Season Outlook: Cleveland Indians

Projected 2017 Starting Lineup:

  1. Carlos Santana – Designated Hitter
  2. Jason Kipnis – 2nd baseman
  3. Francisco Lindor – Shortstop
  4. Edwin Encarnacion – 1st baseman
  5. Michael Brantley – Left Fielder
  6. Jose Ramirez – 3rd baseman
  7. Lonnie Chisenhall – Right Fielder
  8. Yan Gomes – Catcher
  9. Tyler Naquin – Center Fielder

Projected 2017 Starting Rotation:

  1. Corey Kluber
  2. Carlos Carrasco
  3. Danny Salazar
  4. Trevor Bauer
  5. Josh Tomlin

Season Outlook:

The Indians were just one win away from winning the world series last season and there is no reason to expect that they won’t at least make it to the ALCS in 2017. Cleveland had a decent lineup last season led by Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor. However, now that star left fielder Michael Brantley should play much more than he did in 2016 then this lineup becomes much better. Also, the Indians went against what they typically do in free agency as they gave out a massive contract to 1st baseman Edwin Encarnacion who hit 42 home runs for Toronto last season. Adding Encarnacion and a healthy Brantley to the middle of their lineup makes this team even better than it was last season. However, the pitching staff is clearly the strength of the Indians. Corey Kluber is one of the best pitchers in baseball and the rest of the rotation are all top of the rotation pitchers. Injuries to their starting rotation hurt the Indians late last season. However, if their pitchers can stay healthy in the postseason then this team could end up winning the world series in 2017. Also, the Indians bullpen is one of the best in the MLB led by Andrew Miller and Cody Allen who are shutdown relief pitchers that are outstanding at winning close games for Cleveland. It is difficult to find a weakness on this roster and they should win their division while also competing with the Red Sox to go to the world series in 2017.

Prediction: 1st place in the AL Central

francisco-lindor

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