Ranking the most surprising Indians

| May 10, 2011 | 3 Comments

CLEVELAND — It’s good to be up at Progressive Field reporting on the Indians, baseball’s most surprising team this season, even if it did take a 1-hour, 35-minute rain delay until the game against the Tampa Bay Rays started here Tuesday night.

The Tribe’s AL-best 22-11 record to start this homestand has been unexpected for just about everyone. To get where Cleveland is at, it’s taken many amazing individual efforts.

There are lots of players doing better than most thought they would, but here are my top five surprises for the Indians to start 2011:

5. Orlando Cabrera – Hold off the retirement part for the 36-year-old baseball vagabond.  He’s all about getting clutch hits and knocking in runs, hitting .276 and ranking second on the team with 20 RBI.

4. Jack Hannahan – I doubt if most baseball fans had even heard of Hannahan, a .228 career hitter, when the Tribe inked him as an offseason free agent. However, the free agent has been rock solid at third, hitting .263 with four HRs and playing solid defense.

3. Travis Hafner – I admit it, I’ve been counting down the days until “Half a Hafner” had his huge contract off the Tribe’s payroll as his production had bottomed out in recent years. However, now he’s more like a whole Hafner again, leading the team with a .347 batting average and ripping the ball once again.

2. Josh Tomlin – Was 6-4 as rookie, already 4-1 with 2.43 ERA this year. Who saw that coming? Not I.

1. Justin Masterson – Improved from 6-13 last year to 5-0 with a 2.11 ERA. Didn’t see that one coming either. Wow!

Those are my biggest Tribe surprises, what are yours?

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Category: Cleveland Indians

Aaron Dorksen

About Aaron Dorksen: Aaron Dorksen has been Sports Editor of The Daily Record since 2000 and has been with the paper since 1997. He lives in Wooster with his wife, Angela, and their son, Arch, who was born in November of 2010. A graduate of Chardon High School and Bowling Green State University, Dorksen has won numerous state and national Associated Press writing awards, including being named an Ohio AP Sports Writer of the Year. He can be reached at 330-287-1621 or adorksen@the-daily-record.com View author profile.

Comments (3)

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  1. akincory says:

    how about Alex White? I know it has only been two starts, but WOW. He has looked great and is really looking like a terrific pick in the 2009 draft.

    • Good call Cory, Alex White could go on that list too. He could wind up being like Jaret Wright on the 1997 Tribe – a rookie pitcher figuring prominently in playoffs. I still can’t believe Jaret started Game 7 of the World Series that year, but Tribe couldn’t close it out. J-Dub didn’t do a whole lot after that in baseball though.

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