Manager Francona One of Few Positives for Indians

After a year-long hiatus from managing, Terry Francona now is at the helm of the Cleveland Indians, a franchise that has not been to the playoffs since 2007. The two-time World Series winner as the manager of the Boston Red Sox must find a way to help this team avoid the second half collapses that have marred their previous two seasons.

Moreover, Francona must find a way to win with a rotation that lost more games (76) than any other team in the American League. Justin Masterson, who managed just 11 wins and a 4.93 ERA last season, is the top returning pitcher for The Tribe.

Closer Chris Perez returns as the lead-man in a bullpen that represents perhaps the strongest part of the Indians team. Perez had 39 saves for Cleveland in 2012.

In an attempt to bolster their bats, the Indians most impactful addition was outfielder Nick Swisher who hit .274 with 24 HR and 93 RBI for the Yankees last season. Beyond Swisher, the Indians have a consistent, but not powerful, hitter in Michael Brantley who led Cleveland with a .288 average last season.

Catcher Carlos Santana was the leading power hitter for the Indians last season but mustered only 18 HR.

On one hand, Indians fans can be encouraged that a proven winner like Francona is now leading their club. On the other, there is little reason to believe that the Indians will show much progress from a team that has consistently lost 90+ games the last few years.


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