With the Indians predicted to win a whopping 67 games this year, we have to wonder, is it really going to be THAT bad?
Well lets look at the facts, we have an iffy at best rotation, a young team that has massive upside but may take some time to get there. But thats gotta be worth at least 70 wins right? There are a lot of questions that need to be answered, and will be as the season begins, those being:
Will Pronk be Pronk again? This one, unfortunately doesn’t look good, after 2 solid years of nagging shoulder trouble so bad he hasn’t thrown a ball in that time, I sincerely doubt if he will be able to swing the bat like he used to. Although if he doesn’t get back to that point it could turn out well for Michael Brantley with a move of LaPorta to DH and Brantley in Left.
Will Fausto be 2007 vintage on 2009 vintage? I say with the work he has been doing and the changes he has made during Winter Ball, he has a slightly better chance of 2010 being 2007 than not. Especially if his slight adjustment to help him against lefties is effective.
Can Jake Westbrook come back strong after Tommy John surgery? He had 3 good years a few years back, but never a top of the rotation starter Jake Westbrook has spent what seems like forever on the comeback trail. Its been since 2008 since he pitched in a MLB game, and is likely the Opening Day Starter for the Tribe. All we can hope for is a healthy arm and hopefully a full season for him.
Also it will be key for young guys like Cabrera and Valbuena to play well, rookies like Marson to help at the tail end of the line-up and established guys like Sizemore and Peralta to come back from less than impressive years last season. And it will be imperative that the bullpen shows some value for money this season especially Kerry Wood.
Even with all the unanswered questions and other possible issues, what can we expect from the Indians? I personally think 70 wins is a minimum for the Tribe this year, with a ceiling of up to 80 or so. But hey, you never know. We here at LakeErieSoldiers would love to hear what you think the Tribes basement and ceiling are for this season, and anything else you think about the Indians. Let us hear it!