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There is real hope for the Indians in 2012.
I'll leave you with this path to get the Indians to 90 wins, what it will take to be in contention for a playoff spot. I'm basing these WAR projections not off of any special formula, but from looking at past performance from each player and performances from similar players around the league.
I tried to be realistic with these and go low for players as often as possible to give them the maximum chance of accuracy.
A replacement level team would win 45.5 games, so the Tribe have that no matter what.
Starting Rotation: Jimenez (4.7), Masterson (3.5), Tomlin (2.0), Carmona (2.3), Lowe (2.5). This adds 15 wins to our total, putting the Indians at 60.5 wins.
Bullpen: C. Perez (0.4), R. Perez (0.9), Pestano (1.0), Sipp (0.0), Smith (0.5), Hagadone (0.5), Putnam (0.5). These may be a little high overall, but 3.8 wins from the bullpen isn't a ridiculous amount. Now the Tribe is at 64.3 wins.
Starting Lineup (sans 1B): Santana (6.4), Kipnis (3.0), Cabrera (2.9), Chisenhall (2.0), Brantley (1.6), Sizemore (2.0), Choo (4.7), Hafner (2.0).
These numbers are expecting average production from Chisenhall, Brantley, Sizemore and Hafner, meaning they would exceed them with any progression/health. Those numbers are very possible. Santana's WAR may seem high, but that's what he has averaged over his young career. He's a stud and Cleveland fans should realize that.
Adding the starting lineup's WAR together, we get 24.6 wins, putting the Tribe's total at 88.9 wins. Now, if the Indians can find a decent 1B (Carlos Pena or Carlos Lee project for around a 2.5 WAR), the Indians can easily find themselves around 90 wins.
The Indians' work is not done this offseason, but there is plenty of reason to be excited for the 2012 season. It may be a magical one for Tribe fans everywhere.