2014 Indians Outlook
Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona guided the Indians to an 92-70 record in 2013, finishing one game behind the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central. Cleveland's 92 wins were enough to qualify for a Wild Card berth, but the Indians were dispatched by the Tampa Bay Rays in the Wild Card game. Now in 2014, the Indians have their sights set on capturing the AL Central crown, as the Indians will attempt to return to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1999.
Cleveland's offense doesn't boast an MVP candidate nor a superstar, but instead features incredible depth up and down the lineup. Carlos Santana has been working on playing third base throughout the winter and spring, and could see time at the hot corner in addition to catching. Asdrubal Cabrera and Jason Kipnis comprise one of the best middle infields in all of baseball, while Michael Bourn provides some of the best defensive range in center field. Nick Swisher, Lonnie Chisenhall Michael Brantley and newcomer David Murphy figure to round out Cleveland's lineup.
Justin Masterson will anchor Cleveland's rotation, a year after posting a 14-10 record, 3.45 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. Cleveland will miss Ubaldo Jimenez, who signed with the Baltimore Orioles as a free agent. Indians fans will likely see Danny Salazar fill Jimenez' void. Salazar was one of baseball's breakout prospects in 2013, pitching 93 innings between AA and AAA, with a 2.71 ERA and .211 batting average against. Further, Salazar struck out 129 and walked just 24 in the minors. Salazar dazzled in his promotion as well, going 2-3 with a 3.12 ERA in 52 innings, while striking out 65, walking just 15, and limiting opposing hitters to a .226 batting average. With Masterson and Salazar atop Cleveland's rotation, the Indians can certainly compete with teams in the playoffs.
Indians Franchise Facts
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