4 years ago, Brandon Moss was a bench bat on the Phillies who went hitless in 6 at bats. He considered retiring from baseball and becoming a firefighter, but instead he became an Oakland A where Billy Beane magicked him into a .291/.358/.569 line with 21 home runs in 84 games, and then the following season he hit .256/.337/.522 with 3o home runs. Last season was worse, but he was hurting. Anyway this is all to say that the Indians traded some guy named Joe Wendle for Brandon Moss. That’s basically the offseason. Also the Indians are still called the Indians and feature a horribly racist caricature of people we raped, murdered, stole from, and practiced chemical warfare upon in order to claim America for white Christians everywhere! Also since it was technically the offseason this weekend the Indians signed Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco to long term contracts at reasonable rates so I mean that’s great.
C: Yan Gomes
Yan Gomes can catch baseballs and also throw them back and he can even hit baseballs too and has an interesting name. In all seriousness he is a solid defensive catcher whose bat may be better than people expected and the Indians signed him to a good cheap contract and everyone is happy.
1B: Carlos Santana
Carlos Santana used to be a catcher but he wasn’t very good at it and so the Indians last season decided to play him at third base which went very poorly! but luckily their previous acquisition Nick Brohio Swisher got hurt and so they stuck Santana at first and he was just fine! Anyway all this happened because Carlos Santana is fantastic at two things: getting on base and hitting 25+ home runs. He doesn’t really hit for a great average but he also doesn’t strike out that much. Last season he hit .237/.365/.422 with 27 home runs. He’s great. Playing him at first will work out fine. Carlos Santana is the opposite of a problem.
2B: Jason Kipnis
Jason Kipnis was good! Then he was hurt or bad! Who knows what he will be now???? But he can hit 15 home runs and steal 30 bases, he has done this twice and is only 28, and he plays second base, and he should be able to do all of these things again, so that’s fine. He’s scrappy, like Dustin Pedroia, except you don’t think he’s a rodent that is fucking up your garden, so I mean, I like him just fine.
SS: Jose Ramirez
It’s Francisco Lindor, the highly regarded light hitting perennial gold glove candidate you’ve been waiting for! Eventually. But for now it’s Jose Ramirez, the barely regarded light hitting gold glove candidate.
3B: Lonnie Chisenhall
It’s fun because you can call him Lonnie Baseball. Lonnie had a torrid fucking first half and an abysmal fucking second half and his platoon splits suck and he’s not a great fielder but he’s still worth a shot and there’s always Giovany Urshella, who has a fantastic name.
LF: Michael Brantley
Michael Brantley had a breakout fucking year last year as the guy in your league who picked him up back in April will be sure to remind you of. He is probably a candidate for regression in the power department, but will still hit for a decent average, with acceptable power and speed. Michael Brantley is the opposite of a problem, but in a less thrilling way to me than Carlos Santana.
CF: Michael Bourn
Remember back when Michael Bourn could consistently steal 40-50 bases a season? So does everyone but Michael Brantley’s legs.
RF: Brandon Moss
He will need to be platooned but Progressive Field is an easier place to hit than the O.co Coliseum I think he will do fine although there is the distinct possibility that Billy Beane knows things that we do not, and also has spells.
DH: Travis Hafner
Just kidding the Big Donkey is retired and it ain’t Nick Swisher as yet due to DOUBLE KNEE SURGERY DO NOT PASS GO. Probably it should be Lonnie Chisenhall, or maybe Brandon Moss, but they’ll just rotate some guys to keep them fresh and have an optimal lineup on the field because Tito Francona is not an idiot.
Mike Aviles is OK and David Murphy used to be on the Rangers and Ryan Raburn had that one insane season in Cleveland but did not really repeat it and honestly maybe Jose Aguilar makes himself known this season, as his minor league numbers are pretty good but he’s basically just a bat someone taped a glove too in that he’s not much of a fielder, you know?
Corey Kluber had an insane season last season and won the Cy Young and he’ll probably do it again, not win the Cy Young, but be very good and also effective, and he is a rather reserved man, and that’s fine. Plus his dad grew up an Indians fan, and he just signed a big extension, so like, what’s not to root for?
The Phillies traded him to the Indians a while ago and he was good in the minors but then he was mediocre in the majors and the Indians sent him down to figure some stuff out and guess what? HE DID. Will he have as good a season? Signs point to Yes! And so the Indians extended him.
Trevor Bauer was drafted third overall by the Diamondbacks, who told him he wouldn’t have to change, and then traded him because he didn’t change. Go read this article on Trevor Bauer. Go get a big crush on Trevor Bauer. Then wonder what happened. Well, a lot of things. Trevor Bauer is an incredibly smart and independent person who believes that just because things have been done a certain way doesn’t mean they have to be done that way. Trevor Bauer invented his own mechanics. Trevor Bauer is a revolution. This spring he has issued 1 walk. One. That’s it. Trevor Bauer is fascinating, he wears high socks, his delivery is actually exciting to watch, and I for one believe that this is the season where he puts it together, and it’ll be fucking magical.
Just kidding it’s Zach McAllister. For now. But eventually it’ll be Danny Salazar, and when they let him come back, watch out. Last season I saw Danny Salazar strike out 10 batters, walk 2, and give up 5 runs on 6 hits in 3 and 2/3 innings. Danny Salazar knows exactly where the strike zone is, all to well. Eventually his command will solidify, or they’ll move him to the bullpen and he’ll strike out 3-4 batters an inning, but wouldn’t you rather he was in the rotation and striking out 2-3 batters an inning? Danny Salazar is exciting!
TJ House is a side-arming lefty named TJ House and that is fucking fantastic. Also he was pretty decent last season and projects to be pretty decent this season too. He’s a fifth starter. He’s a side-arming lefty. His name is TJ House. How are you not happy about this?
Cody Allen is great. He is a really great reliever. The rest of the pen is fine. If anything happens to Cody Allen, well, it’s not as bad as the Dodgers, but probably nothing will happen to Cody Allen, plus Zach McAllister will be moved there eventually, and he’ll be pretty steady.
If everything goes right this is a fantastic team in a relatively confusing division! If everything goes wrong they’ll still be pretty decent! The Indians have a lot of maybe exciting guys! Dangerously maybe exciting! Like making out with a battery but maybe the battery isn’t a battery, it is a person who is very attractive and to whom you are very attracted, and who you respect, and care for a great deal, and who feels the same way about you! Or maybe it’s just a battery, in your mouth. It’s like Schrodinger’s cat, but with feelings.
Also the whole Chief Wahoo thing is racist and it would be really nice if they did something about that and also stopped with the whole mismatched uniform thing. Can everyone just realize that you want gray road jerseys, white or pinstriped home jerseys, and maybe a colored alternate or throwback, but that your pants and shirt should fucking match? This is ridiculous, guys. Get it the fuck together.
Lindor isn’t an amazing hitter (although he should eventually hit for a solid to good batting average) but he is an amazing fielder. Clint Frazier has a lot of very red curly hair! Justus Sheffield has a great name!
The Tigers aren’t as good as they used to be, just older, except when they’re not, and the Royals, eh, and just watch how Chris Sale pitches, I dare you, watch it and try not to grimace and worry and wring your hands about it, actually the White Sox are maybe pretty interesting but we’ll see, anyway, the Indians. They’re interesting. I predict they will be an interesting team to watch. That is a prediction I want to make!