|KANSAS CITY ( SHIELDS )|
CLEVELAND ( JIMENEZ )
|917||KANSAS CITY||+100||Ov 8,-120||-105||Ov 8,-105|
|918||CLEVELAND||-110||Un 8,+100||-105||Un 8,-115|
|vs Right-handed Starters||34-31||+3.3||27-35||4.2||0.264||0.318||3.9||0.255||0.318|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-2.3||3-4||2.9||0.229||0.284||5.1||0.283||0.345|
|vs Right-handed Starters||33-30||+5.6||27-33||4.7||0.253||0.328||4.5||0.253||0.326|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+2.9||2-5||4.3||0.243||0.323||2.9||0.221||0.312|
|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)||0-3||L||140||8.5 un||U||5||9||0||6||6||0|
|7/13/2013||GUTHRIE(R)||@ CLEVELAND||KAZMIR(L)||3-5||L||135||9 un||U||8||8||0||9||7||0|
|7/14/2013||SHIELDS(R)||@ CLEVELAND||JIMENEZ(R)|| |
|7/19/2013|| ||DETROIT|| || |
|7/20/2013|| ||DETROIT|| || |
|7/21/2013|| ||DETROIT|| || |
|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)||3-0||W||-150||8.5 un||U||6||6||0||5||9||0|
|7/13/2013||KAZMIR(L)||KANSAS CITY||GUTHRIE(R)||5-3||W||-145||9 un||U||9||7||0||8||8||0|
|7/14/2013||JIMENEZ(R)||KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)|| |
|7/19/2013|| ||@ MINNESOTA|| || |
|7/20/2013|| ||@ MINNESOTA|| || |
|7/21/2013|| ||@ 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* ========================
Kansas City (43-47) at Cleveland (49-44), 1:05 p.m. EDT
Ubaldo Jimenez has pitched worse each successive time he has faced the Kansas City Royals this year heading into his fourth such outing.
Kansas City has to like its chances of avoiding a sweep by Jimenez's Cleveland Indians with James Shields on the mound.
The visiting Royals have had trouble hitting Jimenez this year but they have won eight straight outings by Shields heading into Sunday's matchup.
Jimenez (7-4, 4.37 ERA) is 1-0 with a 2.55 ERA in three starts against Kansas City (43-48), beginning with seven outstanding innings in a 9-0 road win April 29.
He failed to receive decisions in the next two, allowing two runs over 5 2-3 innings in a 4-3 victory June 18 and giving up four runs over five-plus frames in a 10-7 loss July 4.
Jimenez's walk total has increased from two to four to five in those starts, and he owns an AL-worst walks per nine innings ratio of 4.85.
The right-hander is limiting the Royals to a .131 average - the lowest among teams that have faced him this year. The only Kansas City hitters with more than one hit against him this season are Lorenzo Cain (3 for 8) and Mike Moustakas (2 for 8). The Royals have just three other hits off Jimenez.
Shields (4-6, 3.12) has not lost since May 27, going 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA in his last eight outings. He limited the Yankees to one run over seven innings Tuesday in a 3-1 victory, finishing with five hitless frames.
The right-hander has no record with a 4.76 ERA in two 2013 starts against the Indians - both during the Royals' eight-game run with him on the mound.
Nick Swisher did not play in those games, once due to injury. He's faced Shields more than any Indians hitter, going 8 for 45 with three homers.
Cleveland (50-44) will head into the All-Star break in second place in the AL Central for the second straight year, but probably feels better about itself now. Last year, the Indians trailed the second-place White Sox by three games before manager Manny Acta was fired near the end of a 24-53 collapse thereafter.
Under new skipper Terry Francona, the Indians are 1 1/2 games behind Detroit as they seek a fourth straight win Sunday.
"What we've done in the first half makes the second half potentially really exciting," he told the Indians' official website. "We've played well enough where, let's go play. That's exciting. We need to play better in the second half, but we can."
Lonnie Chisenhall came through with his first career grand slam in Saturday's 5-3 victory. He's hitting .292 with three homers and 14 RBIs since being recalled from Triple-A Columbus on June 18 after being sent down May 15.
"When he's getting balls to hit he's not fouling them," Francona said. "Sometimes you get one pitch to hit in an at-bat. Now he's getting it and hitting it."
Kansas City has totaled eight runs with 32 strikeouts and a .213 average during a four-game slide. Alex Gordon is in a 1-for-17 slump, Salvador Perez a 2-for-23 rut and Billy Butler a 6-for-39 skid although he had two hits Saturday.
|Last Updated: 9/1/2014 3:49:06 PM EST|