Series Preview: Cincinnati (June 18-20)

June 17, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians mascot Slider during a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

Rather than rehash the same information from last week, I'm going to look at how the Indians stack up:

Team in a Box (click to enlarge)


The Indians have dropped like a rock in pitching lately, thanks to the front end of the bullpen and some bad starts. If they actually get a good outing from their starter, they'll keep in, hence their record is still above .500, but that's not likely remain so if this trend continues. Their offense is driven by walks and steals, not power, and they have an average team defense.

Typical Lineup:

Pos. Player BA OBP SLG PA
RF Shin-Soo Choo .263 .356 .404 261
SS Asdrubal Cabrera .301 .397 .472 248
2B Jason Kipnis .278 .335 .440 286
C Carlos Santana .227 .349 .356 238
CF Michael Brantley .280 .319 .386 260
LF Johnny Damon .175 .266 .263 128
1B Casey Kotchman .220 .286 .335 221
DH Lonnie Chisenhall .229 .229 .375 48
3B Jack Hannahan .269 .344 .407 123

Again, for an AL club, the Indians don't have much power, and what power they do have is from positions you don't normally expect to get it from (2B and SS). Conversely, they aren't getting much production in general from either LF or 1B, which is why the Indians will be looking for a corner bat on the trade market.

Projected Starters

Date Pitcher ERA Innings SO/9 BB/9 H/9
June 18 Derek Lowe 3.78 78.2 3.2 3.0 10.8
June 19 Josh Tomlin 5.56 56.2 5.7 2.1 10.8
June 20 Justin Masterson 4.38 88.1 6.9 4.1 8.6

The rotation seems to be aligning itself with how we thought it was going to look at the beginning of the season, at least lately. Lowe and Tomlin have not been pitching well lately.

Key Relievers

Throws Pitcher ERA Innings SO/9 BB/9 H/9
Right Chris Perez 2.49 25.1 7.8 2.5 6.8
Right Vinnie Pestano 2.10 25.2 11.9 4.2 5.3
Right Joe Smith 3.25 27.2 7.8 3.6 7.8

The Indians have one of the best back ends of a bullpen in baseball, but recently they haven't been able to get to the point where they can use them, whether it be lack of production on offense or not being able to hold a tie game or small deficit where it is.

On the Shelf

  • RHP Carlos Carrasco (Tommy John surgery) - out for season
  • DH Travis Hafner (knee) - 15-day DL
  • LHP Rafael Perez (lat muscle) - 60-day DL
  • OF Grady Sizemore (knee, back) - 60-day DL

The Indians are really missing Travis Hafner, who until he got hurt was one of the key power threats in the lineup. Sizemore has had a setback in his rehab, so I don't think the All-Star Break is a realistic target for his return any more.

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