Series preview: Indians at Mariners (June 27-June 29)

Kyle Seager and Robinson Cano - Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Indians continue their west coast trip with a visit to the better than advertised Seattle Mariners.

The Tribe land in the Emerald City to take on the Seattle Mariners in Safeco Field.

  • Friday's game is at 10:10 PM (Bauer vs. Young)
  • Saturday's game is at 10:10 PM (Tomlin vs. Elias)
  • Sundays's game is at 4:10 PM (McAllister(?) vs. Hernandez)

Following Sunday's game, the Tribe will make the trip down the Pacific coastline to make their final west coast stop and take on the Los Angeles Dodgers. After a day off, they will head back home to take on the Royals over the Fourth of July weekend.

Division Watch: Tigers at Astros, Angels at Royals, White Sox at Blue Jays, Twins at Rangers.

Team in a Box

Seattle Mariners

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2013 Record

42-37

Runs/Game

4.1

9th

Runs/Game

3.5

2nd

AL West

3rd

OBP

300

15th

H/9

7.8

2nd

Last 10

7-3

SLG

378

10th

BB/9

2.9

6th

Last 30

18-12

Steals

41

11th

SO/9

7.7

6th

After a split in the desert, the Tribe will take on the suddenly red hot Seattle Mariners. They just took two of three from Boston and swept the Royals in Kansas City last weekend. There is no surprise on how the Mariners are winning. It is because of one of the top pitching staffs in all of baseball. Collectively the staff has a 3.73 FIP and 1.187 WHIP. They have to win because of that staff, because the hitting, while not depth defying horrible as in years past, is still pretty dreadful. They don't walk much, hence the .300 on base percentage, and don't hit well either, .242 average. The slugging is better than expected at .378, but that is because they lead the league in triples with 20. Their defense is also top notch as they lead the league in fewest erros and fielding percentage at .987.

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

C

Mike Zunino

R

243

231

736

1B

Logan Morrison

L

79

225

714

2B

Robinson Cano

L

323

324

815

3B

Kyle Seager

L

313

267

824

SS

Brad Miller

L

253

208

616

LF

Dustin Ackley

L

253

222

619

CF

James Jones

L

194

280

660

RF

Endy Chavez

L

84

266

660

DH

Stefan Romero

R

156

200

571

C

John Buck

R

81

219

584

IF

Willie Bloomquist

R

103

276

651

1B

Jesus Montero

R

14

286

786

OF

Cole Gillespie

R

74

250

634

This lineup looks very familiar in the fact that it is loaded with left handed sticks. Off season pickup Cano is hitting very well, albeit with very little power (only 4 home runs). Seager generates most of the power in the lineup (12 homers) with Zunino the only other real threat to hit the long ball. First baseman Justin Smoak (643 OPS), right fielder Michael Saunders (741) and DH Corey Hart (647) are all on rehab assignments with Tacoma and could get activated over the weekend. Saunders is the most likely one to be activated.  Both are needed as you can see that there are five batters in the lineup that have an OPS below 675. The bench does boast four complimentary right handed bats, but only Montero looks to be any real offensive threat.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

WHIP

K/9

Felix Hernandez

R

2.24

120.1

0.947

9.6

Hishahsi Iwakuma

R

3.48

75.0

1.080

6.6

Roenis Elias

L

3.74

98.2

1.186

7.8

Chris Young

R

3.23

86.1

1.170

4.5

Fernando Rodney

R

2.08

30.1

1.253

10.4

Danny Farquhar

R

2.94

33.2

1.248

9.9

Charlie Furbush

L

3.75

24.0

1.208

9.0

Tom Wilhelmsen

R

2.63

41.0

1.195

8.1

Yoervis Medina

R

2.48

29.0

1.103

9.3

Joe Beimel

L

1.46

24.2

1.257

5.1

Dominic Leone

R

2.25

32.0

1.188

9.8

Brandon Maurer

R

7.08

34.1

1.689

5.5

The top four in the rotation have been superb. The only blemish was the fifth spot, which has been split between Maurer and Erasmo Ramirez. Ramirez was just optioned over the weekend, opening a spot that will be likely filled by hot prospect Tijuan Walker. That will not happen until Monday however. The Tribe open with Chris Young, who has rejuvenated his career at 35. He pitched great against the Royals and Padres in his last two starts (0.69 ERA, 7 hits in 13 innings). In his 10 year career, he has faced the Indians just once, eight shutout innings and just two hits way back in 2005 while with the Rangers. Elias was signed as a free agent in 2011 out of Cuba. He made his MLB debut this year. He was rocked by the Rays and Yankees prior to his recent domination of the Padres and Royals.  And on Sunday, the Indians get to face off against perpetual Cy Young candidate King Felix. He hasn't given up more than two runs in a game since May 12. Surprisingly enough, Cleveland has hit him decently, 3.25 ERA in 14 starts, including five runs in his only 2013 start.

The bullpen  features seven solid arms, led by Rodney and Wilhelmsen. I suspect Maurer is the one optioned out if Walker is activated on Monday.

On the Shelf

  • 1B Justin Smoak [15 day DL], on AAA rehab
  • RF Michael Saunders [15 day DL] , on AAA rehab
  • 1B Corey Hart [15 day DL] , on AAA rehab
  • RP Blake Beavan [60 day DL], possible early July
  • SP James Paxton [60 day DL], possible early July
  • OF Franklin Gutierrez [restricted list], out for season

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2014

-

-

-

-

-

-

2013

5

2

714

41

22

758

Last 5*

23

18

561

201

165

589

Last 10*

47

38

553

430

362

578

All-Time

210

164

561

1914

1683

559

*Does not include 2014 stats

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