Cleveland Indians Series Preview: Oakland A's, March 31-April 2

3B Josh Donaldson - Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Indians start their season with a short three game set against the defending AL West champion Oakland Athletics at the O.com Coliseum.

The Indians begin their first West Coast visit with a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics.

The season opener is Monday at 10:05 PM (Masterson vs. Gray), Tuesday's game is also at 10:05 PM (Kluber vs. Kazmir), while the getaway game on Wednesday is at 3:35 PM (McAllister vs. Chavez).

Division Watch: Royals at Tigers, Twins at White Sox.

Team in a Box

Oakland Athletics

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2013 Record

96-66

Runs/Game

4.7

3rd

Runs/Game

3.9

3rd

AL West

1st

OBP

327

5th

H/9

8.3

2nd

Last 10

-

SLG

419

4th

BB/9

2.7

1st

Last 30

-

Steals

74

11th

SO/9

7.3

12th

*all stats through 2013 end of regular season

The A's won the West by 5.5 games last year before losing to the Tigers in the Division Series. They did that with a very balanced offensive attack and one of the better pitching staffs in the league.

They had a quiet offseason by their usual standards. They changed closers and made a few minor deals. They also replaced LGFT Bartolo Colon in the starting rotation with LGFT Scott Kazmir.

This spring they went 15-13-5.

Projected Roster*

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

C

Derek Norris

R

48

378

1106

1B

Brandon Moss

L

52

364

1143

2B

Eric Sogard

L

54

255

637

3B

Josh Donaldson

R

54

275

926

SS

Jed Lowrie

S

59

231

786

LF

Yoenis Cespedes

R

65

167

482

CF

Coco Crisp

S

58

261

762

RF

Josh Reddick

L

59

333

947

DH

John Jaso

L

55

292

864

BENCH

IF

Alberto Callaspo

S

56

333

785

1B

Daric Barton

L

46

273

872

IF

Nick Punto

S

51

356

854

OF

Sam Fuld

R

66

271

823

* Spring training stats

Most had a decent spring, except for Cespedes and Sogard. Perpetual prospect Barton made the roster again, but this must be his last shot. Fuld earned his shot as an NRI but in reality benefited from Gentry being hurt. They will be similar to the Indians to start the year as the second catcher, Jaso, will be playing most days somewhere else (in his case, as the DH).

Projected Staff*

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

WHIP

K/9

Sonny Gray

R

3.48

20.2

1.161

7.0

Scott Kazmir

L

1.62

16.2

0.960

7.6

Jesse Chavez

R

2.22

28.1

0.988

7.9

Dan Straily

R

4.73

13.1

1.800

5.4

Tommy Milone

L

4.26

19.0

1.211

3.8

BULLPEN

Jim Johnson

R

5.00

9.0

1.556

5.0

Luke Gregerson

R

4.91

7.1

1.636

11.0

Sean Doolittle

L

3.24

8.1

0.960

6.5

Dan Otero

R

4.50

12.0

1.000

6.8

Fernando Abad

L

3.27

11.0

0.727

9.8

Evan Scribner

R

5.25

12.0

1.333

8.3

Drew Pomeranz

L

2.84

12.2

1.263

14.9

* Spring training stats

Gray is a former Top 100 prospect from 2012 who had a solid debut last year. Kazmir we obviously know well. Chavez was a reliever last season. New closer Johnson comes over from the Orioles and had a mediocre spring. The bullpen last year was a strength, but there are some new faces this season, including LGFT Pomeranz, who made the roster off a solid spring.

On the Shelf

Gentry was an offseason pickup and Cook was a top setup reliever for them last year.

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2014

-

-

-

-

-

-

2013

5

2

714

33

19

733

Last 5*

17

23

425

133

180

365

Last 10*

43

43

500

345

389

445

All-Time

1020

895

533

9012

8616

521

*Does not include 2014 stats

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