Friday, February 17, 2012

Offseason Review: Cleveland Indians

The Cleveland Indians didn't do a whole lot in this offseason. Given their mid-market status combined with their surprisingly dominant first third of the 2011 season, I don't think the Tribe wanted to do much more than tweak their roster before taking another run at it in 2012. Almost immediately following the conclusion of the World Series, Cleveland made a move to acquire ground ball pitcher Derek Lowe from the Braves. Lowe will join Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez as the ground balling gauntlet that the power-filled AL Central will have to contend with this year.

Pitching improvements were made even more busy when Fausto Carmona was discovered to actually be the four year older Roberto Hernandez after Dominican police reported that the pitcher had been been using an assumed name. They acquired Kevin Slowey who had just been traded to the Rockies about a month and a half prior and signed Jon Garland (best known for his work on the Bernie Mac show) who is looking to bounce back after an injury shortened 2011 season.
Grady Sizemore showing that it's never a bad idea for professional athletes to do this sort of thing, ever.

The infield defense needed some shoring up with the added emphasis on ground ball pitching so they signed the gold glove worthy Casey Kotchman who will be sharing time with Carlos Santana and Matt LaPorta. They also re-signed the constantly injured dong champion/power threat Grady Sizemore who still has potential assuming his body doesn't go in to renal failure at some point in the season. By the way, if you Google image search him you can find an even more scandalous shot involving him holding a teacup over his wiener, which he sent to his now fiancee Brittany Binger. This is just my cute way of saying congratulations to Mr. and Ms. Sizemore on their engagement!

Truth be told, Cleveland couldn't have done too much. Detroit looks pretty poised to take the division again, the Twins can't possibly be as bad as they were in 2011, Kansas City is on the very precipice of excellence, the White Sox....are going to suck, but still. They can hope that they are able to kick some ass and with a little luck compete, but it's gonna be tough.

Real quick commentary on an interesting possible x-factor here.  The infield is young and promising and if they can focus on their gloves, the Indians could be awfully tough to score on. I really like Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall a lot. They are young and malleable and able to be coached. It wouldn't be a bad investment to keep a focus on defense and hope luck pays off.

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