Assessing the Cleveland Indians' Biggest Weaknesses Prior to Opening Day
The Cleveland Indians made some major strides this offseason.
Even with these moves, the Indians are far from perfect.
But what exactly are their biggest weaknesses?
There's plenty of talent at the big league level, but the team lacks plate discipline.
Last season, the nine players slated to start every game struck out a combined 1,013 times in 4,458 at-bats.
The combined strikeout rate for Indians' position players was 20 percent.
The Indians have a lot of offensive talent and with the new lineup they've created, they're going to score, however, the strikeouts are going to be a cause for concern moving forward.
The most glaring source of strikeouts comes in the form of Reynolds and Stubbs. Last season, the two combined for 325 strikeouts.
Toss in Michael Bourn and you have 480 strikeouts in 1,785 plate appearances. That makes for a 27 percent strikeout rate.
The Indians will need their team, and in particular Stubbs, Reynolds and Bourn, to cut down on their strikeouts if they're going to produce at a satisfactory rate.
The Indians pitching staff is far from a strong point.
That rotation will do little to instill a sense of confidence in fans, and for good reason.
Here's what the starting rotation has done over the past two seasons.
The Indians lack a true number one, and a two. Masterson has the ability to pitch like a third starter and McAllister is still just 25 years old with room to grow.
With no front-end starters to speak of, the Indians pitching staff is a crap shoot in nearly every game.
The Indians have some solid pitching prospects, but Bauer is the closest thing to major league ready, and even he posted a 6.06 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP over 16.1 innings.
Viable Bench Bats
The Indians starting lineup has plenty of potential, however, the depth on the bench leaves a lot to be desired.
Aviles managed a rather successful 2012 season with the Boston Red Sox, but averages just 95 games played per season over the course of his five-year-career.
Raburn was a productive part of the Detroit Tigers lineup for three straight years between 2009 and 2011. Unfortunately, Raburn struggled mightily in 2012 and found himself without a job by November 20th (per ESPN.com).
What is the Indians biggest weakness in 2013?
Marson, a 26-year-old catcher, is a career backup with no big league success to speak of.
Providing Aviles can continue with his recent success, then the Indians have one player capable of stepping in and making contributions both offensively and defensively.
However, Raburn and Marson are unlikely to make any sort of significant impact on this year's Cleveland Indians team.
If the Indians can work through these shortcomings, they could sneak up on a lot of baseball fans in 2013.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?