Cleveland Indians Series Preview: Minnesota Twins, April 4-April 6

Florimon and Dozier celebrate after Thursday's victory over the White Sox - Brian Kersey

The Indians open their home schedule with a three game set against their AL Central rivals, the Minnesota Twins.

The home opening series this year for the Tribe is with their old friends, the Minnesota Twins.

The season opener is Friday at 3:05 PM (Pelfrey vs. Salazar)

Saturday's game at 1:05 PM (Gibson vs. Carrasco)

Sunday's finale is at 1:05 PM (Nolasco vs. Masterson).

They then will host their first interleague opponent, the San Diego Padres for three games. The Saturday game is currently scheduled to be broadcast on the FOX Sports 1 network.

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

Team in a Box

Minnesota Twins

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2013 Record

66-96

Runs/Game

3.8

13th

Runs/Game

4.9

14th

AL Central

4th

OBP

312

11th

H/9

9.9

15th

Last 10

-

SLG

380

11th

BB/9

2.8

3rd

Last 30

-

Steals

52

13th

SO/9

6.1

15th

Stats through 2013 end of regular season

The Twins spent the offseason shelling out dollars for starters, $83M for nine seasons (with two team options) for three guys that are best #3 types, but likely #4/5 types. For an offense that was also pretty pitiful last year, the biggest hitting addition was Kurt Suzuki who takes over for Mauer at catcher, as he shifts to first base. Escaping the basement in the Central will be tough this season.

This spring they went 9-16, finishing last. They opened up 2014 with 3 games in the Windy City, and lost the first two before coming back to win the third game. Closer Perkins had a blown save in the second game and almost gave up the tying run yesterday. Suzuki and Hicks have been the hot bats so far.

Projected Roster*

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

C

Kurt Suzuki

R

43

200

481

1B

Joe Mauer

L

56

271

667

2B

Brian Dozier

R

60

232

676

3B

Trevor Plouffe

R

58

269

710

SS

Pedro Florimon

S

28

185

399

LF

Josh Willingham

R

52

068

159

CF

Aaron Hicks

S

55

327

825

RF

Oswaldo Arcia

L

55

250

767

DH

Jason Kubel

L

52

196

571

C

Josmil Pinto

R

30

286

762

IF

Eduardo Escobar

S

44

279

715

IF

Jason Bartlett

R

46

093

245

1B

Chris Colabello

R

52

349

973

* Spring training stats

Hopefully the horrible springs most of their hitters linger into the regular season. Even Mauer had a poor spring. Looks like Hicks is the hottest of the bunch with Willingham, Kubel and Bartlett having extremely poor springs. Mauer and Plouffe have been the players that have given us the most fits over the years. Willingham, after a great year one of his contract, slumped last year and is in his final year of that deal.

Projected Staff*

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

WHIP

K/9

Ricky Nolasco

R

5.50

18.0

1.278

5.5

Kevin Correia

R

4.76

17.0

1.235

1.6

Mike Pelfrey

R

3.57

17.2

1.245

4.6

Phil Hughes

R

4.74

19.0

1.579

5.7

Kyle Gibson

R

2.20

16.1

0.918

3.9

Glen Perkins

L

6.43

7.0

1.714

10.3

Jared Burton

R

4.70

7.2

1.565

5.9

Brian Duensing

L

4.26

6.1

0.789

4.3

Casey Fien

R

3.52

7.2

0.783

12.9

Anthony Swarzak

R

4.66

9.2

1.448

6.5

Casey Thielbar

L

1.13

8.0

1.250

7.9

Samuel Deduno

R

1.76

15.1

0.978

10.0

* Spring training stats

It will be interesting to see if the newest free-agent signees (Nolasco and Hughes) turn out well. The Tribe will see Nolasco. Pelfrey was a 2013 signing who had a very poor year for them. Gibson had a rough debut last year but had the best spring of the starters. Perkins has been pretty dominant against us but also had a poor spring. Other than Fien, the rest of the bullpen is pretty average at best, with very low K rates.

On the Shelf

There is nobody currently on the major league DL, but the huge loss was top prospect Miguel Sano who had to have Tommy John surgery.

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2014

-

-

-

-

-

-

2013

13

6

684

96

67

659

Last 5*

44

47

484

378

425

447

Last 10*

91

93

495

789

814

486

All-Time

1099

961

533

9480

8852

531

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