One of the main reasons for the Indians' turnaround from 68 wins in 2012 to 92 victories last season was ownership giving general manager Chris Antonetti the financial resources to improve the roster. Cleveland showed its ambition to challenge the Tigers in the AL Central by signing free agents like Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn. Yet that same drive was missing during this most recent offseason. The Tribe didn't pursue any top free agents and let key contributors like Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir go.
Another factor in Cleveland's resurgence was their improved pitching. The Indians' team ERA went from 4.78 in 2012 (finishing second-to-last in MLB) to 3.82 last year (climbing to 15th). That improvement took place despite a less than impressive defense playing behind the Tribe's pitchers. With a weakened starting rotation due to Jimenez and Kazmir leaving, it's even more important for the Indians to provide quality infield and outfield defense for their pitching to aid in run prevention.no comments