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Well the 2012 season is here and I figured there are enough Wahoo fans on this board to warrant an official thread that was not started by some Sox fan who joked about the hat I wear the most frequently, so without further ado I present tOffical 2012 Cleveland Indians thread.
I hope to make this first post as informative as possible for Indians and other opposing team’s fans to get a gauge of this young team. Feel free to downvote me if you like Tigers fans, but I promise to provide the best info I can.
I’ll start with my projected starting for opening day along with their projected stats given by Fangraphs (my preferred site for baseball stats). Stats presented as (AVG/OBP/SLG/wOBA/WAR).
1. CF-Michael Brantley (.274,.327,.384,.318,1.6)
2. SS-Asdrubal Cabrera (.277,.337,.425,.336,3.1)
3. LF-Shin-Soo Choo (.292,.380,.467,.372,4.7)
4. C-Carlos Santana (.266,.377,.486,.373,6.2)
5. DH-Travis Hafner (.276,.360,.446,.350,1.7)
6. 1B-Casey Kotchman (.271,.339,.380,.316,1.2)
7. 2B-Jason Kipnis (.274,.341,.453,.350,3.6)
8. LF- Shelley Duncan (.249,.335,.465,.344)*
9. 3B-Lonnie Chisenhall (.266,.324,.425,.328,2.8)
*Bill James Projection
I like Brantley a lot in the leadoff spot, even more so than Sizemore. If he can tap the potential he showed in the minors for being a BB and SB guy he will be a rising young talent. Asdrubal will most likely be the player he was in August of last year. Lower average but the power potential will still be there. Choo should be Choo, all distractions aside/DUIs aside. My breakout candidate for the Indians this year is Carlos Santana. Simply put I love him. He is a power machine who can also draw walks like no ones business. Just look at his projected WAR. I think he will be in the conversation for MVP, def. top 10. Hafner is the wily veteran who has learned how to find his pitches. I see a solid year from him. Kotchman had a great year for the Rays last year but there is a reason they let him go. Expect him to regress to career numbers that had the offensively challenged rays trying to trade him, though he will still be better than Matt Laporta. Jason Kipnis is key to the Indians’ future. His development along with Chisenhall’s is the difference between competing for a wild card spot and regressing back to a 70 win team. No, he will not be the guy leaving Red Sox fans saying “Who the F*** is this guy” but I see him having an extremely solid first full year. He is a future all-star. Shelley Duncan gets this spot by default because of Grady’s body being Grady’s body. He had a torrid September but look for him to regress to his career numbers. There is a reason why he is a platoon man. Fortunately for him he is on the Indians. As I stated earlier Lonnie Chisenhall is also key to this young club. He looked last season at times like he was rushed too fast to the majors, but I believe after having a half season in the majors he will be much more comfortable assuming the full time role at 3B. I see him having a solid sophomore campaign. He can have a great season if he can hit the lefties this time around, but I don’t see that happening right away.
As for backups, leather specialist Jack Hannahan is back and ready to show you why he is in the MLB because it sure isn’t because of his bat. All jokes aside I like Jack and he showed some potential to be the full time starter, but unfortunately for him the club is fully committed in Lonnie Chisenhall and his development. Lou Marson is an above average catcher who has a gun from home to second. Simply put, runners don’t run on him and if they do they don’t get the full 90 feet. If he develops into a marginal hitter, look for him to start behind the plate and Santana to move to 1B. As for Matt Laporta, everyone is hoping he turns into the player that Shapiro thought he got for CC. I just don’t see the development happening. He has shown flashes but over the long haul he is pretty bad. Now we come to Grady Sizemore. I wish we could put 2007 Grady back on this team because they would easily compete with the Tigers for 1st place but alas he is now an old man meaning the Indians can hope at best for the 2nd wildcard spot. I see him starting to platoon in the OF. He simply cannot do it everyday anymore.
Next, I’ll move to my projected starting rotation for the Tribe. This time the stats presented are listed as (W-L,IP,FIP).
1. Justin Masterson (13-10,210,3.55)
2. Ubaldo Jimenez (13-10,208,3.67)
3. Josh Tomlin (10-9,178,4.30)
4. Derek Lowe (10-13,187,3.94)
5. Kevin Slowey (9-9,140,4.26)
This is a solid rotation that has the potential to be a lethal one-two combo with Masterson and Jimenez at the top. Masterson continued his ascendance to being a top tier starter last year after a good close to the 2010 season. I see this continuing with his 95 MPH fastball that has wicked movement. He honestly doesn’t need to throw another pitch because it is that deadly. If Masterson is Ron Burgundy’s right hook Jack Johnson, Jimenez can be his Left Hook Tom O’Leary if he regains his 98 MPH fastball. He has never really been a control pitcher so his plus fastball is integral in getting outs. I saw that plus velocity coming back in his last starts of 2011 so for the sake of the Indians I hope that carries over to this year. Josh Tomlin is the innings eater king. He has gone at least 5 innings in all of his major league starts, which is a MLB record. His fastball only touches about 90 but he is so strategic and methodical with his pitches that he gets a bunch of outs. He also doesn’t walk anyone. Period. Derek Lowe is a war-hardened veteran who is going to be who he is. That sounds cliché but he is simply a bottom rotation guy who will give you decent production. Kevin Slowey is a young pitcher who was acquired from the Twins. He doesn’t walk a ton of people but does give up a good amount of dingers. The 5th spot may end up being a season long tryout as long as Fausto…..I mean Roberto is still embroiled with his identity crisis.
The Bullpen of this club is without question the strongest unit. Chris Perez, the closer, may actually be the weakest link. Vinnie Pestano strikes out practically every right-handed batter he faces. Joe Smith and his side-armed delivery are hard to get any runs out of. Tony Sipp is a strong left handed 8th inning guy that always seems to make a bad pitch but always gets flyball outs. Always. Overall, this unit keeps the Indians in a lot of games and is the reason they had so many come from behind wins last year.
When it comes to trying to predict their final record it hinges a lot on 4 players. First, if Asdrubal keeps up his top tier SS numbers up or he regresses more than 2008 housing prices. Second is the development of Lonnie Chisenhall along with Jason Kipnis. Finally, if Ubaldo can regain his 2010 form. I see the Indians either being 78-85 or 85-78 depending on these factors. Because I am drinking the Wahoo Warrior’s KoolAid I am going to go with 85-78 and in second place in the AL central.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Bungholeman 2 years ago
The old thread was started by a Whitesox fan.
Many times I thought of changing the thread name to have it lost in 247 terrible search land.
Oh thanks for clearing that up. I will find him and will make him eat his words for cursing my beautiful hat
I don't have any idea where he is....
few glasses of wine tonight, so i'll read your post tomorrow, but Go Tribe.
Shelley Duncan is a man possessed. Break out year. (Not intended to be a factual statement)
Still down on Ubaldo. Fire Antonetti, and stuff.
HEY ITS YOU!!!!!!!!
You can change the thread but you can't change tInjuns
They are what they are, bad
The Tribes only April and it looks beat up.
Ubaldo has been shaky in his first two outings this spring. I really hope he can be a solid starter in our rotation this season, we are going to need him. Still have no confidence in the guy though.
Been watching some of the ST games on mlb.tv. The bats are looking pretty good so far! I'm excited to get the season going.
I figured you would have started this thread with how much you comment in them
How many HRs do you think Fielder and Miggy will combine for in your ballpark?
"As far as the downvotes. It's a gnat biting an lion"
-- A member of tRCMB Justice League, taking the internet WAY WAY too seriously.
Just got MLB.TV so my EL/Lansing self can watch all the games. 13 days till opening day! Roll Tribe!
I've been putting off getting it. Just can't pull the trigger being a broke college kid.
I feel ya. I got it for my birthday gift. I just really wanted to get it this year especially because now you can watch the games through your xbox rather than solely your computer
just bought the basic package for a month. We'll see if this team is worth paying to watch after the end of April
Lonnie and LaPorta were optioned to AAA today. Little surprised that Lonnie was.Wouldn't be surprised to see Canzler see some time at 3B this year now.
Your a retard.
Got the full season package with a few friends. Glad to see its on xbox this season. Looking forward to watchin' the Tribe from EL.
Surprising about Chisenhall. Not sure how I feel about it. I can see him needing a little more seasoning. He was awfully streaky in the minors last year. I'm guessing he'll be up by Mid May at the latest if he hits and shows competent defense.
and i'm relativey optimistic about Canzler. He was one of the only acquisitions I liked this offseason.
I like that this unfortunate thread was started by someone who calls himself "bungholeman".
It's very appropriate.
does anyone else use all of their daily downvotes on Tigers fans trolling in here?
Your fanbase treated Brandon Inge like he was George Herman Inge for a full decade.
Indians fans aren't the greatest, but I take pride that we never treated Casey Blake (who was twice the player Inge ever will be) like Mike Schmidt.
Says the man who just called a 32 year old journeyman .239 career hitter with 30 total career home runs a "man possessed" and indicated he was ready for a break out season.
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