This off-season The Nats Blog will be conducting interviews with sites from all thirty teams. One team a week leading up to the start of the 2011 baseball season. This week I spoke with Ryan Richards from Let’s Go Tribe!, one of the top Cleveland Indians blogs on the net to talk about a team trying to get themselves back on the map.
TNB: Shin-Soo Choo has avoided Korean Military Service. Is he the MVP of the Indians?
Let’s Go Tribe!: Yes, Choo is by far the best player on the team. He led the team in virtually every offensive category in 2010, and he’s probably the best defender on the team as well.
TNB: Grady Sizemore’s season was cut short after 33 games due to microfracture surgery to his left knee. Will we ever see the Sizemore of old again?
Let’s Go Tribe!: I think Sizemore can be a very good hitter again, though I’m skeptical whether he’ll ever be a good base stealer or as rangy in the outfield.
TNB: Fausto Carmona had a bounce back year in 2010 after poor 2008-2009 campaigns. What was the key difference for him that turned it around?
Let’s Go Tribe!: The key for Fausto’s comeback was an improved changeup; this gave him a second plus pitch. Hitters could no longer sit on a 93-95 mph pitch.
TNB: Is manager Manny Acta (former manager of the Washington Nationals) already on the hot seat after just one season?
Let’s Go Tribe!: I don’t think he’s on the hot seat. Expectations were extremely low last year, and there were a lot of key injuries. Now if the Indians lose 100+ games in 2011, then yes, he would be in trouble.
TNB: Highly touted catching prospect Carlos Santana appeared in 46 games in 2010. When do you see him having his “breakout” season?
Let’s Go Tribe!: The next season he’s healthy. He was fantastic at the plate before the knee injury, so he didn’t have any kind of learning curve to overcome; he just needs to stay healthy.