Happy Friday, Tribe fans. Opening day is so close I can taste it. The roster is set - the rotation filled out, and the positional competitions settled. We've only got the weekend left to debate whether craft beer plays better 3B defense than Lonnie Chisenhall, or whether Pam Beasley should have beaten out Carlos Carrasco for the #5 spot. Anyway, here's some links to hold you over:
Tribe has another rung to climb in '14 | Indians.com - Bastian riffs on the 2014 Indians motto: "Unfinished Business". It's fluff, but there's some fun quotes from Tribe players, it's a good wrap-up of the offseason, and it ought to get you pumped up for Opening Day!
Nick Swisher likes everything about the 2014 Cleveland Indians | Cleveland.com - In case you wanted to know where Swisher's "Thundercats" nickname came from... too bad. He doesn't know either. But he sure is stoked, bro.
Indians bullpen ranks in the middle of the pack | Fangraphs - Coming in at #17, Fangraphs doesn't have much good to say about the Tribe bullpen. Perhaps the biggest improvement in the departure of Chris Perez. While they give credit to the FO for assembling a competent bullpen on a budget, there aren't any real standouts.
Kipnis emerging as leader and star of Tribe | Did The Tribe Win Last Night? - We can argue all we want about the best plan for 3B, but I dare somebody to argue we're not rock solid at 2B. DTTWLN profiles Jason Kipnis and takes a look at his prospects for 2014 and beyond. Speaking of the 3B situation, DTTWLN also has a piece on Lonnie Chisenhall's future that's worth a read. They speculate that if Carlos Santana is successful at 3B, Chisenhall will be headed to AAA or shipped off in a trade.
Kluber ready for expanded role in 2014 | Wahoo's On First - Corey Kluber is a really good pitcher. He also may or may not be a time traveller/the Terminator.
Around the league
Cabrera, Tigers agree to gigantic extension | CBS Sports - Pending a physical (insert fat jokes here), the deal could be worth up to $352 million. Are they paying this guy by the pound or what? According to Buster Olney, MLB executives are "appalled" about the contract.
Kershaw to miss Dodgers North American opener | Twitter (Bill Shaikin) - Clayton Kershaw won't start Sunday against the Padres. I blame the WBC.
Is MLB's new replay system overkill? | Sports on Earth - Out of 50,000 plays that would be deemed "reviewable" under the new system, on 377 would be overturned by it. Is that enough to justify the massive investment of time and money? Hey, as long as those costs aren't being passed on to the fans, then I'm all for getting every play right.
Chris Archer forges his own path to MLB | Sports on Earth - SoE looks at young Rays pitcher and sort of LGFT Chris Archer, a biracial young man raised by his white grandparents. Hat tip to Jay's Facebook for this fascinating piece.