Apr 2, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis (22) and second baseman Ryan Raburn (9) and first baseman Nick Swisher (33) celebrate after scoring two runs against the Oakland Athletics during the ninth inning in game two of a double header at O.co Coliseum. The Cleveland Indians defeated the Oakland Athletics 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Bold Predictions for the Cleveland Indians 2014 Season

WoF Staff Makes Bold Predictions

Opening Day in Cleveland is finally upon us! To celebrate the occasion we’re doing a super special edition of the Weekly Wroundtable. Ok, it isn’t exactly super special, but this is one of the more important editions of the Wroundtable that we do here at Wahoo’s on First. You see, this is the Wroundtable where we give our bold predictions for the 2014 season. It’s these same predictions we will ultimately revisit sometime further along during the season just so we can see how wrong each of us. It’s a delightfully embarrassing exercise, but one we enjoy none the less.Ed CarrollBlake Wood will make Vinne Pestano look like Fernando Cabrera.

David Murphy plays well when he’s utilized correctly (in a platoon with Ryan Raburn).

Carlos Santana will hit 25 home runs with a .360-ish OBP, and fans will still find a way to complain about him (probably due to his batting average, or RBI, or something else dumb).

Carlos Carrasco establishes himself as a starting pitcher, and next spring the debate won’t be if he should be in the pen or the rotation, but which numbered starter he should be.

Steve Kinsella: The story of the 2014 season will be the emergence of Carlos Carrasco as a solid member of the starting rotation. He will deliver 30 starts and around 175 innings while posting a K/BB ratio greater than 2.5 and have a FIP between 3.65 and 4.00.

On offense, Lonnie Chisenhall will play a positive role on the offense starting at 3b, DH, and becoming that demon of a pinch hitter that wins a couple of games and starts rallies displaying his knack at coming off the bench late in games.

Evan Vogel: Lonnie Chisenhall carves out a role, despite not having a regular position, posting an average over .260 with 12-15 HR and 60-70 RBI in approximately 475 plate appearances. Trevor Bauer carves out a role in the bullpen due to his inability to throw strikes as a starter, showcasing a high-90’s fastball that leads to the Tribe thinking about him in a closer role in 2015. Carlos Carrasco does what Corey Kluber did in 2014, minus the injuries, and Justin Masterson pitches himself out of the Indians’ price range.

Brian Heise: Lonnie Chisenhall plays well enough throughout the first half of 2014 that the Indians are able to move him prior to the trade deadline for help in their starting rotation. They’ll need that help because Corey Kluber and Zach McAllister will struggle to be both effective and healthy. However, Carlos Carrasco will turn the corner and finally become a legitimate starting pitcher. Jason Kipnis will make the all-star team, to the surprise of no one. Michael Brantley will also make the all-star team, to the surprise of everyone. Finally, Vinnie Pestano will not regain the form that made him so great. The Indians will eventually part ways with the fan favorite.

Merritt Rohlfing: 2014 is going to be a special year for the Cleveland Indians. They’re going to make regression their bitch, in so many words. A few awesome things are going to happen:
– Corey Kluber, not to be daunted by a misery-laden first start, will have an ERA under 3.45 and pitch at least 190 innings. The Corey Kluber Appreciation Society will grow to an immense size, leading at least one fan, somewhere, to get a Kluber-themed tattoo.
– Asdrubal Cabrera is going to play 150 games or so at short this year, having a season closer to 2012 than 2013. And since we’re being bold, he’ll play average defense.
– Carlos Carrasco is going to dump the crazy and have a breakout year, of sorts at least. He’ll stick in the rotation and have a sub-4.00 ERA while averaging more than a strikeout an inning. It won’t stop Josh Tomlin from making at least 15 starts for the team. His Tommy John surgery being a ringing success, he is going to find his control of old while upping the strikeout rate.
– Is it bold to say they’ll make the playoffs again? It feels a bit homerish, and everyone is caught up in the Royals being the team of 2014, but sometimes people get so caught up in potential it distracts from realized, if less impressive, talent. That’s the prediction though – playoffs.

Tags: Carlos Santana Cleveland Indians Jason Kipnis Justin Masterson

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