Cleveland Indians Series Preview: Baltimore Orioles, September 2-September 4

Chris Davis and JJ Hardy - Thearon W. Henderson

The Indians start their penultimate homestand of nine games with a visit from the Baltimore Orioles.

This homestand is a Monday to Wednesday affair, with the Monday Labor Day game at 4:05 PM and Tuesday and Wednesday both set for 7:05 starts. This visit by the Orioles is the final AL East series of the season. After a day off on Thursday, the final NL East team on the schedule, the New York Mets, visit for the weekend.

Scoreboard Watch: White Sox at Yankees, Tigers at Boston, Mariners at Royals, Rays at Angels, Rangers at Athletics

Team in a Box

Baltimore Orioles

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2013 Record

72-63

Runs/Game

4.7

3rd

Runs/Game

4.5

10th

AL East

3rd

OBP

315

10th

H/9

9.0

9th

Last 10

5-5

SLG

436

3rd

BB/9

3.0

7th

Last 30

14-16

Steals

69

9th

SO/9

6.9

13th

*Stats other than records through Saturday

We haven't seen the Orioles since late June. They have been treading a .500 record since that series completed. They have been see-sawing with the Yankees for the third spot in the AL East for the past two weeks. The hitting has regressed since we met, but still is a top five offense except that they do not generate enough walks. The pitching staff has not been the team's strong suit this year. They are in the lower half in most categories. They however do sport the best defense in the league, at least by fielding percentage. They are also third in turning double plays.

Projected Lineup

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

LF

Nate McLouth

L

507

265

336

400

99

3B

Manny Machado

R

607

299

329

453

110

1B

Chris Davis

L

558

301

384

672

180

CF

Adam Jones

R

576

295

323

502

120

C

Matt Wieters

S

482

227

283

411

86

RF

Nick Markakis

L

586

274

329

365

89

SS

JJ Hardy

R

529

254

298

435

96

DH

Michael Morse

R

283

226

283

410

98

2B

Brian Roberts

S

188

248

316

358

83

This lineup looked much better in June. McLouth has slumped, and although Machado is an excellent talent/player, he doesn't walk much, yet. Davis is unworldly. Jones is good as well. But the rest of the lineup has slumped since June as well. Roberts getting healthy hasn't improved the hitting numbers at second and they just picked up Morse from the Mariners. The bench has been revamped since June. Danny Valencia (142 OPS+), Alexi Casilla (56) and Wilson Betemit (8 PA) are reserves for the infield and Chris Snyder (20 PA) and Steve Clevenger (Sept. callup) are the backup catchers.

Projected Starters

Date

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

ERA+

H/9

BB/9

K/9

Sept 2

Bud Norris (Masterson)

R

4.13

159.0

99

9.8

3.5

7.1

Sept 3

Chris Tillman (Jimenez)

R

3.61

167.0

116

8.0

3.1

7.6

Sept 4

Miguel Gonzalez (McAllister)

R

4.11

140.0

102

8.8

3.0

6.4

Since coming over from the Astros, Norris is 3-1 in six starts, but has a 4.91 ERA, 1.697 WHIP and 9.5 K/9. He did not pitch against us when the Tribe visited Houston earlier this season and has not faced the Tribe ever. In August, Tillman has been pretty decent, 2-1 in six starts, 3.57 ERA, 1.017 WHIP, 8.3 K/9. He beat the Indians 6-3 on June 25, throwing seven innings, four hits, four walks, six strikeouts and a home run by Kipnis. Gonzalez has struggled in August, 0-2 in four starts and two relief outings, 5.25 ERA, 1.458 WHIP, 5.6 K/9. He beat the Tribe on June 27, 7-3, allowing three runs in seven innings, nine hits, no walks, nine strikeouts and homers by Aviles and Chisenhall.

Key Relievers

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

ERA+

H/9

BB/9

K/9

Jim Johnson

R

3.45

57.1

121

9.4

2.7

6.9

Darren O'Day

R

2.40

56.1

175

7.3

2.1

8.8

Francisco Rodriguez

R

2.27

39.2

180

7.5

2.7

10.4

Johnson has had a microcosm of his 2013 over the past month, 1-0, five saves, three blown saves, 10 games, 9.2 innings, 3.72 ERA, 2.070 WHIP and 5.6 K/9. He pitched in three games of the last series, one save, one blown save, a loss, 2.2 innings, 6.75 ERA, two hits, four walks, three strikeouts. In August, O'Day has made 13 appearances, 0-2, one blown save, four holds, 3.38 ERA, 1.126 WHIP, 6.75 K/9. He also did not fare well in our last series. He pitched twice, one inning total, two run, three hits, no walks, a strikeout, and with Brantley taking him deep. Since coming over from the Brewers in late July, K-Rod has been giving up gopher balls. He has made 15 appearances, 2-0, three saves, 4.20 ERA in 15 innings, 1.2667 WHIP, 12.0 K/9 and five homers. In his career, the Tribe has hit him decently. In 22 appearances he is 1-1, 12 saves, 5.01 ERA, 23.1 innings, 1.114 WHIP, 12.0 K/9. Other options include Tommy Hunter(157 ERA+), Troy Patton (109), Brian Matusz (118), Rule 5 Indian TJ McFarland (89) and Kevin Gausman (70).

On the Shelf

  • 1B Steve Pearce (left wrist tendinitis) - 15-day DL, possibly mid-September
  • LF Nolan Reimold (July 2013 spinal surgery) - 60-day DL, out for season
  • SP Jason Hammel (right flexor mass strain) - 15-day DL, on AA rehab

Reimold has missed most of the season. They haven't missed Pearce, but the loss of Hammel has put a strain on the rotation somewhat.

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2013

2

2

500

15

18

417

2012

4

4

500

41

36

559

Last 5*

21

15

583

194

182

529

Last 10*

39

29

574

389

320

588

All-Time

1117

846

569

9235

8047

563

*Does not include 2013 stats

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