Preview: Twins vs. Indians
MINNEAPOLIS — Leonys Martin will be added to the Cleveland Indians’ active roster and available for action Wednesday afternoon when they wrap up a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.
Cleveland acquired Martin Tuesday, along with minor leaguer pitcher Kyle Dowdy, from Detroit in an effort to shore up an outfield that has been riddled with injuries this season.
Bradley Zimmer is out for the year with a shoulder injury while Lonnie Chisenhall could miss the rest lof the season after injuring his right calf. Tyler Naquin has been on the disabled list since July 25 with a hip injury and will see a specialist later this week.
“We lost Zimmer, we lost Chiz, we lost Naquin,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “So, when it was all said and done, you’re like, ‘OK, what can really impact us?’ A center fielder that complements (Rajai Davis). I think sometimes people lose track of like, OK, what’s your roster? And what complements what?”
The Indians think they found their answer in Martin, who was batting .251 with nine home runs and 27 extra-base hits for the Tigers this season.
“We explored a lot of alternatives to try to address and improve our outfield,” said Chris Antonetti, the Indians’ president of baseball operations. “We were really pleased to be able to acquire Leonys Martin. We think he’s a great complement to our roster.”
The Martin deal comes a little more than 10 days after Antonetti addressed the Indians’ other major need by adding Padres relievers Brad Hand and Adam Cimber to a bullpen that’s had a rough go of it at times this year.
“They did a really good job,” Francona said of Cleveland’s moves. “I mean, it’s not easy. We have some parameters, which we know are in place. We’re not going to be the Dodgers or the Red Sox. But, we don’t want that to get in the way of us winning. And I think they’ve done an unbelievable job of making us better.”
The Indians will send right-hander Carlos Carrasco (12-5, 3.89 ERA) to the mound Tuesday, looking to build a 10-game lead over the Twins in the AL Central.
Carrasco is 5-3 with a 3.09 ERA in 10 road outings this season, but he took the loss after allowing seven runs (three earned) over 5 2/3 innings in the Indians’ 7-1 loss at Minnesota on June 2.
He has faced the Twins three times this season, and he is 0-2 with a 7.50 ERA in those starts. For his career, Carrasco is 5-8 with a 4.29 ERA in 20 appearances, including 17 starts, against Minnesota.
The Twins counter with right-hander Adalberto Mejia (1-0, 3.65). He moved into the starting rotation when Lance Lynn was dealt to the Yankees on Monday.
Mejia’s last outing came Sunday at Boston, where he allowed one hit over three scoreless innings of relief. He needed 39 pitches in that outing, so could be on a short leash in his third start of the season.
He is 1-2 with a 2.70 ERA in three career starts against the Indians, with all three of those starts coming last year.
The Twins had been one of the more active teams on the trade front over the last week and completed one more deal before the non-waiver deadline Tuesday afternoon. They sent second baseman Brian Dozier to the Dodgers for veteran infielder Logan Forsythe and a pair of minor league prospects.
“It’s been tough,” first baseman Joe Mauer said after watching yet another teammate pack his bags. “We’ve lost some really good people, some really good players and really close friends. It’s disappointing on a lot of levels. But I understand. It’s a business, and I don’t like to say that, but it really is when things like this happen. But I try not to worry about things I can’t control.”