As the Cleveland Indians finished off their complete dismantling of the Seattle Mariners in the Northwest, they got another piece that could soon be added to their bullpen. To complete the Mark DeRosa trade with St. Louis, the Indians acquired hard-throwing Jess Todd. At 23, Todd seems to have a very bright future, compiling a 4-2 record with a 2.20 ERA on his way to making the PCL All Star team as a member of the AAA Memphis Redbirds.
As glum as this season has looked at times, it seems Cleveland could have a bright future and even playoff hopes entering next season. Their offense has been a strong point this season, ranking fifth in the majors in runs scored entering Sunday. With a healthy Sizemore and prospects like Matt LaPorta on the mend, their offense should have a lot of firepower for years to come.
As it always seems with the Indians, problems come from the pitching staff, and more specifically the bullpen. With Kerry Wood seeming to be settling in at the back end and Chris Perez looking like a decent pickup the bullpen seems to be heading in the right direction.
Cleveland also spent their first-round pick in this year's draft on flamethrower Alex White out of UNC. Adding Todd by the end of this year and possibly White by the end of next year would give Cleveland a very young, hard-throwing bullpen.
Keeping Cliff Lee should be essential if they are trying to be a playoff club in 2010. He is the definition of ace and such a big boost for their bullpen. Fausto Carmona seems to be finally showing positive signs and by the end of the year should show if he is ready to fulfill some of his early promise.
With other good looking young pitchers, highlighted by Hector Rondon, the staff should round out quite nicely in 2010.
Fans in Northeast Ohio seem to be very down on their team, and they have every right to be at this point. But young talent on the horizon seems to have things looking up for the Tribe, and 2010 contention is very possible.