Cleveland Indians Have Questions All Around The Diamond For 2011 Season

I would keep instant replay away from judgment calls such as whether a runner is safe or out. I would also not use it for balls and strikes. This way, the human element remains in the game and replay is only used when it is absolutely necessary. A play will only come under review when the umpires feel it necessary to do so. Umpires will be evaluated in the same manner they are now. Those that make too many mistakes will not be available to work postseason games and thus will lose out on bigger paychecks.

Boston has only managed to win five of its last 10 games but it remains just a half a game in back of New york in the most heated division race in the Majors. The Red Sox are 77-49 overall; 38-24 at home and 39-25 on the road.

American League Cy Young Award – Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox. I may have been one year too early in predicting John Lester would win this award last year. Then again, if Lester hadn’t gotten off to such a bad start last year (1-2, 4.71 ERA in April), his stats would’ve looked even better than his impressive final stat line of 19-9, 3.20 ERA. If Lester can get off to a fast start for a change (4.58 career ERA in April), anywhere between 20-23 wins is a possibility considering the revamped Red Sox lineup, the speedy outfield, and the improved (at least on paper) bullpen.

16. Arizona Diamondbacks – The Diamondbacks looked like a playoff team until the second half of the season. They need to improve that starting rotation to be a true contender.

24. Minnesota Twins – The big question in Minnesota is if Ron Gardenhire will keep his job. It’s unlikely the Twins will show much improvement for another couple of years.

But Owens’ lack of power seems to have been masked over the years by his ability to steal bases. Owens went 30/43 on stolen base attempts in 2008 with Charlotte and stole 32 while with the sale jerseys in 2007, giving the impression that he epitomized the idea of “Ozzieball”-the idea of doing the little things such as bunting and stealing bases which some sale jerseys fans bought into in 2005 (a year in which the team hit 200 home runs).

Cleveland and Chicago had an odd year against each other. The Tribe won five of the first six while the White Sox won five of the last six. In between, the Indians and White Sox split six games for a 9-9 season series.

Sox Roll Despite Dunn’s Continued Struggles

After a pretty successful 2005 season with AA Birmingham-he posted a .799 OPS that year-Owens’ production began to decline. He struggled to consistently hit the ball with authority, and in 2008, he picked up just 12 extra-base hits in 351 at-bats with AAA Charlotte, good for a .316 slugging percentage.

The promotion to Birmingham coincided with what appears to be some BABIP luck, as the soon-to-be 24-year-old Leesman’s opponent BABIP sat at .266 with the Barons. That BABIP-along with his 1 percent HR/fly ball rate-should be expected to regress in 2011, so unless he make some improvements as a pitcher, his results won’t be as good as they were in Birmingham. That being said, he’s one of the more intriguing pitchers of this group (given that he at least has a sliver of upside), so if the Sox were to take a chance with him for some April starts I’d personally be more interested than any of the other options.

When Thome left to go to the rival Twins prior to the 2010 season, General Manager Kenny Williams and Manager Ozzie Guillen decided to use the designated hitter slot as a way to get bench players at bats. Many different players hit in the designated hitter slot for Guillen last season but without the power production they were used to.

Simply put, Harrell doesn’t strike out enough opponents while walking too many. He appeared in eight games-three starts-with the 2010 White Sox and hardly looked impressive in those 24 innings, walking 17 and striking out 15. Like Humber, Harrell has been mediocre in triple-A, posting FIPs of 4.34 and 4.46 in 2009 and 2010 with Charlotte. Harrell doesn’t have much-if any-edge over Humber, and that’s not saying a whole lot.

He’s not on the 40-man roster, but Leesman was one of 14 non-roster invitees to spring training. He’s an organizational favorite-also the best pitching prospect in the organization not named sale jerseys, but that’s also not saying much-who posted a nice 3.05 FIP with double-A Birmingham in 2010. Unfortunately, that success has a red flag. Leesman actually had worse results with single-A Winston-Salem before being bumped to Birmingham last season, posting a 5.37 FIP for the Dash in 84.2 innings.

The White Sox took a flier on Humber this offseason, but don’t expect him to be another Don Cooper reclamation success. The 28-year-old right-hander has been nothing but mediocre in the minor leagues from 2007-2010, posting FIPs of 4.58, 4.86, 4.70, and 4.37 across stops with the Mets, Twins and Royals’ triple-A teams. In 51.1 major-league innings, Humber has a 5.05 FIP as well. But, given the competition, Humber may end up being the best option for the Sox come April 1.

Yet even before Rodriguez had his first at-bat to lead off the second, the Yankees were already down by 3-0. It got to 7-0 after just three innings, as Andy Pettitte — another icon of the steroid era — was chased out after getting only eight outs.

Unfortunately for the White Sox, none of these players jumps out as an enticing option to pick up Peavy’s early-season starts. But as long as Peavy doesn’t miss too big a portion of the early part of the season, a few starts from Harrell, Humber, Nunez, etc. probably won’t seriously hurt the team’s chances at making it back to the playoffs.

2010 Mlb All Star Team Snafus And Snubs

Overall, these five players combined for 62% of the relief innings in 2010, but the damage done by other pitchers getting significant action was hard to overcome. Henry Rodriguez (4.55 ERA in 27 2/3 innings), Boof Bonser (5.09, 23), Tyson Ross (5.12, 31.2) and Chad Gaudin (8.83, 17.1) accounted for 23% of the relief innings last season, and when almost a quarter of your bullpen innings are that bad, it makes it hard for a team to stay in games when the offense isn’t playing well.

14. Kansas city Royals – A monumental step forward for the Royals, but it has to hurt seeing Wil Myers and Chris Archer having so much success with Tampa Bay.

To that point, Detroit’s own trio of relievers have equaled the task, as Ryan Perry, Fernando Rodney, and Bobby Seay have also gone 7.1 innings without yielding a run.

He’s not on the 40-man roster, but Leesman was one of 14 non-roster invitees to spring training. He’s an organizational favorite-also the best pitching prospect in the organization not named sale jerseys, but that’s also not saying much-who posted a nice 3.05 FIP with double-A Birmingham in 2010. Unfortunately, that success has a red flag. Leesman actually had worse results with single-A Winston-Salem before being bumped to Birmingham last season, posting a 5.37 FIP for the Dash in 84.2 innings.

After Brett Gardner was called out on strikes to start the inning, The Yankees rattled off five straight hits, including a double by Robinson Cano and RBI singles by Alfonso Soriano and Curtis Granderson that tied the game at four. Two batters later, Nunez cleared the bases with a shot down the left field line, bringing Granderson and Alex Rodriguez home and giving the Yankees a 6-4 victory.

Replays on television showed that the ball landed a few rows in fall territory. The umpires working that game didn’t get a chance to see that, though, because of Major League Baseball not having any replay system institutionalized. In the long run the loss didn’t hurt the Tribe. The Indians are headed to the playoffs as AL Central Division champs.

Ballplayers should not be able to do on a baseball field what if they did it outside the ballpark could get them arrested. When you throw a ball at someone with the intent to do harm it is the equivalent of Assault and Battery.