If you are unfortunate enough to be a fan of the Cleveland Indians as I am, you may be counting down the days left in this miserable season. Another promising year has come and gone, with another September where the Indians will not even sniff the postseason.
For the second straight season, the Tribe has actually been playing some decent baseball after falling out of contention. While this has angered some, I am just glad to see them competing and giving me some kind of hope for the future.
With one more month left in the season, I decided to give fans in Northeast Ohio five reasons to get a little excited before the offseason:
5. It's Time to See What we Got for Some of These Trades
It seems like we will finally get a look at what Mark Shapiro got for the new ace of the Phillies. David Huff will be shut down soon and it has become clear that Carlos Carrasco will be the one to fill his rotation spot.
Carrasco has been pitching well recently in Columbus and looks to be a top of the line prospect; one of the keys to getting the Lee trade done. Along with him, Lou Marson will most likely get called up in hopes he can show enough offense to have him as the starting catcher next season.
4. It is a Big Month for Grady Sizemore
Recently, Grady Sizemore has had a little bit of a resurgence in his offensive game. Little by little, he has been raising his average and looking like the Sizemore we all know and love. A big September from Sizemore could go a long way in helping his confidence and the fans' confidence that he will bounce back in 2010.
3. Who Will Emerge as the Potential Ace of 2010?
At this point, it seems as though Aaron Laffey has the best chance of pitching on opening day next season. With that being said, a strong September from the remade Fausto Carmona could make this a competition come spring.
Along with those two, it should be interesting to see who will round out the rotation come next year. If Carrasco shows promise, he should earn a rotation spot along with Justin Masterson and Jake Westbrook.
My guess is that Jeremy Sowers and David Huff will be either used as long relievers/spot starters, or in the minors at the start of 2010.
2. It's Time for the Young Hitters to Prove They are Here to Stay
The three position players that are looking to lock down a starting position spot for next year with a strong September are Andy Marte, Matt LaPorta, and Luis Valbuena. With the way all three have been hitting recently, their spots are getting safer by the day.
The thing that I am most excited about is the hot start LaPorta has got off to since his recent call-up and Andy Marte's resurgence. LaPorta looks like a surefire middle of the order hitter next year to go along with Shin Soo-Choo. I am not completely sold on Marte, but he has definitely been impressive.
1. Only One More Month of Potato Wedge
The move to fire Wedge is not set in stone, but seems to be very likely at this time. This might be the change the fans are looking forward to the most. I am not as down on Wedge as most are, but it seems like it is definitely time for a change at the managerial position.