There is no shortage of young guys in most any major league spring training camp you visit. The Cleveland Indians are no different. They also have a few veterans however. Where you might think the young guys are running circles around the elder statesmen of the team, you would be wrong. Manager Terry Francona says that the veteran players have exceeded any and all expectations he had for them. That could be great for this team.
The Indians wanted to change a lot this off-season for good reasons, the biggest being that they only won 68 games last season. Obviously something wasn’t going right in that situation. Things are definitely different this year and the attitude that Francona brings to the team is the biggest change. That winning attitude is personified by these veterans and the way they are playing.
Mark Reynolds, Jason Giambi and Nick Swisher and the three main veteran leaders. Giambi is the oldest player on the team. His graying beard makes me feel old because I remember watching him play when he was very young. He is hitting the ball pretty well, though his average is low. The best thing he does is hustle in drills and exercises. Giambi has transformed himself into someone that could be invaluable to a team without even grabbing a bat. That bat does still have plenty of power in it however, if the need should arise.
Reynolds is batting .367 this spring with 2 homers and 4 RBI. The same is true with him in the way he runs drills so well. Swisher is in that group as well but his numbers are ridiculous. He’s batting .455 with three homers and 11 runs batted in. Needless to say, Swisher’s boundless enthusiasm is having an effect on his play. I feel certain his influence along with Giambi and Reynolds will have a very positive effect on the rest of the Indians team.