Though the Indians at worst will end the first week of the season at .500, they've done it despite four short and poor starting pitching performances. They were able to overcome McAllister's and Salazar's, but not Kluber's and Carrasco's, and even then you can't expect them to come from behind at this rate.
The good news is that today the one pitcher who had a good performance the first time through the rotation will be starting.
After a year of watching Nick Swisher on and off the field, I can understand why fans of other clubs might loathe him, but also understand that his persona is definitely not an act. And the enthusiasm he's brought to the organization has had an effect on what was an indifferent fanbase.
The Indians will have to make a couple difficult decisions over the next week or so. Michael Bourn should be ready to go (barring a regularly-scheduled setback) sometime this week, and Jason Giambi is eligible to come off the DL soon as well. If the Indians limited their decisions to players that have options, Lonnie Chisenhall and Vinnie Pestano would probably be the ones to go to Columbus, though the way Lonnie has hit (albeit in limited plate appearances), it would be tough to send him down. But I don't think both he and Giambi can be on the roster at the same time now that Carlos Santana is the everyday third baseman.
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With Jason Kipnis' extension, I've left the salary/service time numbers in for one more week. The Indians' Opening Day payroll, for what it's worth, ranks 26th among the 30 MLB teams.
If you're already thinking about the 2014-2015 offseason, here's some of the contract decisions that the Indians will have to deal with (assuming no new contract extensions between now and then):
IF Mike Aviles ($3.5M option, $250K buyout)
SP Justin Masterson
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
DH Jason Giambi
Arbitration (service time assumes entire season on 25-man roster or DL)
3B Lonnie Chisenhall (3.0 serv time)
UT Elliot Johnson (4.028)
OF Nyjer Morgan (5.120)
SP Carlos Carrasco (3.140)
RP John Axford (4.170)
RP Bryan Shaw (3.081)
RP Josh Outman (5.036)
RP Blake Wood (4.145)
RP Vinnie Pestano (3.133)
RP Scott Atchison (5.168)
SP Josh Tomlin (4.010)
AL Central News
News on the White Sox injury front
Hopefully yesterday's Twins victory was also due to small sample size
A look at the Royals' payroll
Is this really news?
MLB Clip of the Week
A swarm of bees ended up delaying the Arizona-Giants game on Thursday