GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- What I like and don't like about the Indians:
• Grady Sizemore, on the way back. We still don't know if all his speed will come back, and because of that we don't know that he'll be the same guy who made it onto a lot of MVP ballots in 2008. But the early results are encouraging.
|Coming off a serious injury, can Sizemore lead the next Cleveland renaissance? Camp report >>|
• Carlos Santana. How can you not like a guy named Carlos Santana? Especially when you see that he seems fully recovered from that awful home-plate collision last August in Boston. At the time, it looked career-changing, if not career-ending. Now he's back healthy, and having a normal spring. There's not a nicer story in Indians camp.
• The other kids. If the low-budget Indians are ever going to win again, they need a big group of prospects to mature at the same time. The good news is that there are a few names to follow, and Indians people say there's a chance that third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall, second baseman Jason Kipnis and pitcher Alex White all have a chance to see Cleveland at some point this season (although none of the three are yet competing for a spot on the opening day roster.
• The memories. The day I was there, the 1997 World Series happened to be playing on the clubhouse televisions. We know it's not impossible for the Indians to have winning seasons. We've seen it.
• The Bob Feller patch. The Indians do remember their history, and they've made a point of remembering Feller, who died last year. They've also retained ties with those from their more recent past, with Mike Hargrove and Kenny Lofton among those serving as spring training instructors.
• The disappearing stars. As Travis Hafner said, "Not much is the same from the end of '07." The Indians traded away CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Casey Blake, Jake Westbrook and Jhonny Peralta. The guys who remain are Hafner, Sizemore and Fausto Carmona, and at this stage no one would really be shocked if they trade away Sizemore (if he's healthy) and Carmona, too.
• The disappearing fans. Is it really possible this is the same team that sold out 455 consecutive games? In 2010, the Indians were 30th in the big leagues in attendance -- 30th out of 30! You can't blame the fans, when they see stars traded away year after year. But for the Indians to be successful, at least some of those fans have to return. When Mark Shapiro changed offices from general manager to club president, one of his first tasks was to find a way to build revenue.
• The rotation. Carmona could be fine, and because the Indians have him under control through 2014 on a club-friendly contract, there's even a chance he won't be traded. But it's hard to get excited about the starters who fit in behind him, with Justin Masterson, Carlos Carrasco and Mitch Talbot, followed by whomever they choose to be the fifth starter.