By David Miller @DavidMillerRant on March 26, 2014
Like many MLB teams headed into Opening Day 2014, the Cleveland Indians have dealt with their share of injuries to key players. Both Michael Bourn and Jason Giambi will start the season on the disabled list. Still, there is every chance that this team could do exactly what they did last season and fight for divisional leads on the way to a possible Wild Card berth. It all will start on Opening Day with the group you are about to click through.
Avg: .249 / HR: 6 / RBI: 20
Morgan gets the good fortune of starting the season with the Indians and likely in the lineup because of Michael Bourn being out for a little bit. He isn't going to get a ton of playing time after that but he could keep a roster spot if he does well enough. Look for Bourn's numbers to end up somewhere around .269 / 7 / 62 with a ton of runs scored if he stays healthy.
Avg: .220 / HR: 21 / RBI: 79
Swisher is a big part of this team both on the field and in the clubhouse. Look for his season to look a little better this time around than it did in 2013.
Avg: .298 / HR: 23 / RBI: 91
This is the Indians' guy right here. His numbers should be towards the top few second basemen in MLB by seasons' end. They cannot get far without him having a great season.
Avg: .260 / HR: 19 / RBI: 68
The fact that Santana can now play third base most of the time should be a big deal for the offensive numbers of the club. He isn't going to lead the team most likely but he is someone who needs to be placed somewhere since Gomes is a better option behind the plate.
Avg: .290 / HR: 15 / RBI: 80
He might not get as much attention but look for Brantley to carry a large load for the Tribe this season. If he puts up similar numbers this year to the ones he put up last year, he is likely to get attention from opposing pitchers at the very least.
Avg: .303 / HR: 25 / RBI: 95
While the official big hitter for the Indians is Kipnis, I think Gomes will be the most productive member of the offense. Look for him to be the MVP of this team by the end of the season for sure if things go well
Avg: .280 / HR: 18 / RBI: 70
The DH position will cycle around quite a bit even after Giambi is able to return. Raburn is likely to see time in the outfield a lot as well if he performs well. As a whole the should be a productive bunch in clutch situations.
Avg: .277 / HR: 13 / RBI: 68
The key to the success of this team this season will be the same as last season. Good managing and timely hitting when it counts the most will make the difference. Murphy will probably cycle around a little bit but look for an overall rebound when he is in the lineup which should be most of the time.
Avg: .259 / HR: 17 / RBI: 62
While Cabrera isn't going to win many awards in the media, he does a solid job with the Tribe at short. Don't be surprised when he is a tough man to replace one day in the near future. Until that day comes, shortstop for the Tribe is in pretty good hands.
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