AL Central MLB MLB Team News — 28 February 2011
New Manager, Manny Acta, will have his hands full with this group of youngsters. The Tribe has several players trying to make an adjustment from the minors to the big leagues, and Acta will have to find a way to balance mentoring time between each one of them.

Last season was rough with all of the injuries. Cleveland is looking for solid returns from Sizemore, Hafner, and Santana, as well as improved play from LaPorta and Brantley, and big contributions from Masterson and Carrasco.

The 2011 season will be very telling for the Indians’ future, and there is a lot of potential here. Potential, however, doesn’t win titles. The only real guarantee here is that they’re better than the Royals.

Key Additions: Orlando Cabrera, Austin Kearns

Key Losses: Jhonny Peralta

Lineup:

C:  Carlos Santana
1B: Matt LaPorta
2B: Orlando Cabrera
3B: Jayson Nix
SS: Asdrubal Cabrera
LF: Michael Brantley
CF: Grady Sizemore
RF: Shin-Soo Choo
DH: Travis Hafner

Rotation:

1:  Fausto Carmona
2:  Justin Masterson
3:  Carlos Carrasco
4:  Mitch Talbot
5:  Josh Tomlin
CL: Chris Perez

Critical Players to Success:

Carlos Santana: This kid is the future of the Indians. If he plays to his expectations, the Indians will have a second big bat in the lineup to go with Sizemore.

Grady Sizemore: For years, Sizemore has been the anchor of the Indians offense. That is, when he’s been healthy. If he can play the whole year, the Indians will look to be on the right track. If not, they could spin right back into the rebuilding process.

Matt LaPorta: The former top prospect has yet to reach his potential. This year will be make-or-break for LaPorta. If he can hit like he did in the minors, it could transform the Indians offense to a formidable opponent.

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Tim Young is a Civil Engineer away from MLBSoup, but at the site he heads the pre-season fantasy baseball draft guide and reviews each week in the big leagues with his weekly round-up report. His heavily math-based background shows up in his writing, as he likes to keep a focus on numbers, and dig deeper than the usual surface scratching.

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