In The Chubby Indian's eyes, these are the key questions to be answered coming out of Spring Training 2009:
1) The Starting Rotation. Who wins the 5th spot in the rotation? How will the top two starters rebound from their 2008 seasons? What can we expect from Anthony Reyes and Carl Pavano?
2) The Bullpen. Who is the best candidate for the final spot? Who will get the first crack at the 7th and 8th innings? Who is most likely to fall apart? And who will be waiting in Columbus to make an impact?
3) Ryan Garko/Kelly Shoppach. They are less competing with Victor Martinez for the C/1B spots, and more competing with each other (and likely Travis Hafner) for at bats. Who is most likely to come out on top?
4) The Final Bench Spot. Will Josh Barfield show that he deserves a place in Cleveland? Will Trevor Crowe make his long awaited debut? Can anything Andy Marte does in Spring Training get him a spot in Cleveland, since he is out of options?
5) Who is next in line for OF/1B/DH in Columbus? Who will get the first crack at Cleveland between Matt LaPorta, Jordan Brown, and Michael Aubrey? Can long time AA favorite Trevor Crowe hold off rising star Michael Brantley to win a shot at the majors?
6) Will there be contract extensions for Jake Westbrook, Cliff Lee, or Victor Martinez? All will be entering their (club) option years, in 2010. What money will they command, when will be the best time to offer money, and are they worth bringing back?
Stay tuned to The Chubby Indian in the upcoming weeks, as we will be conducting an in depth analysis of each question.