It's that special time of year again that brings hope back to the weary in the cold urban wasteland that is Cleveland, Ohio. In Goodyear, Arizona it's always sunny (although a little chilly) and the optimism flows freely for 2013 version of your Cleveland Indians. Pitchers and catchers have reported to the desert for the unofficial start to the 2013 season. This year the pitching staff can be split into two parts, the rock steady bullpen, a unit that has been developed and honed for the past four seasons and a starting rotation full of question marks.
New pitching coach Mickey Calloway will have his hands full as every single pitcher has at least issue that needs to be worked out. Ubaldo Jimenez is the biggest problem as he holds the greatest difference between risk and reward. His biggest issues seem to be involved in his control, but like ace Justin Masterson, he could benefit by reigning in his delivery a little bit in an effort to remain consistant on the mound. Zach McAllister and Trever Bauer are simply young pitchers that need to work on maintaining and increasing their limited success to this point and avoiding a back slide. Bauer especially needs to continually work to make sure his quirks don't affect his performance on the mound. Carlos Carrasco is coming back from Tommy John surgery, making him one of the biggest question marks of all. Whenever a pitcher is coming back from such a significant operation it takes a long time to get back into stride and Carrasco had yet to really peak before his injury set back. He hasn't faced Major League hitting since 2011, so it will take some major work this Spring to bring him up to speed. The Indians are also bringing a lot of veterans into the fold including Brett Myers, Scott Kazmir and Daisuke Matsuzaka to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation.
Overall, Indians fans should just be happy that baseball is returning and winter is coming to a close. They should also remain positive and remember, the Indians can't lose a game for another two months.
While not a pitcher or catcher, Ryan Rayburn is in Goodyear and ready to work hard trying to win that coveted utility infielder role.
Fans (autograph hounds) wait patiently in the hopes of catching a glimpse of such stars as Jerry Gil and Brian Jeroloman.