Scouting Report: Indians Update

August 27, 2009|By Jeff Zrebiec

It has been a disappointing season for Cleveland, which never was in the race and opted to trade many of its veterans for young talent. Reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee and All-Star catcher Victor Martinez were the Indians' most significant trades, but the team also jettisoned Mark DeRosa, Ben Francisco, Carl Pavano, Rafael Betancourt and Ryan Garko in deals.

Still, the Indians have played much better recently and enter tonight's series opener with 20 wins in their past 34 games and eight series victories over the past 11. Slick-fielding shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is hitting .315, including a .338 average since the All-Star break. Cleveland star center fielder Grady Sizemore has struggled with injuries and inconsistency, and is batting just .213 against left-handed pitching. Reliever Chris Perez, acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in the DeRosa trade, has pitched 16 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings. The Indians have the second-worst team ERA in the AL, ahead of only the Orioles.

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