In Anaheim, the Angels weren't hitting period. Salmon still aren't going upstream The 1st game of the year where Cleveland gets 4 runs in the 1st. That took the spark out of the halo. Angels pitching staff "right now" (subject to change like next week) is pitchng great.
Angels usually choke in Cleveland, but not this week. I've lost bets every day so far since Tuesday. The Indians have the Rangers now into town. Rangers are real bad. Look for 2 wins out of the Indians.
After coming back down to reality after an 11-1 start, honestly, I don't think this team is going to play much better than .500 ball.
This team has to generate some offense, here is an honest opinion of what I think of the Indians.
Starting Pitching - Although it has been beat up lately, this is the strength and will be for the future. Colon is not a bonafide ace, but most teams don't have one. Sabathia and Baez will be very nice pitchers in the next couple of years when they find more consistency. The other two spots are up for grabs, but when Finley's money is free that should help. But, have three good starters is definitely something to build on.
Relief - Another strenght. Riske, Shuey, Wickman, Rincon (for lefties) are all very solid. Beyond 4 relievers, not much is needed, but we all can't have Seattle's pen.
Catcher - I love Diaz. His defense is very good and hitting is adequate. He has speed, which is a bonus as well.
1B - Thome is what he is. But, he needs protection or will never see a good pitch and continue to strike out at record pace. Branyan would seem to be a good fit behind him because he can make teams pay with one swing, but he needs to find consistency at the plate and in the field.
2B - Problem. Good size contract, not a great player.
SS - Vizquel is great in the field, but is overpaid. It would be great to trade him and get some young help. He would probably be my first choice to trade in salary dumping.
3B - Prospects here. Branyan could play here in the future because his outfield range is not good and his glove is only average as well. Fryman is not the answer.
OF - I have really liked what I have seen out of Bradley so far. As I recall, there was a prospect that hurt his knee as well. Then, you have Lawton. He is a good leadoff man, but has issues with DP's and in the field. I know he started off hot, but you are seeing right now what you will get. However, with a solid leadoff man and two young prospects in the outfield, it is not a glaring weakness.
There you have my analysis, savage it as you like, but the situation is not as bad as it may seem right now. As I said, I think Cleveland is a 75-85 win team and will not contend for the division title, but with the pitching, could cause problems for the Twins and Sox this year in the division chase.
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