|KANSAS CITY ( CHEN )|
CLEVELAND ( KLUBER )
|921||KANSAS CITY||+135||Ov 9,-110||+140||Ov 8.5,-105|
|922||CLEVELAND||-145||Un 9,-110||-150||Un 8.5,-115|
|vs Right-handed Starters||34-30||+4.3||27-34||4.3||0.266||0.319||4.0||0.255||0.319|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-0.3||3-3||3.4||0.230||0.281||5.3||0.282||0.335|
|vs Left-handed Starters||16-14||+4.6||17-12||5.0||0.264||0.326||4.8||0.249||0.323|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1.3||3-4||3.7||0.233||0.312||4.7||0.252||0.339|
|6/28/2013||SHIELDS(R)||@ MINNESOTA||WALTERS(R)||9-3||W||-135||8 ov||O||11||2||0||10||9||0|
|6/29/2013||DAVIS(R)||@ MINNESOTA||GIBSON(R)||2-6||L||105||8.5 un||U||10||9||0||9||5||0|
|6/30/2013||SANTANA(R)||@ MINNESOTA||CORREIA(R)||9-8||W||-110||8 ov||O||13||6||2||9||9||0|
|7/8/2013||GUTHRIE(R)||@ NY YANKEES||HUGHES(R)||5-1||W||135||9 ov||U||10||9||0||9||10||1|
|7/9/2013||SHIELDS(R)||@ NY YANKEES||SABATHIA(L)||3-1||W||135||7.5 un||U||7||6||0||6||5||0|
|7/10/2013||DAVIS(R)||@ NY YANKEES||NOVA(R)||1-8||L||130||8.5 un||O||6||7||0||9||4||0|
|7/11/2013||SANTANA(R)||@ NY YANKEES||PETTITTE(L)||4-8||L||105||8 un||O||10||9||0||11||6||2|
|7/12/2013||CHEN(L)||@ CLEVELAND||KLUBER(R)|| |
|7/13/2013||GUTHRIE(R)||@ CLEVELAND||KAZMIR(L)|| |
|7/14/2013||SHIELDS(R)||@ CLEVELAND||JIMENEZ(R)|| |
|7/19/2013|| ||DETROIT|| || |
|6/28/2013||BAUER(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||SANTIAGO(L)||19-10||W||110||9 un||O||21||11||1||13||8||1|
|6/28/2013||CARRASCO(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||QUINTANA(L)||9-8||W||115||9 ov||O||12||5||0||13||11||0|
|6/29/2013||JIMENEZ(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||AXELROD(R)||4-3||W||-120||9 un||U||9||4||0||11||11||0|
|6/30/2013||MASTERSON(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||SALE(L)||4-0||W||125||7.5 un||U||10||7||0||6||3||0|
|7/2/2013||KLUBER(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||MENDOZA(R)||6-5||W||-105||8.5 un||O||9||8||0||7||7||0|
|7/3/2013||KAZMIR(L)||@ KANSAS CITY||GUTHRIE(R)||5-6||L||105||8.5 ov||O||6||5||3||11||7||1|
|7/4/2013||JIMENEZ(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)||7-10||L||130||8 ov||O||12||8||1||6||6||0|
|7/12/2013||KLUBER(R)||KANSAS CITY||CHEN(L)|| |
|7/13/2013||KAZMIR(L)||KANSAS CITY||GUTHRIE(R)|| |
|7/14/2013||JIMENEZ(R)||KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)|| |
|7/19/2013|| ||@ MINNESOTA|| || |
|KANSAS CITY: HITTING: With Melky Cabrera gone, OF LORENZO CAIN will get first crack at leadoff and centerfield. If he falters, speedster JASON BOURGEOIS, vet MITCH MAIER and prospect WIL MYERS are waiting. Former Brewer YUNIESKY BETANCOURT will start at 2B and has good life in his bat for a middle infielder. OF ALEX GORDON may not hit for average, but his approach and power are there. DH BILLY BUTLER is rock solid, but it's fair to wonder whether his power will ever progress. 1B ERIC HOSMER has MVP-type upside, and he's on the verge of figuring out MLB pitching. OF JEFF FRANCOEUR still chases too many bad pitches, but the organization likes him and he still has some pop and speed. 3B MIKE MOUSTAKAS is too good for the minors, but he still hasn't caught up to major-league pitching. There's a good chance he finds his groove this year. C HUMBERTO QUINTERO will be the main backstop with BRAYAN PENA backing him up. Speedy SS ALCIDES ESCOBAR's bat hasn't caught up to his glove. |
STARTING PITCHING: K.C. once again hopes this is the year LUKE HOCHEVAR puts it all together. His velocity picked up late last year, allowing him to be more than a groundball guy. Lefty BRUCE CHEN's late-career renaissance continues. He'll be a reliable veteran arm in the middle of K.C.'s rotation again. FELIPE PAULINO has the biggest upside in this rotation. He's always had one of MLB's best fastballs. His problem was that, when he missed (which has been often), it was usually belt-high and over the middle of the plate. If he hits his spots as he did late last year, he's got potential. But Paulino will start the season on the DL with a sore elbow. The Royals hope to solve JONATHAN SANCHEZ's command issues. The lefty is a risk, but has legitimate No. 3 potential. Top prospect DANNY DUFFY will get every chance to pitch his way into the Opening Day rotation.
RELIEF PITCHING: JOAKIM SORIA is out for the season with Tommy John surgery, leaving GREG HOLLAND to pick up closer duties. Holland was the Royals' best bullpen arm in 2011 and his stuff has always been nearly unhittable. It's just a matter of whether last year's vastly improved walk rate was for real. JONATHAN BROXTON was a disaster last season, but he'll be given every chance to become the No. 2 guy in this bullpen because of his experience in Los Angeles. AARON CROW was a first-round pick (twice) for his college career as a starter, but wore down late last year, and walked too many batters.
|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.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (KANSAS CITY-CLEVELAND) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Royals-Indians Preview* ========================
By TAYLOR BECHTOLD STATS Writer
Kansas City (43-45) at Cleveland (47-44), 7:05 p.m. EDT
After getting back on track with a series win, the Cleveland Indians would love to push the Kansas City Royals further behind them in the AL Central.
The Indians go for their fourth win in six games Friday night when they take on the Royals in the opener of a three-game series at Progressive Field.
Following four straight losses and six in eight games, Cleveland (48-44) bounced back with an 4-2 victory over Toronto on Thursday to take two of three in that set.
Rookie Danny Salazar allowed one run and two hits over six innings, lowering the ERA of Cleveland's rotation to 2.05 over the last five games. The Indians' starters had a 9.00 ERA during the team's recent four-game skid.
Corey Kluber (6-5, 4.23 ERA) will try to continue that trend Friday. Since posting a 1.66 ERA while winning three consecutive starts from June 11-22, the right-hander is 0-1 with a 6.61 ERA in his last three.
The best outing of that stretch, though, came Sunday, as Kluber matched a career high with 10 strikeouts and yielded two runs over 6 1-3 innings in a 9-6 win over Detroit.
He'll face the Royals for the third time this season after going 1-0 while giving up six runs and 11 hits over 12 1-3 innings in his previous two starts - both Indians victories.
Alex Gordon became the ninth Royals player to hit two grand slams in a season when he connected off Kluber in Cleveland's 6-5 win in Kansas City on July 2. The left fielder has three hits - two home runs - in nine at-bats in this matchup.
Eric Hosmer's only hit in eight at-bats against Kluber left the park, but he's batting .389 with five home runs in his last 13 games overall.
"I'm not really doing anything different right now," Hosmer told the team's official website. "I'm just trying to stay consistent with the work I'm doing."
The Royals (43-46) had a pair of early three-run leads Thursday before losing 8-4 to the Yankees and settling for a split of that four-game series.
Kansas City will try to pull within 2 1/2 games of the second-place Indians by handing the ball to Bruce Chen (3-0, 2.41), who replaces struggling right-hander Luis Mendoza in the rotation. The lefty makes his first start after going 11-14 with a 5.07 ERA in 34 starts for the Royals in 2012.
Chen has pitched well in Cleveland, going 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA in four starts since 2010.
Michael Brantley should be happy to see Chen again since he's 9 for 14 lifetime in this matchup. The left fielder is also hitting .396 in his last 12 games against the Royals.
Teammate Asdrubal Cabrera, who hit his seventh homer Thursday, is batting a team-best .370 - including 4 for 7 with runners in scoring position - in this season series.
The teams have split 10 meetings, though Cleveland took two of three at home June 17-19.
|Last Updated: 9/23/2014 9:22:08 AM EST|