Preview: Seattle @ Cleveland


Let’s be honest, going into this series with Cleveland we feel we “owe” them one. You know for those crushing defeats 9-0, 10-3, and 12-3. While they were far from single handedly “dismantling” our season, the losses hurt. They were even hard to recover from and I for one really want to go into Cleveland and jump all over their AAAA pitching.

Position Players

CKelly Shoppach1.60.346CRob Johnson0.50.286
1bAndy Marte-0.40.2361bRussell Branyan2.50.373
2bLuis Valbuena-0.30.3012bJose Lopez1.40.318
3bJhonny Peralta1.50.3243bJack Hannahan0.70.326
SSAsdrubal Cabrera2.40.359SSJack Wilson0.20.260
ofShin-Soo Choo3.40.388ofIchiro Suzuki3.90.370
ofGrady Sizemore1.80.340ofFranklin Gutierrez4.10.346
ofJamey Carroll2.10.349ofMichael Saunders0.20.273
DHTravis Hafner0.70.354DHKen Griffey Jr.0.20.323
CWyatt Toregas-0.10.187ofRyan Langerhans0.70.307
1b/ofChris Gimenez-0.40.254infJosh Wilson0.20.310
ofTrevor Crowe-0.40.259🙁Mike Sweeney-0.70.281
CKenji Johjima0.40.288
infBill Hall00.269

Overall there aren’t a lot of “big” matchups to look forward to. I always look forward to seeing Luis Valbuena, Asdrubal Cabrera and of course Shin-Soo Choo. Valbuena isn’t having much of a good year; however, both Cabrera and Choo are having good if not great years. I would even go as far as to say Choo is having an “All-Star” caliber type year.

One thing about going through the entire 25 man rosters while doing the previews is the opportunity to be surprised. I was caught completely off guard with both Kelly Shoppach and Jamey Carroll having solid years so far. Carroll is quietly becoming a Mark DeRosa esque type player, playing the entire field and putting up some good numbers. It will be interesting to see how they do this go around, as I really didn’t take notice the first couple of series.

Speaking about Jamey Carroll I’m obligated to talk about Josh Wilson who I have had few good words about. While he is a below to possibly maybe even average replacement player, he has played pretty well and had a couple of two hit games and come up with some pretty good defensive plays. While he is only a temporary stop gap, he isn’t horrible and I’m slowly starting to feel a Cedeno like apathy towards him. He isn’t horrible and things could be worse.

Of course we should get our first look at Bill Hall as Wakamatsu mentioned he should see his first opportunity to play this week. He took batting practice in Detroit and should not only be available for this series, but could also start some games with some left handed pitching coming up. It will be interesting to see how he performs in a new environment and with the “stress of a big contract” off his shoulders.

Starting Pitching

Day of StartIndians PitcherswFBwSLwCTwCBwCHwSFwKN
FridayDavid Huff-14.50.2X-2.4-2.6XX
SaturdayAaron Laffey42.9XX2.8XX
SundayFausto Carmona-20.22.5XX6.2XX
Mariners PitcherwFBwSLwCTwCBwCHwSFwKN
FridayLuke French-7.30.5XX2.7XX
SaturdayDouglas Fister0.61.4X1.20.3XX
SundayFelix Hernandez7.33.2X1.49.6XX

In game 1 the tribe will have Huff going in against Luke French, which is quite a comparable matchup. So far this year in terms of “stuff” neither one has had a good fast ball while French has countered that with an average slider and an slightly above average change. All of Huff’s pitches have come out to be slightly below average with the exception of his slider which is just flirted with average.

Game 2 will be the Fister – Laffey matchup. This is perhaps the most exciting matchup we have. While people will most likely talk up the Carmona/Hernandez duel, Laffey-Fister should be just as exciting, as both have been pitching very well. Laffey has been the better pitcher and for a longer period of time, where as Fister has only had two good back to back starts as a rookie. Both pitchers have shown average to slightly above average stuff. This should be a fun matchup to see if they are for real.

Game 3 is the prototypical big match up. Only problem is that Carmona hasn’t really been that good. His fastball has been very hittable, despite having solid off-speed pitches. Hernandez has been superb been mentioned quiet frequently in Cy Young talk this year. Felix will keep his team in and give them a chance to win the game.

Avilable Pitchers During the Series

Cleveland IndianswFBwSLwCTwCBwCHwSFwKN
Chris Perez1.41.3XXXXX
Joe Smith02.6XX0XX
Justin Masterson-0.40.5XXXXX
Jeremy Sowers-0.71.1XX-2XX
Rafael Perez-0.8-6.4XXXXX
Tomo Ohka-1-3.2-
Jesse Todd-
Tony Sipp-2.13.6XX0XX
Jensen Lewis-2.4-2.30.3-0.1-0.2XX
Kerry Wood-
Seattle MarinerswFBwSLwCTwCBwCHwSFwKN
David Aardsma15.410-2.5
Sean White5.40.1-1.31.3
Mark Lowe1.55.6-1.9
Shawn Kelley0.2-0.3-0.7
Miguel Batista-3.5-0.6-1.5-0.9-0.20
Chris Jakubauskas-6.34.1-1.5

While Mark Lowe has had his ups and downs he has shown improvement. Shawn Kelley had a good 7th inning yesterday followed by a difficult 8th. Sean White has been consistently solid and then of course David Aardsma is always a thriller (either one way or the other).

I am still waiting for the day that we can rejoice with the departure of Miguel Batista. However, that day will have to be prolonged as Garrett Olson will be “stretched” out down in Tacoma prior to the expansion of the roster from 25-40. The one and only comforting thing about this is that the mechanical changes to Olson’s delivery will help him become a better pitcher and hopefully develop SOME movement on his fastball instead of being a complete meatball pitch.

Side notes:

As I mentioned both Bill Hall and Garrett Olson in the preview, I think it’s interesting that for the first time all season they will be going with a short bullpen, of only 5 relievers and then the closer David Aardsma. Should either French or Fister experience issues with going at least 5-6 innings things could get problematic real quick and Felix would have yet another burden of trying to go 7-8 innings to give the bullpen a rest.

I am curious with the rosters expanding in two weeks for an extra 15 spots. Who will all get call ups to the show? Instead of making this a very long note I will put my own speculations, in a blog here in the next few days as to who should be receiving “big show bids”.