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Series preview: Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians

The Indians wrap up their longest home stand of the year when the Twins make a visit.

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Brian Dozier rounding the bases on one his 20 home runs
Brian Dozier rounding the bases on one his 20 home runs
Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Trying to forget the Angels (and their bats) were at Progressive, the Tribe try to get back into the playoff hunt as the Minnesota Twins visit Progressive for the final time this season.

  • Tuesday's game is at 7:05 PM (May vs. Bauer)
  • Wednesday's game is at 7:05 PM (Gibson vs. House)
  • Thursday's game is at 12:05 PM (Nolasco vs. Kluber)

No rest for the playoff hopefuls as the Indians head back on the road for a three city tour. They will try to make up some games on the Tigers, then head to Houston to take on the Astros, and then head to Minneapolis to wrap up this year's road games.

Playoff Watch: Royals at Tigers, Astros at Mariners, Rays at Yankees, Cubs at Blue Jays, A's at White Sox.

Team in a Box

Minnesota Twins

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2013 Record

61-82

Runs/Game

4.4

4th

Runs/Game

4.8

14th

AL Central

5th

OBP

324

2nd

H/9

10.0

15th

Last 10

2-8

SLG

389

8th

BB/9

2.6

2nd

Last 30

10-20

Steals

86

7th

SO/9

6.4

15th

In mid-August the Indians took two of three from the Twins at Target Field. Then the Twins split a four gamer with the Tigers, scoring 32 runs in the first two games. They lost series in Kansas City and Baltimore, split a two gamer with the White Sox and just were swept by the Angels prior to their makeup game yesterday.

Offensively they have been decent, but man, that pitching staff has been pretty horrific. They give up a ton of hits, but walk very few, and strike out the fewest in league.

On the season, the Tribe has won seven of thirteen games, but outscored them 59-47 overall. The Twins have taken four of seven at Progressive while they have split the others at Target.

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

C

Kurt Suzuki

R

448

291

730

1B

Joe Mauer

L

451

275

730

2B

Brian Dozier

R

634

242

760

3B

Trevor Plouffe

R

467

251

744

SS

Eduardo Escobar

S

426

275

725

LF

Jordan Schafer

L

105

322

790

CF

Danny Santana

S

360

320

832

RF

Oswaldo Arcia

L

344

216

720

DH

Kennys Vargas

S

162

303

814

C

Eric Fryer

R

73

209

572

OF

Chris Parmelee

L

250

255

693

OF

Eduardo Nunez

R

189

265

687

C

Josmil Pinto

R

172

231

760

IF

Doug Bernier*

R

466

280

744

OF

Chris Herrmann

L

50

170

390

OF

Aaron Hicks

S

178

219

627

*Stats in AAA

The oddest stat from the lineup I like is that Suzuki and Mauer have been virtually identical this season stat wise, yet Suzuki earns $20M less. They did ink Suzuki to a two year $12M extension this season, but Mauer is still on the hook through 2018 at $23M annually.

Overall, the lineup looks very well balanced. No glaring holes, and a few bats that are showing promise early on. Schafer was horrible while in Atlanta, but the stats above are just from his time in Minnesota where he has found his stroke again. Both he and Santana are listed as day to day however.

In the season series, Arcia has a 1058 OPS in six games and Santana is 1004 OPS in ten games. Dozier and Plouffe are the only two to play in all 13 games. Dozier has a 770 OPS, but usual Tribe killer Plouffe has only a 467 OPS with 17 strikeouts in 56 plate appearances.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

WHIP

K/9

Phil Hughes

R

3.55

187.2

1.146

7.9

Kyle Gibson

R

4.27

156.0

1.295

5.2

Ricky Nolasco

R

5.87

133.1

1.590

6.3

Tommy Milone#

L

4.31

117.0

1.402

5.6

Trevor May

R

9.38

24.0

2.125

7.9

Glen Perkins

L

2.88

59.1

1.112

9.9

Jared Burton

R

4.71

57.1

1.360

6.6

Brian Duensing

L

3.38

50.2

1.382

5.5

Casey Fien

R

3.81

59.0

1.153

7.3

Anthony Swarzak

R

4.06

71.0

1.352

5.3

Casey Thielbar

L

3.30

46.1

1.360

6.4

Ryan Pressly

R

3.05

20.2

1.306

5.7

Aaron Thompson*

L

3.98

52.0

1.442

8.8

Logan Darnell

L

8.64

16.2

1.560

8.1

Michael Tonkin

R

5.52

14.2

1.705

6.8

A.J. Achter*

R

2.38

72.0

0.944

8.6

Lestor Oliveros**

R

1.64

65.2

1.081

3.7

#includes stats with A's; *stats in AAA; **combined stats from AA/AAA

May has not looked good in any of his five starts, nor his one relief appearance. His best GameScore was the 48 he put up against the White Sox last time out. He did not pitch in the last Tribe series.  Frankly I would have expected one of the minor leaguers to start over him, but they only called up three extra relievers.

Gibson has a 4.85 ERA in his past five starts with a 1.517 WHIP and 6.1 K/9. The Indians scored five off him in the last series after he dominated them in the earlier two starts.

Nolasco was activated in mid-August and has only one good start in his five starts, against the Royals. Overall in those past five he has a 5.76 ERA, 1.483 and 6.7 K/9. In his three Tribe starts this year, they have scored 12 runs on 21 hits, 6 walks and 16 strikeouts in 16.2 innings.

Perkins has five of his saves against the Tribe, and between him, Duensing, Thielbar and Burton, the Tribe has scored only five runs in 26 innings with 22 strikeouts. They have hit both Fien and Guerrier very well though.

On the Shelf

  • SP Mike Pelfrey [60 day DL], possible September return

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2014

7

6

538

59

47

603

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

1106

967

534

9539

8899

532

*Does not include 2014 stats

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