2010 MLB Season Preview: Cleveland Indians

Taylor SmithAnalyst IMarch 31, 2010

BOSTON - MAY 30:  Grady Sizemore #24 of the Cleveland Indians is congratulated by teammate Travis Hafner #48 after Sizemore hit a two run homer in the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox on May 30, 2007 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images


2009 regular season record:  65-97, Fourth place, AL Central

Major Offseason Acquisitions:
Russell Branyan (SEA), Austin Kearns (WAS), Mitch Talbot (TB), Jamey Wright (KC)

Major Offseason Losses: Kelly Shoppach (TB), Jamey Carroll (LAD)

Projected Lineup (2009 stats): 

1. CF-Grady Sizemore (.248 BA, .343 OBP, 18 HR, 64 RBI)

2. SS-Asdrubal Cabrera (.308 BA, .361 OBP, 6 HR, 68 RBI, 17 SB)

3. RF-Shin-Soo Choo (.300 BA, .394 OBP, 20 HR, 86 RBI, 21 SB)

4. DH-Travis Hafner (.272 BA, .355 OBP, 16 HR, 49 RBI)

5. 3B-Jhonny Peralta (.254 BA, .316 OBP, 11 HR, 83 RBI)

6. 1B-Matt LaPorta (.254 BA, .308 OBP, 7 HR, 21 RBI)

7. LF-Michael Brantley (.313 BA, .358 OBP, 0 HR, 11 RBI)

8. C-Lou Marson (.246 BA, .347 OBP, 0 HR, 4 RBI)

9. 2B-Luis Valbuena (.250 BA, .298 OBP, 10 HR, 31 RBI)

Projected Starting Rotation/Closer (2009 stats):

1. RHP Jake Westbrook (2007 stats: 6-9, 4.32 ERA, 152 IP; missed most of '08 and all of '09 due to injury)

2. RHP Fausto Carmona (5-12, 6.32 ERA, 125.1 IP)

3. RHP Justin Masterson (4-10, 4.52 ERA, 129.1 IP)

4. LHP Aaron Laffey (7-9, 4.44 ERA, 121.2 IP)

5. RHP Mitch Talbot (Minor leagues: 4-4, 3.69 ERA, 68.1 IP)

Closer: RHP Kerry Wood (4.25 ERA, 20 saves)

2010 outlook

Jake Westbrook, who hasn't pitched in a major league game since June of 2008, leads a staff full of young, inexperienced pitchers.

Fausto Carmona, after a great '08 season, took a huge step back in '09, and may have been the Indians' worst starting pitcher, with an ERA of 6.32.

However, he's looked much better so far this spring, and the Tribe has high hopes for him once again.

Like the pitching staff, Cleveland's lineup is full of unproven players as well.

Matt LaPorta, the big prize in the C.C. Sabathia trade, is entering his first full season of big league action, and has been projected for big things.

He's got good power to all fields from the right side of the plate, and should be able to help an Indians' lineup devoid of much power.

Shin-Soo Choo enjoyed a breakout year in '09, and the 27-year-old will likely be depended upon to improve on his 20 home run, 20 stolen base performance.

The Indians have some parts, but, as is the case with so many teams, inexperience and injuries have gotten in the way of success in the past.

They shouldn't be in the cellar of the AL Central again this year, but they likely won't be competing for much else, either. 

2010 Prediction: 75-87, Fourth place, AL Central

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