2011 was truly a fun year for the Cleveland Indians…the first half anyway:
Casey Kotchman, Jeremy Accardo, Jose Lopez, Derek Lowe, Felix Pie, Kevin Slowey, and Dan Wheeler.
Jim Thome, Adam Everett, and Austin Kearns.
Why?: This is a weird entry/grade. The addition far surpass the subtractions. That said, I usually don’t put in more than one or two players in the “Notable” lists that have been signed to a minor league contract. In this entry, however, I have five players that were signed to minor league contracts on the list. This serves as an indicator that a lot of the players aren’t game changers. In other words, the subtraction players aren’t that far away from equaling the value to a team that the addition players present, a fact which reflects itself in the grade I gave their offseason.
Also, Kosuke Fukudome and Chad Durbin have yet to sign, which may bring the Indians’ grade down as they were on the Indians last year.
Predicted Record Range: 77-82 wins
Yeah, remember how in the recap of the Tiger’s offseason, I said it’s bad if you’re remembered for a failure rather than your successes. Well, does anyone remember the Indians for anything else than failing at failure:
I mean really, can anyone think of anything else ’cause I’ve got nothing. I would say that this is a bit worse, than being know as the Tigers are that is. At least the Tigers got a great deal of good publicity but the Indians: Lost the game, almost got a perfect game thrown against them, messed up a perfect game by running a ball out, forever a side note, and still best know in 2010 for this error.
Austin Kearns, and Adam Everett.
I tried looking up all the names of the player they had lost and saw nothing special about any in the group. Can’t lose what you never had. Except for obviously, Carlos Santana to injury.
Why?: They didn’t lose anything but didn’t gain anything. Had they made their improvements and subtractions with bigger names I probably would have given them a better grade just because bigger names fire up the fan base more, but the Indians don’t have the capital to accomplish this. If any doubt that the Indians lost no notable players, here are the names Drew Sutton, RJ Swindle, Winston Abreu, Luis Rodriguez, Chris Gimenez, Andy Marte, Wyatt Toregas. If you see any please tell me.
I like that they added two good players in Kearns and Everett, which is why I didn’t give them a C-. Overall, not much to report on this front. They do look to develop with the forever anticipated and maybe only fantasized day that Travis Hafner returns to his former greatness as the second best DH in the game (this was when David Ortiz was hitting 40 HRs) and Carlos Santana develops into an above average catcher (he may be now but we haven’t seen it because of the previously mentioned injury).
Predicted Record Range: 73-78 wins. This is again the mean for the possible scenarios that develop with Santana, Hafner etc. This means the range could go to 75-80 if everything goes right or they could actually lose more games because of their lack of improvements and the much improved AL Central.
Next up: Kansas City Royals
Again, well see when it comes to today’s double header at Fordham. One thing to look forward to (for some people, I get that not all of you like Spring Training much less High School Baseball) is that these following entries *WILL* have pictures! So no more pictures showing how awesome are field is:
but look at it. This is college level field where I have my own luxury suite (more on that in the entry). Where was I going with this point again? Oh… yeah, the following entries will be much more extensive and more visually appealing than there outdated counterparts.
Any time your team is most remembered for a failure than its successes. It’s not good:
Why?: Although they did make some improvements, they did so in a way that managed to anger the other 29 teams for what may be years to come. Now, I’m not saying that it wasn’t inevitable but whoever gave the first big multi year deal to a middle reliever was going to be hated. It just so happens that the Tigers made that move. From now on, acquiring and developing middle relief talent will be changed forever in that it is now a more valuable asset.
The losses, although insignificant in talent could come back to bite the Tigers if they keep the injury bug with them in 2011. Although they upgraded the spot of fourth and fifth starters with Brad Penny and Phil Coke, they sacrificed depth when they let go of Galarraga and Miner. Now if any starter goes down (and who ever heard of a rotation going through the season completely healthy) they will have to turn to Mr. AAA instead of a proven starter like Galarraga. This might cost them just enough spots to be edged out by one of the other strong teams in the Central.
Also, they did get rid of defensive depth in Laird but took care of that by getting Omir Santos. Everett on the other hand, should have been kept. I know the Tigers like to think optimistically but when was the last time he played 120+ games. I’ve got the answer, 2007. Again, I like Everett significantly better than a AAA shotstop or second baseman or even Ramon Santiago.
Predicted Record Range: 84-89 They made some significant additions and are getting players back but the Tigers’ players do tend to ebb and flow (Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera). Will they finally all have good seasons at the same time? If so, this team has enough talent to win the division but the mean of the ebb and flow is the predicted range.
Next Up: Cleveland Indians
Tomorrow is a double header for Fordham. So the data from this game might back me up over part of the weekend. I will get the first entry by end of Saturday but make no promises about the second. I will try and get the player bios on the roster entry as soon as I can but baseball season can be hectic. We’ll see.