The Cleveland Indians surpassed even the most optimistic projections for the 2013 season en-route to their first playoff appearance since 2007.
This year, the Indians will return a somewhat-similar team, with a few changes scattered across the team. Impact players like Joe Smith, Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir have moved on to other teams, but the Tribe brought in a couple of solid players like David Murphy and John Axford, while also promoting players, like Danny Salazar and Yan Gomes, into full-time roles in order to help patch up the holes left by departing players.
In short, things in Cleveland look pretty good. The offense is stout, the bullpen looks to have improved over its' 2013 form, and if the individual members of the starting rotation perform to their respective capabilities, the Indians could have a very, very good season in 2014.
These are just a few of the reasons why fans should be optimistic for the 2014 season, and I'll detail eight over the course of this article.
Let's get started.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.