March is coming to end along with another long, harsh winter and that means that the Cleveland Indians are finally ready to start their season. This Friday is the official season/home opener for the Tribe but that could change because of the lovely northeast
Ohio weather that always seems to cause problems. We all know what happened a couple of years ago when the entire opening series with the Seattle Mariners was postponed due to a blizzard…Gotta love this Ohio weather. I just find it funny that Major League Baseball always finds a way to schedule Tribe home games the first couple weeks of the season. If it was up to me I would put Cleveland, Detroit, Minnesota and any other northern city baseball franchise on the road for at least the first week of the season. Either way the start of a new season means new-found hope for Cleveland sports fans and I couldn’t be any more excited!
The Indians have a lot of young talent this year and that gives us a chance to make some noise if certain players develop…sounds like the same old crap we have heard the past 2 years. But there is a different feeling around this team. The young talent might finally live up to their potential if the dreaded injury bug doesn’t come around again. Indians manager, Manny Acta has a lot to prove in his 2nd year here and if he doesn’t improve from his less than satisfactory season last season then he might be looking for a job. Here are some players that might be key elements to the success to this team this year.
Players to watch
- Catcher, Carlos Santana. Last year he became the full-time starter midway through the season. Right when he was starting to come on he severely injured his knee and was forced to sit out the rest of the year. If he can get back to where he was last year and live up to his potential then the Indians will be considerably better.
- 1st baseman, Matt LaPorta. If the Indians want to improve they have to get more production out of LaPorta. He has been projected to be a 30+ home run hitter and that hasn’t happened yet.
Outfielder, Shin-Soo Choo. Last year Choo was the Indians best all around player. He was the best offensive and defensive everyday player. If he can keep his production levels up and someone else can step up offensively then this team will improve.
- The entire starting rotation. If there is one glaring weakness with this team it’s starting pitching. There is not one stand out pitcher in our rotation this year. Fausto Carmona is consistently inconsistent, Justin Masterson is at best the 5th guy in a rotation and he is our 2nd and no one knows what to expect from Mitch Talbot, Carlos Carrasco and Josh Tomlin. It is the one thing on this team that could derail any potential improvement.
Opening day for the Indians holds a special place in my heart. I remember being in 4th grade and watching the season opener in class. The Indians in the late 90s and early 2000s had the hearts of every person in the northeast Ohio region. I just hope that it gets back to that level sometime soon.
And the Cavs finally got some revenge on Lebron! This season is a success in my eyes!