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Toronto Blue Jays at Cleveland Indians series preview

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Another disappointing series in the books and the Tribe now welcome the last place Toronto Blue Jays into Progressive Field.

Devon Travis, another Tiger rookie sent away
Devon Travis, another Tiger rookie sent away
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Yippee, the Indians are riding a one-game winning "streak" as they host the Toronto Blue Jays in their first four game series of the young season.

  • Thursday's game is at 7:10 PM (Norris vs. House)
  • Friday's game is at 7:10 PM (Buerhle vs. Carrasco)
  • Saturday's game is at 4:10 PM (Sanchez vs. Kluber)
  • Sunday's game is at 1:10 PM (Hutchison vs. Bauer)

After a much needed day off on Monday, the Tribe take a short trip to Kansas City to visit the Royals before heading back home again.

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

Team in a Box

Toronto Blue Jays

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2015 Record

10-12

Runs/Game

5.3

1st

Runs/Game

5.2

14th

AL East

5th

OBP

320

6th

H/9

9.2

13th

Last 10

4-6

SLG

424

4th

BB/9

3.8

15th

Last 30

-

Steals

13

6th

SO/9

7.5

7th

The Blue Jays have hit a rough patch lately, being swept in Tampa and losing two of three in Boston before arriving in Cleveland for this series. This team looks very different than the one Cleveland last played (in May of last year). Almost the entire 25 man roster has turned over. The entire infield is different, with Jose Reyes just landing on the DL. Jose Bautistsa is nursing a sore shoulder, so he may limited to just DH duties too.

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The Blue jays can definitely score runs, as they lead the league in that category. They have already hit 28 homers (fourth) and get on base fairly well. But man, has their staff been terrible so far, with the strikeouts basically the only stat that isn't in the bottom third. Defensively, they have been pretty good with just 12 errors so far.

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

wRC+

C

Russell Martin

R

75

186

736

109

1B

Edwin Encarnacion

R

93

190

593

61

2B

Devon Travis

R

84

342

1063

191

3B

Josh Donaldson

R

96

333

960

163

SS

Ryan Goins

L

32

276

667

86

LF

Dalton Pompey

S

83

200

637

77

CF

Kevin Pillar

R

87

274

692

90

RF

Michael Saunders

L

19

125

388

22

DH

Jose Bautista

R

73

155

746

108

1B

Justin Smoak

S

43

229

801

127

IF

Danny Valencia

R

23

455

1115

210

C

Josh Thole

L

6

000

000

-100

UT

Jonathan Diaz*

R

56

178

537

18

* stats with AAA Buffalo Bisons

While this team has scored a lot of runs, there have definitely been some glaring holes in the lineup. Off season pickup Travis (from the Tigers in the Anthony Gose deal) has looked fantastic so far. As has Donaldson. But Bautista and Encarnacion have not played up to their usual levels and the entire outfield has been pretty poor overall.

It's hard to say which of these guys has done well versus the Tribe as they almost all played elsewhere last season. Encarnacion had two homers and 746 OPS and Bautista only had a 632 OPS. Donaldson has fared very well in his short career, a 338/407/545 slash with four homers and 20 driven in.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

FIP

IP

WHIP

K/9

Drew Hutchison

R

6.67

5.10

27.0

1.52

7.0

R.A. Dickey

R

5.23

5.53

31.0

1.36

5.8

Daniel Norris

L

4.43

5.19

20.1

1.43

7.5

Mark Buehrle

L

4.94

5.16

4.94

1.73

3.8

Aaron Sanchez

R

5.03

6.32

19.2

1.68

7.3

Miguel Castro

R

3.60

5.37

10.0

1.60

7.2

Roberto Osuna

R

1.59

1.94

11.1

1.06

10.3

Brett Cecil

L

6.00

6.67

6.0

1.50

10.5

Aaron Loup

L

5.40

4.87

10.0

0.80

8.1

Liam Hendriks

R

4.70

1.35

7.2

1.17

11.7

Marco Estrada

R

0.84

4.02

10.2

0.84

9.3

Jeff Francis

L

3.52

3.17

7.2

1.17

12.9

If the Tribe bats want to get healthy, this appears to be the right staff to do so. I would expect that if the starters continue to pitch like this, there will be some changes made.  The only starter we miss is Dickey, and the Tribe does open with both of their left handers. Norris is just 22 and has only nine career starts. He only has a 798 OPS split against lefties, so theoretically our offense might have a shot. He did pitch well in his last start against the Rays though. We all should know Buerhle very well by now. He has been fairly mediocre overall vs. the Indians in his career. He did throw seven shutout innings last year though.

The offense then gets a crack at another youngster in Sanchez. He has a career 363 split against righties but an 863 against lefties. Hutchison has just one career start, last year, and fought through eight hits in five innings. He only has gotten past the fifth once in his past four starts. Both Castro and Osuna are just 20. This bullpen as constructed has yielded eight homers already.

On the Shelf

  • 2B Maicer Izturis [15 day DL], Possible May return
  • C Dioner Navarro [15day DL] , no timetable for return
  • SS Jose Reyes [15 day DL] , no timetable for return
  • RP Marcus Stroman [60 day DL], out for season

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2015

-

-

-

-

-

-

2014

2

4

333

29

25

567

Last 5*

17

18

486

148

164

453

Last 10*

39

29

574

320

288

548

All-Time

194

196

497

1847

1838

502

*Does not include 2015 stats

Prediction: The offense finally wakes up from their slumber and takes three of four with the lone loss against Buerhle.