In an article on the Indians website Mark Shapiro, Indians GM, says he is fine with the Indians aggressiveness this offseason. I for one agree. The organization’s willingness to go out there and make some big, if risky, moves shows their dedication to making this team better and their desire to get to the postseason in ’09. I think as Indians fans we should take this as a sign that the higher ups in the organization realize that last season was a complete let down and the Indians had some serious problems to fix and they were determined to fix them. This is exactly how a good baseball team’s management should behave. I think it is encouraging to see that the organization as a whole was not satisfied to simply make excuses for last year and be complacent with our team. They were willing to take some risks early to make sure the Indians put together the best possible team for 2009. This risk taking shows a determination to succeed and that is where success starts, so overall I think the Indians will do well, if not this year very soon.
The Indians have some concerns about left field this season according to this article on the Indians website. At first glance the position seems to be pretty settled with Ben Francisco taking the position. He led American rookies in doubles, finished second in extra base hits, finished tied for fourth in home runs, and fifth in RBI’s last year. However he is also not very consistent. So what happens if Francisco can’t handle the pressure of being an everyday major leaguer? Well there’s always David Dellucci, right? Very funny. Dellucci seems like a nice enough player he just isn’t the most exciting option to replace Francisco if he does not work out. Apparently new acquisition Mark DeRosa can play some outfield so he may be the Indians real fourth outfielder, but that leaves us with a hole in the infield. Then there are always the minor leaguers. Personally I am excited to see some of our top prospects (LaPorta, Brantley, and Crowe, for example) get some big league playing time and see how they handle it. At the same time I am not sure if any of them are ready to be promoted to the majors full time yet. In general I hope Francisco works out because we don’t seem to have any real options to replace him if he does not. Besides I like Francisco. So good luck Ben! I am pulling for you!
Pictures: 1) Chicago Cubs Website http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/images/2003/10/10/iMtP36fM.jpg
2) USAToday.com http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0agtfzedmsfiK/340x.jpg