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.
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
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