PEORIA—The Indians' hopes of being competitive this season are a long shot. PECOTA projects them to go 74-88 and gives them a 3.3 percent chance of reaching the postseason.
For the Indians to have any shot of being relevant this year, they need two players to show they are fully recovered from major knee surgeries that ruined their 2010 seasons. Center fielder Grady Sizemore underwent microfracture surgery and catcher Carlos Santana had reconstructive surgery, cutting his rookie year short.
Santana has been playing without restriction all spring and the Indians feel he is ready to establish himself as one of the better catchers in the game. The Tribe also got good news Sunday on Sizemore. He ran at full speed at the Indians' camp for the first time in the morning without pain and that had club management feeling good even after a 7-2 loss to the Padres in a Cactus League game at Peoria Stadium in the afternoon.
Sizemore was in pain from the start of the season and had a .216 TAv and minus-1.1WARP in 140 plate appearances before finally going on the disabled list. Sizemore averaged 6.9 WARP a season from 2005-08 when he was one of the top players in the game.
"One of the reasons why I took the job was because I wanted the chance to manage Grady Sizemore," said Acta, who also had an offer to manage the Astros following the 2009 season. "He's a great player and a great person. He means so much to our ballclub, our franchise and the city of Cleveland. I can't even begin to tell you how great it would be if we could him back like he was before he got hurt. It's exciting just to think about it. It's very encouraging to see him progress."