Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Indians 2010
It's hard to admit this, but after the Indians dealt away Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez, Ryan Garko, Rafael Betancourt and probably a few more I have since forgotten, I pretty much stopped paying attention to the Indians.

There was a seven year period in my life when I thought about hardly anything else. Ask my friends in high school. Every conversation that didn't involve how poorly I was doing in math and science (usually started by my parents, and/or teacher) was about how the team was doing, what it was doing and why it was doing it.

That focus had a lot to do with why I write about sports for a living. I not only accepted that tunnel vision that kept me from falling in love and falling into trouble, I relished it and honed it.

But a decade later, I had trouble remembering what players would fit where in Manny Acta's first season as Tribe skipper. Don't get me wrong. Firing Eric Wedge was the right move, and hiring Acta was a strong a decision as the Tribe could have made given their situation.

So what will the lineup look like? No idea. I hope Acta scraps Grady Sizemore from the leadoff spot, since he's probably the only Indian capable of hitting 40 homers, and needs to be put in a position to drive in other runners doing it.

Assuming the Indians don't bring back Russell Branyan for the eighth time, here's the lineup I want to see.

1. Michael Brantley, left field: He's the best option the Tribe has, and has the most potential. Put him there and leave him there.

2. Asdrubal Cabrera, shortstop: An all-star caliber player, I would resist the urge to hit him third.

3. Grady Sizemore, centerfield: Put him in coach, he's ready to play. He should have been batting third for the last three years, but Wedge was married to concepts that worked once.

4. Shin Soo-Choo, right field: A proven run-producer, and the Indians have two healthy ones.

5. Travis Hafner/Andy Marte/Austin Kearns, designated hitter: Let's be realistic. If Hafner plays 90 games before his shoulder falls off again, the Indians will be lucky. Or maybe unlucky, since it means insurance won't pick up the tab if he's off the DL.

6. Jhonny Peralta, third base: Dead weight. Should have started at third at the beginning of last year, but, see No. 3. Would love to see him anywhere else (not position, but city), but hopefully he'll be motivated for two months and the Indians can trade him for another injured 19 year old.

7. Luis Valbuena, second base: Impressed me with his defense, but I'm not sure if he can hit. But there's 20 guys in the Indians system who fit that bill.

8. Matt LaPorta, first base: Start him here until he produces, then move him up. Remember, Grady started as a No. 9 hitter.

9. Carlos Santana, catcher: Sandy's here. I want him near Sandy.

Fausto Carmona, Jake Westbrook, and three other guys I don't care about.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home