clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins series preview

New, 17 comments

After salvaging the final game of the opening five game home stand, the Tribe hit the road in an incredibly important road trip.

Things are looking up for Oswaldo Arcia
Things are looking up for Oswaldo Arcia
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Tribe head to Target Field in Minnesota to take on the Twins for the first time this season. If they hope to contend this season, they will need to improve on their 11-8 record against them from 2014.  A sweep would get the Tribe over 0.500 and taking two of three will get them one game under.

  • Friday's game is at 8:10 PM (Kluber vs. Pelfrey)
  • Saturday's game is at 2:10 PM (Salazar vs. Hughes)
  • Sunday's game is at 2:10 PM (House vs. May)

This is the longest divisional trip of the year with the Indians heading to Chicago and Detroit for three games each.

Division Watch: White Sox at Tigers, A's at Royals.

Team in a Box

Minnesota Twins

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2014 Record

70-92

Runs/Game

4.4

5th

Runs/Game

4.8

15th

AL Central

5th

OBP

324

2nd

H/9

10.0

15th

Last 10

-

SLG

389

6th

BB/9

2.6

3rd

Last 30

-

Steals

99

7th

SO/9

6.5

15th

The Twins opened the season by getting swept in Detroit and then losing two of three in Chicago. They did just take two of three from the Royals in their home debut.  Last season's Twins team had a pretty decent offense, but a very putrid pitching staff.

-

Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a $125,000 one-day fantasy baseball league today. It's $2 to join and first place wins $10,000. Enter now!

-

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

wRC+

C

Kurt Suzuki

R

503

288

727

107

1B

Joe Mauer

L

518

277

732

106

2B

Brian Dozier

R

707

242

762

118

3B

Trevor Plouffe

R

582

258

751

112

SS

Danny Santana

S

430

319

824

133

LF

Oswaldo Arcia

L

410

231

752

109

CF

Jordan Schafer

L

240

238

615

76

RF

Torii Hunter

R

586

286

765

113

DH

Kennys Vargas

S

234

274

772

114

IF

Eduardo Escobar

S

465

275

721

102

UT

Eduardo Nunez

R

213

250

654

81

OF

Shane Robinson

R

66

150

427

23

C

Chris Herrmann

L

79

213

506

42

While this lineup doesn't have a big bopper like Miguel Cabrera (sorry Joe!), they don't really have any weak spots except perhaps Shafer. A very consistent approach will get them ample scoring opportunities.

Arcia was the biggest pain in the side last year with a 1069 OPS and four dingers. Mauer got in a very empty 877 OPS, ten singles, four doubles and just one RBI. But other than those two, the Tribe pitchers kept the rest of the Twins at bay last year, including usual Tribe killer Plouffe. As a team, the Twins slashed 233/298/356.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

FIP

IP

WHIP

K/9

Phil Hughes

R

3.52

2.65

209.2

1.130

8.0

Kyle Gibson

R

4.47

3.80

179.1

1.310

5.4

Tommy Milone

L

4.19

4.69

118.0

1.398

5.7

Trevor May

R

7.88

4.77

45.2

1.774

8.7

Mike Pelfrey

R

7.99

7.57

23.2

1.986

3.8

Glen Perkins

L

3.65

3.10

61.2

1.184

9.6

Brian Duensing

L

3.31

4.51

54.1

1.325

5.5

Casey Fien

R

3.98

3.43

63.1

1.168

7.2

Tim Stauffer

R

3.50

3.02

64.1

1.399

9.4

J.R. Graham**

R

5.58

-

71.0

1.479

6.3

Blaine Boyer

R

3.57

2.93

40.1

1.041

6.5

Aaron Thompson*

L

3.98

-

52.0

1.442

8.8

*stats in AAA; **stats from AA

Celebrate good times as the Indian do miss the lone lefty in the rotation, Milone. Pelfrey was terrible last year, but missed almost the whole season due to injury, which definitely contributed to those numbers. He did take the loss on his only start against Cleveland early last year. May was torched by the Indians in his two starts last year, 8.38 ERA in 9.2 innings and a 1.966 WHIP. Hughes had a very good season last year, earning himself an extension this past offseason. He was very good in both his starts last year, 3.21 ERA in 14 innings, 1.071 WHIP and 8.4 K/9.

The bullpen features two tough lefties in closer Perkins and Duensing. Duensing had a 0.643 WHIP in 9 innings last year while Perkins recorded 5 saves in seven games and had a sparking 0.576 WHIP and 11.6 K/9 in 7 innings. The only other holdover is Fien, who the Tribe hit very well, 5.87 ERA in 7.2 innings and 1.696 WHIP. Both Stauffer and Boyer were with the Padres last year.

On the Shelf

  • SP Ricky Nolasco [15 day DL], possible late April return
  • SP Ervin Santana [restricted list], suspended for first 80 games (early July)

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2015

-

-

-

-

-

-

2014

11

8

579

90

63

658

Last 5*

47

45

511

402

403

499

Last 10*

95

89

516

793

780

508

All-Time

1110

969

534

9570

8915

532

*Does not include 2015 stats

Prediction: Kluber notches his first win of the year, Hughes beats a wild Salazar and the offense awakens against May on Sunday, giving the Tribe a series win on the road.