The Cleveland Indians, this year, ended the season with 80 wins and 82 loses. This is where most people expected them to finish about where they did for being a young team. There is a lot of tallent in this team with it’s young starting pitching rotation with C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee as the a good one two starters for the future and Jake Westbrook that was a pleasant surprise moving form the bullpen to starting pitcher and have one of the lowest ERA’s in the AL. The young bats had a pretty good time this year with Travis Haffner and Matt Lawton having All-Star years. With the addition of Phillips, and Boone this year and with prospects coming up the line like Grady Siezmore the future is looking bright.
The other positives was that for the first time with this squad is that they were in the middle of playoff race in both the division and wild card in to late August and early September. This was a great learning experience that will only help them over time. For the Tribe this was the first time since the second week in April in 2002 that they were over .500 and they were able to hold it until late in to the year.
Trouble areas that the Indians need to work on is there Bullpen. The Indians Bullpen gave up over thirty leads late into games where if the bullpen could of gotten the easy out about half the time the Tribe’s season would still be going. David Riske and Rapheal Beckoncourt need to get more control of the strike zone like they did before getting to Cleveland. With Kaz Tadano coming back off of a season ending injury should come back as a long reliever and spot starter.
The other area that the Tribe needs to work on is closing out games. The Tribe needs to be able to close out games and hold on to leads and also try to score runs when needed. The where way too many base running error committed by the tribe that major league teams shouldn’t do. Also the pitching staff as a hold needs to be able to hold people on bases and prevent them from stealing, also along those lines the catching staff needs to get better at throwing men out. Another issue is that of a Management end of keeping a some what constant batting order. We need to try not to play musical lineups and try to keep the same basic line ups from day to day.
With good pitching, young hitters and a will and ability to win, the future looks good for the Indians and a return to the form from the mid nineties. hopes for a return to the playoffs and world series and try to win their first championship since 1946.