2005 Record: .574 (93-69), 2nd in AL Central
2004 Record: .494 (80-82)
Who’s Out: Scott Elarton (P), Bob Howry (P), Kevin Millwood (P), Coco Crisp (OF), Scott Elarton (P), Arthur Rhodes (P), David Riske (P), Josh Bard (C), Jose Hernandez (P), Juan Gonzalez (OF), Sean Douglass (P)
Who’s In: Paul Byrd (P), Jason Johnson (P), Lou Merloni (3B), Guillermo Mota (P), Jason Michaels (OF), Eduardo Perez (1B), Andy Marte (3B), Kelly Shoppach (C), Steve Karsay (P), Danny Graves (P), Einar Diaz (C), Todd Hollandsworth (OF)
Notes: The Tribe was in the wild-card race right up through the last weekend of the 2005 season, and although they fell short they proved that they are a resilient ball club with World Series dreams. They had to give up payroll-suckers Kevin Millwood and Bobby Howry and weren’t able to add Trevor Hoffman or Nomar Garciaparra this winter, but the Indians still have a few tricks up their sleeve that could propel them to the post-season. They have Sabathia, Lee, and Westbrook—25, 27, and 28 years old respectively—in their starting rotation, and Grady Sizemore and Jhonny Peralta are both under 24. Cleveland may not have the biggest stars, but they have young pitchers and rising talent in Sizemore and Franklin Gutierrez. Expect the Tribe to be in playoff contention right up through October again this year—though I don’t envision them making it to the playoffs just yet.
Next Up: LA Angels (of Anaheim)
Labels: 2006 team profiles