After a long hard fought 2013 season, the Cleveland Indians were able to make the post season for the first
time since 2007. They played the Tampa Bay Rays in a 1-game playoff for the wildcard seed in the American League. They lost by a score of 4-0. After fighting all September long to gain the wildcard spot, they came up just shy against the Rays to make it to a series against the Red Sox.
However, that was last season. That is the great thing about baseball, there is always tomorrow to go out and win.
Last year, the team was able to muster up 92 wins with no sign of Cy Young Pitching, MVP Hitting, or anything really of that caliber. They came together as a team, scored some runs, stole some bases and won the games they needed to in September.
This year, however, the teams focus should be on solid offence. Their top offensive player last year was Jason Kippnis (Second Basemen). He hit a respectable .284, with 160 hits in 564 ABs. He also had 17 HRs and 84 RBIs to give himself a pretty decent season. The team should hope for more of the guys to hit like Kippnis and possibly get more production out of everyone.
Nick Swisher has had a couple of average seasons since being with the Yankees. He has the ability to hit .275 with at least 75 RBI’s and 20 HR’s. Look for him to bounce back this season and give the Indians an extra push offensively.
With the addition of John Axford in the pen, the closer job could be filled after releasing Chris Perez at the end of October in 2013. John Axford did not have the season he was looking for in 2013 with the Cardinals, but will look to rebound with the Indians this year.ive him a pretty good year. However, on a team that does not have many All-Star notables, it would be in their best interest to find some offensive power going into the 2014 season.
A key player that you should keep an eye on is Michael Bourn. After missing 52 games last year due to injury, he only was able to steal 23 bases. IF he has a full healthy season, as one of the fastest guys in the game, he could look at between 35 and 45 stolen bases this season. This would lead to having more chances for the meat of the order to drive in some more runs.
Although the Indians had a successful 2013, it is tough to say whether or not they will make a playoff run. They will have a good chance if their starting pitching performs like it needs to, and if the team continues to hit the gaps throughout the season.