Indians Decade in Review: Optimism and a hot start in 2011

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Indians
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Indians seemed like contenders after 45 games in the 2011 season. The rest of the year didn’t exactly go so well.

Our Indians Decade in Review series continues with a look at the 2011 season. It was a year that began so well. The Indians were contenders! Until they weren’t.

The Manny Acta era began in 2010 and the final result was a 69-93 record. But optimism was high for Year 2 and a 30-15 start seemed to reward all the positive thoughts. Then the Indians came back down to Earth and gradually fell out of the playoff race.

Perhaps the most notable part of the entire season has to do with the first-round pick in the 2011 MLB Draft. A young man known as Francisco Lindor was taken with the No. 8 overall pick. So while the Indians were in a stage of rebuilding, the front office was doing their best work to make the team better.

The Opening Day lineup looked like this:

  1. Michael Brantley, CF
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
  3. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
  4. Carlos Santana, C
  5. Travis Hafner, DH
  6. Orlando Cabrera, 2B
  7. Austin Kearns, LF
  8. Matt LaPorta, 1B
  9. Jack Hannahan, 3B

The starting pitcher was Roberto Hernandez, or the pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona. Missing the playoffs once again was a disappointment, but there were plenty of positives to go with the negatives.