2015 ZiPS Projections – Cleveland Indians

After having typically appeared in the very hallowed pages of Baseball Think Factory, Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections have been released at FanGraphs the past couple years. The exercise continues this offseason. Below are the projections for the Cleveland Baseball Club. Szymborski can be found at ESPN and on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

Other Projections: Arizona / Atlanta / Chicago AL / Colorado / Detroit / Houston / Los Angeles AL / Los Angeles NL / Miami / Milwaukee / Minnesota / New York NL / Oakland / San Diego / San Francisco / St. Louis / Tampa Bay / Washington.

Batters
Cleveland finished tied with Houston in 2014 for last place among all clubs in defensive runs. That’s not ever really a “positive” distinction. That said, were one in the business of identifying silver linings, a legitimate one in this case might concern how defensive metrics are prone to greater regression than most offensive stats — and thus projection systems such as ZiPS are unlikely to weight seasons like Cleveland’s 2014 campaign as heavily.

By the projections, the 2015 iteration of Cleveland’s baseball team doesn’t actually profile as a particularly bad defensive club. Lonnie Chisenhall, Jason Kipnis, and Carlos Santana are all forecast to finish on the negative side of the defensive ledger relative to their position, but Michael Brantley and Yan Gomes and Jose Ramirez are all projected to save more runs than average at their respective positions. The result, it would appear, is a roughly league-average group of hitters.

Pitchers
With regard to the starting pitchers depicted in the depth-chart image below, the reader should know that they’re listed not in the precise order manager Terry Francona is expected to dispatch them this next season. Rather, it’s a collection of the pitchers who appear most likely to begin the season in the rotation, in order of projected WAR.

Of some note is ZiPS’ relative pessimism regarding Carlos Carrasco, who produced the fourth-highest WAR figure among all pitchers — tied with the now vigorously wealthy Max Scherzer — over the second half of last season. At least part of the explanation, noted by Szymborski himself, concerns his projected role: over the last two seasons, Carrasco has recorded more than half his appearances in a relief capacity. ZiPS, not surprisingly, calls for a similar arrangement in 2015, suppressing Carrasco’s inning projection at the same time.

Bench/Prospects
Omitted from the depth-chart image below are two role players, Mike Aviles (414 PA, 0.6 WAR) and David Murphy (453 PA, 0.6 WAR), who are likely to receive a fair amount of playing time. Among young field-playing infielders, Francisco Lindor (552 PA, 1.9 WAR), Jose Ramirez (584 PA, 2.2 WAR), and Zach Walters (492 PA, 1.9 WAR) all receive similar projections for 2015. A mostly effective member of the rotation in 2014, T.J. House (123.2 IP, -0.1 WAR) is not forecast by ZiPS to replicate that performance in 2015, his projected strikeout and walk rates appearing to more closely resemble a translation of his minor-league numbers from the past several years than his (somehow better) major-league ones.

Depth Chart
Below is a rough depth chart for the present incarnation of the Clevelanders, with rounded projected WAR totals for each player. For caveats regarding WAR values see disclaimer at bottom of post. Click to embiggen image.

Cleveland Depth Chart

Ballpark graphic courtesy Eephus League. Depth charts constructed by way of those listed here at site and author’s own haphazard reasoning.

Batters, Counting Stats

Player B Age PO PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS
Yan Gomes R 27 C 470 58 117 24 3 17 64 1 0
Michael Brantley L 28 LF 651 83 175 37 3 13 84 18 4
Carlos Santana B 29 1B 619 73 128 29 1 23 84 4 2
Jason Kipnis L 28 2B 625 80 142 28 3 13 68 25 5
Jose Ramirez B 22 SS 584 67 140 23 4 7 47 27 12
Lonnie Chisenhall L 26 3B 485 59 120 26 1 14 59 3 1
Michael Bourn L 32 CF 591 73 139 22 9 5 43 22 9
Francisco Lindor B 21 SS 552 61 124 17 4 11 49 19 11
Zach Walters B 25 2B 492 57 108 24 5 24 64 2 3
Brandon Moss L 31 1B 523 66 109 22 2 28 77 3 1
Giovanny Urshela R 23 3B 542 61 132 28 4 9 62 1 2
Roberto Perez R 26 C 333 32 56 14 1 5 27 1 1
Mike Aviles R 34 2B 414 46 96 18 1 8 48 11 6
Tony Wolters L 23 C 389 34 79 13 1 2 26 3 4
David Murphy L 33 RF 453 43 105 23 2 9 49 4 4
Nick Swisher B 34 DH 489 50 98 23 1 14 58 1 1
Nyjer Morgan L 34 CF 258 29 56 9 1 4 21 5 2
Erik Gonzalez R 23 SS 520 50 114 20 5 5 45 12 7
James Ramsey L 25 CF 461 47 84 14 3 9 36 7 3
Dusty Brown R 33 C 151 14 27 8 0 4 14 0 0
Chris Dickerson L 33 CF 332 37 65 13 1 7 27 10 3
Elliot Johnson B 31 2B 323 31 62 10 3 4 25 11 3
David Cooper L 28 1B 257 26 61 15 0 4 24 0 1
Tyler Naquin L 24 CF 408 42 86 14 3 5 32 9 5
Brett Hayes R 31 C 181 17 36 8 0 6 15 1 0
Adam Moore R 31 C 250 27 49 11 0 6 21 1 0
Russell Branyan L 39 1B 212 28 38 8 0 10 29 1 0
Ryan Rohlinger R 31 2B 379 35 74 13 0 4 27 1 1
Jerry Sands R 27 RF 393 43 74 14 1 12 43 1 1
Luke Carlin B 34 C 233 23 43 9 0 3 18 1 1
Jesus Aguilar R 25 1B 555 61 117 24 0 15 64 0 0
Jason Giambi L 44 DH 126 11 21 6 0 4 16 0 0
Ryan Raburn R 34 RF 268 28 53 13 0 8 33 0 0
Tyler Holt! R 26 CF 560 56 112 16 3 1 29 21 7
Matt Carson R 33 CF 420 43 86 15 1 9 36 8 2
Bryan LaHair L 32 1B 423 38 85 18 1 10 43 1 1
Carlos Moncrief L 26 RF 525 53 103 21 4 11 50 9 4
Destin Hood R 25 LF 458 43 92 19 3 8 42 7 4
Clint Frazier R 20 CF 505 52 97 17 3 11 44 7 6
Audy Ciriaco R 28 1B 391 38 81 16 2 9 39 5 3
Dorssys Paulino R 20 LF 520 46 104 22 2 4 36 6 7

***

Batters, Rates and Averages

Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wOBA
Yan Gomes 470 5.3% 23.8% .186 .322 .269 .313 .455 .335
Michael Brantley 651 7.5% 10.0% .139 .313 .297 .352 .436 .346
Carlos Santana 619 15.5% 18.4% .194 .274 .249 .367 .443 .355
Jason Kipnis 625 9.6% 19.5% .132 .304 .256 .330 .388 .322
Jose Ramirez 584 5.7% 11.5% .097 .287 .263 .304 .360 .290
Lonnie Chisenhall 485 6.2% 19.2% .158 .313 .271 .325 .429 .330
Michael Bourn 591 7.1% 23.2% .102 .334 .257 .313 .359 .299
Francisco Lindor 552 6.5% 20.5% .114 .292 .244 .294 .358 .287
Zach Walters 492 4.1% 31.7% .228 .293 .233 .267 .461 .314
Brandon Moss 523 9.9% 30.2% .239 .291 .236 .321 .475 .345
Giovanny Urshela 542 3.9% 14.0% .122 .285 .257 .289 .379 .292
Roberto Perez 333 9.9% 29.1% .107 .270 .194 .281 .301 .260
Mike Aviles 414 3.6% 13.3% .115 .269 .250 .278 .365 .278
Tony Wolters 389 6.7% 24.4% .059 .295 .223 .277 .282 .248
David Murphy 453 7.9% 13.9% .132 .281 .256 .316 .388 .306
Nick Swisher 489 11.0% 24.7% .157 .283 .229 .316 .386 .310
Nyjer Morgan 258 5.4% 22.9% .100 .308 .243 .299 .343 .282
Erik Gonzalez 520 3.8% 24.4% .091 .298 .230 .259 .321 .254
James Ramsey 461 8.5% 34.9% .115 .307 .204 .279 .319 .269
Dusty Brown 151 9.3% 27.8% .148 .256 .200 .278 .348 .282
Chris Dickerson 332 8.1% 31.3% .121 .307 .218 .290 .339 .286
Elliot Johnson 323 6.8% 27.2% .095 .284 .211 .266 .306 .258
David Cooper 257 7.4% 12.5% .114 .284 .260 .315 .374 .303
Tyler Naquin 408 5.4% 29.2% .092 .315 .227 .275 .319 .266
Brett Hayes 181 3.3% 29.8% .151 .265 .209 .239 .360 .260
Adam Moore 250 6.0% 29.6% .125 .279 .211 .260 .336 .267
Russell Branyan 212 11.8% 37.7% .207 .292 .208 .302 .415 .309
Ryan Rohlinger 379 6.3% 19.8% .073 .263 .216 .275 .289 .252
Jerry Sands 393 8.9% 31.3% .147 .281 .210 .282 .357 .286
Luke Carlin 233 9.4% 21.0% .087 .256 .208 .286 .295 .263
Jesus Aguilar 555 7.6% 27.0% .137 .297 .233 .295 .370 .295
Jason Giambi 126 10.3% 27.8% .164 .236 .191 .286 .355 .284
Ryan Raburn 268 6.7% 26.5% .151 .268 .216 .273 .367 .282
Tyler Holt! 560 8.2% 23.0% .049 .296 .223 .291 .272 .259
Matt Carson 420 5.2% 29.3% .113 .297 .221 .270 .334 .270
Bryan LaHair 423 8.0% 36.2% .129 .332 .220 .281 .349 .280
Carlos Moncrief 525 6.3% 32.0% .128 .299 .213 .264 .341 .266
Destin Hood 458 5.0% 31.4% .114 .301 .215 .260 .329 .261
Clint Frazier 505 6.3% 39.2% .120 .333 .210 .266 .330 .264
Audy Ciriaco 391 4.1% 23.5% .127 .266 .219 .254 .346 .265
Dorssys Paulino 520 4.2% 27.1% .078 .291 .214 .252 .292 .239

***

Batters, Assorted Other

Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def zWAR No.1 Comp
Yan Gomes 470 5.3 117 3 3.8 Pat Borders
Michael Brantley 651 6.1 124 1 3.4 Mark Kotsay
Carlos Santana 619 5.8 131 -3 2.7 Randy Milligan
Jason Kipnis 625 4.9 105 -5 2.6 Lou Whitaker
Jose Ramirez 584 4.1 90 3 2.2 Harold Reynolds
Lonnie Chisenhall 485 5.2 114 -4 2.2 Roy Howell
Michael Bourn 591 4.2 92 2 1.9 Ed Stroud
Francisco Lindor 552 3.7 86 3 1.9 Luis Quinones
Zach Walters 492 4.3 104 0 1.9 Andy Phillips
Brandon Moss 523 5.4 124 -3 1.7 Paul Sorrento
Giovanny Urshela 542 3.9 90 1 1.3 Isaiah Clark
Roberto Perez 333 2.8 67 3 0.9 Joe Hietpas
Mike Aviles 414 3.6 82 1 0.6 Billy Martin
Tony Wolters 389 2.6 61 4 0.6 Jeff Tackett
David Murphy 453 4.4 100 -2 0.6 Andy Abad
Nick Swisher 489 4.2 100 0 0.6 Roy Smalley
Nyjer Morgan 258 3.7 84 -1 0.3 Andy Van Slyke
Erik Gonzalez 520 2.9 65 3 0.3 Smelin Perez
James Ramsey 461 3.1 71 1 0.3 Mike Neill
Dusty Brown 151 3.3 78 -2 0.2 Steve Yeager
Chris Dickerson 332 3.5 80 -4 0.1 Terrell Lowery
Elliot Johnson 323 3.0 64 1 0.0 Pat Listach
David Cooper 257 4.2 97 -1 0.0 Eddie Tanner
Tyler Naquin 408 3.0 70 0 0.0 Kevin Wiggins
Brett Hayes 181 3.0 69 -3 0.0 Chad Moeller
Adam Moore 250 3.0 69 -5 -0.1 George Mitterwald
Russell Branyan 212 4.3 103 -3 -0.1 Jeff Manto
Ryan Rohlinger 379 2.7 62 2 -0.1 Chris Petersen
Jerry Sands 393 3.4 82 0 -0.1 Paul Torres
Luke Carlin 233 2.8 67 -5 -0.1 Kirt Manwaring
Jesus Aguilar 555 3.8 89 0 -0.2 Nick Leach
Jason Giambi 126 3.4 82 -1 -0.2 Willie McCovey
Ryan Raburn 268 3.5 82 -3 -0.4 Alan Cockrell
Tyler Holt! 560 2.9 63 -3 -0.4 Sebastien Boucher
Matt Carson 420 3.2 72 -10 -0.8 Damon Buford
Bryan LaHair 423 3.4 79 -2 -0.9 Orsino Hill
Carlos Moncrief 525 3.1 72 -1 -1.0 Richie Robnett
Destin Hood 458 2.9 67 0 -1.0 Ed Smith
Clint Frazier 505 2.9 70 -9 -1.0 Jim Olander
Audy Ciriaco 391 3.0 70 -3 -1.5 Eric Reece
Dorssys Paulino 520 2.4 55 -1 -2.1 Brett Caradonna

***

Pitchers, Counting Stats

Player T Age G GS IP K BB HR H R ER
Corey Kluber R 29 31 31 206.3 226 44 16 181 73 68
Danny Salazar R 25 28 28 156.0 177 52 18 141 71 66
Carlos Carrasco R 28 35 16 119.0 111 34 10 113 52 49
Trevor Bauer R 24 29 29 167.7 163 72 18 162 86 80
Zach McAllister R 27 29 26 149.0 114 43 13 157 75 70
Cody Allen R 26 75 0 68.7 85 27 7 57 26 24
Bryan Shaw R 27 75 0 74.7 70 25 6 67 31 29
Gavin Floyd R 32 15 15 84.7 70 28 11 90 45 42
Shaun Marcum R 33 13 10 59.0 47 19 6 61 31 29
Kyle Crockett L 23 50 0 42.7 40 11 4 41 18 17
Scott Atchison R 39 55 0 52.0 38 12 5 52 24 22
Anthony Swarzak R 29 48 2 87.7 61 25 7 92 43 40
C.C. Lee R 28 54 0 49.7 48 18 5 48 24 22
T.J. House L 25 23 22 123.7 85 43 14 138 71 66
Marc Rzepczynski L 29 70 0 53.0 45 21 5 53 26 24
Josh Tomlin R 30 22 16 93.7 73 17 14 104 54 50
Matt Capps R 31 11 0 10.7 8 3 2 12 6 6
Scott Downs L 39 50 0 33.0 25 14 3 34 17 16
Austin Adams R 28 48 0 56.7 52 21 6 56 29 27
Shawn Armstrong R 24 45 0 49.7 54 23 6 47 26 24
Nick Hagadone L 29 54 0 49.3 53 24 6 46 26 24
Charles Brewer R 27 27 25 146.0 108 45 20 163 86 80
Dustin Molleken R 30 38 0 51.3 48 23 6 52 28 26
Tyler Sturdevant R 29 40 0 46.3 38 18 6 49 27 25
Bryan Price R 28 39 0 55.0 48 19 9 59 33 31
Jeff Manship R 30 30 11 78.7 52 40 8 88 50 47
Mike Clevinger R 24 16 15 61.3 46 34 12 72 46 43
Nick Maronde L 25 40 7 61.3 53 39 11 69 45 42
Kyle Davies R 31 20 20 105.0 60 30 19 128 74 69
Ryan Merritt L 23 25 24 135.0 81 29 25 162 91 85
Michael Roth L 25 25 17 93.0 54 46 15 112 67 63
Cody Anderson R 24 25 25 115.0 73 46 23 140 87 81
Tyler Cloyd R 28 28 27 153.0 96 42 33 188 111 104

***

Pitchers, Rates and Averages

Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP-
Corey Kluber 206.3 844 26.8% 5.2% .299 2.97 3.03 78 79
Danny Salazar 156.0 661 26.8% 7.9% .301 3.81 3.80 100 100
Carlos Carrasco 119.0 504 22.0% 6.7% .299 3.71 3.67 97 96
Trevor Bauer 167.7 737 22.1% 9.8% .304 4.29 4.41 113 116
Zach McAllister 149.0 647 17.6% 6.6% .305 4.23 4.06 111 107
Cody Allen 68.7 290 29.3% 9.3% .294 3.15 3.45 83 91
Bryan Shaw 74.7 316 22.1% 7.9% .288 3.50 3.68 92 97
Gavin Floyd 84.7 372 18.8% 7.5% .306 4.46 4.68 117 123
Shaun Marcum 59.0 257 18.3% 7.4% .302 4.42 4.31 116 113
Kyle Crockett 42.7 180 22.2% 6.1% .303 3.59 3.77 94 99
Scott Atchison 52.0 220 17.3% 5.5% .285 3.81 3.88 100 102
Anthony Swarzak 87.7 380 16.0% 6.6% .297 4.11 3.94 108 103
C.C. Lee 49.7 215 22.3% 8.4% .305 3.99 4.09 105 107
T.J. House 123.7 552 15.4% 7.8% .308 4.80 4.84 126 127
Marc Rzepczynski 53.0 233 19.3% 9.0% .302 4.08 4.23 107 111
Josh Tomlin 93.7 402 18.2% 4.2% .304 4.80 4.44 126 116
Matt Capps 10.7 47 17.0% 6.4% .293 5.06 5.29 133 139
Scott Downs 33.0 147 17.0% 9.5% .298 4.36 4.36 114 114
Austin Adams 56.7 247 21.0% 8.5% .301 4.29 4.27 113 112
Shawn Armstrong 49.7 219 24.6% 10.5% .308 4.35 4.42 114 116
Nick Hagadone 49.3 218 24.3% 11.0% .299 4.38 4.34 115 114
Charles Brewer 146.0 646 16.7% 7.0% .308 4.93 4.90 129 129
Dustin Molleken 51.3 229 21.0% 10.0% .309 4.56 4.62 120 121
Tyler Sturdevant 46.3 206 18.5% 8.7% .305 4.86 4.85 127 127
Bryan Price 55.0 243 19.8% 7.8% .307 5.07 5.15 133 135
Jeff Manship 78.7 364 14.3% 11.0% .308 5.38 5.07 141 133
Mike Clevinger 61.3 290 15.9% 11.7% .308 6.31 6.36 166 167
Nick Maronde 61.3 292 18.2% 13.4% .314 6.16 6.17 162 162
Kyle Davies 105.0 473 12.7% 6.3% .304 5.91 5.72 155 150
Ryan Merritt 135.0 596 13.6% 4.9% .302 5.67 5.54 149 145
Michael Roth 93.0 437 12.4% 10.5% .308 6.10 6.09 160 160
Cody Anderson 115.0 531 13.7% 8.7% .306 6.34 6.22 166 163
Tyler Cloyd 153.0 689 13.9% 6.1% .305 6.12 6.02 161 158

***

Pitchers, Assorted Other

Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ zWAR No. 1 Comp
Corey Kluber 206.3 9.86 1.92 0.70 126 4.8 Jose Rijo
Danny Salazar 156.0 10.21 3.00 1.04 98 1.9 Jack McDowell
Carlos Carrasco 119.0 8.39 2.57 0.76 101 1.4 Joaquin Andujar
Trevor Bauer 167.7 8.75 3.86 0.97 87 1.0 Frank Williams
Zach McAllister 149.0 6.89 2.60 0.79 88 1.0 Mike Scott
Cody Allen 68.7 11.14 3.54 0.92 118 0.7 Brad Lidge
Bryan Shaw 74.7 8.43 3.01 0.72 107 0.4 John Riedling
Gavin Floyd 84.7 7.44 2.98 1.17 83 0.3 Scott Kamieniecki
Shaun Marcum 59.0 7.17 2.90 0.92 84 0.2 Eric Rasmussen
Kyle Crockett 42.7 8.43 2.32 0.84 104 0.2 Dave Von Ohlen
Scott Atchison 52.0 6.58 2.08 0.87 98 0.1 Barney Schultz
Anthony Swarzak 87.7 6.26 2.57 0.72 91 0.0 Jose Santiago
C.C. Lee 49.7 8.69 3.26 0.91 94 0.0 Gerry Hannahs
T.J. House 123.7 6.18 3.13 1.02 78 -0.1 Jake Chapman
Marc Rzepczynski 53.0 7.64 3.57 0.85 91 -0.1 Tim Hamulack
Josh Tomlin 93.7 7.01 1.63 1.34 78 -0.1 Brian Tollberg
Matt Capps 10.7 6.73 2.52 1.68 74 -0.2 Dave Eilers
Scott Downs 33.0 6.82 3.82 0.82 85 -0.2 Brian Shouse
Austin Adams 56.7 8.25 3.33 0.95 87 -0.2 Keith Glauber
Shawn Armstrong 49.7 9.78 4.16 1.09 86 -0.3 Lariel Gonzalez
Nick Hagadone 49.3 9.68 4.38 1.10 85 -0.3 Greg McCarthy
Charles Brewer 146.0 6.66 2.77 1.23 76 -0.3 Bryan Clutterbuck
Dustin Molleken 51.3 8.42 4.04 1.05 82 -0.4 Reggie Harris
Tyler Sturdevant 46.3 7.39 3.50 1.17 77 -0.5 Ryan Bukvich
Bryan Price 55.0 7.85 3.11 1.47 73 -0.8 Steve Montgomery
Jeff Manship 78.7 5.95 4.57 0.91 69 -0.8 Jarod Juelsgaard
Mike Clevinger 61.3 6.75 4.99 1.76 59 -1.2 Billy Traber
Nick Maronde 61.3 7.78 5.73 1.62 60 -1.4 Mark Lukasiewicz
Kyle Davies 105.0 5.14 2.57 1.63 63 -1.6 Aaron Small
Ryan Merritt 135.0 5.40 1.93 1.67 66 -1.6 Randy Leek
Michael Roth 93.0 5.23 4.45 1.45 61 -1.7 Jason Navarro
Cody Anderson 115.0 5.71 3.60 1.80 59 -2.4 Ty Hartshorn
Tyler Cloyd 153.0 5.65 2.47 1.94 61 -2.7 Kyle Middleton

***

Disclaimer: ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors — many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2014. ZiPS is projecting equivalent production — a .240 ZiPS projection may end up being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example. Whether or not a player will play is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting the future.

Players are listed with their most recent teams unless Dan has made a mistake. This is very possible as a lot of minor-league signings are generally unreported in the offseason.

ZiPS is projecting based on the AL having a 3.93 ERA and the NL having a 3.75 ERA.

Players that are expected to be out due to injury are still projected. More information is always better than less information and a computer isn’t what should be projecting the injury status of, for example, a pitcher with Tommy John surgery.

Regarding ERA+ vs. ERA- (and FIP+ vs. FIP-) and the differences therein: as Patriot notes here, they are not simply mirror images of each other. Writes Patriot: “ERA+ does not tell you that a pitcher’s ERA was X% less or more than the league’s ERA. It tells you that the league’s ERA was X% less or more than the pitcher’s ERA.”

Both hitters and pitchers are ranked by projected zWAR — which is to say, WAR values as calculated by Dan Szymborski, whose surname is spelled with a z. WAR values might differ slightly from those which appear in full release of ZiPS. Finally, Szymborski will advise anyone against — and might karate chop anyone guilty of — merely adding up WAR totals on depth chart to produce projected team WAR.

We hoped you liked reading 2015 ZiPS Projections – Cleveland Indians by Carson Cistulli!

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Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

newest oldest most voted
Phillies113
Member

Just eyeballing this, it looks like Cleveland’s biggest needs are rotation depth, a bullpen, and DH. Defense could be improved too, possibly, if they don’t regress enough from worst in the majors last year. Otherwise, this looks like a fairly solid team. Probably won’t win the division, but could push for a wild card spot.

Also, I can’t believe Jason Giambi is still alive.

Jamie
Guest
Jamie

Zombie Giambi.

Professor Ross Eforp
Member
Professor Ross Eforp

Projections systems are, on the whole, much better than human prognosticators. There is a glitch in the matrix if it looks like Cleveland needs rotation depth, though, and Carson points to that when he says that ZIPS is unsure what to do with Carlos Carrasco.

I am an Indians fan, but I can honestly say there are very few teams I would trade their rotation for top to bottom.

Rocco Colavito Corleone
Guest
Rocco Colavito Corleone

ZiPS says the Native Americans have an Ace, two #4’s and two #5’s. (And furthermore, no real depth beyond that.)

Can you give me cause to share your optimism? Like maybe an uplifting rotation forecast from Clay Davenport or Steamer? Thanks!

Bip
Member
Member
Bip

There is a lot a great potential in that rotation, but without a doubt there is some risk too. Bauer, Carrasco, and Salazar all have a lot of upside, and if they reach that upside they could easily have one of the best rotations in baseball, but I think that’s far from a certainty.

d_i
Member
Member
d_i

I’d put them as the AL Central favorite right now, but I think upgrades should be focused on defense –ditching Swisher to DH Moss and get a real RF would be the most obvious to me.

Phillies113
Member

It’s not a bad idea. Ichiro is still available; maybe plug him into RF for a season as a band-aid, just to get the Indians through the season.

I’m not so sure about having them as favorite to win the Central though. Detroit and Kansas City are both tough, although KC could be due for a regression, so Cleveland may only need to worry about the Tigers. But it’ll be competitive at least!

brendan
Guest
brendan

the FG team depth charts (Steamer) have KC,CLE,DET pretty much tied at about 36 WAR. that’s good to see after DET being so much better than the rest, last few years.