All the familiar faces are gone in Cleveland. You won’t find Grady Sizemore stealing the hearts of women in the stands, Travis Hafner selling Pronk Bars while on the disabled list or
Fausto Carmona, I mean Roberto Hernandez trying to find a new identity.
Terry Francona is the new major for the Cleveland Indians. He brings baggage from how his Red Sox tenure ended…and Daisuke Matsuzaka. He doesn’t have as much pressure on him to succeed, which will be something new for him.
Will high priced free agents Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn produce in their first season with the Tribe?
Will Jason Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera lead the Indians to an improbable playoff berth?
Here is the 2013 MLB season preview for the Cleveland Indians.
2012 Win/Loss Record: 68-94
Key Additions: OF Drew Stubbs, OF Nick Swisher, OF Michael Bourn, 3B Mark Reynolds, P Matt Capps, P Trevor Bauer, P Brett Myers, SS Mike Aviles, 1B/DH Jason Giambi, C Yan Gomes, P Matt Albers, P Bryan Shaw, P Rich Hill, 2B Ryan Raburn
Key Losses: OF Shin-Soo Choo, OF Grady Sizemore, DH Travis Hafner, P Roberto Hernandez (Fausto Carmona), 1B Casey Kotchman, P Dan Wheeler, P Tony Sipp, OF Johnny Damon, P Derek Lowe, OF Trevor Crowe, OF Brent Lillibridge
Interleague Schedule: NL East + Cincinnati Reds
Projected Starters: Carlos Santana, Mark Reynolds, Jason Kipnis, Lonnie Chisenhall, Asdrubal Cabrera, Michael Bourn, Drew Stubbs, Nick Swisher, Mike Aviles
Projected Starting Rotation: Ubaldo Jimenez, Justin Masterson, Brett Myers, Carlos Carrasco, Daisuke Matsuzaka
Closer: Chris Perez
Fantasy Sleeper: RP Vinnie Pestano – It’s rare that a middle reliever is considered a fantasy baseball sleeper, but Pestano falls into that category. I play in a few league where “Holds” is a category. If you play in a league with that category or with a starting pitcher innings limit, Pestano is a guy to watch. He had 36 holds in 2012 and is predicted to get just as many this year. Pestano has been one of the most reliable bullpen arms since he was called up in late September 2010. The current closer Chris Perez has a rocky relationship with the team and his role could be in jeopardy could cost him his job. They signed Matt Capps in the offseason and will probably get the role in that scenario. It’s a longshot that Pestano would ever be put in the closer role, but he is a sure bet to get your team holds and a decent ERA & WHIP.
Team Analysis: It’s a new era for the Cleveland Indians. The former franchise player Grady Sizemore, Travis Hafner, Roberto Hernandez (Fausto Carmona) & Shin-Soo Choo are no longer on the team. New manager Terry Francona has a team with many new faces. They signed veterans (Nick Swisher, Brett Myers & Jason Giambi) and acquired young talent (Trevor Bauer & Drew Stubbs). They have a nice balance and will contend while they rebuild. Jason Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera are two mainstays that could have the best numbers by the end of the year. I have this team winning 77 games this season. It’s about where everyone thinks they’ll end up, especially Vegas. GM Mark Shapiro did a great job at filling needs and making smart decisions. I like the young trio of Kipnis, Drew Stubbs and Lonnie Chisenhall going forward. They are an improved team, but they’re a couple seasons away from competing with the Detroit Tigers for the AL Central crown
Sportsbook.ag’s 2013 Wins Over/Under Line: 77.5 (Prediction: UNDER)
2013 Projected Win/Loss Record: 77-85 (5th in AL Central)
…because people often find my site on Google by trying to find MLB players with their shirt off (I have zero idea how this started). Here is a picture of Terry Francona shirtless and flexing (kind of).