I think, even though the season ended not how we had hoped, we learned a lot about this club, and what it is capable of in the next 3-4 years. While we all know this team will be great for a run like we had in the mid to late 90s, the emergence of talent has really shown through. Top things to take away from '07:
- We have a DOMINANT rotation, especially with the emergence of Fausto, regardless of what happened in the post season. Even though CC and Fausto struggled, they threw a TON of innings, and I think next year they both will be stronger and tougher for it. I also like how we have spare parts, if need be, for the rotation: Lee, Sowers, etc.
- Asdrubal quite possibly may be the next Omar, but at 2nd. Some of the plays he made in the post season were vintage Omar, and he is a joy to watch. Once he gets more acclimated to big league pitching, I think he will put up similar numbers to Omar, as well. He'll have a solid avg, get on base any way possible, and score some runs in that 2 spot. *Side note: with his emergence, I do believe we can use Barfield as a bargaining chip to help get a corner outfielder (Chris Duncan on STL??).
- Even with a down year from Hafner, and a "below expectations" from Sizemore in regards to average and OB %, we were still one game from the WS. They are both too talented not to have better '08s. Please don't think I am taking anything away from either one of them this year, but I forsee potential MVP-type years from both of them.
- Our young pen is nasty (regardless of post season) and Borowski can be Mesa again next year - scares you when he comes in, but more often than not, he does what he is supposed to. If we can keep them healthy - and hungry - they will again be a big source of strength next year.
- Wedge is the right man for the job. I won't lie, I was not a big supported of his hiring 4 years ago, and after last year, I was really upset with his approach. However, after seeing how well the team responds to him and how well he manages the veterans and youth alike, I think he is a great fit for our team. Sticking with what got them to the post season was a great approach, and as this team gets older and more cohesive, we'll see that pay dividends in years to come.
- Lofton is a great fit for this team, and should be brought back next year. We were lacking a corner ourfielder, and his willingness to play LF, showed that he wanted to be here. And after the support he received from the city, I think he'll want to end his career with the Tribe.