Saturday, March 11, 2017
Cleveland Indians 2017 season preview
Key additions: DH Edwin Encarnacion, RPs Boone Logan, Steve Delabar, OF Austin Jackson, 1B Chris Colabello.
Key subtractions: 1B Mike Napoli, OFs Coco Crisp, Rajai Davis.
Biggest move: The Indians were major winners this offseason. The main reason they were winners was because of the signing of Edwin "EE" Encarnacion. He's a game changer, and has hit 40 or more homers twice in his career, including last year.
X-factor: Injuries sidelined SP Carlos Carrasco for the entire playoffs. He had an ERA of 3.32 in 146.1 IP in the regular season (in 2016). If he's fully healthy, he can really contribute.
Biggest bounce back: Catcher Yan Gomes was basically awful in 2016. He had an average of .167 and 9 HRs (his least amount of HRs of his career, with a MIN of 200 ABs). If he can at least hit .200 and double digit HRs, Gomes can revive his starting job in Cleveland.
Biggest breakout: In his rookie season (2016), CF Tyler Naquin was a finalist for ROY. He had an average of .296 and hit 14 HRs. He can really breakout in 2017. Also, he's only 25.
Guaranteed star: With a 2.44 ERA, SP Corey Kluber won the Cy Young in 2014. 2015 wasn't as strong, but he regained his stellar form in 2016 with a 3.14 ERA in 215 IP. He'll have another great season in 2017, I'm sure.
The Indians' starting lineup should look like this:
1. SS: Francisco Lindor
2. 2B: Jason Kipnis
3. 1B: Edwin Encarnacion
4. LF: Michael Brantley
5. DH: Carlos Santana
6. 3B: Jose Ramirez
7. CF: Tyler Naquin
8. RF: Lonnie Chisenhall
9. C: Yan Gomes
Their rotation will probably be this.
1. Corey Kluber
2. Carlos Carrasco
3. Danny Salazar
4. Trevor Bauer
5. Josh Tomlin
C Roberto Perez, CF Abraham Almonte and LF Brandon Guyer will be on the bench.
Cody Allen will be their closer, with Andrew Miller and Boone Logan setting him up.
For my prediction, the Indians will once again win the AL Central. They are also my pick to win the World Series.