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View From the Other Side: Cleveland Indians Series Preview

It might surprise you to know, considering how the only thing being talked about around here is the Roy Halladay trade rumors, but there is a baseball game tonight. We start a series against the Indians. So I sent some questions to Ryan from Let's Go Tribe (thanks Ryan), SB Nation's Cleveland Indian blog. And the results are after the jump:

1. The Indians aren't having the season I expected of them, in 100 words or less, what's gone wrong?

A shorter answer would be for me to list what's gone right. The major deficiencies are all on the run prevention side of the ledger. Carl Pavano has had his moments, and Cliff Lee has been almost as good as his 2007 season, but the rest of starters, whether they be the guys counted on initially in the rotation or in reserve, have either gotten injured or have been horrible on the mound. The bullpen has been even worse, with only Kerry Wood remaining on the active roster the first three months of the season. The rest of the Opening Day bullpen has either gotten hurt or sent down. And the defense has to poor to boot.

2. Who has been the biggest positive surprise?

I think Shin-Soo Choo has been the biggest surprise, even with his excellent second half in 2008. He's been the most consistent hitter in the lineup, is a very good base runner and base stealer, has a great arm, good range, is patient at the plate, and will use all fields.

3. Grady Sizemore has been one of my favorite players, but he's hitting .239 at the moment, what's happened to him?

He's been playing with an injured elbow most of the season, and spent a significant period of time on the Disabled List. He's been much better since returning (he's hitting .296/.397/.593 this month). I think he'll be all right offensively between now and the end of the season (when he'll undergo surgery), but in order to stay in the lineup he has to either sit or DH a couple times a week, which weakens the team both offensively and defensively.

4. Eric Wedge is into his 7th season with the team, what are his strengths and weaknesses? Is his job in jeopardy?

Normally Wedge-managed teams start poorly and finish strong. But in the past two seasons, the poor start has been so poor that the team has been out of the race by the All-Star Break. I've no delusions that the Indians have the talent to win 95 games, but they certainly have the talent to at least stay in the race into the last month of the season. And because of that, Wedge's job absolutely is in jeopardy. Mark Shapiro has already stated that Wedge's job is safe through the end of the season, but I think there's a 90% chance as we stand today that Eric Wedge won't be managing the Indians in 2010.

5. Which reliever do you want on the mound with the game on the line?

Can I choose Cliff Lee? I guess Kerry Wood has done ok in save opportunities, but anybody else on the mound with the game on the line has almost been a guaranteed win for the other team this season.

6. Anything else us Jay's fans should know about the Indians?

Ryan Garko has been playing in the outfield lately. If you know anything about Garko's athleticism, that tells you all you need to know about the current roster and how it's being managed.