This Baseball America story talks about how the Indians have a pair of pitchers who share the same last name and both will be starting at Double A in 2007. Jensen Lewis got some time at Akron last year and he struck out 44 in 39 1/3 innings. Scott Lewis is actually a year older then Jensen and he had a very good season at High A last year (1.48 ERA in 115 2/3 innings). Ironically, both were selected in the third round (Jensen in 2005 and Scott in 2004) and both got a C+ rating by John Sickels.
Jason Stanford has had one of those careers that you wince at. He made the Indians in 2004 and after a couple of solid starts, he blew out his elbow and faced Tommy John surgery. Then he comes back last year and while he’s not horrible at Triple A, he didn’t light it up either. Now Stanford is 30 years old and he’s a non-roster invitee in the Indians camp.
Not only does Stanford have a lot riding on this spring, but the Indians will have to make a decision on him as well because he’ll become a minor league free agent after the end of 2007 season if the Indians don’t lock him up. For more info. on Stanford, this is a great profile on the pitcher at MLB.com.
Buster Olney picked Cliff Lee as the top pitcher who could swing their team in the right direction. He talks about how if Lee puts together a good 2007, then with mainstays like C.C. Sabathia and Jake Westbrook, the Indians could have one of the best rotations in baseball. Nice to know someone in the know is optimistic about the Indians pitching.
Man, this is a kick in the you know what. Keith Foulke was supposed to top a rejuvinated Indians bullpen and now on the eve of training camp, he calls it quits. It’s noble of him to throw it in now instead of forcing through the season and collecting his paycheck, but it still leaves the Indians in a bind.
Joe Borowski will most likely get the nod as the team’s closer, at least to start the season. Borowski was good enough for the Marlins in 2006 but he wasn’t very good (and hurt) in 2004 and he was mediocre in 2005. So we’ll just have to see how this goes and if anyone steps up and chalenges Borowski this spring. This is just a hunch, but I have a feeling at some point in the year, Borowski will either go down or get some help and some other Indian will rack up close to ten saves.
Jeff Sackman at Beyond the Boxscore recently took a sabermetrically inclinced look at the Cleveland Indians heading into the 2007 season. Of course the Indians biggest problem is the competition. They very well could be the fourth best team in the AL Central while still being better then some of the winners in the other five divisions.
He takes a look at the Indians solid offense and starting rotation and he also has some nice things to say about the revamped Indians bullpen. He predicts the Indians winning 92 games, which is pretty good but would have put the Indians third place in the AL Central and you know the White Sox will win more then 90 games. One of the big four in the AL Central will have to drop off though, I just hope it’s not the Indians.
At least NBCsports.com seems to think so. I like the home/road split Foulke has and that should equate to some better numbers in more pitching friendly Jacobs Field. And when you factor in a strong finish to the season when nobody was paying attention to the Red Sox, it could mean that the $5-7 million (depending on if he hits his numbers) will be a huge bargain for a bonafide closer.
Anthony Castrovince at MLB.com recently took a look at the Indians bullpen. Pitching, especially relief pitching, was one of the things that set the Indians back in 2006 after making a run in 2005. They signed veterans like Keith Foulke and Roberto Hernandez to help bolster last seasons young bullpen and hopefully the final result will be a significant improvement over 2006.
John Sickels recently solicited people for what they thought Andy Marte would hit in 2007 and you can find the aggregate here. I could definitely live with 21 homeruns in 495 at bats. And while the .260 average looks low, it’ll be boosted by the 51 walks. I’d be happy if this was what Marte did in 2007 for sure.
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