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2011 MLB season in review: Cleveland Indians


It really feels like we waited until just after the All Star game to watch the upstart Cleveland Indians come back to earth. Through the first two months of the season, they were 32-20 and we all waited for the young roster to wear down, and eventually they did, but this is a team that could be quite good for a long time. 

When the 2011 regular season came to an end, they wound up 80-82. They lost the final four games of the season to arrive just under the .500 mark. They did go 36-36 against the four other teams in their division. However, they only managed a 6-12 record against the Detroit Tigers. Including a three game sweep in Detroit to end the season. They did go 30-24 against the Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, and Chicago White Sox. In inter-league play, they went 12-7 but were swept by the San Francisco Giants.

The really good news here is only two of their regular 2011 regular starters in the field are over 30 years old. This is a young team that found some success they can hopefully build on for the future. The Indians scored 704 runs on 1,380 hits. The team batting average .250. All of those numbers ranked near the bottom of the 14 American League teams. Since they only hit the ninth most home runs in this league, they could use an experienced bat at the DH position. A Jim Thome type, but a 49 years old someone a little younger than that. I do not expect this team to spend widely on the free agent market but to make a calculated move here and there.

The Pitching staff gave up 760 runs on 1,482 hits. The staff ERA was 4.23. That was the fifth worse staff ERA in the AL. The starting rotation is all young, all under 30 so we can explain some of their struggles away. However, the bullpen is pretty good. Their closer converted 36 saves and that means they were able to put teams away.

Since I was able to see this team a lot this year both in Detroit and in Cleveland, I can say this, they have a lineup that does not quit and with some experience, they could do a ton of damage. As a fan of a team in this division, I am very worried about what this team could develop into. I would like to see them add some experience to the lineup and to the starting rotation and then let their youngsters go out there and tear it up.

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