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2009 AL Preview: Cleveland Indians

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Team Name: Cleveland Indians

2008 W-L Record: 81-81

Place in division: 3rd

2009 Projected Lineup

Player

Pos.

Victor Martiez

C

Ryan Garko

1B

Asdrubal Cabrera

2B

Jhonny Peralta

SS

Mark DeRosa

3B

Ben Francisco

LF

Grady Sizemore

CF

Sin-Soo Choo

RF

Travis Hafner

DH

Key Bench Players

Player

Pos.

Jamie Carroll

IF

Dave Dellucci

OF

Kelly Shoppach

C

2009 Projected Rotation

Player

Pos.

Cliff Lee

SP1

Fausto Carmona

SP2

Aaron Laffey

SP3

Jeremy Sowers

SP4

Anthony Reyes

SP5

Key Relievers

Player

Pos.

Kerry Wood

Closer

Jensen Lewis

Setup

Joe Smith

Setup

Rafael Perez

Specialist

2009 Outlook Paragraph:

The Indians under achieved in 2008, falling four runs short of their Pythagorean W-L record.  However, they should be an improved team in 2009 with the additions of Mark DeRosa and Kerry Wood.  DeRosa is coming of the best season of his career with Chicago, where he had an OPS of .857 and a WAR of 4.2.  He'll add a much needed bat at third base, while also being able to play any of the outfield positions.  After having one of the best bullpens in the league in 2007 the Indians had one of the worst in 2008.  The addition of Kerry Wood should help stabilize that.  He posted a 2.32 FIP and an 11.40 K/9, which was the second highest of his career.  If he can stay healthy that should put the rest of the bullpen in order.  Kelly Shoppach had a breakout season in the absence of Victor Martinez.  If he can continue hitting the way he did in 2008(his BABIP was .359) that could allow Cleveland to move Martinez to first and bench Ryan Garko.  The rotation should be ok behind CY Young winner Cliff Lee and Fausto Carmona.  Their 3-5 starters are a bit iffy with Sowers, Laffey, Reyes, Lewis and Pavano competing for those final spots.  The AL Central should be a wide open race in 2009, with the Indians right back in the hunt.