Cleveland Guardians News

Optimistic Predictions for the Indians’ 2012 Opening Day Roster

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The Bench

Aaron Cunningham: Cunningham’s BABIP shoots up 100 points while his plate discipline and power numbers don’t budge from their 2011 peaks. Chris Antonetti looks like a genius as Cunningham usurps the starting left field job, manages to outplay Grady Sizemore when he returns, and becomes a regular in the Indians’ lineup for years to come. (full profile here)

Lou Marson: Marson’s walk rate increases, his strikeout rate falls, and he starts showing respectable power—think the Bill James projection (.236/.323/.328, 83 OPS+), but with about 25 more points of slugging percentage. He proves that he’s not a hole in the lineup, and as he continues to prove himself it’s actually worth moving Carlos Santana to first base on a regular basis. An almost-league-average hitter who plays great defense is the ideal backup catcher. (full profile here)

Jose Lopez:  Lopez really has turned over a new leaf. He picks up where he left off in 2008-9, clearing 20 homers and supplementing his subpar on-base ability with power and good contact. He plays solid defense and sees significant time as a late-inning defensive replacement for Jason Kipnis and as Manny Acta’s go-to starter when an infielder needs a day off. (full profile here)

Jason Donald: He sees significant time in the outfield while Grady Sizemore is gone and he gets to start at second, third, or shortstop two or three games a week. As both a cause and an effect of his increased playing time he sees his plate discipline numbers improve and looks more confident in the field. (full profile here)

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