The Current Indians Roster Has An Opportunity in Front of Them

Similar to last season, the Cleveland Indians traded away higher priced players during this season in order to save money and make room for younger talent in the farm system. Russell Branyan, Jake Westbrook, Kerry Wood and Jhonny Peralta were all traded away as a way to save money and open up roster spots.

For those players filling in the holes, their opportunity to prove to this franchise they belong in the Major Leagues is now.

Early on, it was apparent the Indians were not going to be playing October baseball but the current roster has many players who will want to use this opportunity to prove to the franchise that they belong. With a veteran out of the way and a spot open, many of the younger Indians will want to prove they want to be invited back for spring training next season.

Before being injured, catcher Carlos Santana was able to prove his worth by playing well in several games after being called up from the Triple-A Columbus Clippers. Santana proved he was an offensive threat at the plate and has worked well with the pitchers. Santana took advantage of the opportunity in front of him and will most likely be on the roster next season if he recovers from his leg injury.

When Branyan was traded away, his first base position opened up and Matt LaPorta was inserted as a regular into the lineup. LaPorta has been spotty at times but his opportunity to prove his worth is now. LaPorta needs to play more consistent, hit the ball more often and prove he belongs in the Major Leagues on a regular basis. LaPorta currently does not have another veteran like Branyan to compete with and has the opportunity to earn that position at first base for next season.

Since Westbrook was traded, Jeanmar Gomez has been spectacular in the starting rotation for the Indians and could earn a shot at keeping that spot for next season. Gomez has an ERA of 1.54 in four starts and has been impressive since making his July 18th Major League debut. Gomez will have to keep this performance up over his next several starts if he wants to earn the rotation spot for next season. Gomez does not have Westbrook or much of anyone else competing with him for that spot and has an opportunity ahead of himself.

Going into next season, the likelihood of signing a big free agent is unlikely, however, bringing in other players to compete for roster spots happens every year in spring training. For the players on the current Indians roster, their time to prove themselves they belong is now and they need to take advantage of the opportunity in front of them.


~ by jeffrsabo on August 14, 2010.

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