Last week, 16 Cleveland Indians writers representing six different publications participated in a multi-part preseason survey in which we made predictions and offered our opinions about the 2013 Tribe. We released part of the results each day this week as we count down the days until the start of the season. Today, we finish our series by asking each panelist to make a bold prediction or two about the 2013 Indians.
Nick Houghtaling (Wahoo’s on First): Scott Kazmir will have a decent year and remain in the Tribe’s rotation throughout. Michael Brantley will improve on his 2012 season and become one of the Indians’ best players.
Geordy Boveroux (Wahoo’s on First): The Indians draft Mark Appel fifth overall in the MLB Draft. They throw their entire bonus pool into signing him, and get him on the field by July 1. He kills it at Lake County, and storms through Kinston over the summer. As August nears, the Tribe needs a boost. Trevor Bauer has been great, with an ERA around 3.50 and a K/9 above 7.5 while limiting walks to a serviceable number, but they need just one more impact arm. When rosters expand, Antonetti surprises everyone and calls up Appel who has a David Price-like run through September and into the playoffs from the ‘pen.
Evan Vogel (Wahoo’s on First): Lonnie Chisenhall will hit 20 HR while posting a solid AVG and terrible OBP, but he will solidify third base for years to come. Ubaldo Jimenez pitches to contact and lowers his walk rate, re-establishing himself as a solid starting pitching option.
Jeff Mount (Wahoo’s on First): Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco will replace Brett Myers and Ubaldo Jimenez in the rotation at midseason and lead a second-half surge with Zach McAllister and Justin Masterson that puts the Indians in contention and creates a wave of optimism for 2014.
Andrew Zajac (Indians Baseball Insider): The Indians will finish around .500, whether it be a few games above, below, or right at .500. Trevor Bauer won’t be called up until July or August. The starting rotation will continue to struggle and have an ERA around 4.30.
Vince Guerrieri (Did the Tribe Win Last Night?): Someone on the Indians staff will throw a no-hitter.
Nino Colla (The Tribe Daily): Zach McAllister wins the most games of all the starting pitchers this season.
Ed Carroll (Cleveland.com): Ubaldo Jimenez isn’t terrible. The Indians make the division interesting, but the rotation isn’t strong enough to win it. Brett Myers will close before the season is over.
Merritt Rohlfing (Wahoo’s on First): Lonnie Chisenhall wins a batting title, or is at least in the running for it.
Kevin Dean (Indians Baseball Insider): Brett Myers and Ubaldo Jimenez have similarly awful seasons.
TD (WaitingForNextYear): The Tribe will dump Ubaldo Jimenez by June 1.
Lewie Pollis (Wahoo’s on First): The Indians’ front office and coaching staff win more individual awards than the players.
Steve Kinsella (Wahoo’s on First): The Indians will draw well at Progressive Field. The starting pitching staff will be much better than anyone imagines (above league average).
Brian Heise (Wahoo’s on First): Scott Kazmir will usurp Ubaldo Jimenez as the #2 starter behind Justin Masterson. Michael Brantley will hit 20 home runs out of nowhere.
Katrina Putnam (Wahoo’s on First): Scott Kazmir and Ubaldo Jimenez will shock everyone by winning 15 games each, Carlos Santana will have a breakout year and hit at least 30 home runs, and the Indians will narrowly win a wild card spot.