By David Miller @DavidMillerRant on March 28, 2014
The fact that the Cleveland Indians made it as far as they did last year was surprising to many. In fact they are said to have overachieved by nearly everyone. While that may in fact be undeniable, it is also undeniable that this group of players has proven that they can win games. Actually they could have done even better last year if they had won a few more of their head to head games with the Tigers. How will they play this year?
Though Morgan isn't likely to start for more than a week or so until Michael Bourn gets back, how well he shows up during that time could keep him on the roster. Also it will be important to get out of the gate in good shape for any of the teams in the A.L. Central and he certainly could get them off to a hot start if he is on base a great deal while he has the chance.
Swisher is a key component to this team and he really seems to fit well with the atmosphere that Terry Francona sets. Last year was a bit of a let down for him in the way of overall numbers but a full, consistent and healthy season in 2014 would make up a lot of that difference.
He made a lot of noise making the All-Star game last year and proved that he pretty well deserved a spot with his play. To be sure, Kipnis is one of those guys that other teams do not want to allow to beat them on this team. His bat is important and the Tribe cannot really succeed if he fails to repeat or improve upon his good season a year ago.
Though Santana isn't the hottest bat in the game, he does provide some pop. That makes it more important that he is making the move to third base to start the season in Cleveland. With Gomes behind the plate being a better option, this keeps Santana in the lineup and actually improves the output at third.
With a few improvements here and there Brantley could quickly put himself in position to be the best offensive player on this team. He wasn't too far from being the most underrated outfielder in the game last year in some opinions and they need him to show up with a bang this year as well if they hope to keep pace.
The boost that Gomes provided when he took over catching duties most of the time in 2013 makes it an obvious choice to put him there to start 2014. Without a doubt he could surprise many if he hits last season's pace for the entirety of this season. Also he could prove to be another vital component of this offense.
Trading to bring in Murphy might be one of the most underrated moves of the offseason. It is easy to look at this team as one that really didn't do a lot to improve on offense but if Murphy can get back to his pre-2013 norm, he will be a great addition to this team.
Cabrera is a solid guy in the field and in the box for the Tribe. He can provide a spark at the bottom of the batting order now and then. For an offense that needs all of its members to contribute in order to do really well, he is a big part.
It is a certainty that the DH of this offense will change on a weekly and daily basis, especially once Jason Giambi can return. They could stick Chisenhall at third and a few places if need be as well. Offensively he just needs to do better. He knows it and the team knows it. Perhaps this will be the season that he makes it a reality.
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