Spring training time for the Cleveland Indians is on the horizon. The Voice of the Fan sees this upcoming season an interesting one but only if things fall in Cleveland’s favor.
There is not that much time until spring training starts for the Cleveland Indians — even though the winter in northeast Ohio has yet to kick in (at least according to my brother). The Cleveland Indians arrival date for pitchers and catchers to be in Goodyear, Arizona is February 17th. The players at the rest of the positions are required to be in Goodyear no later than February 21st.
With all that has been going on in the Cleveland sports scene — the Cleveland Browns recently hired a new coaching staff and there has been plenty of discussions regarding a possible new quarterback (I believe Johnny Manziel has sealed his own fate).
The Cleveland Cavaliers also have a new coach in Tyronn Lue and presumably a new style of run and gun offense. Hopefully the Cavaliers will be able to work their way back to the NBA Finals again, but this time Cleveland needs to put away the Golden State Warriors!
Now that spring training is about to here, it is time to evaluate the Cleveland Indians offseason moves (or actually the lack there of)! Everyone, including myself, was hoping that last year’s lack of offensive performance would have improved.
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Unfortunately, that was not the case. The offense’s run production decreased in the American League over the last three seasons. Cleveland was tied for fourth in 2013, seventh in 2014, and 11th last season.
We all were looking for that one big trade because we knew the Cleveland Indians were not going to sign a free agent on a significant contract after the Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher debacle! So far Cleveland’s offseason has been a disappointment and it does not look like it is coming to fruition.
The Indians biggest named free agents that were added are Rajai Davis and Mike Napoli, neither of whom are the run producing power bat most fans wanted. Napoli was okay in his prime, but that time has pretty much passed. Could his signing and soon to be play could turn out to be another Mark Reynolds type acquisition?
Do not forget Michael Brantley is likely out until the second month of the season. Plus, the last two seasons have had ultra slow starts, which forced the team to then played catch up the balance of the year.
Starting the season like that again is something Jason Kipnis said they must avoid. There is always hope with the pitching staff that is assembled, if everyone has a good year, and a rookie or two comes through, like outfielder Tyler Naquin, that they might put up a fight.
However, all of the teams in their division have made major improvements, so the Cleveland Indians will have to ride it out and see what happens. Terry Francona should have an interesting season trying to manage with what the front office has done or has not as the case may be.
What is your take on the upcoming season?