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We have a roster!

Before playing their final Florida Spring Training game, the Indians optioned Ben Francisco to Buffalo, effectively setting their Opening Day 25-man roster. Shin-Soo Choo still has to go on the DL, but other than that, the roster's locked in.

There were two mild surprises this spring: Aaron Fultz released in favor of Craig Breslow, and Jorge Julio making the team over Tom Mastny. And for a team left intact like the Indians, no big surprises are a good thing. Thus far there have been no injuries to major-league players, no collisions with sprinkler heads, no 100-mile taxi rides, and the only controversy was between Casey Blake and Travis Hafner's pet dog.

After all these non-stories, you might wonder what the Indians' roster looks like. Well, you can see the latest 40-man roster on the left sidebar (thank you, SBN 2.0), so I'll jump right to the 25-man roster:

Infielders (plus Pronk)

 C Victor Martinez
1B Ryan Garko
2B Asdrubal Cabrera
SS Jhonny Peralta
3B Casey Blake
DH Travis Hafner
C Kelly Shoppach
IF Jamey Carroll
IF Andy Marte

Aside from the backups, no change from last year's configuration. The big question with this group concerns Marte: how often will Eric Wedge get him into games? Casey Blake's versatility will make it easier for Marte to get starts, for although Andy played first base this spring, his play there made Ryan Garko seem like a Gold Glover.

Otherwise, the playing time seems locked in. Carroll is the backup for Cabrera and Peralta, though I'd imagine he'd see most of his playing time at second, with Cabrera moving over to short on Jhonny's days off. Shoppach will catch every fifth day, with Victor Martinez playing first on most of those occasions. Of course, how well Garko (and, to some extent, Travis Hafner) hit will determine how many true days off Martinez will have.


RF Franklin Gutierrez
CF Grady Sizemore
LF David Dellucci
OF Jason Michaels

Dellucci's job is on the shakiest ground of any starting position player. Ben Francisco was sent down to Buffalo for no reason other than it was he who had an option. Shin-Soo Choo, who does not have an option, will be ready to play in a couple months. The Indians understand the meaning of a sunk cost, so if Dellucci isn't slugging .500 by the end of May, he'll be somewhere else.

I think Jason Michaels is pretty safe. Even though the Indians don't need a backup who can play center field (Gutierrez is probably better defensively than Sizemore there), he'd be useful with either Francisco or Choo starting in left.

Starting Rotation

LHP CC Sabathia
RHP Fausto Carmona
RHP Jake Westbrook
RHP Paul Byrd
LHP Cliff Lee

The only drama here was whether Cliff Lee could win back his starting job over a couple worthy contenders. And he did, pitching well enough to stay with the team. Aaron Laffey and Jeremy Sowers provide the Indians excellent depth, so it isn't a given that Lee is off probation - remember, the Indians can still option him to Buffalo.

Aside from Lee, the main concern is how Fausto Carmona (and, to some extent, CC Sabathia) will fare after seeing a big uptick in innings pitched last season.


RHP Joe Borowski
RHP Rafael Betancourt
LHP Rafael Perez
RHP Jensen Lewis
RHP Masahide Kobayashi
LHP Craig Breslow
RHP Jorge Julio

Like last year, the Indians are going with all short relief. The Indians brought in Kobayashi to siphon off some innings from the Circle of Trust, as well as to guard against performance falloff from the COT. The Indians swapped out Fultz for Breslow, a classic example of how fungible matchup guys are. As Jay pointed out, Breslow gives the Indians more contractual upside, but he first has to get 2008 hitters before we can worry about when his arbitration cutoff will occur.