Clevelinks: Cleveland Indians Need Carrasco to Dominate and Raburn to Bounce Back

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Cleveland Indians Could Depend on Carlos Carrasco‘s continued success, while Ryan Raburn needs to rebound.

All the way back in 2009, the Cleveland Indians sent Cliff Lee to the Philadelphia Phillies for a prospect of packages, one of whom was right-hander Carlos Carrasco. The Tribe expected big things from him, and he never really lived up to his promise.

All this changed last season, when Carrasco won the fifth spot in the starting rotation, mostly due to the fact that he had no more minor league options. He struggled mightily in the starting rotation, and he moved to the bullpen, where he became a viable relief option. And then he went back to the starting rotation, where he outpitched Clayton Kershaw. Let me restate that, over the last ten starts of the year, Carrasco pitched 69 innings against Kershaw’s 77. Carrasco’s strikeout differential, FIP-, and opponent average were all better than Kershaw’s.

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Continuing this mindboggling good performance is probably not going to happen, but Carrasco needs to at least get close, opines Richard Clark. With Carrasco and Kluber providing a solid one-two punch at the top of the rotation, the Indians might just play deep into October.

Ryan Raburn did the exact opposite of Carrasco last season, as he went from a solid 2013 to a terrible 2014. Raburn finished 2014 with a .200/.250/.297 slash line and a wRC+ of 54. As Matt Bretz explains, much of this comes from a drop in BABIP and general performance against lefties. Bretz carries on to wonder which Raburn the Indians will see in 2015, the one who has the potential to hit 20 bombs, or the one who has the potential to strikeout more than he got on base.

More From Around the AL Central:

Indians 2015 Season Preview: Ryan Raburn – Wahoo’s on First

Carlos Carrasco: Regression or Breakout for 2015 Tribe – Wahoo’s on First

Our Favorite Kansas City Royals Memorabilia – Kings of Kauffman

Should J.D. Martinez Hit Second for the Detroit Tigers? – Motor City Bengals

AL Central Rankings: Who has the best catcher? – South Side Showdown

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