|CLEVELAND ( MYERS )|
TORONTO ( BUEHRLE )
|969||CLEVELAND||+150||Ov 9,-110||+160||Ov 9,-105|
|970||TORONTO||-160||Un 9,-110||-170||Un 9,-115|
|Past 7 Games||2-0||+3.2||0-2||3.5||0.227||0.310||1.5||0.138||0.233|
|vs Right-handed Starters||0-2||-3.4||0-2||1.5||0.138||0.233||3.5||0.227||0.310|
|Past 7 Games||0-2||-3.4||0-2||1.5||0.138||0.233||3.5||0.227||0.310|
|4/2/2013||MASTERSON(R)||@ TORONTO||DICKEY(R)||4-1||W||165||8.5 ov||U||7||7||1||4||6||0|
|4/3/2013||JIMENEZ(R)||@ TORONTO||MORROW(R)||3-2||W||160||9 un||U||10||10||0||5||5||1|
|4/4/2013||MYERS(R)||@ TORONTO||BUEHRLE(L)|| |
|4/5/2013|| ||@ TAMPA BAY|| || |
|4/6/2013|| ||@ TAMPA BAY|| || |
|4/7/2013|| ||@ TAMPA BAY|| || |
|4/8/2013|| ||NY YANKEES|| || |
|4/9/2013|| ||NY YANKEES|| || |
|4/10/2013|| ||NY YANKEES|| || |
|4/11/2013|| ||NY YANKEES|| || |
|4/5/2013|| ||BOSTON|| || |
|4/6/2013|| ||BOSTON|| || |
|4/7/2013|| ||BOSTON|| || |
|4/9/2013|| ||@ DETROIT|| || |
|4/10/2013|| ||@ DETROIT|| || |
|4/11/2013|| ||@ DETROIT|| || |
|CLEVELAND: HITTING: SS ASDRUBAL CABRERA's reinvented swing, modeled after Ben Zobrist, likely led to his power surge. OF GRADY SIZEMORE is back on a one-year deal, so he has plenty of financial incentive to stay healthy. But he will begin the season on the DL after back surgery. OF SHELLEY DUNCAN is expected to get more playing time in replacing Sizemore, but speedy OF EZEQUIEL CARRERA is also waiting for his shot. Injuries and off-the-field issues spoiled OF SHIN SOO-CHOO's 2011, but there's a good chance he bounces back . . . OF MICHAEL BRANTLEY does everything well enough to get a regular gig in center. C CARLOS SANTANA is developing into a middle-of-the-order run producer. DH TRAVIS HAFNER can't be trusted to stay healthy or to produce power numbers. After another down year, 1B MATT LaPORTA will have to sit and watch CASEY KOTCHMAN start at first more often than not. 3B LONNIE CHISENHALL will get his chance to play every day, but dwindling production the past two years is a concern. 2B JASON KIPNIS will get first crack at second base. He's got nice pop for a middle infielder. |
STARTING PITCHING: JUSTIN MASTERSON's strikeout rate continues to decline, and he still gets hit hard by lefties. Still, his strong groundball rate guarantees he's a solid middle-of-the-rotation arm at worst. His velocity dropped last year, and there's no telling if UBALDO JIMENEZ will ever regain his early 2010 form. He's the definition of high-risk, high-reward. DEREK LOWE was a decent middle-of-the-rotation arm in the National League, but now he must adjust to facing superior A.L. lineups . . . Healthy again, JOSH TOMLIN will remain in the rotation. He's hittable, throwing strikes and relying on his defense. Former Twins hurler KEVIN SLOWEY rounds out the staff. Although he posted a 6.67 ERA last year, Slowey has exhibited pinpoint control in his career with just 84 walks in 532.2 innings, tallying a .470 K-to-BB ratio. JEANMAR GOMEZ is a decent minor league arm, but his ceiling is low (long term and in the immediate future). CARLOS CARRASCO may not pitch in the bigs this year after Tommy John surgery.
RELIEF PITCHING: CHRIS PEREZ is entrenched as the closer, but he was a bit of a disappointment last season. His velocity dropped slightly, and his strikeout rate fell off a cliff. If Perez gets hurt, VINNIE PESTANO is next in line for saves. He may be undersized, but his stuff is overpowering. TONY SIPP proved he can get out righties too, but his value is as a lefty-on-lefty guy. Ditto for sidearmer JOE SMITH, who is deadly on righties. But it would be a surprise if he shut down lefties for a second straight year. RAFAEL PEREZ has been hampered by shoulder soreness in Spring Training, but the lefty should once again be serviceable in the late innings this year.
|TORONTO: HITTING: SS YUNEL ESCOBAR brings a little pop and could score runs in bunches atop a solid lineup. OF JOSE BAUTISTA has simply been the best hitter in baseball the past two seasons. 1B ADAM LIND will have plenty of RBI chances, but his average stinks and he faded late last year. 3B BRETT LAWRIE will be a 30-30 candidate in his prime and he's a solid slugger already. Expect big power numbers but a painful average in C J.P. ARENCIBIA's sophomore season. OF COLBY RASMUS should have his head right this year and could see an uptick in power numbers. 2B KELLY JOHNSON improved his dreadful average after being traded to Toronto. He has great potential as a 20-20 candidate. DH EDWIN ENCARNACION raked at home last season and has the position flexibility to stay in the lineup every day. OF ERIC THAMES will start in left field. Thames has 15-15 potential. OF RAJAI DAVIS' speed makes him worthy of staying in the fourth outfielder role. |
STARTING PITCHING: He's not really an ace, but RICKY ROMERO is a solid innings-eater at the front of the Jays' staff. He's a low-risk, low-reward starting pitcher. BRANDON MORROW's talent is intriguing. His mid-90s heat and deceptive slider lead to huge strikeout tallies, but also leads to a lot of gopher balls. Questionable conditioning was an issue for BRETT CECIL last year, as he gave up a whopping 37 HR between the majors and Triple-A. He seemed to straighten things out over the second half of last season. HENDERSON ALVAREZ's performance as a 21-year-old gives him an inside track for a rotation spot. He has intriguing upside. DUSTIN McGOWAN returned in September from a 38-month layoff to put himself in the mix for the rotation. His mid-90s gas is still there, giving him 175-K potential. KYLE DRABEK has great potential, but he was a disaster in 2011. He could not command his promising arsenal of pitches, and broke down mentally at times.
RELIEF PITCHING: SERGIO SANTOS has unhittable stuff, but will have to battle newcomer FRANCISCO CORDERO as Toronto's closer. Cordero's strikeout rate dropped down to a putrid 5.4 K/9 last year, but he showed great command with a stellar 1.02 WHIP. CASEY JANSSEN was Toronto's most improved pitcher in 2011. He has a sinking fastball, a pretty good K rate and performed quite well against the AL East last season. Prospect JOEL CARRENO, a starter in the minors, is a closer-in-waiting. He was impressive out of the pen after a late-August call-up, and averaged better than a strikeout per inning, albeit with shaky control, in the minors.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (CLEVELAND-TORONTO) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Indians-Blue Jays Preview* ===========================
By DAN PIERINGER STATS Writer
Cleveland (1-0) at Toronto (0-1), 7:07 p.m. EDT
At this time last year, Mark Buehrle was preparing for his first start with a new team hanging its playoff hopes on his shoulders. Now he's doing it all over again.
After a tumultuous offseason, Buehrle will make his Toronto Blue Jays debut Thursday night in the finale of a season-opening three-game series against the visiting Cleveland Indians.
After spending his first 12 major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox, Buehrle signed a four-year deal with Miami before the 2012 campaign as the Marlins made several high-profile acquisitions to fill the seats in their new stadium and make a run at a return to the playoffs.
The Marlins finished in last place, however, and cleaned house over the winter, sending Buehrle, All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes, and former All-Star pitcher Josh Johnson to the Blue Jays. Now Toronto (0-2) is hoping for better results as it tries to live up to the expectations created by the offseason activity.
Likely excited to put the Miami mess behind him, Buehrle isn't getting caught up in the hype surrounding Toronto's new look.
"I think I've come to realize that making expectations or putting stuff where we're going to get to isn't a good thing because every year I feel like we have a good team," Buehrle told the Blue Jays' official website. "The last couple of years we haven't gotten to where we want to get to. Coming into a new team, on paper we look good."
That may be the case, but the Blue Jays are still looking for their first win and are in danger of dropping their first three for the first time since 2004. They have managed only three runs and nine hits after falling 3-2 in 11 innings on Wednesday night.
"This team's built to score runs," manager John Gibbons said. "We haven't done that yet. But we're going to hit."
Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista isn't panicking either, denying that the team has been affected by heightened expectations.
"No," he said. "That's a big N-O. Both capital letters."
Cleveland is in position for its first 3-0 start since it won its first six in 1998, thanks to Mark Reynolds' tiebreaking home run in the 11th on Wednesday.
"I'm just happy I got my first hit," said Reynolds, who was 0 for 7 with three strikeouts before the game-winner. "I didn't care if it was a go-ahead homer or not."
Reynolds is 1 for 6 with three strikeouts in his career against Buehrle.
Buehrle has made 47 career starts against the Indians. The left-hander was 2-2 with a 6.12 ERA in four starts against them in 2011, his last season with the White Sox.
Like Buehrle, Brett Myers will be making his debut for his new club. The right-hander went 3-8 with 19 saves and a 4.24 ERA in 70 relief appearances with Houston and the White Sox last season before signing with Cleveland in January.
Myers has a 3.97 ERA in six career games - one start - against Toronto.
|Last Updated: 10/1/2014 5:23:34 AM EST|