Over the past three seasons, Francisco Lindor has quickly established himself not only as one of the faces of Major League Baseball, but as an ambassador for the game. So it came as no surprise that Lindor — now a household name among baseball fans — was chosen to be featured on the cover of R.B.I. Baseball 18 on Saturday at Tribe Fest.
Despite a relatively quiet winter, and with standouts like Giancarlo Stanton and Gerrit Cole headed elsewhere, the Indians still feel good about the team they’ll field in 2018. Here are five keys for another successful season.
Jason Kipnis has not been explicitly informed that he will open the season as the second baseman for the Indians. Manager Terry Francona described that as the probable scenario on Friday, but still stopped short of committing to that plan with Opening Day still more than two months away.
The old adage in baseball is that power is something that develops over time. Bobby Bradley has had it since he broke into the professional ranks with the Indians.
The Indians’ rotation set records last year and the team has the ability to return with the entire staff intact. That is a big reason behind Cleveland’s continued confidence in remaining atop the American League Central, even after some key losses in free agency this offseason.
The Indians return a strong lineup, but there’s one noticeable difference compared to last year: Instead of Carlos Santana, who signed a three-year deal with the Phillies, it’ll be Yonder Alonso, who signed a two-year deal with Cleveland, at first base.
As the story goes, Bradley Zimmer was in the Indians’ training room after having worn a fastball to the ribs earlier in the afternoon in a Cactus League game three springs ago. When the medical staff examined his side, there was no bruising or mark to be found.
Omar Vizquel was a sensational player, but the Baseball Hall of Fame has a high bar. Many believe that he should be in Cooperstown, and so the argument will rage on for a while. There’s really nothing to be done about that except to remember that these are arguments about greatness and even greater greatness. Vizquel was one heck of a player.