Series preview: Indians vs. Blue Jays (April 18-20)

Watch out for that masked man - Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Indians open a seven game homestand with a visit from our friends from north of the border, the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Indians begin this homestand with a three game visit from the Blue Jays.

After this, the Kansas City Royals come to Progressive Field for four games, the first series between the two teams this season.

Division Watch:

  • Angels at Tigers
  • White Sox at Rangers
  • Twins at Royals.

Team in a Box

Toronto Blue Jays

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2014 Record

8-8

Runs/Game

4.4

6th

Runs/Game

3.6

4th

AL East

2nd

OBP

313

8th

H/9

8.3

6th

Last 10

5-5

SLG

404

4th

BB/9

3.6

10th

Last 30

-

Steals

6

11th

SO/9

8.7

6th

*all stats through Wednesday's games except overall record

The AL Central is sitting in a pool of mediocrity, and the AL East is really not much different so far. The Blue Jays just lost a doubleheader to the Twins to drop back down to .500 (they were in first place on Tuesday). They haven't won more than two in or a row or lost more than two in a row yet, and after yesterday, they are dead even in runs scored and allowed.

The Jays have been hit by a rash of injuries already this year. The middle infield of Jose Reyes and Maicer Izturis is already missing both members (although Reyes could be activated this weekend). And it wouldn't be the Jays if a key pitcher wasn't hurt. Last year's closer Casey Janssen is out and has had a setback this week. To top it off, Adam Lind strained his back on Tuesday and may be headed to the DL.

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

C

Dioner Navarro

S

55

235

586

1B

Edwin Encarnacion

R

60

241

669

2B

Ryan Goins

L

35

152

382

3B

Brett Lawrie

R

57

132

477

SS

Jonathan Diaz

R

28

174

514

LF

Melky Cabrera

S

66

323

903

CF

Colby Rasmus

L

50

217

780

RF

Jose Bautista

R

61

289

1142

DH

Adam Lind

L

43

324

965

IF

Munenori Kawasaki

L

5

400

1000

OF

Moises Sierra

R

16

133

321

C

Josh Thole

L

8

375

750

There does not seem to be a strong candidate to replace Lind on the bench. My best guess is that Sierra would get the nod in the outfield with Bautista sliding to the DH role. They could also keep outfielder Anthony Gose on the roster. He was recalled as the 26th man for yesterday's doubleheader.

The loss of Lind will also hurt the lineup production as he, Bautista and Cabrera are keeping the hitting afloat. Offseason pickup Navarro has started off slow and both the infield replacements are struggling mightily. Rumor has it that SS Jose Reyes may be activated on Saturday.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

WHIP

K/9

R.A. Dickey

R

5.30

18.2

1.393

6.8

Drew Hutchison

R

3.68

14.2

1.432

9.2

Mark Buehrle

L

0.86

21.0

0.905

6.9

Brandon Morrow

R

5.52

14.2

1.500

10.4

Dustin McGowan

R

4.00

9.0

1.667

5.0

Sergio Santos

R

3.38

5.1

1.500

18.6

Brett Cecil

L

1.22

6.0

1.167

15.0

Steve Delabar

R

3.38

5.1

0.938

6.8

Aaron Loup

L

3.00

6.0

1.000

7.5

Esmil Rogers

R

6.48

8.1

1.680

8.6

Todd Redmond

R

0.93

9.2

1.138

7.4

Neil Wagner

R

2.08

4.1

0.462

10.4

JA Happ

L

-

-

-

-

We miss the knuckleballer, but we do get the other veteran, our old adversary, Buerhle. Buerhle has started this year on fire. Not only is his ERA under 1.00, but his FIP is 1.96. Morrow on the other hand has been a bit Salazar-esque so far. He is striking out a lot of guys but allowing a lot of baserunners as well. The third guy we face is the youngster is Hutchison.

Santos has struck out 11 in just 5.1 innings. Former Tribesman Rogers has not done well yet this year but Cecil and Remond have stepped up in his place.

On the Shelf

  • 2B Maicer Izturis [15 day DL], no timetable, but likely out for season
  • SP Casey Janssen [15 day DL] , on A+ rehab, temporarily shut down
  • SS Jose Reyes [15 day DL] , on A+ rehab, probable April 19 return
  • DH Adam Lind [day-to-day], nothing definitive, but a DL stint is possible.

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2014

-

-

-

-

-

-

2013

4

2

667

26

20

618

Last 5*

19

18

514

166

193

431

Last 10*

42

27

609

329

288

561

All-Time

192

192

500

1818

1813

501

*Does not include 2014 stats

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