Indians hoping to have breakout year in 2013 - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Indians hoping to have breakout year in 2013

Indians hoping to have breakout year in 2013 Indians hoping to have breakout year in 2013

The Indians haven't been considered a threat to win the American League Central the past two seasons, but they're hoping that changes in 2013.

Fueled by an offseason spending frenzy, the 2013 edition of the Cleveland Indians could be a contender to the Tigers hold on the Central Division.  The team spent $117 million in the offseason, 17 times more than what they spent last offseason.

The newcomers to the Indians include Brett Myers, Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn, who signed big deals in the offseason to come to Cleveland. 

The team also took chances on starting pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka and Scott Kazmir.  Kazmir, who hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2011, will start the year as the fifth starter in the rotation.  Matsuzaka will begin the year in Triple-A Columbus.

The team also traded away Shin-Soo Choo for Trevor Bauer, among others.  Bauer was the third overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, but will join Dice-K in Columbus to begin the year.

The biggest addition to the team however, may be the manager Terry Francona.  Francona won two World Series rings with Boston before being fired after the 2011 season.  He comes back to a city where his father played for the Indians in from 1959 to 1964.

The bullpen, one of the best in the majors last season, will basically remain the same.  Closer Chris Perez is back, as is set-up men Vinnie Pestano and Joe Smith.

The projected 2013 line-up looks like this:

1. Michael Bourn, CF
2. Jason Kipnis, 2B
3. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
4. Nick Swisher, 1B
5. Michael Brantley, LF
6. Carlos Santana, C
7. Mark Reynolds, DH
8. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B
9. Drew Stubbs, RF

Here's the pitching rotation to start the season:

1. Justin Masterson
2. Ubaldo Jimenez
3. Brett Myers
4. Zack McAllister
5. Scott Kazmir

The Indians open the season Tuesday in Toronto against the Blue Jays.  The home opener will be on Monday, April 8 against the New York Yankees.

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