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By keeping Fausto Carmona and trading for Derek Lowe the Indians are betting on ground balls

Oct 31, 2011, 4:48 PM EDT

Fausto Carmona

Picking up Derek Lowe for what’s essentially a one-year, $5 million contract is a smart move for the Indians, as he pitched much better than his ERA suggests this season and if healthy should be a solid third or fourth starter.

Shortly before trading for Lowe the Indians also exercised their $7 million option on Fausto Carmona and together the two moves more or less solidify the rotation as Ubaldo Jimenez, Justin Masterson, Carmona, Lowe, and Josh Tomlin.

That’s potentially a very strong group, although certainly not without significant question marks. It’s also an extremely ground-ball heavy group, as Lowe, Masterson, and Carmona were three of the 10 starters across baseball to induce at least 54 percent grounders this season and Jimenez wasn’t far behind at 47.2 percent.

Tomlin is a fly-ball pitcher, but four-fifths of the rotation would be set up to thrive if the Indians can put a strong infield behind them. Asdrubal Cabrera is locked in at shortstop and sophomores Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall will likely be the starters at second base and third base.

  1. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Oct 31, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    Wouldn’t hurt to get some of the cheap, glove-first backup (Barmes, Ellis, Cedeno) as well.

  2. tashkalucy - Oct 31, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    “Betting On Ground Balls”


    They have a SS with no range (Cabrara), a converted LF trying to play 2B (Kipnis) , a minor leaguer trying to play 3b and failing miserably (Chisenhall) and 2 terrible guys that can’t play 1B at all (LaPorta and Santana).

    But then again, their OF stinks as well, so getting fly ball pitchers won’t help either.

    • Detroit Michael - Nov 1, 2011 at 9:52 AM

      There seems to be hope for the Indians’ infield defense. “After July 22, when Jason Kipnis joined the infield and gave it the shape it would take for the rest of the season, the Indians were the fourth-best team in the AL at converting grounders into outs, yielding 211 hits on 860 balls in play (a .245 average).”

  3. brownsapologist - Nov 1, 2011 at 1:42 AM

    Is this their second attempt at Lowe?

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