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Diving into the depths: Cleveland Indians

Jan 27, 2010, 7:10 PM EDT

This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
Cleveland Indians
Rotation
1. Jake Westbrook
2. Justin Masterson
3. Fausto Carmona
4. David Huff
5. Aaron Laffey
6. Carlos Carrasco
7. Mitch Talbot
8. Jeremy Sowers
9. Hector Ambriz
10. Hector Rondon
11. Rafael Perez
12. Jeanmar Gomez
Talbot, the product of the Kelly Shoppach trade with Tampa Bay, is the only new addition on the pitching side of the 40-man roster.
Westbrook and Masterson figure to enter camp as the only two locks for the rotation, but Carmona and Huff will certainly control their own destinies. If they turn in decent springs, then it should come down to Laffey, Carrasco and Talbot for the last spot. Carrasco is the biggest talent in the group, but the older pitchers may get the benefit of the doubt initially.
Bullpen
1. Kerry Wood
2. Chris Perez
3. Tony Sipp
4. Rafael Perez
5. Jensen Lewis
6. Joe Smith
7. Aaron Laffey
8. Jason Grilli
9. Jess Todd
10. Saul Rivera
11. Mitch Talbot
12. Jeremy Sowers
13. Hector Ambriz
14. Yohan Pino
15. Mike Gosling
16. Steven Wright
17. Neil Wagner
The bullpen is plenty deep, as the Indians have as many interesting relief prospects as any organization in baseball. I’m guessing Laffey will be in the rotation, opening up the last spot for Grilli. There’s been talk of moving Perez into the rotation as well, but the Indians don’t plan on making the switch this spring, since he wouldn’t be in a position to throw 180 innings this season anyway.


Catcher
1. Lou Marson
2. Mike Redmond
3. Carlos Santana
4. Wyatt Toregas
5. Chris Gimenez
First base
1. Matt LaPorta
2. Andy Marte
3. Jordan Brown
4. Shelley Duncan
5. Brian Buscher
Second base
1. Luis Valbuena
2. Mark Grudzielanek
3. Jason Donald
4. Brian Bixler
5. Luis Rodriguez
Third base
1. Jhonny Peralta
2. Andy Marte
3. Jason Donald
4. Brian Buscher
5. Luis Rodriguez
6. Wes Hodges
Shortstop
1. Asdrubal Cabrera
2. Luis Valbuena
3. Jhonny Peralta
4. Jason Donald
5. Luis Rodriguez
6. Brian Bixler
Redmond, who will back up either Marson or Santana, is the only free agent the Indians have signed to a major league contract.
The additions of Grudzy and Bixler suggest that the Indians aren’t sold on Donald as a platoonmate for the left-handed-hitting Valbuena at second base. Odds are that only one will be on the squad in Jamey Carroll’s old role, and Donald’s experience at shortstop might not help his case a whole lot, since Valbuena and Peralta can both play behind Cabrera there.
Left field
1. Michael Brantley
2. Austin Kearns
3. Matt LaPorta
4. Trevor Crowe
5. Jordan Brown
6. Shelley Duncan
Center field
1. Grady Sizemore
2. Michael Brantley
3. Trevor Crowe
4. Austin Kearns
Right field
1. Shin-Soo Choo
2. Austin Kearns
3. Jordan Brown
4. Trevor Crowe
5. Shelley Duncan
Designated hitter
1. Travis Hafner
2. Andy Marte
3. Shelley Duncan
4. Jordan Brown
5. Brian Buscher
I’m putting LaPorta at first base, since the Indians seem to have weaker alternatives there than in left field. I hope the Indians give Kearns every opportunity to take over in left. Brantley played well in 28 games after his callup last season (.313/.358/.348), but his .267/.350/.361 line from Triple-A was hardly awe inspiring. Kearns offers more short-term upside.

  1. Danny - Jan 27, 2010 at 7:54 PM

    Like the rankings for the most part…nicely done.
    But I gotta disagree with your Kearns/Brantley argument. Why would they ever want to put Kearns in there ahead of a guy who needs to develop? At this point, the Indians can afford to develop guys in the major leagues without risking that much, so putting Brantley in left may allow them to shift Sizemore down to the third spot in the lineup.
    Brantley doesn’t offer much power in the lineup, but he gets on base an average amount, so it’s worth trying him. Kearns stinks, and I hope we don’t see too much of him.

  2. John - Jan 27, 2010 at 8:09 PM

    You’re underrating Laffey – he’s probably the third most talented SP right now.

  3. Doug - Jan 27, 2010 at 8:37 PM

    Agree, Kearns was once promising but there’s a reason he has been floating from team to team the last few years.

  4. Willie Wonka - Jan 27, 2010 at 10:48 PM

    WHERE/HOW DO i GET PREVIOUS DIVING INTO THE DEPTHS ARTICLES?

  5. Willie Mays Hayes - Jan 27, 2010 at 11:15 PM

    Wonka, there is a green “tag” at end called “Diving into the Depths” that is a clickable link to the group of the men.

  6. Motherscratcher - Jan 27, 2010 at 11:17 PM

    Agree with Danny about Kearns/Brantley. You have to at least give Brantley the chance to fail there. We know what Kearns can do. He’s proven it over and over again for the last few years, and it’s not much. If Brantley fails you can move in Kearns.
    I also hope that we aren’t really going with a 13 man staff. 12 is more than enough, or at least it should be.
    @Willie Wonka – You can get to the other Diving Into The Depths articles by pressing the key on the left side on your keyboard right adove the “shift” key. It’s probably marked “Caps Lock”. It will take a while so just hit it once.

  7. divers torch - Jan 28, 2010 at 9:08 AM

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  8. divers torch - Jan 28, 2010 at 9:36 AM

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  9. willie wonka - Jan 28, 2010 at 9:38 AM

    Thanks Willie Mays Hayes. If u were here I would kiss u. No tongue of course.

  10. JW - Jan 28, 2010 at 11:19 PM

    Agree with the guy who said that you’re underrating Laffey. And I’ll throw Marte in that pile too. He can play 1b and LaPorta can play LF.

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