Thursday, April 6

Cleveland Indians: Youth Movement

Head back to the home discussion

Starting Pitching:

Ace: Jake Westbrook
2nd: Cliff Lee
3rd: C.C. Sabathia (injured)
4th: Paul Byrd
5th: Jason Johnson

5 questions:

  1. Will Sabathia ...well, for one, return well from injury, and two, perform at the level of effectiveness he had last season?
  2. How will the rotation cope with the loss of last year's ERA king, Kevin Millwood?
  3. How deep is the rotation? Newcomers Paul Byrd and Jason Johnson will be at least serviceable, but beyond that?
  4. Along the same lines, how will Byrd perform in the rotation?
  5. Will the rotation perform well enough to allow the offense to compete with the White Sox?
More information:
Jake Westbrook
C. C. Sabathia

Bullpen / Closer:

Closer: Bob Wickman
8th: Rafael Betancourt
7th: Guillermo Mota
Sit. Right.: Fernando Cabrera
Sit. Lefty:
Mop-up: Danny Graves

5 questions:
  1. Danny Graves? Really, Danny Graves? Is the bullpen that hard up for help?
  2. Will Wickman fall apart this season?
  3. How will the young guys (Betancourt, Cabrera) perform given increased responsibility?
  4. Will Mota improve back to his '04 levels now that he's performing under less pressure - and more health - than he was in Florida last year?
  5. How are they getting lefties out?
More information:
Fernando Cabrera


C: Victor Martinez
1B: Ben Broussard
2B: Ronnie Belliard
SS: Johnny Peralta
3B: Aaron Boone
DH: Travis Hafner

5 questions:
  1. Whither Andy Marte? How long will it be before he comes up?
  2. How much will the young kids improve / rake it?
  3. Will Hafner's health have a significant impact on their offensive performance?
  4. Can Boone perform at all close to what he's done in the past?
  5. How good can V-Mart and Hafner be in the middle of this lineup? Yikes.
More information:
Johnny Peralta
Travis Hafner
Andy Marte

RF: Casey Blake
CF: Grady Sizemore
LF: Jason Michaels

3 questions:
  1. How will the outfield play with the loss of Coco Crisp to the Red Sox?
  2. Is there any speed here outside of Sizemore?
  3. How will Jason Michaels perform given an everyday role?
More information:
Grady Sizemore
Jason Michaels

Extra Stuff:

I'll be honest - I like the Indians for the wild-card. They've got enough youth and offensive prowess to win more than their fair share of slugfests, and their pitching should keep them in close games. Mind you, the World Champion White Sox might not have happened last year had the Indians not bit it late last year. Food for thought.