Cleveland Indians @ Minnesota Twins
Sunday August 16th 2015, 2:10 ET, Target Field
TV: STO, MLB.TV
Radio: WTAM C
Last night the offense failed to capitalize on a solid start by the Tribe's new No.5 starter, Josh Tomlin. Today they face a lefty starter in the form of Tommy Milone, who has just been activated from the 15-day DL after suffering a flexor strain at the end of July. Immediately prior to that, Milone had given up six homers in three games, and his 2015 3.76 ERA/4.83 FIP/0.3 fWAR is pretty underwhelming. This is the first time since Milone joined the Twins that he has faced the Tribe; the last time was when he was the A's almost exactly two years ago, when Ryan Raburn took him for a home run.
The Tribe turns to Carlos Carrasco, fresh off an incredible three-game stretch in which he has pitched 26 out of 27 possible innings and given up just three runs on seven(!) total hits. The Tribe's No.2 is enjoying the best year of his career, and currently holds a 3.5 fWAR, which ranks seventh overall among AL pitchers.
|CLEVELAND INDIANS||MINNESOTA TWINS|
|Jose Ramirez - 2B||Aaron Hicks - CF|
|Francisco Lindor - SS||Brian Dozier - 2B|
|Yan Gomes - C||Joe Mauer - DH|
|Carlos Santana - 1B||Miguel Sano - 3B|
|Ryan Raburn - DH||Trevor Plouffe - 1B|
|Giovanny Urshela - 3B||Eddie Rosario - RF|
|Abraham Almonte - CF||Eduardo Nunez - SS|
|Jerry Sands - RF||Kurt Suzuki - C|
|Mike Aviles - LF||Shane Robinson - LF|
|Carlos Carrasco - RHP||Tommy Milone - LHP|
Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis aren't available to return yet (they will probably DH on Monday and Tuesday respectively, against the Red Sox), but Ryan Raburn is back in the lineup following a few days on the bereavement list. Lefty opposing starters have been few and far between recently, and this is only Raburn's second appearance in the starting lineup (and fourth game in all) in the past three weeks. He needs a strong finish to the season if he is going to persuade the Tribe to pick up his $3MM option for 2016.
With Raburn occupying the DH spot and Santana at 1B, there is unfortunately no room for lefty masher Chris Johnson, but Jerry Sands is again being used as a platoon partner for Lonnie Chisenhall in RF.