It’ no secret that for the Indians to contend with the Detroit Tigers for the Central Division title, Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez cannot repeat their disappointing performances of last season, when they put together a dominating set of negative statistics.

Nevertheless, for the second year in a row, Masterson and Jimenez are being counted on to lead the front end of the Tribe’s rotation.

Why? Because they have live arms and at times have displayed overpowering stuff. It’s difficult to give up on young pitchers with potential, even when that potential shows itself only sporadically.

If anyone has doubts about manager Terry Francona’s aspirations for Masterson and Jimenez, on Monday he said, “These guys are going to be matched up against the other teams’ best two pitchers.”