2012 Cleveland Indians Team Report

by on November 27th, 2010
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The Cleveland Indians are primed to take the field for spring training the first week of March. Unlike the past few years everyone seems healthy. Spring training should be sure to heat up this year in Arizona. There will be battles for the starting job at both second and third base as well as a few young pitchers trying to make their mark.

Rumors

Grady Sizemore is in a one-year contract extension. For the first time in two years the 29-year-old center fielder is coming into spring training healthy. Sizemore underwent knee surgery in the offseason. There were rumors that the Tribe would trade Sizemore in the 2011 season. The only problem was he was injured and it was a hard sell. Don’t be surprised to hear trade rumors for Sizemore pick up again this season. The club could unload the center fielder for a few good young prospects.

Roberto Heredia a.k.a. Fausto Carmona was arrested on Jan. 19 while trying to renew his visa at the American consulate in Santo Domingo. The young man that Indians fans have known since 2007 as Fausto Carmona is actually Roberto Heredia. Not only did Heredia lie about his real name, but he lied about his real age as well. The backs of the baseball cards say that Carmona is 28, but Roberto Heredia is actually 31. The age deception could possibly give the Tribe an out on Heredia’s contract. Last year he had a 5.25 ERA and only 7 wins.

Depth Chart

DH: Travis Hafner

First Base: Matt LaPorta

Second Base: Jason Kipnis

Third Base: Lonnie Chisenhall

Catcher: Carlos Santana

Left Field: Michael Brantley

Center Field: Grady Sizemore

Right Field: Shin-Soo Choo

Position Battles

Jason Kipnis is slated to be the starting second baseman going into spring camp this year, but don’t be surprised if you see the Tribe mixing it up on that position during the spring. Jason Donald is listed as the player backing up Kipins on second. Donald is a natural shortstop and the Indians may also try him in the outfield this year. The point is, he’s got a good bat and if he’s hot, the club will find a spot for him. Cord Phelps and Jose Lopez are a couple of young minor league prospects that will be chomping at the bit for the second base job as well.

Third base may be a hot competition too. Lonnie Chisenhall and Jack Hannahan have similar career numbers coming into this spring. To spice up the pot a little bit Jason Donald also has some third base experience.

Pitching

There aren’t as many options on the mound as there are in the dugout. The Indians pitching staff is thin and shaky at best. The ace of the staff will be Ubaldo Jimenez, a Dominican fireballer that the Tribe picked up from Colorado last year. Derek Lowe will be an interesting story to watch as well. Lowe is a seasoned veteran who has had a few bad years down in Atlanta, but may be able to turn things around in the AL Central. Justin Masterson is returning to the mound to provide some consistency in the middle of the rotation.

The bullpen will be held down by Joe Smith, Tony Sipp, and Rafael Perez. The nice thing about the Indians bullpen is that they won’t win many games, but they won’t loose many either. There seems to be a good mix of right and left handed middle relief talent to get to the ninth inning. Closing things out this year will be right-hander Chris Perez, who chalked up 36 saves in the 2011 campaign.


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