Cleveland Indians Series Preview: Chicago White Sox, July 29-August 1

Adam Dunn takes a cut - Hunter Martin

The Indians wrap up this short homestand with a visit from the White Sox. They will try to keep the four game winning streak alive.

The last series with the White Sox went about as good as one could have hoped for, sweeping the four games in Chicago in late June, with the only hiccup being Bauer's short outing. This four game series is set for 7:05 PM start times Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The Thursday game is scheduled for 12:05 as a getaway day. After the game, the Indians head to Miami for three games on the shortest road trip of the season.

Team in a Box

Chicago White Sox

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2013 Record

40-62

Runs/Game

3.7

15th

Runs/Game

4.4

8th

AL Central

5th

OBP

301

14th

H/9

8.5

3rd

Last 10

3-7

SLG

380

12th

BB/9

3.0

7th

Last 30

9-21

Steals

66

6th

SO/9

8.1

8th

It will be curious to see how many guys playing in this series are dealt before the end of it. With the trade deadline on Wednesday, this roster "could" see some shaking up by Thursday. The offense has improved a wee tiny bit in the last month, but the White Sox are still dead last in scoring, which obviously translates to their poor record. Their slugging has jumped a few spots, but the runs scoring department is still lagging. Their run differential has increased in the past month too. The runs/game has slid from fourth to eighth. The overall team WHIP of almost 1.3 is middle of the pack. And the team ERA+ of 109 is fairly decent. In fact, the pitching WAR is almost 16, definitely a viable staff. But the hitters have a net -1.6 WAR this season. Just awful. The team defense is not so good either, ranking thirteenth in fielding percentage. If Alexei Ramirez is dealt, that would hurt the team defense even more.

Projected Lineup

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

CF

Alejandro De Aza

L

436

279

337

435

107

SS

Alexei Ramirez

R

434

282

308

350

77

RF

Alex Rios

R

426

272

325

427

101

1B

Adam Dunn

L

397

212

320

459

107

DH

Paul Konerko

R

308

244

308

355

79

2B

Jeff Keppinger

R

339

237

263

280

47

3B

Conor Gillaspie

L

291

253

313

402

92

LF

Dayan Viciedo

R

308

254

299

412

90

C

Josh Phegley

R

56

218

214

436

70

The major shakeups in the lineup over the last 30 days include Gordon Beckham moving to the bench, Keppinger shifting to second and Gillaspie on the hot corner. Konerko has been activated but hasn't shown much in his return yet. Also, Tyler Flowers lost his job to rookie Josh Phegley. Even with the changes, the current high in OPS+ is 107, and nobody on the bench cracks 100. The bench currently consists of Gordan Beckham(99 OPS+), Casper Wells (24), Blake Tekotte (78) and Tyler Flowers (67).

Projected Starters

Date

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

ERA+

H/9

BB/9

K/9

July 29

John Danks (McAllister)

L

4.81

76.2

90

9.5

1.1

6.1

July 30

Jake Peavy (Kazmir)

R

4.28

80.0

101

8.3

1.9

8.6

July 31

Jose Quintna (Kluber)

L

3.55

126.2

122

8.2

2.6

7.0

Aug 1

Chris Sale (Masterson)

L

2.69

137.0

161

7.1

2.0

9.8

Hmmm, three lefties in four games. That is the second time this season we've faced three lefties from the White Sox and the last series went extremely well. Danks has been fairly hit or miss since coming off the DL in late May. Atlanta and Detroit both tagged him for five and six runs respectively in his last two starts. His rotation spot didn't come up in the last trip. Historically the Tribe has hit him well, 4-8 in 16 starts and a 4.94 ERA. Peavy was hurt the last series, and although he won both of his recent starts, he allowed four home runs in those two starts for six earned runs in thirteen innings. He did beat us 3-1 in the early April start, striking out eleven in seven innings. Quintana has been very good lately. He is one-third of an inning short of five straight quality starts. He pitched seven shutout innings in April and won the second matchup 3-2 in late April. In the late June game, he finally was hit decently by the Tribe, five runs in six innings, five hits and three walks. If Sale had any run support, he would be in the discussion for Young votes. Heck he may still get them too, bad sadly the one win in his last ten starts might hurt him. The Indians are the only squad to get more than four runs off him this year, back in April when he was tagged for eight runs. In the late June start he struck out ten, but lost 4-0. [EDIT: There are major rumors the Peavy is dealt prior to his start. If that occurs I expect Dylan Axelrod to get the nod unless they dip into the minors]

Key Relievers

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

ERA+

H/9

BB/9

K/9

Addison Reed

R

3.60

45.0

121

7.4

2.0

9.8

Nate Jones

R

4.15

52.0

105

8.1

3.3

9.5

Matt Lindstrom

R

3.35

40.1

130

8.7

4.5

6.2

The top two set up guys are gone, Crain to the DL and Thornton to the Red Sox. That bumps up Jones and Lindstrom in the pecking order. Jones has made five appearances against us this year, 5.1 innings, four hits, one walk, four strikeouts and a 0.00 ERA. In fact, he has a career 0.00 ERA against us in 12.1 innings this year and last. Lindstrom has been on the White Sox roster all year, but only has made two appearances, both in the June series. He gave up four hits and a run in one inning of work. In his career against us, he has 6.1 innings in seven appearances and 1.737 WHIP, but only a 2.84 ERA. Reed has had a tough 2013 versus the Tribe. Four runs in four innings, a 1.500 WHIP and a loss, He does have two saves though. Ramon Troncoso (82 ERA+), David Purcey (152), Donnie Veal (64) and Dylan Axelrod (84) round out the bullpen committee.

On the Shelf

  • SP Gavin Floyd (torn UCL right elbow) - 60-day DL, out for season
  • CF Dewayne Wise (right oblique strain) - 15-day DL, on AAA rehab
  • RP Jesse Crain (right shoulder strain) - 15-day DL, no timetable for return

Both Peavy and Konerko have been activated since the last series. Wise was activated during the last series, but promptly weent right back there. From the White Sox point of view it is a shame that Crain got hurt, he would have fetched a pretty good prospect at the trade deadline. But as a rival, I won't shed too many tears over it.

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2013

7

2

778

52

33

697

2012

7

11

389

72

120

282

Last 5*

38

52

422

415

462

451

Last 10*

82

102

446

897

926

485

All-Time

1007

1048

490

8743

8848

495

*Does not include 2013 stats

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