Series preview: Yankees at Indians (July 7-July 10)

We finally get to bid farewell to Jeter as well. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. - Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Indians continue their longest home stand so far this season with the Jack@#$%^, New York Yankees.

The Tribe finally meet their longtime nemesis for the first time in 2014, the New York Yankees. They are the thirteenth of fourteen AL squads on the schedule, with only the Astros the last AL team they have not yet played.

  • Monday's game is at 7:00 PM (Greene vs. Masterson) [ESPN]
  • Tuesday's game is at 7:05 PM (Tanaka vs. Bauer)
  • Wednesday's game is at 7:05 PM (McCarthy vs. Tomlin)
  • Thursday's game is at 7:05 PM (Phelps vs. House)

The last team on this home stand to visit the Indians will be the White Sox. Next Tuesday is the All Star game. The Friday following the midsummer classic, the Tribe, for the third straight time, will take a three city tour. This time it will be an all AL Central affair, with three in Detroit, three in Minnesota and four in Kansas City.

Division Watch: Dodgers at Tigers, Royals at Rays, White Sox at Red Sox, Twins at Mariners.

Team in a Box

New York Yankees

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2014 Record

44-43

Runs/Game

4.1

12th

Runs/Game

4.4

10th

AL East

3rd

OBP

315

11th

H/9

8.9

8th

Last 10

4-6

SLG

383

10th

BB/9

2.6

2nd

Last 30

15-15

Steals

62

3rd

SO/9

8.5

3rd

The Yankees have yet to get into a serious groove this season. Their peak was being six games over 500 on June 20. But since then, they have lost ten of fifteen. The schedule makers did not do them any favors on this trip before the All Star game either. They are playing back to back four games series with the Twins and Indians before finishing with three with the Orioles.

On offense, this team has struggled plating base runners as they are just twelfth in scoring runs.  The only categories they are top five are triples and stolen bases(!). Otherwise, they are bottom five in almost every offensive category. On the mound, they have been mostly average. Although they lead the league in saves (27) they are dead last in home runs, serving up 97 long balls on the season.

I will be curious to see what festivities the Indians have in store for Mr. Jeter's final Cleveland appearance. Does anyone have guesses as to the Cleveland parting gift to him? In his lengthy career, Jeter has loved facing the Tribe. In 132 games, he has a 338/399/460 slash. He has even been better at Jacobs/Progressive Field, hitting 359/425/485.

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

C

Brian McCann

L

300

224

655

1B

Mark Teixeira

S

275

243

801

2B

Brian Roberts

S

287

247

693

3B

Kelly Johnson

L

194

218

673

SS

Derek Jeter

R

338

273

651

LF

Brett Gardner

L

365

287

791

CF

Jacoby Ellsbury

L

365

284

750

RF

Ichiro Suzuki

L

195

294

678

DH

Carlos Beltran

S

255

216

671

IF

Brendan Ryan

R

46

279

607

C

Francisco Cervelli

R

36

294

745

3B

Zelous Wheeler

R

7

286

1000

The vaunted Yankee Bronx Bomber offense is a shell of itself. They currently feature just three hitters with an OPS of 700 or better. And interesting enough, there are only two hitters under the age of 30, Cervelli and Wheeler. So all these veterans must play every day. Johnson has not hit well, so Wheeler, a minor league free agent, is the fourth guy to start at third this season. Teixiera, McCann and Beltran can still hurt you with the long ball. The pickup of Ellsbury, paired with Gardner has given the offense much needed speed.

Gardner has been the only super-hot hand over the past three weeks, 299/413/567. Roberts is the only other one above 750 OPS. With the latest team deals, Alfonso Soriano was given his walking papers over the weekend to clear a spot on the 40 man roster, while early season bright spot, Yangervis Solarte was sent down to the minors.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

WHIP

K/9

Masahiro Tanaka

R

2.27

122.2

0.970

9.5

Hiroki Kuroda

R

4.20

109.1

1.262

6.3

David Phelps

R

4.01

83.0

1.349

7.7

Chase Whitley

R

5.14

49.0

1.490

6.1

Brandon McCarthy#

R

5.01

109.2

1.377

7.6

Shane Greene

R

0.00

0.1

9.000

27.0

David Robertson

R

2.93

30.2

1.076

16.4

Shawn Kelley

R

4.26

25.1

1.382

11.0

Adam Warren

R

2.70

46.2

1.286

8.5

Dellin Betances

R

1.61

50.1

0.755

13.9

Matt Thornton

L

2.33

19.1

1.241

7.4

David Huff%

L

4.33

35.1

1.472

6.1

Jim Miller

R

9.00

1.0

2.000

0.0

Bruce Billings

R

9.00

4.0

1.250

15.8

# All stats are from when with Diamondbacks

% Includes stats with San Francisco Giants

While the rest of the team has been pretty healthy, especially compared to 2013, the rotation has not been so lucky. Ivan Nova has not pitched this year while Michael Pineda went down in late April. And old friend CC Sabathia is also most likely done for the year with a balky knee. Over the weekend, Brian Cashman  dealt Vidal Nuno, who had been struggling (5.42 ERA/5.15 FIP) to the Diamondbacks for McCarthy. As Nuno was supposed to be the Monday starter, Greene was called up for the emergency start. This will necessitate another move on Monday. My best guess is that Whitley is sent down. Greene made his MLB debut on April 24, throwing that third of an inning. He is a former fifteenth round pick in 2009 who has a six year career WHIP of 1.478.

Tanaka has been as advertised. He is in the running for the AL Cy Young. That WHIP is ridiculous over that many innings thrown. He did struggle against the Twins last time out though, his first start with four earned runs. McCarthy's numbers are not much better than Nuno's were. But he did pitch well in his last two starts versus the Padres and Pirates. This will be his tenth start against Cleveland. Phelps had a rough June, but did throw well against the Twins last week, three hits over seven innings with the only run a solo shot.

The main bullpen arms, Robertson, Warren and All Star Betances have been very good. But if Francona has abused the Tribe bullpen arms, Girardi has been doubly so. Betances is over 50 innings already, with Warren right behind him, and neither has made any spot starts. Our other old friend Huff has pitched better since landing in New York (1.76 ERA/3.83 FIP) while Billings and Miller are fungible arms.

On the Shelf

  • SP Ivan Nova [60 day DL], out for season
  • SP Michael Pineda [60 day DL], possible August return
  • SP CC Sabathia [60 day DL], no timetable for return
  • 3B Alex Rodriguez [restricted list], out for season

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2014

-

-

-

-

-

-

2013

1

6

143

19

49

150

Last 5*

10

26

278

139

215

310

Last 10*

22

47

319

291

390

369

All-Time

871

1106

441

8380

9572

439

*Does not include 2014 stats

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