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All-Aught Indians: #2 Starter: Cliff Lee (2002-2009)

Cliff Lee (REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)

Cliff Lee (REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)

The top two starters for this All-Aught Indians team has been a given ever since the 2007 and 2008 A.L. Cy Young awards were given to CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee respectively.  Anybody who gives thought to putting a Westbrook or a Colon in these two slots, think again.  While Westbrook had three consistent seasons as an Indians workhorse, he was never able to show the brilliance that Sabathia showed year-after-year, and that Lee showcased during his brilliant 2008 season.  Bartolo Colon may have been as talented as the lefty duo, but his time during this decade was all to brief.

Now I could take the controversial approach and give the #2 slot to Sabathia, but it would simply be a lie to get attention.  While Lee undoubtedly had one of the best seasons as a pitcher in 2008, his career over the past seven seasons has been some kind of rollercoaster ride since the Indians acquired him in the Bartolo Colon deal in 2002.  While Lee won 14, 18 and 14 games in his first three full seasons with the Tribe, he would find himself in the minors after struggling in 2007.  While those numbers alone place him in the same category as Jake Westbrook, his sublime 2008 season would see him dominate the A.L. from day one.

The All-Aught Indians #2 starter is left-hander Cliff Lee.

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All-Aught Indians: #4 Starter: Jake Westbrook (2001-2010)

Jake Westbrook

Jake Westbrook

Jake Westbrook came to the Indians as the main piece from the New York Yankees when the Indians dealt David Justice to the Evil Empire in June of 2001.  Westbrook had been a number one pick by the Colorado Rockies in 1996. He was dealt to the Montreal Expos a year later in a deal for Mike Lansing, then traded to the Yankees two years after that for Hideki Irabu.  While Westbrook may have lost a bit of the shiny goodness that comes with being the #1 pick, he ended up being the glue of the Indians’ rotation for the better part of the decade.

The All-Aught Indians #4 starter is Jake Westbrook.
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