|CLEVELAND ( CLEVINGER )|
HOUSTON ( FIERS )
|917||CLEVELAND||+115||Ov 9,-110||+110||Ov 9,-105|
|918||HOUSTON||-125||Un 9,-110||-120||Un 9,-115|
|vs Right-handed Starters||14-10||-0.1||10-13||5.0||0.251||0.327||0.433||0.760||4.3||0.249||0.309||0.421||0.730|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-3||4-3||4.3||0.226||0.302||0.439||0.741||4.4||0.245||0.306||0.468||0.775|
|vs Right-handed Starters||23-8||+13.4||15-14||5.4||0.278||0.338||0.453||0.791||3.3||0.220||0.284||0.375||0.659|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+2.8||3-3||6.6||0.258||0.318||0.413||0.730||4.0||0.234||0.296||0.410||0.706|
|5/6/2017||TOMLIN(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||VARGAS(L)||3-1||W||100||8.5 ov||U||9||9||1||4||4||0|
|5/7/2017||CLEVINGER(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||DUFFY(L)||1-0||W||-115||8.5 ov||U||7||7||0||1||7||0|
|5/8/2017||BAUER(R)||@ TORONTO||STROMAN(R)||2-4||L||105||8.5 un||U||8||6||0||6||4||1|
|5/9/2017||CARRASCO(R)||@ TORONTO||BOLSINGER(R)||6-0||W||-170||8 un||U||7||7||0||4||2||0|
|5/10/2017||SALAZAR(R)||@ TORONTO||LIRIANO(L)||7-8||L||-150||7.5 ev||O||11||6||1||11||8||0|
|5/15/2017||CARRASCO(R)||TAMPA BAY||ARCHER(R)||8-7||W||-145||7.5 un||O||9||9||0||11||11||1|
|5/16/2017||SALAZAR(R)||TAMPA BAY||ODORIZZI(R)||4-6||L||-160||9 ov||O||8||4||0||10||6||0|
|5/17/2017||TOMLIN(R)||TAMPA BAY||COBB(R)||4-7||L||-165||9.5 ov||O||7||6||0||12||5||0|
|5/19/2017||BAUER(R)||@ HOUSTON||MORTON(R)||5-3||W||120||8.5 un||U||9||8||0||5||4||1|
|5/20/2017||CLEVINGER(R)||@ HOUSTON||FIERS(R)|| |
|5/21/2017||SALAZAR(R)||@ HOUSTON||MUSGROVE(R)|| |
|5/22/2017||TOMLIN(R)||@ CINCINNATI||FELDMAN(R)|| |
|5/23/2017||CARRASCO(R)||@ CINCINNATI||GARRETT(L)|| |
|5/26/2017||SALAZAR(R)||KANSAS CITY||HAMMEL(R)|| |
|5/27/2017|| ||KANSAS CITY|| || |
|5/6/2017||MCCULLERS JR.(R)||@ LA ANGELS||RAMIREZ(R)||1-2||L||-120||7.5 un||U||9||8||0||5||5||0|
|5/7/2017||FIERS(R)||@ LA ANGELS||SHOEMAKER(R)||5-3||W||-110||8 un||P||6||3||1||6||6||0|
|5/11/2017||KEUCHEL(L)||@ NY YANKEES||PINEDA(R)||3-2||W||115||7.5 un||U||9||8||2||7||9||0|
|5/12/2017||MCCULLERS JR.(R)||@ NY YANKEES||MONTGOMERY(L)||5-1||W||-115||8 ov||U||11||8||1||7||7||1|
|5/14/2017||FIERS(R)||@ NY YANKEES||SEVERINO(R)||6-11||L||130||8.5 ov||O||9||8||3||11||5||1|
|5/14/2017||MORTON(R)||@ NY YANKEES||TANAKA(R)||10-7||W||110||8.5 ev||O||10||4||1||10||9||1|
|5/15/2017||MUSGROVE(R)||@ MIAMI||STRAILY(R)||7-2||W||-115||9 un||P||8||6||0||12||9||1|
|5/16/2017||KEUCHEL(L)||@ MIAMI||KOEHLER(R)||12-2||W||-175||7.5 un||O||14||8||3||4||5||1|
|5/17/2017||MCCULLERS JR.(R)||@ MIAMI||URENA(R)||3-0||W||-150||8 un||U||8||10||0||3||9||1|
|5/23/2017||MCCULLERS JR.(R)||DETROIT||ZIMMERMANN(R)|| |
|5/27/2017|| ||BALTIMORE|| || |
|CLEVELAND: 2016: 94-67, first place, AL champions, lost to Chicago Cubs in World Series.
Manager: Terry Francona (fifth season).
He's Here: 1B-DH Edwin Encarnacion, OF Austin Jackson, LHP Boone Logan, RHP Carlos Frias, OF Wily Mo Pena, CF Bradley Zimmer, SS Eric Stamets.
He's Outta Here: 1B-DH Mike Napoli, OF Coco Crisp, OF Rajai Davis, C Chris Gimenez, 1B Jesus Aguilar, OF Marlon Byrd, RHP Jeff Manship.
Projected lineup: SS Francisco Lindor (.301, 15 HRs, 78 RBIs, Gold Glove, league-leading 15 sac flies in first full MLB season), 2B Jason Kipnis (.275, 23, 82, career-high 156 games), LF Michael Brantley (.231, 0, 7 in 11 games following shoulder surgery; .310, 15, 84, MLB-best 45 doubles, 15 SBs in 2015), DH Edwin Encarnacion (.263, 42, AL-high 142 RBIs for Toronto), 1B Carlos Santana (.259, 34, 87, 99 BBs, 99 Ks), 3B Jose Ramirez (.312, 11, 76, played 4 positions) or Giovanny Urshela (.225, 6, 21 in 81 games for Cleveland), RF Brandon Guyer (.333, 2, 14 in 38 games with Indians; .241, 7, 18 in 63 games with Rays; led majors with 31 HBP) or Lonnie Chisenhall (.286, 8, 57), C Yan Gomes (.167, 9, 34 in 74 games due to shoulder injury), CF Tyler Naquin (.296, 14, 43) or Austin Jackson (.254, 0, 18 in 54 games with White Sox before left knee surgery).
Rotation: RH Corey Kluber (18-9, 3.14 ERA, 227 Ks, third in Cy Young voting), RH Carlos Carrasco (11-8, 3.32, 25 starts due to injuries), RH Danny Salazar (11-6, 3.87, 25 starts, limited in postseason by injury), RH Trevor Bauer (12-8, 4.26, 28 starts, began season in bullpen), RH Josh Tomlin (13-9, 4.40, 5.90 strikeout-to-walk ratio).
Key relievers: LH Andrew Miller (10-1, 1.45, 12 saves, 70 appearances with Yankees and Indians), RH Cody Allen (3-5, 2.51, 32/35 saves), RH Bryan Shaw (2-5, 3.24 in league-high 75 games; 70 games in each of past four seasons), RH Dan Otero (5-1, 1.53, 70 2/3 innings), LH Boone Logan (2-5, 3.69, 66 games with Rockies).
Hot Spot: Brantley's Right Shoulder. An All-Star in 2014, Brantley missed out on the fun last season as the Indians won the pennant without him. His return is vital for Cleveland as it tries to make another deep run because he can help provide lineup protection for Encarnacion and stabilize an outfield that was under constant change in 2016. Brantley may not hit for the same extra-base power he had in the past, but he could still offer a high average and excellent defense.
Outlook: With perhaps the league's deepest pitching staff, the Indians are an AL favorite and appear poised to return to the World Series. Last year, they exceeded expectations and built a 3-1 Series lead against the Cubs before losing three straight ' including a dramatic Game 7 at home. One elusive win from the franchise's first championship since 1948. This season, the Indians will try to finish the job. There are injury concerns with Brantley and Kipnis, who won't be ready for the start of the season because of shoulder inflammation. Ramirez could slide over to help fill in at second base. But the addition of Encarnacion finally gives Cleveland the intimidating, middle-of-the-order slugger the club has coveted since the glory days of Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez and Albert Belle. Cleveland is a baseball town again as Indians fans spent on tickets this winter and are rallying around the club the way they did back in the mid-1990s. Lindor is on the cusp of superstardom, and one of the Indians' top priorities should be signing him to a long-term deal while he's still affordable.
|HOUSTON: 2016: 84-78, third place
Manager: A.J. Hinch (third season)
Who's new? RF Josh Reddick, CF Carlos Beltran, LF Nori Aoki, C Brian McCann, RHP Charlie Morton
Who's gone? C Jason Castro, INF Luis Valbuena, OF Colby Rasmus, RHP Doug Fister
Projected lineup: CF George Springer (.261, 29 HR, 82 RBI), 2B Jose Altuve (.338, 24, 96, 30 SB), SS Carlos Correa (.274, 20, 96, 13 SB), DH Carlos Beltran (.295, 29, 93 with Yankees and Rangers), C Brian McCann (.242, 20, 58 with Yankees) or Evan Gattis (.251, 32, 72), 3B Alex Bregman (.264, 8, 34 in 49 games), RF Josh Reddick (.281, 10, 37 with A's and Dodgers), 1B Yulieski Gurriel (.262, 3, 15), LF Nori Aoki (.283, 4, 28 with Mariners)
Rotation: LH Dallas Keuchel (9-12, 4.55 ERA), RH Collin McHugh (13-10, 4.34), RH Mike Fiers (11-8, 4.48), RH Lance McCullers (6-5, 3.22), RH Charlie Morton (1-1, 4.15 in four games with Phillies)
Key relievers: RH Ken Giles (2-5, 4.11, 15/20 SV), RH Luke Gregerson (4-3, 3.28, 15/21 SV), RH Will Harris (1-2, 2.25, 12/15 SV), RH Chris Devenski (4-4, 2.16), LH Tony Sipp (1-2, 4.95), RH Michael Feliz (8-1, 4.43)
Hot spots: Fifth starter and catcher. Hamstring issues limited 33-year-old Morton to four starts with the Phillies last season. That didn't stop the Astros from signing him to a two-year contract worth at least $14 million. Now, veteran Fiers and 24-year-old Joe Musgrove are on the bubble for the fifth starter's job. McCann and Gattis give the Astros a pair of veteran catchers with slugging potential. McCann has fewer weaknesses behind the plate; Gattis is the better all-around hitter. With Beltran aboard as the primary designated hitter, McCann and Gattis won't both be in the lineup on most nights.
Outlook: After slipping to third place in the AL West last year, the Astros' front office decided to double down on dingers rather than upgrade a rotation that lacks a true ace. The result: A lineup with eight potential 20-home run hitters, including possible MVP candidates in Altuve and Correa. Everyone returns from an impressive young bullpen with high strikeout potential. If the Astros are in contention by the trade deadline, the front office should have the financial flexibility to add a front-line starter. Then again, if Dallas Keuchel looks like the pitcher who won a Cy Young Award in 2015, Houston might not have a problem.
|Indians face Astros and seek consistency from starting pitching|
HOUSTON -- With right-handers Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar back in the fold and armed to complement right-hander Corey Kluber, a former Cy Young Award winner, starting pitching was considered the least of the Cleveland Indians' concerns.
However, entering their weekend series with the Astros (29-13) at Minute Maid Park, the Indians (21-19) ranked last in the American League in starter's ERA at 5.15. Of course, ERA isn't the best indicator of overall effectiveness, and Cleveland starters did rank third in the AL in FIP (4.01) and first in strikeout rate (26.1 percent), so all isn't horrible.
It wasn't Friday night when Trevor Bauer improved to 7-0 against the Astros in a 5-3 win and the Indians look to get another decent starting pitching showing Saturday night.
Despite Bauer's effectiveness in the series opener, Cleveland's starters haven't pitched with the level of consistency befitting their talent. That was a topic of discussion between Indians manager Terry Francona and his starting staff prior to the series opener.
"We visited with the starting pitchers and talked as a team a little bit," Francona said. "Sometimes I think reminders are OK. Sometimes the manager, you wait too long and then you vent and it doesn't help anybody but you. No one can understand anyway because you're yelling. So, I just wanted to remind guys of who we are.
"I know we've had a lot of inconsistencies and there's no special button you can push to stop that. But in the meantime, we've got to keep fighting for all the things that we believe in and that's the best way to get through it anyway."
Right-hander Mike Clevinger (1-1, 2.70 ERA) will start on Saturday for the Indians. It will mark just the third start of the season for Clevinger with Cleveland, which is using him while Kluber recovers from a lower back strain.
He made six starts with Triple-A Columbus before making his season debut on May 7 at Kansas City. Clevinger made one start against the Astros last season, allowing one run on two hits over 1 2/3 innings in a 6-2 home loss on Sept. 5.
Right-hander Mike Fiers (1-1, 5.75 ERA) will get the start for the Astros. Fiers is 2-0 with a 2.76 ERA over three career starts against Cleveland. He did not factor in the decision on April 27 at Progressive Field when he allowed two earned runs on five hits and three walks with three strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings in a 4-3 setback.
Before suffering just their fourth loss in 18 games, the Astros were rolling behind the top-scoring offense in the AL and the two-headed punch at the front of their rotation: left-hander Dallas Keuchel and right-hander Lance McCullers.
Right-hander Charlie Morton (5-3, 4.26 ERA) had won four consecutive starts before surrendering three homers in the opener, lending credence to the notion that Houston should trade for another starter to slot with Keuchel and McCullers.
With his increased velocity reaching the upper-90s, Morton has been a revelation. But his injury history and vulnerabilities can't be disregarded.
"I think like any pitcher, execution is paramount," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said of Morton. "As hitters see him more and more, it becomes even more important for him to execute pitches. Like any pitcher, the third time through the order is troublesome."
|Last Updated: 9/23/2017 8:02:41 AM EST|