|MINNESOTA ( ALBERS )|
HOUSTON ( CLEMENS )
|921||MINNESOTA||-115||Ov 8.5,-105||-115||Ov 8.5,-105|
|922||HOUSTON||+105||Un 8.5,-115||+105||Un 8.5,-115|
|vs Right-handed Starters||45-58||+3.4||39-59||3.8||0.235||0.302||4.4||0.276||0.332|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-0.5||1-6||1.7||0.213||0.266||3.7||0.254||0.314|
|vs Left-handed Starters||11-27||-9.2||17-20||3.3||0.232||0.290||5.0||0.253||0.342|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-2.4||1-6||2.9||0.235||0.293||4.4||0.260||0.340|
|8/19/2013||GIBSON(R)||NY METS||GEE(R)||1-6||L||-135||8.5 ev||U||7||7||0||14||8||1|
|8/20/2013||PELFREY(R)||@ DETROIT||PORCELLO(R)||6-3||W||182||9 ov||P||10||8||0||11||9||0|
|8/21/2013||CORREIA(R)||@ DETROIT||SANCHEZ(R)||1-7||L||230||8 ov||P||6||7||2||13||11||0|
|8/22/2013||ALBERS(L)||@ DETROIT||VERLANDER(R)||7-6||W||235||8 un||O||11||8||0||12||8||0|
|8/23/2013||DEDUNO(R)||@ CLEVELAND||JIMENEZ(R)||5-1||W||150||8.5 ev||U||9||7||0||6||7||1|
|8/24/2013||HENDRIKS(R)||@ CLEVELAND||MCALLISTER(R)||2-7||L||165||8.5 ev||O||5||6||1||9||5||0|
|8/25/2013||PELFREY(R)||@ CLEVELAND||KAZMIR(L)||1-3||L||155||8.5 un||U||9||13||1||7||12||4|
|8/27/2013||CORREIA(R)||KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)||1-6||L||+145||8.5 un||U||4||5||1||13||10||0|
|8/28/2013||ALBERS(L)||KANSAS CITY||DUFFY(L)||1-8||L||+110||8.5 un||O||6||5||2||13||8||0|
|8/29/2013||DEDUNO(R)||KANSAS CITY||CHEN(L)||1-3||L||+115||8 ev||U||5||4||0||6||4||0|
|8/30/2013||HENDRIKS(R)||@ TEXAS||DARVISH(R)||3-2||W||265||8.5 ov||U||6||2||1||6||6||0|
|8/31/2013||PELFREY(R)||@ TEXAS||GARZA(R)||1-2||L||210||9 un||U||5||5||0||9||9||0|
|9/1/2013||CORREIA(R)||@ TEXAS||BLACKLEY(L)||4-2||W||185||9.5 ev||U||12||5||0||7||4||1|
|9/2/2013||ALBERS(L)||@ HOUSTON||CLEMENS(R)|| |
|9/3/2013||DEDUNO(R)||@ HOUSTON||COSART(R)|| |
|9/4/2013||HENDRIKS(R)||@ HOUSTON||LYLES(R)|| |
|9/9/2013|| ||LA ANGELS|| || |
|8/19/2013||HARRELL(R)||@ TEXAS||GARZA(R)||5-16||L||250||9 ev||O||9||5||2||14||5||0|
|8/20/2013||COSART(R)||@ TEXAS||BLACKLEY(L)||2-4||L||205||9 ov||U||6||4||0||6||5||1|
|8/21/2013||BEDARD(L)||@ TEXAS||HOLLAND(L)||4-5||L||260||8.5 ov||O||8||8||2||7||7||0|
|8/26/2013||OBERHOLTZER(L)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||RIENZO(R)||10-8||W||140||9 un||O||13||6||1||14||7||2|
|8/27/2013||CLEMENS(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||QUINTANA(L)||3-4||L||205||9 ov||U||10||8||0||9||7||1|
|8/28/2013||COSART(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||SALE(L)||1-6||L||215||7.5 ev||U||5||4||1||10||9||0|
|9/5/2013||PEACOCK(R)||@ OAKLAND||GRAY(R)|| |
|9/6/2013||KEUCHEL(L)||@ OAKLAND||GRIFFIN(R)|| |
|9/7/2013||OBERHOLTZER(L)||@ OAKLAND||STRAILY(R)|| |
|9/8/2013||CLEMENS(R)||@ OAKLAND||COLON(R)|| |
|9/9/2013|| ||@ SEATTLE|| || |
|MINNESOTA: HITTING: OF BEN REVERE's slap-and-run style fits well in spacious Target Field. He will compete with lefty Chris Parmelee for the starting RF job. OF DENARD SPAN should be over his concussion problems. He works the count well as a steady presence near the top of the order. C JOE MAUER will see more time at first in an attempt to keep him healthy. Offensively, he'll be limited by a pitcher-friendly home park and no support in the lineup. RYAN DOUMIT has a chance to play regularly and stay healthy as a full-time DH and/or backing up Mauer behind the dish. 1B JUSTIN MORNEAU's concussion symptoms came back late last year. It's a bad omen. OF JOSH WILLINGHAM is being relied on to produce runs, but he's going from one pitcher-friendly home park (Oakland) to another. 3B DANNY VALENCIA showed enough power in 2011 to secure an everyday job heading into 2012. Newly signed SS JAMEY CARROLL has done a nice job off the bench, but hasn't been tested in an everyday role. If hamstring problems are still holding him back, 2B ALEXI CASILLA has won the second-base job ahead of disappointing import TSUYOSHI NISHIOKA, who will start the year in the minors. |
STARTING PITCHING: Who would have thought CARL PAVANO would emerge as the picture of consistency and durability? While he's far from a star, the veteran continues to be a rock for Minnesota, throwing strikes and eating innings. SCOTT BAKER got hurt again last year. If he could ever stay healthy, he's the prototype for success at Target Field'lots of strikeouts, few walks, lots of flyouts. The FRANCISCO LIRIANO rollercoaster nosedived again last year. The Twins have gotten so desperate to keep him healthy that they actually let him pitch more over the offseason. He's obviously a huge risk again. BRIAN DUENSING, NICK BLACKBURN and JASON MARQUIS are all the definition of fifth starter. They serve it up, give up a lot of hard-hit balls, and hope they get hit right at their defenders. If Duensing and Blackburn falter, ANTHONY SWARZAK probably pitched well enough last year to get a shot in the rotation. LIAM HENDRICKS, one of the organization's better prospects, would be a slightly more exciting option.
RELIEF PITCHING: Despite his underwhelming performance last year, MATT CAPPS will pitch the ninth inning again because of his 'closer's experience.' He figures to be on an undeservedly long leash. GLEN PERKINS certainly proved he deserves to close. He was Minnesota's best reliever in his first full season in the 'pen. His velocity was up as a short reliever, and the lefty was truly overpowering. If things go sour for the Twins again this season (and it seems likely they will), perhaps they'll get serious about Perkins later this year.
|HOUSTON: HITTING: This season will mark Houston's final year in the National League. Look away, children, as the Astros launch into what is sure to be the crappiest victory lap in baseball history. Tiny 2B JOSE ALTUVE's jump from High-A to MLB starter says more about Houston's pitiful state than anything. He belongs in Triple-A. CHRIS JOHNSON won the starting 3B job as JIMMY PAREDES was optioned to Triple-A. Johnson was thought to have 25-homer power, but last year he slugged just .378. 1B CARLOS LEE is in the twilight of a very productive career. Backup 1B BRETT WALLACE seems to be in the twilight of an unproductive one. OF BRIAN BOGUSEVIC has a low ceiling. But he's one of only a few recent draft picks who will even contribute. OF J.D. MARTINEZ doesn't blame you if you haven't heard of him, but he's the team's best player who hits third in the lineup. SS JED LOWRIE was a nice little pickup for a mid-tier closer. But his platoon split is intense. C JASON CASTRO will probably play ahead of CHRIS SNYDER. OF JORDAN SCHAFER has yet to put things together; but he'll be starting in center on Opening Day. Fourth OF J.B. SHUCK is only 24, but doesn't have a whole lot of upside. |
STARTING PITCHING: WANDY RODRIGUEZ has been a durable, above-average starter for five years, yet every season his real-world team limits his wins. He'll be traded at some point this year. Don't shortchange BUD NORRIS. He's an underrated source of strikeouts, and has improved his command. J.A. HAPP really needs to cut down on his walk total. JORDAN LYLES couldn't legally drink until the second-to-last week of the season. He's in the big leagues way too soon. He's yet another young Astro who isn't terrible, but won't ever set the world on fire. KYLE WEILAND came from Boston with Jed Lowrie and should earn the final spot in the rotation. Texas-bred fireballer JARRED COSART, 21, is a legitimately exciting (but risky) prospect who Houston will probably rush up to the majors at some point this year.
RELIEF PITCHING: BRETT MYERS flummoxed the Astros' front office with a stinker of a season. He's probably closer to that pitcher than to the one who posted a career-best 3.14 ERA in 2010 at age 29, but he'll move the bullpen this year to get the rare opportunities to close out a game when this awful team is actually leading. WILTON LOPEZ was good in 2011, but was much better the previous season, when he may have been the most underrated reliever in the National League. Houston will go with him in the ninth if they want Myers to return to the rotation. BRANDON LYON has seen better days. He bombed early, then was shut down for good with a bicep injury. He intimidates nobody now.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (MINNESOTA-HOUSTON) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Twins-Astros Preview* ======================
Minnesota (58-76) at Houston (44-91), 2:10 p.m. EDT
When the Minnesota Twins swept three games from the Houston Astros last month, they had Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau.
Neither is available for the Twins this time.
Minnesota visits Minute Maid Park for the first time in seven years to start a three-game set Monday that begins with few recognizable players and rookie starters on the mound for these rebuilding teams.
Morneau was 5 for 13 and Mauer was limited to one hit in 11 at-bats when Minnesota swept Houston from Aug. 2-4. Morneau, however, was dealt to Pittsburgh on Saturday while Mauer is not with the club on this trip as he recovers from a concussion.
The youth movement is in full swing, with both teams using three rookies in their Sunday lineup.
Minnesota (59-76) gave catcher Josmil Pinto his big league debut in a 4-2 victory over Texas, also starting 33-year-old rookie Doug Bernier and first baseman Chris Colabello.
Houston (45-91) ended a five-game skid with a 2-0 home win over Seattle, with rookies Robbie Grossman, L.J. Hoes and Jonathan Villar combining for five strikeouts and 10 hitless at-bats.
Rookies will be on the mound Monday when Houston's Paul Clemens (4-4, 5.81 ERA) is matched up with Minnesota's Andrew Albers (2-2, 2.92).
Clemens will make his second career start after yielding one run over six innings and not receiving a decision Tuesday in a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox. The right-hander, who will remain in the rotation for the remainder of the season, was in line for the win before the bullpen conceded three runs in the eighth inning.
"It's an honor, it's a privilege," Clemens said. "Just got to continue to work."
Albers threw 17 1-3 scoreless innings in winning his first two career starts before going 0-2 with a 5.49 ERA in his next three. He recovered after consecutive five-run efforts by allowing three over seven innings in Wednesday's 8-1 defeat to Kansas City.
Houston will try to improve to 12-26 against left-handed starters when it faces Albers for the first time. Minnesota has never faced Clemens.
Grossman turned in an impressive series in Minnesota last month, going 5 for 13 although he struck out six times. Hoes and Villar combined for three hits in 19 at-bats.
The Twins are visiting Houston for the first time since taking two of three in 2006. They have captured three of their last four road series, including a second in that span against a division leader by beating the Rangers in two of three this past weekend.
Minnesota's four runs Sunday represented its highest amount in its last eight games, with the 14 totaled in that span the lowest in the majors.
|Last Updated: 9/22/2014 7:17:00 PM EST|