MLB 2013 Preview: Cleveland Indians

The new Cleveland offense should equate to more wins in 2013. Photo: Newcomers Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher/AP

LOS ANGELES, March 8, 2013 — The Cleveland Indians finished fourth in the American League Central division in 2012 with a 68-94 record. Manny Acta was fired with six games left in the season and the 2013 reboot began.

The Indians went through a pretty major overhaul on both offense and with their starting rotation. The improvements in offense were very good and should improve an offense that ranked 22nd in baseball last year in runs scored.

Their pitching improvements, however, come with question marks. Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has battled injuries over the last four years, can get give you quality starts if he is healthy. Brett Myers, 32, has flipped between being a starter and a closer numerous times during his 11-year career. This year will be no different as Cleveland will try to make him a starter again after closing in 2012.

Ubaldo Jimenez is coming off a 17-loss season and has been progressively less effective each year since his two spectacular seasons in Colorado in 2009 and 2010. It wouldn’t surprise me to see newly acquired Trevor Bauer in the rotation sooner than later.

Justin Masterson/AP

Projected payroll: $72,355,833

Notable Players Out: RF Shin-Soo Choo, DH Travis Hafner, 3B Jack Hannahan, 1B Casey Kotchman, RHP Roberto “Fausto Carmona” Hernandez, RHP Jeanmar Gomez

Notable Players In: CF Michael Bourn, 1B Nick Swisher, RF Drew Stubbs, DH Mark Reynolds, RHP Brett Myers, RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka, RHP Matt Capps, 1B/DH Jason Giambi, 2B/OF Ryan Rayburn, UTIL Mike Aviles

Prospect Watch: SS Francisco Lindor and RHP Trevor Bauer

Highlight Hitter: 1B Nick Swisher (ZiPS 2013 Projections: .251/.347/.458 23 HR/66 R/71 RBI)

Highlight Pitcher: RHP Justin Masterson (ZiPS Projections: 10-12, 4.33 ERA, 6.84 K/9, 193.3 IP)

Projected Lineup: C Carlos Santana, 1B Nick Swisher, 2B Jason Kipnis, 3B Lonnie Chisenhall, SS Asdrubal Cabrera, LF Michael Brantley, CF Michael Bourn, RF Drew Stubbs, DH Mark Reynolds

Projected Rotation: RHP Justin Masterson, RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP Brett Myers, RHP Zach McAllister, RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka

Projected Closer: Vinnie Pestano/Chris Perez

Manager: Terry Francona

Projected 2013 Finish in AL West: 1. TBA  2. TBA  3. Cleveland Indians  4. Chicago White Sox  5. Minnesota Twins

Kevin J. Wells writes about Major League Baseball and punk rock music.  Follow him on Twitter @WellsOnBaseball

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Kevin J Wells

Kevin J. Wells was born and raised in the Los Angeles area in a town called Montrose.  He currently plays guitar for and is a founding member of the Los Angeles punk rock band Emmer Effer.  He has worked in a number of different career fields including Behavioral Therapy, Commodities, Insurance, and most recently a food cart in Portland, OR. Kevin has been both a sports and entertainment columnist and editor for The Washington Times Communities since January 2013.

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