Pragmatic Predictions for the Indians' 2012 Opening Day Roster

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The Rotation

Justin Masterson: I’d expect his ERA will be closer to his 3.46 mean projected FIP than 3.87, which when combined with some (hopefully) increased run support should boost him to at least 13 or 14 wins. (full profile here)

Ubaldo Jimenez: Jimenez will be better than he looked last year, but even if a large part of his struggles in 2011 were bad luck he’ll probably underperform his context-neutral stats. He’ll be a quality innings eater who prevents runs at about an average rate (say, a 3.80 ERA) and shows occasional flashes of dominance, but there will be at least a couple games this year when you’ll think Joe Borowski is starting for the Tribe. (full profile here)

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Derek Lowe: I’m a lot more bullish on Lowe than the projection systems are. I expect Lowe to look more like the pitcher he was in 2010, when he went 16-12 with a 4.00 ERA in 193.2 innings—predicting that he’ll match those numbers is probably too optimistic, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up in that ballpark. A contending team could do a lot worse than Lowe for a No. 3 starter. (full profile here)

Josh Tomlin: It’s hard to pin down an expected value for Tomlin’s performance. The mean projections (9-9, 4.24 ERA) essentially call for him to repeat his 2011 performance; I’d probably take the under there. That a pitcher with Tomlin’s unique skill set could maintain a low BABIP is definitely plausible, but I want to see him keep it up for at least another season before I fully buy in. Expect some minor regression in 2012, but he’ll still be a very effective back-end starter. (full profile here)

Jeanmar Gomez: I’d probably go with the Marcel projection (7-5, 4.35 ERA) as the best estimate of Gomez’ true talent level. He won a rotation spot out of the gate it’s unlikely he’ll lose it, but based on his competitors’ track records he might not really end up to be the best man for the job. (full profile here)

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