One of the threads in Chiefroy's diary "Winter Development Set to Start" raised a very interesting issue, one I've been mulling over for the last few months. That is: exactly how good are the Indians right now in comparison to their competition? So before the Chief's diary got completely off track, I decided to start this diary to see what this site's poster's think.
IMHO, I see the current version of the Tribe as competitive - winning more than they lose - but having a less than 50% chance of making the playoffs. Something like a one in three shot. I believe that the other three teams, all of who finished more than six games in front of us last year are still more likely to win the division than we are.
The Tribe still has a lot of questions, like:
· Can the bullpen comeback after last year's debacle
· Is Barfield the answer at second base
· Which is the real Jhonny Petralta: the '05 version or the '06 model
· Can our corner outfielders produce
· How good is Andy Marte
· Can Sowers pitch consistently at the major league level
· Does Paul Byrd still have anything left in the tank
I know our competitors had a lot of things go right for them while we had a inordinate number of things go wrong. Still, I see this year's version of the Tribe winning more than 80 games and less than 90.