What a Difference One Year Makes

The Cleveland Indians were frustrating last season. Whether you watched the team on television or in the stands, watching the Tribe was a frustrating experience as the team fell to the bottom of the standings in 2012.

One season ago, the Indians had one of the worst offenses in the American League. It was rare to see the team get more than four hits per game and runs could not be generated easily. There was a lack of a power hitter in the lineup and no leaders in the locker room. Veterans like Travis Hafner and Johnny Damon (who constantly asked when he could get released) barely made an impact in the lineup.

The 2012 season ended the way the Dolan family did not want and changes were made in the offseason. Hafner was allowed to sign elsewhere, Terry Francona was hired in as a manager and the Dolan’s invested money into the team. Veteran leaders in Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn were signed and showed Cleveland fans the Indians wanted to compete.

Other additions included Drew Stubbs, Jason Giambi and Mark Reynolds. Stubbs has been steady in the outfield for the Tribe, Giambi has proven he can provide an extra punch in the lineup when needed and Reynolds has been known to change the course of a game with one swing. What was a lineup that could not produce one year ago is now a lineup that can stay in the game.

Last season, Scott Radinsky entered his first season as the Tribe’s pitching coach and it showed. Radinsky, who was mainly a reliever during his career, could not develop and help the starting pitchers. Radinsky was let go before the season ended but pitchers like Ubaldo Jimenez and Justin Masterson could not find their groove.

Jump to 2013; Radinsky is gone and new pitching coach Mickey Callaway is in. Callaway worked heavily with Jimenez in the offseason and it has shown. Jimenez is still not perfect but is wining game and starting to become the pitcher the Indians wanted when trading for him two years ago. Masterson has developed strong and has returned to his usual form.

The season will be at it’s halfway point at the end of today and a lot can happen when the Tribe comes back from the All-Star Break.

 

 

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~ by jeffrsabo on July 14, 2013.

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