GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Much has happened in the seven weeks the Indians have been at their new Player Development Complex, preparing for the 2009 season.

And yet, nothing has happened that has altered general manager Mark Shapiro's outlook for his club.

In their first spring in Arizona since 1992, the Indians endured and overcame an early spate of minor injuries and saw two key members of their lineup leave camp for three weeks for the World Baseball Classic. Yet the depth chart doesn't look all that different from the way Shapiro probably would have drawn it up at the outset of camp, and his expectations are unchanged.

"What's been most surprising about Spring Training is, by and large, I don't feel any different, seven weeks later, than I did coming in," Shapiro said Tuesday. "That's not hiding anything. That's my honest assessment of where we are."

Where the Indians are is in what many consider to be a wide-open American League Central division. And while the Tribe certainly has its share of notable question marks -- mainly concerning the starting rotation and the effectiveness of designated hitter Travis Hafner in his return from right shoulder surgery -- so, too, do the White Sox, Twins, Royals and Tigers.

"On paper, I could make a pretty good case for you why each team will win the division," Shapiro said. "And then we can go through that list again, and I can tell you why that team won't win the division. And our team is in that group."

So, why will the Indians win?

Shapiro feels strong about the lineup. He looks past Hafner's .227 batting average in Cactus League play and sees better at-bats in the future.

"I watch batting practice and see strength and carry to the ball off his bat," Shapiro said. "I've seen a guy clearly seeing the ball and tracking the ball better. I believe in the person and believe in the track record that's there. Obviously, everything is not together right now. But we as a staff feel he's moving in the right direction, and that it's going to come together at some point soon."

Shapiro feels even stronger about the bullpen, and most notably, his prized offseason acquisition.

"Kerry Wood, looking at the way the ball comes out of his hand and the leadership and professionalism he brings to the bullpen, is a positive," Shapiro said.

Why won't the Indians win?

Like anybody else with a discerning eye on this club, Shapiro remains concerned about the rotation. But his concerns do not center around reigning Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee's spring struggles (0-3 record and 12.42 ERA in five starts).

"For me to panic over any Spring Training performances would not be justifiable," Shapiro said. "I think his attitude's been good, his preparation has been strong, and I would assume he's going to have another great year, until I see otherwise."

Shapiro expects the same from Fausto Carmona, who has shown much better command of his sinking fastball this spring. And he feels good about the health and effectiveness he expects to get out of Carl Pavano and Anthony Reyes. Scott Lewis outbid his competition for the open spot in the rotation, but the Indians know they might have to rely on their depth from Triple-A Columbus in that spot or others at some point this season.

The level of depth is what stands out to Shapiro, above all else. The Columbus team will have a rotation that includes young left-handers David Huff, Jeremy Sowers and Aaron Laffey and veteran right-hander Kirk Saarloos. The outfield will include top prospects Matt LaPorta and Michael Brantley. The infield will have second baseman Luis Valbuena and third baseman Wes Hodges.

"Every time I walk down to the Minor League fields and watch them play, it reinforces the depth of talent we've got," Shapiro said. "I'm not prone to creating expectations in that area, but, with the realities of our market, that's essential to how we conduct our business. It's talent we can build around for years to come."

One guy the Indians hoped to build around is right-hander Adam Miller. But right middle finger soreness prevented Miller from pitching early in the exhibition season, and the inability to bend the tip of that finger had him on the verge of landing on the surgeon's table.

Shapiro and the Indians are now encouraged by what they've seen from Miller in his bullpen sessions, as he attempts to pitch with the decreased range of motion, and essentially, save his career. They still can't plan around him, but his story has evolved from being one of camp's biggest bummers to one of its more potentially uplifting tales.

"You just continue to hope for the best and watch it quietly and be impressed with the kid's toughness and adaptability," Shapiro said. "It's been nothing short of remarkable what he's done so far. It's been a positive and exciting to watch."

Miller can't be counted as a potential bullpen reinforcement yet, but Shapiro does list veteran right-hander Vinnie Chulk and young left-hander Tony Sipp, who has worked his way back from 2007 Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, as candidates to help the team.

As the regular season looms, those Triple-A options are as integral as the versatility of the position players on the Major League roster. That versatility has been expanded in this camp to include Ryan Garko and Josh Barfield, who are now both capable of seeing time in the outfield.

"There are going to be some disappointing performances and some injuries," Shapiro said. "What the versatility does is allow you to maneuver within that."

And after all the maneuvering that has come with the longest Spring Training camp in history, Shapiro still feels good about what lies ahead.