Cleveland Indians Series Preview: Miami Marlins, August 2-August 4

Giancarlo Stanton is watching you - Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Indians trek on a short three game visit to South Beach, to take on the Miami Marlins.

The Friday and Saturday matchups are both 7:10 PM starts with a a Sunday matinee at 1:10 PM. The Tigers then visit Progressive for a crucial four game set.

Team in a Box

Miami Marlins

Offense

NL Rank

Pitching

NL Rank

2013 Record

42-65

Runs/Game

3.2

15th

Runs/Game

4.0

6th

NL East

5th

OBP

290

15th

H/9

8.6

8th

Last 10

6-4

SLG

333

15th

BB/9

3.1

11th

Last 30

15-15

Steals

52

9th

SO/9

7.2

11th

This team couldn't hit itself out of a wet paper bag. They are dead last in most categories in the National League. The pitching has been ok, but still near the middle of the pack to the bottom third. They do have some really nice young arms though. The thing that totally scares me about this trip, is none of their pitchers has ever faced the Tribe before, so that usually means trouble for us. Their defense has been ok, sixth in fielding percentage and double plays turned. If our offense can generate anything against their starters, the Indians have a excellent shot in this series.

Projected Lineup

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

LF

Christian Yelich

L

44

244

295

293

63

SS

Adeiny Hechavarria

R

208

226

297

293

64

RF

Giancarlo Stanton

R

284

252

370

483

133

1B

Logan Morrison

L

146

252

349

417

110

3B

Ed Lucas

R

197

256

321

318

77

2B

Donovan Solano

R

176

265

314

327

77

CF

Jake Marisnick

R

37

176

243

265

40

C

Rob Brantly

L

197

228

279

289

57

Other than third base, this lineup is extremely young with Morrison and Solano the oldest at 25. And with that youth, they are having trouble scoring runs, big time. Stanton and Morrison are the only two with over 100 OPS+. This is also a roster that has had a revolving door this year as 25 different players have been used in the field. So as long as the pitchers don't give the big two something to hit, the games should stay fairly low in runs scored. The bench currently consists of Justin Ruggiano (76 OPS+), Juan Pierre (62), Placido Polanco (70), Greg Dobbs (64) and Jeff Mathis (62).

Projected Starters

Date

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

ERA+

H/9

BB/9

K/9

Aug 2

Jose Fernandez (Jimenez)

R

2.71

119.2

143

6.2

3.2

9.3

Aug 3

Jacob Turner (McAllister)

R

2.65

71.1

147

7.6

3.2

6.2

Aug 4

Nathan Eovaldi (Kazmir)

R

3.47

46.2

112

6.9

4.2

6.0

Fernandez is the current ace of this staff even though he only has 20 career starts, all this season. He was their first round pick in 2011, fourteenth overall and was Baseball America's #5 prospect for this season. He has a fantastic 1.045 WHIP and a solid 9.3 K/9. If he gets his walk rate down, he will be even tougher. Turner is another former first pick, this time in 2009 by the Tigers at #9 overall. He was ranked in the top 30 by Baseball America in each of 2010, 2011 and 2012 before losing his rookie status. He has pitched well this year, but he doesn't strike out nearly enough guys and his walk rate is still a bit high. Eovaldi is a former Dodger eleventh rounder from 2008 who came over in the Hanley Ramirez trade. He did make the Baseball America list in 2012, but was #97. He walks even more than the last two and strikes out even fewer. What concerns me most is that the Indians haven't faced any of these guys ever, and that usually means 4-5 innings of struggles for our hitters.

Key Relievers

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

ERA+

H/9

BB/9

K/9

Steve Cishek

R

3.08

49.2

127

7.2

3.1

8.9

Chad Qualls

R

2.49

43.1

157

7.5

2.1

7.5

Mike Dunn

L

2.93

46.0

133

8.0

3.9

8.6

Cishek is a Marlins fifth round pick from 2007. He made his debut in 2010 and assumed the closer's role in 2012. And while he only has 22 saves this year, he does lead the National League in games finished. So he is getting used quite a bit. He has never faced the Indians yet in his career. Qualls has had a fairly successful career in the pen, mainly as a set-up guy. He did close for a bit while with the Diamondbacks in 2009-2010. Other than a brief stop in Tampa Bay in 2010, he has spent his career in the National League and has also never faced Cleveland before. Dunn is a former 33rd round pick in 2004. He spent 2010 with the Braves before heading to the Marlins in the Dan Uggla trade. He too has never faced the Tribe. Other arms include Ryan Webb (122 ERA+), AJ Ramos (124), Dan Jennings (131) and Steve Ames (0.1 IP).

On the Shelf

  • RP Jose Ceda (2012 Tommy John surgery) - 60-day DL, on A rehab
  • LF Chris Coghlan (lower back strain, right calf) - 15-day DL, no timetable defined
  • LF Matt Diaz (left knee bone contusion) - 60-day DL, no timetable defined
  • 1B Casey Kotchman (left oblique strain) - 60-day DL, no timetable defined
  • RF Marcell Ozuna (left thumb surgery) - 60-day DL, out for season
  • SP Alejandro Sanabia (right groin weakness) - 60-day DL, no timetable defined
  • LF Alfredo Silverio (2013 Tommy John surgery) - 60-day DL, out for season
  • SP Kevin Slowey (right forearm strain) - 15-day DL, out for season

The injury bug has hit the outfield pretty hard this year. We will miss both LGFT Kotchman and Slowey this go round too.

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2013

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

2012

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Last 5

1

2

333

7

8

439

Last 10

4

5

444

31

28

546

All-Time

4

8

333

32

37

434

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