Cleveland Indians: 5 Key Spring Training Storylines to Follow

skubitz
Jan 5, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Newly acquired Cleveland Indians player Edwin Encarnacion speaks to the media during a press conference at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 5, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Newly acquired Cleveland Indians player Edwin Encarnacion speaks to the media during a press conference at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
6 of 6
Next
Oct 19, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher
Oct 19, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher /

While Andrew Miller is pitching for Team USA, March will be a great time for Terry Francona to figure out how he wants to use his bullpen in 2017.

Miller, Cody Allen, and Bryan Shaw figure to receive much of the work late in games, but the addition of Boone Logan gives Francona another left-handed weapon. There is also Dan Otero, who proved he is reliable at any stage of a game as well.

Francona essentially did away with the traditional bullpen roles in the postseason, potentially changing the way managers look at bullpen roles moving forward. This strategy is much better than one that leaves Zach Britton on the bench in a one-game playoff game that goes to extra innings.

Francona may have more traditional roles during the regular season, with Allen primarily being the closer, unless the matchup favors Miller much more. Regardless, there are enough weapons to where the concept of who gets the save should not matter to Francona, or the players in the bullpen.

The bullpen roles, or lack thereof, round out our top five storylines for spring training. It will be an interesting preseason for an Indians squad with such high expectations, but the high character of so many players on the roster will surely downplay any talks of pressure.

Next: 5 Reasons Indians Will Win World Series

And with the only real question being Brantley’s health, the Indians are in great shape as a whole heading into the 2017 season.

facebooktwitterreddit