4/21: Indians at Twins
By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com
Here are the lineups for tonight’s 8:10 p.m. ET game at Target Field. I’ll be on the SportsTime Ohio pregame show, if you wish to tune in.
Russell Branyan, still being eased into action and limited to no more than four games per week, is out of tonight’s lineup.
INDIANS (6-7): SS Cabrera, CF Sizemore, RF Choo, LF Kearns, DH Hafner, 2B Grudzielanek, 3B Peralta, 1B LaPorta, C Redmond. LHP David Huff (1-1, 1.80).
TWINS (10-4): CF Span, 2B Hudson, C Mauer, 1B Morneau, RF Cuddyer, DH Kubel, LF Young, SS Hardy, 3B Harris. LHP Francisco Liriano (1-0, 2.08).
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…
- Manny Acta has said that in an ideal situation, Peralta would be his cleanup hitter against left-handed pitchers. But Peralta’s not holding up his end of the bargain. He’s batting .122 with a .504 OPS for the season and is 1-for-12 against lefties. Tonight, Acta is going with Kearns in the No. 4 spot against Liriano, by virtue of his 2-for-6 showing against lefties thus far. (That qualifies as an MVP-type of showing for this club right now.)
- As a team, the Indians are batting .187 (25-for-134) against left-handers. The main offenders, in terms of lineup prominence, are Peralta (.434 OPS), Sizemore (1-for-18, .206 OPS) and Hafner (4-for-20, .438 OPS).
- While we’re on the subject of offensive offensive numbers, the Indians are batting .186 (16-for-86) with runners in scoring position, striking out in 23 of those 86 (or 26.7 percent) at-bats. That’s a big reason why the Indians are 13th in the AL with just 46 runs in 13 games (3.54 runs per game).
- And it bears repeating. Choo has either driven in or scored 48 percent of the Indians’ runs this season. He’s also responsible for 20 percent of their total bases. Choo can do a lot, but he can’t do it all by himself.
- Top prospect Carlos Santana fouled a ball off his left knee and had to come out of a game against Louisville earlier today. He is listed as day to day with a knee bruise. It is not considered serious.
- Target Field is getting rave reviews from everybody on the Indians. Acta did point out one problem, however – the proximity of the on-deck circle (and, for that matter, the dugouts) to the plate. “It’s very close and could be dangerous,” Acta said. What concerns Acta is the possibility of a Juan Encarnacion type of situation. Encarnacion was the Cardinals outfielder who was struck in the eye by a foul ball in 2007 and never played another game.
- Justin Masterson still hasn’t mastered that changeup that the Indians deem pivotal to his success against left-handers. He threw one to Morneau last night that was about five feet (give or take a few feet) over the head of Lou Marson. Acta still thinks Masterson has the ability to be an effective starter at this level. “He’s a work in progress,” Acta said. “It’s only been three outings so far … He’s got such good stuff. If he puts it all together, he’ll be a dependable guy.”
- On the dry-erase board outside the visitors’ clubhouse at Target Field before Wednesday’s game, someone had written, “Win one for Red Dog aka ‘The Mayor.'” It was a reference to Redmond, who is highly popular in these parts.
- Don’t forget, tomorrow’s 1:10 p.m. ET game is on MLB Network.
- On the off chance you haven’t seen the Fordham Flip yet, check it out.