Tribe Looking to Improve Effort Against Pesky Twins
Bob Toth | On 30, Jul 2018
The Indians will wrap up their six-game road trip this week with a three-day stay at Minnesota’s Target Field against the hometown Twins.
The Indians (57-47) have had a tough time since the All-Star break, going 5-4. Four of those wins have come in their six road contests in the second half. Cleveland will wrap up another month with a winning record, bringing in a 13-10 mark in the month of July into the series with two games left to play. They will have to overcome a Minnesota team that has taken six of the first nine meetings between the clubs this season, the only club in the American League Central to give the Tribe fits. The Indians enter the day with a nine game lead in the division.
Minnesota (48-56) has lingered around in the AL Central race, but has done little to push for a spot in the Wild Card race. The team had already unloaded a couple of pieces from the roster over the weekend and could do even more over the next two days as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches (the team has since dealt reliever Zach Duke to the Mariners and starter Lance Lynn to the Yankees since this story posted – BT). They have been a streaky team throughout the month and come into the series losers of three straight to Boston after winning their previous four games.
PITCHING PROBABLES and NOTES
Bieber will make his third start of the season against the Twins after his Major League debut on May 31 (four runs on eight hits in five and two-thirds innings) and his first Major League win in his next outing on June 17 (one run on ten hits in five and two-thirds innings). His first start of the second half left a little something to be desired as he was tagged for seven runs on seven hits in just an inning and two-thirds against Pittsburgh while taking the second loss of his big league career.
Santana got back to work last week in his regular season debut after missing the first half of the season with a right ring finger issue that he suffered in the offseason. The 35-year-old lasted five innings against the Toronto Blue Jays, allowing three runs on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts. The two-time All-Star dominated the Indians a year ago, posting a 0.38 ERA in four starts, earning a pair of wins in the process. He allowed just one run over 24 innings on the year.
Bauer got back into the win column his last time out after taking three straight no-decisions. He defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates last Wednesday to avoid the sweep, firing off seven shutout innings of two-hit baseball while striking out ten batters for the ninth time this season. The 27-year-old allowed seven runs (just three earned) in his only start against the Twins this season in a loss and owns a 4-7 career record with a 4.84 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in 17 total games.
Gibson, the 6’6” right-hander, has found himself on the mound this season and has been a strong arm for the club in July, going 3-1 in five starts with a 3.24 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. His last time out, he allowed just one earned run to the Boston Red Sox in eight innings of work to earn his fifth win of the season. In his career in 15 starts against Cleveland, he owns a 3-6 record with a 5.21 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP. He was better than that in his first start against them this season, giving up just two runs on two hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in five and two-thirds innings in a no-decision.
Wednesday, August 1, 1:10 PM ET – RHP Carlos Carrasco (12-5, 3.89) vs. TBD
Carrasco took a tough no-decision his last time out, allowing just one earned run in six and one-third innings against Detroit. It continued a strong July for Carrasco, who is 4-0 in five games with a 2.59 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. The 31-year-old has faced the Twins 20 times in his career, posting a 5-8 mark against them with a 4.29 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. He has had little luck against them this season, losing two of his three starts with a 7.50 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP, allowing ten runs in 12 innings of work (all ten have come over his last five innings against them).
The original starter for the finale, Lance Lynn, has been traded to the New York Yankees. A new probable pitcher had not been announced at the time of this story’s revision.
TV: Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio (7/30, 7/31); Fox Sports North (7/30, 7/31), Facebook Watch (8/1)
Radio (all): Cleveland Indians Radio Network (CLE); WCCO 830, Treasure Island Baseball Network (MIN)
TRANSACTIONS and INJURY NOTES
Greg Allen (OF) – recalled from Triple-A Columbus (7/30)
Cody Anderson (P) – 60-day disabled list (2/25) – recovery from April 2017 UCL surgery
Lonnie Chisenhall (OF) – 60-day disabled list (7/3) – strained left calf
Nick Goody (RP) – 60-day disabled list (5/3) – right elbow inflammation
Evan Marshall (RP) – 10-day disabled list (6/19) – right elbow inflammation
Andrew Miller (RP) – 10-day disabled list (5/26) – right knee inflammation; on rehab assignment
Tyler Naquin (OF) – 10-day disabled list (7/26) – right hip discomfort
Adam Plutko (P) – optioned to Triple-A Columbus (7/30)
Danny Salazar (P) – out for season (3/26) – recovery from right shoulder exploratory surgery
Josh Tomlin (P) – 10-day disabled list (7/10) – right hamstring strain
Bradley Zimmer (OF) – out for season (7/21) – right shoulder labrum surgery
Jorge Alcala (P) – acquired from Houston Astros (7/27)
Tyler Austin (OF) – acquired from New York Yankees (7/30)
Jason Castro (C) – 60-day disabled list (5/5) – recovery from May 2018 right knee surgery
Gilberto Celestino (OF) – acquired from Houston Astros (7/27)
Ryan Costello (1B/3B) – acquired from Seattle Mariners (7/30)
Chase De Jong (P) – acquired from Seattle Mariners (7/30)
Ernie De La Trinidad (OF) – acquired from Arizona Diamondbacks (7/27)
Zach Duke (RP) – traded to Seattle Mariners (7/30)
Jhoan Duran (RP) – acquired from Arizona Diamondbacks (7/27)
Eduardo Escobar (SS) – traded to Arizona Diamondbacks (7/27)
Gabriel Maciel (OF) – acquired from Arizona Diamondbacks (7/27)
Gabriel Moya (P) – recalled from Triple-A Rochester (7/28)
Michael Pineda (SP) – 60-day disabled list (2/17) – recovery from July 2017 Tommy John surgery
Ryan Pressly (RP) – traded to Houston Astros (7/27)
Addison Reed (RP) – activated from 10-day disabled list (7/30)
Luis Rijo (P) – acquired from New York Yankees (7/30)
Miguel Sano (3B) – recalled from Triple-A Rochester (7/28)
Aaron Slegers (RP) – 10-day disabled list (7/11) – right shoulder inflammation
TWINS NEWS AND NOTES
If there is a name in the Twins lineup to watch out for, it is that of Eddie Rosario. This season alone, he has hit .436 with two doubles, six homers, and eleven RBI against Tribe pitching. He has also drawn five walks along the way in those nine games. On the year, he is the Twins’ offensive leader in most categories, posting a .305/.348/.513 slash with 26 doubles, two triples, 19 homers, and 64 RBI.
Ryan LaMarre has hit .417 against Cleveland with ten hits, including three doubles and four RBI.
Jorge Polanco has hit in six straight starts for the Twins, hitting .348 in that stretch (8-for-23) with a triple and two RBI. In a season shortened by suspension for performance enhancers, he has appeared in 23 games, hitting .282 since his return.
Catcher Mitch Garver has been on a tear over the last week, hitting .409 with three doubles, a homer, and a team-high six RBI in his six games.
TRIBE BY THE NUMBERS
Since rejoining the Indians, Melky Cabrera has given the lineup some production. He has hit .407 (11-for-27) in his eight games back with the club, hitting a pair of doubles and his first homer of the season over the weekend against the Tigers.
Jose Ramirez is in a bizarre hitting slump at the plate. In his last seven games, he is hitless in 16 at bats, but in that span, he has drawn eleven walks and reached base once on a hit by pitch. He has added a sacrifice fly, two RBI, three stolen bases, and five runs scored during the “slump”. While he has a .000 average at the plate, he has provided the team with a .414 on-base percentage.
Yonder Alonso has given the lineup some extra thump over the last week. During his current five-game hitting streak, he has gone 8-for-20 (.400) with three homers and seven runs batted in. It continues a hot stretch at the plate for Alonso as over the last 30 days, he has slashed .325/.386/.597 with three doubles, six homers, and 20 RBI in 22 games.
A LENGTHY HOMESTAND
The Indians will get a head start on their Thursday off with the getaway day start time on Wednesday afternoon. Once returning to Cleveland, they will prepare for a seven-game homestand against the Los Angeles Angels (3) and the Twins (4).
Prior to their trip to Cleveland, the Twins will take Thursday off before hosting the Kansas City Royals for three games over the weekend.
Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images