Grady Sizemore – CF
Shin Soo Choo – LF
Ben Francisco – RF
Jhonny Peralta – 3B
Victor Martinez – C (And sometimes Shoppach)
Travis Hafner – DH
Ryan Garko – 1B
Jamey Carroll – 2B
Asdrubal Cabrera – SS
Would anyone be completely surprised if these were the position players who made the team next season? I, for one, wouldn’t be. I don’t want to come off completely negative here. I do think the Indians will go out and bring some people in to try and make the bullpen stronger. At the same time, the way the Indians finished the season strongly with the addition of Shin Soo Choo and a revitalized Garko and Asdrubal Cabrera, I almost expect Mark Shapiro to stand pat with his position players.
Of course there have been calls from people, most notably Terry Pluto, for the Indians to go make a splash trading for a guy like Brian Roberts to hold down second base. Certainly other guys are available via trade who would look nice here in Cleveland. Matt Holliday has been available from Colorado off and on. The Brewers will want pitching in exchange for Prince Fielder who is eligible for arbitration. Certainly the Indians have some bullets in the gun if they decide to make a trade for a position player.
Yet, I really don’t expect them to do much of anything. I think they will continue to see if Garko develops into a consistent hitter. I think they will continue to watch Asdrubal Cabrera develop. You will notice that my lineup is a bit hopeful that the Indians will move Peralta to third, allowing Asdrubal to play shortstop, but even that could end up being wishful thinking on my part.
The Indians already picked up the option on Jamey Carroll’s contract for the upcoming season. That means that they have a backup player at 2nd, short and 3rd. The question is whether Carroll will be backing up or just starting at 2nd base. Further, if he isn’t starting at 2nd, is Josh Barfield starting there?
Don’t be confused. I don’t hate these guys. I wish Josh Barfield would turn into the second coming of Roberto Alomar. I hope deeply that Ryan Garko turns into Jim Thome or even Paul Sorrento for that matter. At the same time, I don’t want to see another year of Indians baseball wasted. I don’t want to see another year in the career of Grady Sizemore flushed down the toilet because the Indians didn’t plan appropriately for a lack of talent at 2nd or 3rd base. I don’t want to see another year of Cy Young quality pitching get tossed aside because the Indians didn’t have the guts to bring in a quality outfielder who is proven beyond the prospects of Shin Soo Choo and Ben Francisco. What it really comes down to is that I just don’t want to see another year where David Dellucci has a chance to play.
This teams has some pieces and parts which definitely work, including Grady Sizemore and Victor Martinez. They have some pieces and parts which will probably work like Shin Soo Choo, Ben Francisco, Jhonny Peralta and Asdrubal Cabrera. They need to add one or two pieces in the category with Grady and Victor, thus pushing the probable players down the line for depth. Whether or not the Indians and Mark Shapiro do that is anybody’s guess, but I sure hope he does. It would be nice to shore up at least one position out of three with question marks. It would be nice to see at least one bona fide player come in to play in the outfield, second base or even third base if they plan on keeping Peralta at short.
Anybody betting on the chances?