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In his 13 years playing shortstop, Shawon Dunston was one of the NL's hardest throwers. Now he'll be playing second for the first time. Not that Dunston is just an armhe put up some of his best offensive stats last season at age 35, batting .300 with 22 doubles, 14 home runs, 57 RBIs and 32 stolen bases in 132 games for Pittsburgh and Chicago. If he gets close to those numbers and has only 14 errors (the total for Fernandez and Roberts at second last season), the Indians will be just as solid in the field and have a better bat in that slot. If not, we have one word of advice for Thome: Wear a cup, pal.
What They Needed: After the departure of four starters, they were looking for arms, and a second baseman to replace Tony Fernandez and Bip Roberts.
What They Got: New pitchers Dwight Gooden and Steve Karsay. Travis Fryman steps in for Matt Williams at third, shortstop Shawon Dunston is the new second baseman. Kenny Lofton returns to center after a year in Atlanta.
What it All Means: The Indians are one of the rare World Series teams that got better over the winter. Lofton, if he returns to form, is an upgrade from Marquis Grissom and has loads of potential. Dunston could struggle at a new position, but he's a vet with a good attitude and a good bat.
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