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Five Keys for the Indians to Be a Force in the AL Central in 2016

Mike Napoli

4. The new guys have to show up

Gone are the huge contracts of Nick Swisher and Michael Bourne and the black holes in the lineup that went with them. This season, the Indians focused on getting a few value free agents to help the team out, especially the offense.

Veteran infielder Juan Uribe will add stability to the infield and provide a clubhouse presence that has been missed since the departure of Jason Giambi and the end of the 2014 season. Though it’s unrealistic to think Uribe will put off significant offensive numbers this season, he will be a dependable security blanket at third until second year infielder Giovanny Urshela grows into a big league starter.

Another newly signed member of the tribe, Mike Napoli will look to provide that same stability on the other side of the infield, and add a little pop in the middle of the lineup. The veteran first baseman has averaged 20 home runs in his decade in the big leagues, For a team that has has missing a big bat, especially from the right side, Napoli could be a very big part of a possible postseason run for the Tribe.

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A Pittsburgh Kid trying to find his way on the North Shore, Rob Rozycki has been watching, talking, and writing about sports for almost all of his life. Rob's parents and grandparents started his love of sports at an early age, telling stories about Johnny Unitas, Bill Russell, and Al Kaline instead of fairy tales. In the 12 years he spent in Cleveland after attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Rob has gained an appreciation of Cleveland sports, along with it's fans, who continue to be some of the most die hard in sports. After playing football, baseball, and basketball in his youth, Rob's passion for telling the stories behind the games took over in adulthood. He is currently the co-host of The Main Event on allsportscleveland.com and can also be heard the station's coverage of the 2016 OHSAA State Hockey Tournament and 2016 Baron Cup.

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