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Series preview: Indians at Twins (July 21-July 23)

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The Indians tour of the AL Central continues in Minnesota and the division rival Twins.

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All Stars Glen Perkins and Kurt Suzuki finish off the NL in the All Star game
All Stars Glen Perkins and Kurt Suzuki finish off the NL in the All Star game
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

After four games in three days with the Tigers, there will be no rest for the weary. The Tribe continue their trek of the AL Central by visiting Target Field and the Twins.

  • Monday's game is at 8:10 PM (House vs. Johnson)
  • Tuesday's game is at 8:10 PM (Salazar vs. Pino)
  • Wednesday's game is at 1:10 PM (Bauer vs. Gibson) [MLB network game]

They wrap up this trip with four games in Kansas City before heading home to take on the Mariners.

Division Watch: Tigers at Diamondbacks, Royals at White Sox.

Team in a Box

Minnesota Twins

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2013 Record

44-53

Runs/Game

4.2

8th

Runs/Game

4.5

11th

AL Central

5th

OBP

320

8th

H/9

9.6

14th

Last 10

5-5

SLG

371

15th

BB/9

2.5

1st

Last 30

12-18

Steals

51

11th

SO/9

6.1

15th

Oddly enough, the Indians have yet to visit Minnesota yet this season and they have only played seven of their nineteen division games. The Indians took two of three in the first week of the season and then the Twins took three of four in early May. The Twins had good final week prior to the All Star break, taking three of four in Seattle and two of three in Chicago. But hey just were swept by the Rays over the weekend.

The Twins are what the Twins have been for the last few seasons, a poor offensive hitting team. They are thirteenth in average and fourteenth in slugging. They are actually eighth in on-base percentage because they take the third most walks. And for a so-called bunting team, they have only 11 sacrifice bunts all season, eleventh in the AL (the Indians are actually second with 24). The pitching staff has been not been good this year either, hence the last place record. Although they lead the league in fewest walks issued and home runs given up, they are dead last in strikeouts. They do have a very good defensive team with only 46 errors all season.

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

C

Kurt Suzuki

R

320

305

753

1B

Chris Parmelee

L

152

303

698

2B

Brian Dozier

R

438

237

761

3B

Trevor Plouffe

R

346

246

735

SS

Danny Santana

S

152

315

778

LF

Josh Willingham

R

207

209

756

CF

Sam Fuld%

L

199

269

741

RF

Oswaldo Arcia

L

196

213

657

DH

Kendrys Morales

S

150

239

605

C

Eric Fryer

R

25

174

414

IF

Eduardo Escobar

S

285

275

722

IF

Chris Colabello

R

188

239

702

IF

Eduardo Nunez

R

109

279

709

% Stats include his time in Oakland.

With Morneau long gone and Mauer on the DL yet again, this offense has regressed back to small ball tactics. There isn't an 800 OPS guy in the bunch, but most are hovering in the low 700s. They are fourteenth in triples and thirteenth in homers, but third in doubles. The one "power" guy right now is Dozier, who has 18 homers, but only 3 since mid-June. Both Willingham and Arcia are of the DL, but neither has found their offensive groove yet. The Twins even signed Morales, but he hasn't shown any of his previous hitting prowess.

There have been multiple other roster changes since May. Jason Kubel was released June 15. Josmil Pinto, Pedro Florimon, and Chris Herrmann were all sent down to the minors. Santana had 1167 OPS in huis four games earlier this season versus the Tribe. Mauer hit well in his three games. Of the remaining hitters, Colabello is the only other one to have a solid showing in those seven games as he had an 840 OPS and two home runs.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

WHIP

K/9

Kevin Correia

R

4.76

113.1

1.460

4.3

Phil Hughes

R

4.06

128.2

1.236

7.6

Kyle Gibson

R

4.19

107.1

1.276

4.5

Kris Johnson

L

5.40

8.1

2.160

8.6

Yohan Pino

R

4.39

26.2

1.350

6.4

Glen Perkins

L

2.90

40.1

1.066

11.4

Jared Burton

R

4.58

39.1

1.297

6.4

Brian Duensing

L

2.45

36.2

1.282

5.6

Casey Fien

R

2.18

41.1

0.919

7.2

Anthony Swarzak

R

4.34

47.2

1.364

4.7

Casey Thielbar

L

2.97

30.1

1.055

6.2

Matt Guerrier

R

2.67

27.0

1.259

4.0

Samuel Deduno

R

4.32

73.0

1.438

7.2

The opener of the series will be the dreaded no-name lefty Johnson. He is a former Red Sox first rounder from 2006 who was dealt by the Pirates last offseason to the Twins. He hasn't gotten out of the fifth inning in either of his starts this year, a spot start against the Dodgers in May and last week versus the Rockies.

Pino, the Tribe's haul for Carl Pavano in 2009, has reunited with the Twins this year. He finally made his debut on June 19 and has looked decent in his past two starts. His addition to the 25 man roster will necessitate a reliever getting sent down.

Gibson has been very hot and cold this year. He had three straight seven inning no run games in early June, but the Rays tagged him for six runs in his last outing. He gave up only five hits in his two starts against Cleveland this season, but did walk seven with just one run scored.

The bullpen is pretty good, especially with three tough lefties in Perkins, Duensing and Thielbar. Burton may be the best bet for the Indians to score off of. Deduno landed in the pen after struggling as a starter this season.

On the Shelf

  • 1B Joe Mauer [15 day DL], no timetable for return
  • SP Ricky Nolasco [15 day DL], no timetable for return
  • SP Mike Pelfrey [60 day DL], possible September return

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2014

4

3

571

34

29

572

2013

13

6

684

96

67

659

Last 5*

44

47

484

378

425

447

Last 10*

91

93

495

789

814

486

All-Time

1103

964

534

9514

8881

531

*Does not include 2014 stats

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