The Cleveland Indians head into the 2012 season looking to bounce back from their poor 2011 finish and stake a claim for what is really a wide open AL Central behind the Detroit Tigers. With the expansion of the playoffs this year, the Cleveland Wahoos feel their boys have a great shot of playing into October. Starting PitchingThe Indians made the biggest splash at the deadline last year landing former All-Star Ubaldo Jimenez from the Colorado Rockies. Their thirst for more pitching didn't stop in the offseason as the acquired former Twin Kevin Slowey and Brave Derek Lowe. Slowey will start this season in Columbus, but is more than ready to pounce on any hiccup from Josh Tomlin or Jeanmar Gomez. After a Spring Training scrum Ubaldo Jimenez will miss his first start of the season due to a 5 game suspension laid on by Bud Selig. If the Tribe can get solid stuff from Lowe, the top 4 of their rotation should be set with the likely revolving door of Gomez/Slowey pulling up the rear. Relief PitchingThe Bullpen Mafia returns to Cleveland with Pure Rage Chris Perez slamming doors shut once again. An interesting storyline developing though is the improvement of setup man Vinnie Pestano. If Chris Perez struggles at all, expect Vinnie to get a crack at closing games. The Tribe surprised a lot of folks by going with a lefty heavy bullpen with Nick Pestano earning a spot on the Opening Day roster joining fellow lefties Tony Sipp and Rafael Perez. The submarine righty Joe Smith will continue to be the 7th inning guy for the Indians as the Mafia hopes to be towards the tops in 'Pen performance as they were for the majority of the '11 season. CatchingCarlos Santana returns behind the dish for the Indians, but his move to first base in imminent. Until that time though, he will be calling the game with Lou Marson backing him up. What has held up Santana's move has ultimately been Marson's lack of ability to hit the ball. If his offense ever comes around, he will be your everyday catcher with Santana manning first. First BaseThe Tribe have had a revolving door at first base as the Matt LaPorta experiment has been failing ever since the Indians brought him in from Milwaukee in the Sabathia deal. This year's stop gap at first base is FA signing Casey Kotchman who is a wonderful defensive first baseman, but does not give you the traditional first baseman pop with the bat. The Indians will likely platoon LaPorta and Kotchman until one emerges as the front runner and when that man does, expect the other to be heavily shopped for a new home. Lou Marson's offensive development may even land both of them on the trade block if LaPorta and Kotchman aren't careful. Second BaseAfter the trade of Orlando Cabrera and the ultimate failure of the Cord Phelps project, out of nowhere converted outfielder Jason Kipnis arrived. Kipnis locked down his spot in the second half of the season and he will now get a full season playing alongside Asdrubal Cabrera. Kipnis is a linedrive hitter who has some good pop in his bat and Tribe fans are expecting a lot from the young man. If he falters, Cord Phelps is more than ready to give it another try. ShortstopAsdrubal Cabrera. Enough said. Third BaseAfter a heated battle all through spring between Jack Hannahan and Lonnie Chisenhall, the wily vet Jack Hannahan will be your opening day starter at the hot corner with Lonnie starting in AAA Columbus. Jack has a helluva glove but leaves A LOT to be desired with the bat. The Tribe are really just looking for a .250 season from him, but if he drops below that Lonnie will quickly get the call. Until that time, utility-man Jason Donald will be spelling Hannahan when rest is needed. OutfieldAfter bringing back Grady Sizemore for his 100th chance to stay healthy, the Tribe thought they may finally have themselves the outfield they've always wanted. Well, Grady will be starting the season on the DL (aw, no way?) and the Tribe front office was called into action again. This time the Tribe have decided to trade for veteran outfielder Matt Diaz of the Atlanta Braves to be their everyday Left Fielder. Michael Brantley will be the Center Fielder with Shin-Soo Choo taking his spot in Right. Journeyman Shelley Duncan returns to the Tribe and will jump on any chance he can get in the outfield or even at first base Designated HitterTravis "Pronk" Hafner had his best year in quite sometime last season before injuries came back and bit him once again. Pronk is looking to stay healthy this year and build off the great season he had last year. If he can hit about 25-30 home runs with about 80-95 RBIs, this team will be in great shape. Shelley Duncan will also come into play here if Pronk doesn't get his bat going early.