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Published: Friday, 2/18/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

Acta has big expectations for Indians' pitching staff

BY PAUL HOYNES
(CLEVELAND) PLAIN DEALER

Fausto Carmona is expected to break training camp as the Indians' No. 1 starter. He put together a record of 13-14 last season. Fausto Carmona is expected to break training camp as the Indians' No. 1 starter. He put together a record of 13-14 last season.
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GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Manager Manny Acta met with his pitchers and catchers Thursday morning before their first official workout of spring training. Here's what he told them -- "You guys pitched well in the second half of last season."

He gave them some stats to chew on:

The Indians were tied for fourth in the AL in the second half in ERA at 3.86.

The bullpen's ERA in the second half was 2.95, the second best in the AL next to the Yankees. In September, the pen's ERA was 2.11, trailing only San Francisco in the big leagues.

Acta said his pitchers needed to hear that as they started their journey toward Opening Day and the 2011 season.

"That is why our expectations, and my expectations, are to win this year," Acta said. "We really liked what we saw in the second half. We wanted to let them know that pitching is the heart and soul of baseball."

Good pitching starts with a good rotation. The Indians first four starters are Fausto Carmona, Justin Masterson, Mitch Talbot, and Carlos Carrasco. The fifth spot will be decided among Josh Tomlin, David Huff, Anthony Reyes, Aaron Laffey, and Jeanmar Gomez.

Carmona, Masterson, and Talbot are back from last year. Huff opened the season in the rotation, but didn't last. Tomlin, Gomez, and Laffey helped out during the year. Reyes never made it back from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

Acta sees this as an improvement over the spring of 2010.

"We came to camp last year with Jake [Westbrook] penciled in as No.1, and no one knew if he would be able to pitch," Acta said. "Fausto, coming off those two horrendous years, was No. 2. We didn't have a No. 3, but we decided to give Masterson a chance. We came up with Talbot as our No. 4 after an impressive spring training, but the only thing he had going for him was that he had two straight winning seasons in Triple-A and was out of options. Then David Huff had a spot because he led the team in wins the year before."

To read the rest of this story go to www.cleveland.com.



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