Cleveland Indians Series Preview: Seattle Mariners, May 17-20

Felix Hernandez winds up to deliver - USA TODAY Sports

The Indians start a quick six game homestand with their first meeting with the Seattle Mariners.

This homestand opens with a Friday to Monday four game set scheduled for Friday May 15 at with 7:05 PM and three matinees. Saturday and Sunday start times are at 1:05 PM and Monday's game is at 12:05 PM. The Detroit Tigers follow with a short two game set.

Team in a Box

Seattle Mariners

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2013 Record

20-21

Runs/Game

3.7

14th

Runs/Game

4.0

6th

AL West

2nd

OBP

311

12th

H/9

8.3

9th

Last 10

6-4

SLG

388

13th

BB/9

2.4

3rd

Last 30

16-14

Steals

11

15th

SO/9

8.0

7th

The lineup had some upgrades over the winter (Mike Morse, Kendrys Morales) but the offense has not shown much, if any improvement from 2012's basement view. They were dead last in all the triple slash categories last year and have barely moved up even with the Astros joining the league. Maybe it's all Wedge's fault. The pitching has been middle of the road so far this year and would be near the bottom of the league if not for the fantastic jobs done by Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma and Tom Wilhelmsen. The defense has been pretty good though, third in fielding percentage, and fifth in double plays.

Projected Lineup

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

CF

Michael Saunders

L

98

262

340

476

130

3B

Kyle Seager

L

170

278

347

470

131

DH

Kendrys Morales

R

162

268

358

415

121

RF

Mike Morse

R

151

261

325

507

133

1B

Justin Smoak

S

146

244

363

317

98

LF

Raul Ibanez

L

80

213

259

500

110

2B

Dustin Ackley

L

140

234

290

289

67

C

Jesus Montero

R

101

204

257

333

68

SS

Brendan Ryan

R

106

149

214

149

7

Montero has struggles now that he is catching full time. Smoak has yet to make good on his minor league accolades. Ryan is a black hole at the plate, luckily his dWAR is the highest on the team. He also hit a mere .158 last year against us, but somehow also finagled 10 walks in 29 plate appearances. If the Indian starters can get through the outfield bats mostly unscathed, there isn't much else to offer in the lineup other than Seager and perhaps Morales. Expect to see Jason Bay when Kazmir starts and LGFT Kelly Shoppach is the backup to Montero. The two other role players are Robert Andino and Endy Chavez.

Projected Starters

Date

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

ERA+

H/9

BB/9

K/9

May 17

Brandon Maurer (Jimenez)

R

5.97

34.2

63

10.6

2.6

5.7

May 18

Joe Saunders (McAllister)

L

5.51

47.1

68

10.3

3.4

3.8

May 19

Felix Hernandez (Masterson)

R

1.53

64.2

244

7.0

1.4

8.9

May 20

Hisashi Iwakuma (Kazmir)

R

1.84

58.2

205

5.8

1.2

8.4

Maurer is a 23rd round pick from 2008 and was in AA year. He made the jump to the rotation this spring and has expectantly struggled. Saunders is former first rounder and this year's numbers have been downright awful. He hasn't faced the Tribe since 2010. So if we expect to salvage a split it better be against Maurer and Saunders because the next two guys are pitching fantastic in 2013. He leads the league in ERA and has a WHIP under 1.0. And historically, Cleveland is one of the few teams to give him a bit of trouble, 6-4 in 13 starts, 2.90 ERA. But since Felix has a Cy he is doomed against us this year, right? Iwakuma is close behind Hernandez in ERA and also leads the league in WHIP (0.735!). He had one successful start against us last year.

Key Relievers

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

ERA+

H/9

BB/9

K/9

Tom Wilhelmsen

R

0.50

18.0

768

3.0

2.5

6.5

Carter Capps

R

4.35

20.2

88

10.0

1.7

11.8

Charlie Furbush

L

5.40

11.2

72

6.9

7.7

14.7

Wilhelmson assumed the closer's role in 2012 from Brandon League. He only notched 29 saves but that was mainly because there weren't many opportunities. His numbers were very good, 151 ERA+, 1.109 WHIP and 9.9 K. His 2013 is nothing short of fantastic. And he has never faced the Tribe yet. Capps is a third rounder from 2011 who is already in the majors at 22. He has a a great K/BB ratio (6.5) and a superb 12.1 K/9. His problem this year has been the longball, he has surrendered five already. He had one brief appearance against us last year. Furbush is one of the spoils (?) from the Doug Fister deal. He has great H/9 and K/9 but is wild as heck with a 7.7 BB/9. The Tribe has hit him very well in six appearances. Other options include veteran Oliver Perez and Hector Noesi.

On the Shelf

  • CF Franklin Gutierrez (strained right hamstring) - 15-day DL, on rehab
  • RP Josh Kinney (stressed rib injury) - 15-day DL, no timetable for return
  • RP Stephen Pryor (right lat tear) - 15-day DL, possible June return

LGFT Gutz hasn't been healthy been fully healthy since 2010. He has played a total of 148 games in the past two plus seasons. Kinney and Pryor are both relievers with Pryor having the higher upside.

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2013

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

2012

4

4

500

32

34

472

Last 5

22

21

512

199

184

536

Last 10

45

42

517

421

383

543

All-Time

205

162

559

1873

1661

555

Cleveland Indians Tickets
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