The Twins will finally head back to Minnesota after finishing a 10-game road trip that felt like it just wouldn’t end. They will kick off the homestand against the upstart Indians. To pretty much everyone’s surprise the Indians are off to a 13-6 start and are leading the AL Central. They have a talented, young offense but I didn’t ever see them leading the division this season. I am not sold, yet, that they will keep this up, as their pitching is still something I could see holding them back a little. They are young and appear to be on the rise, though, so the Indians could be a team to keep an eye on all year.
I had a Q & A session with Lewie Pollis from Whaoo Blues, and he thinks the Indians could come back down to earth some because their pitching has been a little lucky and guys like Travis Hafner have been on fire. He does seem to think the Indians can compete this season, though. I don’t think that is too crazy to think. They have Shin-Soo Choo, who is one of the best, unknown, players in the game. The right fielder hits for average and power, can steal bases and plays a good right field. More people should probably start to know his name, actually. Carlos Santana is another name American League teams are going to have to get to know. He was on a tear last season after he made his big-league debut, but he ended up getting injured and missed the end of the season. He is a big-time hitting catcher that Twins’ fans should get to know. The Indians also have some young guns on the way, too. Lonnie Chisenhall is a third base prospect who should contribute to the Indians this season. I think he is probably only behind Mike Moustakas of Kansas City in terms of third base prospects that are big-league ready.
This weekend the Indians will run Fausto Carmona, Carlos Carrasco and Jeanmar Gomez to the hill against the Twins. Fausto has shown before that he can be a very good pitcher, he has also shown he can be very bad, but so far this season he’s been pretty good. According to Pollis, “He’s normally a pitch-to-contact guy but so far he’s looked like a legit strikeout pitcher.” Let’s hope the Twins can make some contact and avoid striking out to much against Carmona.
Carrasco is someone who has been a top prospect for quite some time and he is now getting the chance to prove himself at the big-league level. Pollis said his strikeout numbers were down this season, which he found troubling, but he still considers him a top-flight prospect in their organization.
When asked about starting pitching, Pollis was less than confident in Gomez. “He gave up five runs in 4.1 IP his first time out. Let’s just hope the Indians hit that day.” He will be facing Carl Pavano, so hopefully Pavano brings his A-game Sunday to counter the Indians’ fifth starter.
Francisco Liriano goes to the hill tomorrow and that is probably the biggest thing I am watching in this series. Can he keep building on his previous outings? Can he finally get through seven innings? Let’s hope. Also, keep an eye on Delmon Young, he was scheduled to have an MRI when he got back to Minnesota. So let’s hope his sore ribs are something that will land him on the DL.