Series Preview: Indians at Twins 9/7-10

A series win against the Tigers has Indians fans and players (some of them literally) asking would things have been different if the Indians had just signed someone like Josh Willingham instead of the 15 useless veterans they did sign before the season started. Since the Twins paid him $7 million that the Indians didn’t have for an All-Star outfielder, there is no point in discussing the 33 home runs and 2.9 WAR he could have brought to the Indians (Johnny Damon gained 0.1 WAR during his time with the Tribe at a cost of $1.25 million) so stop bringing it up (this means you Chris).

September 7th, 8:10 PM EDT: Jeanmar Gomez, RHP, 5-7, 5.08 ERA vs Liam Hendriks, RHP, 0-7, 6.11 ERA

Last week the Indians announced that Roberto Hernandez would be making his start on schedule, only to have him removed at the last second. This week they have already said that he won’t start and that Gomez will take his place. This probably means that they will completely change the rotation to fit Hernandez back in, making all these match-ups irrelevant. If they do this, just shuffle them around in your head the way they are supposed to be.

Hendriks is an Australian. Not only will this be the first time he has faced the Indians, but it may also be the first time the Indians have faced a pitcher from Down Under. This is what baseball needs more of. When I hear about baseball expanding internationally, this is what I want to see, players who speak English, but with a funny accent. 

September 8th, 7:10 PM EDT: Zach McAllister, RHP, 5-6, 4.26 ERA vs Cole De Vries, RHP, 4-5, 4.41 ERA

McAllister better have a short memory, because a repeat performance of his last outing could quickly see him thrown into the bullpen with the rest of the AAA starters. This last month is extremely important for Zach as it will decide whether or not the writers and fans will consider him an automatic part of the 2013 rotation or someone who has to earn a job in Spring Training. Tribe management should have already made up their mind and have him penciled in as the number four starter regardless of what he does this month.

Another rookie starter for the Twins this year, De Vries has somehow managed to avoid the Tribe to this point in his short career (16 games). Well look out kid, you may have beaten Texas, Chicago and Boston, but those offenses are nothing compared to the power house that is Cleveland. The Indians offense is so great they can afford to bat superstar Russ Canzler sixth in the lineup. They are just that good. 

September 9th, 2:10 PM EDT: Justin Masterson, RHP, 11-12, 4.84 ERA vs Esmerling Vasquez, RHP, RHP, 0-1, 7.95 ERA

Masterson moved one step closer to my personal goal for him to reach .500 in his last start when he beat the Tigers. In fact, Masterson has a decision in each of his last 9 games (5-4) and 18 of his last 19 games (10-9) overall.

Vazquez just made his first Major League start in his first game for the Twins, but has been a relief pitcher for the Diamondbacks for the last couple of years, pitching as many as 53 innings in two separate seasons. In his lone start he faced Kansas City and allowed five runs in 5.2 innings.

September 10th, 8:10 PM EDT: Corey Kluber, RHP, 1-3, 4.79 ERA vs Samuel Deduno, RHP, 5-4, 3.66 ERA

The Indians haven’t officially announced who is going to be pitching this game, but it falls on Kluber’s spot in the rotation. With the off day it would be possible to move Ubaldo Jimenez up a day in the rotation (of all the terrible ideas), but more likely if this start does not go to Kluber it could belong to Roberto Hernandez who should be coming back from his ankle injury soon. It could also go to Chris Seddon or David Huff who have both been given the long man spot in the rotation. Of course Kluber just got his first win in his last start, one of his best on the year, so it seems like the better move would be to let him pitch this game, then expand to a six man rotation after this start if that is their intention.

I’ve seen just about enough of Mr. Deduno this season. The ancient rookie dominated the Tribe in his first start against Cleveland, allowing just a single run in seven innings. His last time out the Indians touched him for four runs in four innings, but was unable to score against the Twins bullpen and lost 7-5. The good news for the Tribe is he is almost certainly a flash in the pan pitcher whose career will be over after this year. 

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since it's inception in 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona.

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