox every outing because they are chalk full of righties. If Huff continues to struggle, opposing managers will start to put in all of their lefties to make it tough on Huff, (Hey that rhymes.) He needs to really work on his curveball and his changeup, and make sure he keeps them down vs. left handed hitters, or we will see alot of balls leave the yard.
“Yes, I am a Browns fan, and proud of it!”
-Tribe Talk With Ted