Cleveland Indians Series Preview: Oakland A's, May 6-May 9

Yeonis Cespedes and Jed Lowrie - Nick Laham

The Indians conclude their second homestand of the year with the Oakland Athletics.

The Tribe concludes their homestand with a four game set scheduled for Monday May 6, Tuesday May 7 and Wednesday May 8 at 7:05 PM start times and a matinee on Thursday May 9 at 1:05 PM. This is their only visit to Progressive. The Monday game is also the mlb.tv free game of the day. After the game, they head to Detroit for their first visit to Comerica.

Team in a Box

Oakland Athletics

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2013 Record

18-14

Runs/Game

5.2

1st

Runs/Game

4.7

12th

AL West

2nd

OBP

345

2nd

H/9

9.1

13th

Last 10

5-5

SLG

414

7th

BB/9

2.7

6th

Last 30

18-12

Steals

25

2nd

SO/9

7.4

7th

After winning the AL West last season, a year or two ahead of schedule, they are only 2.5 games behind the Rangers. With the Angels imploding so far, it seems the West will only be a two team race right now. This version may not be portrayed as a Moneyball squad, but they are third in OBP and are second in the league in steals and lead the league in runs scored. They are only twelfth in homers, but their first place rank in doubles has them seventh in slugging and a team OPS+ of 110. The major change from last season is the pitching staff. Last year, they had a 113 ERA+, but so far in 2013 they are only at 95. The #4 an #5 spots in the roatation (Parker, Anderson/Straily) have really struggled (all are below 70 ERA+).

Projected Lineup

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

C

John Jaso

L

95

274

351

357

83

DH

Jed Lowrie

S

134

322

414

496

152

CF

Yeonis Cespedes

R

84

239

333

507

129

1B

Brandon Moss

L

109

290

394

462

137

3B

Josh Donaldson

R

133

302

383

491

152

LF

Seth Smith

L

112

283

366

455

127

RF

Josh Reddick

L

105

148

267

250

45

SS

Adam Rosales

R

41

278

333

417

107

2B

Eric Sogard

L

80

233

200

288

65

Other than Reddick and Sogard, this line-up has been fairly deadly in 2013. They also lead the league in plunks. Lowrie has replaced the injured Scott Sizemore very well. Donaldson has improved greatly over his 2012 numbers. Cespedes' batting average is low, but his power is still evident (268 ISO). LGFT Coco Crisp was off to an excellent start, 283/388/556 slash (158 OPS+) with 8 steals and a 17/7 BB/K rate. Alas he strained his hammy and is on the DL. When Kazmir takes the mound, the lineup, expect Rosales to lead off, Derek Norris to catch, Nate Freiman at first and Luke Montz to be the DH.

Projected Starters

Date

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

H/9

BB/9

K/9

May 6

Jarrod Parker (Jimenez)

R

7.36

29.1

13.2

4.9

5.5

May 7

Tommy Milone (McAllister)

L

3.69

39.0

9.2

1.4

8.3

May 8

A.J. Griffin (Masterson)

R

3.79

38.0

8.3

2.6

6.4

May 9

Bartolo Colon (Kazmir)

R

3.62

37.1

9.2

0.2

5.5

Parker is the former Diamondback first rounder. He is really struggling this year with a WHIP above 2 and a low K rate. He won both his starts against the Tribe last year. Milone arrived in the Gio Gonzalez deal and has been league average since arriving in Oakland. He had two decent starts against us last year, winning one of them. Griffin is home grown and arrived mid-year in 2012, putting up a 129 ERA+. He hasn't faced the Tribe yet. LGFT Colon is now 40 and still throwing fairly well (only issuing one walk this season), but who knows how PED-driven it might be. Since leaving 11 years ago, he is 6-3 in 10 starts against us.

Key Relievers

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

H/9

BB/9

K/9

Grant Balfour

R

2.03

13.1

7.4

4.1

8.8

Jerry Blevins

L

2.00

18.0

6.0

0.5

9.5

Ryan Cook

R

1,80

15.0

5.4

2.6

10.2

Balfour assumed the closer role last season for the A's, but does not have overly dominant stuff. He has 25 appearances against the Tribe, mostly back when he was a Twin. Blevins arrived in the 2007 Jason Kendall trade. He has only issued one walk this year and his WHIP is at XXX. Cook was part of the Trevor Cahill deal with the Diamondbacks, along with Collin Cowgill and Parker. He was superb in 2012, and along with Blevins form a strong setup duo for Balfour. Former Twin Pat Neshek, Chris Resop and leftie Sean Doolittle should be the other relievers.

On the Shelf

  • P Fernando Rodriguez (Tommy John surgery) - out for season
  • 2B Scott Sizemore (left knee surgery) - out for season
  • SS Hiroyuki Nakajima (strained left hamstring) - 15-day DL, on AAA rehab
  • CF Chris Young (strained left quad) - 15-day DL, rehab complete
  • SP Brett Anderson (sprained right ankle) - 15-day DL, possible mid-May
  • CF Coco Crisp (strained left hamstring) - 15-day DL, possible mid-May

With Crisp and Young both on the DL, Cespedes has shifted to center with Seth Smith and Michael Taylor covering in left.

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2013

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

2012

2

8

200

30

60

220

Last 5

17

25

405

133

193

336

Last 10

41

47

466

339

408

416

All-Time

1015

893

532

8979

8597

520

Cleveland Indians Tickets
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