Series Preview: Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins

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Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

Players to Watch: Twins

  • Josh Willingham: Willingham killed the Indians in their last series. While he only had three hits in 12 at bats, two of those hits went for home runs and he racked up six RBI. While he’s cooled off a bit of late, he’s still the most dangerous hitter in the Minnesota lineup and should be handled accordingly. This means not putting on runners ahead of him and not lobbing batting practice to him at the plate.
  • Joe Mauer: Again, Joe Mauer is a stud. In 2012 he has accumulated a slash line of .320/.416/.442 to go along with seven home runs and 53 RBI. He’s the Twins’ best all around hitter and has once again established himself as one of the premier talents in all of baseball. Of course, hitting in front of Josh Willingham on a nightly basis probably helps make things a bit easier. Can the Indians keep Mauer from hitting the ball all over Progressive Field? Hopefully. Otherwise it could be a long three days.

Players to Watch: Indians

  • Ezequiel Carrera: In three games played since his call up from Triple-A, Carrera has been a stud at the plate. So far he’s hitting .583 with two triples and a home run. His speed has been a huge factor and is something the Indians should look to utilize more. If he can continue to get on base, don’t be surprised if the Indians attempt to get him moving in straight steals or even hit and runs. The only downside has been his defense. While it hasn’t been awful, he did have an interesting time trying to handle the sun in Detroit.
  • Shin-Soo Choo: Manny Acta recently decided to move Choo back into the three hole in the lineup. It’ll be interesting to see how he responds to the change over time considering how well he responded to the lead-off spot. It’s obvious Acta is looking for some type of spark in the middle of the order, so the move does make sense to an extent. One can only hope that it doesn’t send Choo spiraling into a slump. That’s the last thing the Indians need right now.
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