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2014 Indians = 2008 Indians?

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2014 Indians = 2008 Indians?

Unread postby Rat_Tail » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:26 pm

What are your expectations for this season?

Playoffs or bust? Is that fair?
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Re: 2014 Indians = 2008 Indians?

Unread postby skatingtripods » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:55 pm

Possible. I think they're an 85-87 win team with a chance to overachieve. They might be a notch down from last season because of the losses in the rotation, but hopefully 30 starts of Salazar can offset part of the loss. Jimenez had a 4.56/4.50/4.16 (ERA/FIP/xFIP) in the first half. It's not like he was second half Jimenez all year. Kazmir was battered in the first half too, to the tune of an ugly .344 wOBA and a 4.42 FIP. Again, he, like Jimenez, was great in the second half.

The bullpen was a mess for the first part of last season with Perez and Pestano running into injuries. Allen grew up in a hurry. Shaw became a huge piece. They've got a better lefty now in Rzepczynski. A closer who seems to have figured something out in Axford. Bullpen looks good on paper.

A Murphy-Raburn platoon is a definite upgrade to Stubbs-Raburn. Cabrera and Swisher should bounce back. Bourn's a question mark, but I think he'll have more of an impact. With both Gomes and Santana in the lineup on a regular basis, it should be a strong group one through nine.

I think they'll compete until the end.
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Re: 2014 Indians = 2008 Indians?

Unread postby bookelly » Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:49 am

Remember they had a horrible start and still got to 92. And there were a couple stretches that were serious losing streaks. I think the offense will be better, and the rotation will be about the same (maybe even better if Bauer can get it together). I do think they are gonna miss Kazmir giving the opposing team a change of pace arm. The BP on paper at least should be improved greatly with CPerez and Pestano (hurt) gone.

I'm hoping Santana can actually play at 3rd vs Lefties and Lindor plays so well we can trade Asdrubal for an upgrade at the break. I think Kipnis will have more pop but I worry the extra weight will kill his already mediocre range. But a .290/30/100 guy at 2nd would be huge. Improved infield defense could really get us to the next level...94-96 wins.

They were lucky last year to stay so relatively healthy (except for Vinny P, Bourne, and Swisher) so they'll need to hope for more of the same. They do seem to have covered themselves in case with a strong bench and depth signings. I hope a guy like Aguilar gets a shot and provides some RH'd pop, something they are lacking.

Edit: If we could actually beat Detroit more than once this year...the sky is the limit. ;-) ;) :wink:
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Re: 2014 Indians = 2008 Indians?

Unread postby gotribe31 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:34 pm

Bullpen will be better. Rotation will probably be worse. Lineup will probably regress in some areas (Raburn, Gomes, as much as I hate to say it) and improve in others (Swish, Bourn) so let's say it'll break even.

SP is the big question mark right now. IF Salazar can give them 180-200 innings, IF Masty repeats 2013 and not 2012, IF Kluber's breakout is real and IF Carrasco/Bauer/random vet can step up and give them quality innings, they'll be right there in contention for a playoff spot.

KC has improved. Chicago isn't as bad as everyone thinks. Detroit is still Detroit. It's not an easy division.
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Re: 2014 Indians = 2008 Indians?

Unread postby skatingtripods » Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:53 pm

Chicago is bad. Rotation is a mess. It's Sale, Quintana, and a bunch of below average arms. Lineup has some pop, but they'll strike a ton and they're very young. They'll do well to win 70 games I think.

Kluber's breakout should be real. Advanced metrics have suggested this coming.

I agree on Masterson. Certainly can't take him for granted. Though it appears he'll be pitching for a lucrative FA deal, so we'll see if that helps or hurts him. He's very cerebral, so maybe it won't affect him much at all.

The Gomes regression is very interesting. His BABIP was .359, very unsustainable for a guy without speed and an average line drive rate. I would think .270/.320/.430 is about what we should expect. Certainly above average for his position.

Detroit's my World Series pick, as sick as it makes me. Elite rotation with Smyly taking Fister's place, still a strong lineup, an above average platoon in LF to fix one of their few lineup holes, and a much better defensive ballclub. Bullpen's a question mark, but their starters give them length, so that should limit their exposure.
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Re: 2014 Indians = 2008 Indians?

Unread postby 7foot3 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:08 pm

2008 saw Martinez, Hafner and Westbrook all get hurt along with the most volatile part of any team - the bullpen - going kablooie. Can those happen again? Of course. But I think that, just like in 2008, expectations should have been fairly high. Agree with tripods on that 85-87 win range.
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Re: 2014 Indians = 2008 Indians?

Unread postby Squints » Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:10 pm

Are we finished making moves? With each passing day the probability of re-signing Ubaldo has to go up, making an Bourn-esque type signing right before spring training.
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Re: 2014 Indians = 2008 Indians?

Unread postby Erie Warrior » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:51 am

skatingtripods wrote:Kluber's breakout should be real. Advanced metrics have suggested this coming.


More than being consistent at every level has has pitched at? Any concern he has topped 150 IP yet?
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Re: 2014 Indians = 2008 Indians?

Unread postby skatingtripods » Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:31 pm

Erie Warrior wrote:
skatingtripods wrote:Kluber's breakout should be real. Advanced metrics have suggested this coming.


More than being consistent at every level has has pitched at? Any concern he has topped 150 IP yet?


His FIP was almost always significantly lower than his ERA in the minor leagues. What's a little bit surprising is that his K/BB ratio has got so good at the MLB level after fighting some control issues in the minors. But that's in part because he changed his fastball grip to more of a two-seam grip to stay on top of the ball. (Source: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/qa-corey ... f-history/)

Corey Kluber had a better xFIP last season than Max Scherzer, David Price, Madison Bumgarner, Zack Greinke, and was right up there with guys like Jose Fernandez. The 13 guys who posted a better SIERA (skill-interactive ERA) are Harvey, Darvish, Hernandez, Lee, Sale, Wainwright, Scherzer, Kershaw, Sanchez, Burnett, Strasburg, Fernandez, and Cobb.

I'd have concerns about not going over 150 IP if he missed it because of arm/elbow injuries. Last season it was a sprained finger. In 2012, he threw 188 total innings between Columbus and Cleveland.

I think he's for real. I really hope I'm right.
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Re: 2014 Indians = 2008 Indians?

Unread postby Commodore Perry » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:10 pm

2008 Cleveland Indians Manager:
Eric Wedge

2014 Cleveland Indians Manager:
Tito Francona

Not going to be the same team, no way.

I expect the 2014 Tribe will not be an elite team, but rather one that is in the hunt for the playoffs all season long. Fun to watch, but ultimately a disappointment. Everything a Clevelander could want.
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