Series preview: Indians at Royals

BY foxsports • May 16, 2011


Manager Manny Acta was forced to tinker with his starting rotation in the wake of consecutive postponements to scheduled games with Seattle Saturday and Sunday. The two pitchers most immediately affected are Josh Tomlin and rookie Alex White.

Tomlin was the scheduled starter for Sunday's game, which never started, so Acta said Tomlin will now start Monday in Kansas City, and the rest of the rotation will be pushed back one day.

That means No. 1 starter Fausto Carmona, who was scheduled to start Wednesday in Chicago, will now start Thursday, on one extra day's rest. Acta typically tries to consistently keep Carmona on his fifth day, to the point of pushing other starters back a day or two in order to keep Carmona on his regular turn.

That's not practical this time, however, because of the consecutive postponed games on Saturday and Sunday. The Saturday starter was Alex White, who pitched the top of the first inning before the game was postponed. Acta then announced White's next start would be Thursday.

But Sunday's postponement caused Acta and pitching coach Tim Belcher to re-align the rotation once again. Tomlin, the scheduled starter Sunday, gets the Monday start at Kansas City, and the rest of the rotation will be moved back one day each.

That means Carmona will start Thursday instead of Wednesday, with White, who was supposed to start Thursday, getting bumped to Friday. White, a rookie, will essentially go 12 days between starts. His last meaningful start was May 7. He pitched one inning in Saturday's postponed game, and now is scheduled to start next on Friday, May 20.

NOTES, QUOTES

--RHP Josh Tomlin, who was the scheduled starter Sunday, will now start Monday in Kansas City. The change was necessitated by the Indians-Mariners game being postponed Sunday. The two teams also had their scheduled game Saturday postponed

--RHP Alex White was the big loser Saturday, when the Indians game with the Mariners was rained out. White pitched a scoreless top of the first inning, but the game was then canceled when the rain came in the bottom of the first. Manager Manny Acta said White will go to the end of the line in the rotation now, and will make his next start Friday. Not counting that one-inning stint in Saturday's postponed game, White last started a game on May 7.

--OF Grady Sizemore has been sent to the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 11th.  He will be eligible to return on May 26th.

--DH Travis Hafner's walk-off home run Friday night was his fifth home run of the season, but his first since April 17. Hafner went 57 at-bats between home runs, although he did hit .328 in that span.

--RHP Joe Smith's side-arm delivery traditionally gives right-handed hitters trouble, but not this year. Right-handers are hitting .375 (9-for-24) versus Smith. Left-handed hitters are batting .091 (1-for-11) against him.

BY THE NUMBERS: 14 -- Consecutive home games won by the Indians between April 3 and May 11. That's the third-longest home winning streak in franchise history.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "When you're down four runs, it's not a good idea to be picked off." -- Manager Manny Acta, on OF Michael Brantley and 2B Orlando Cabrera, who were both picked off base when the Indians were losing by four runs to Tampa Bay, in an eventual 7-4 loss on May 12.

ROSTER REPORT
MEDICAL WATCH:

--RHP Mitch Talbot (strained right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 12. He threw a bullpen session May 3, and he pitched in extended spring training May 9. He made a rehab start for Class AAA Columbus on May 14, and manager Manny Acta said he would make one more start in the minors before returning.

--INF Jared Goedert (strained abdominal muscle) went on the 60-day disabled list March 30. He began a rehab assignment with Class AA Akron on May 10.

--OF Trevor Crowe (right shoulder surgery in March 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 30. He will be out until at least late July.

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KANSAS CITY ROYALS
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The Royals got an unwanted off-day Sunday and lost a September off-day.

The Royals-Tigers game at Detroit was rained out Sunday. It will be made up on Sept. 1 at Comerica Park when the Royals return for what was to be a three-game series, but will become a four-game set.

Sept. 1 was originally an open-date for both clubs. Rosters can be expanded from 25 to 40 beginning in September, so giving up the off-date was considered a better option than playing a doubleheader in the final days of August.

The rainout was the Royals' first this season.

Instead of tinkering or altering his rotation after the washout, Royals manager Ned Yost opted just to move everybody back a day in the rotation.

Righty Kyle Davies, who was scheduled to start Sunday, will instead pitch the home opener Monday against the Indians. Right-hander Vin Mazzaro will start Tuesday, the second game of the series.

Sean O'Sullivan and Luke Hochevar will start Wednesday and Thursday, a two-game series against the defending American League champion Rangers.

Lefty Jeff Francis, who is still looking for his first Kansas City victory, is scheduled to start Friday as interleague play opens with cross-state rival St. Louis.

NOTES, QUOTES

--C Matt Treanor hit .444 on the road trip to New York and Detroit. He has a .576 on-base percentage in his past 10 games -- 10 hits and seven walks.

--RHP Louis Coleman retired eight straight batters to end the trip. He retired all five Tigers he faced Friday, two via strikeout. He retired Alex Rodriguez, Eduardo Nunez and Nick Swisher on Wednesday to pick up his first major league save in New York.

--RHP Robinson Tejeda, who went on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, could be close to returning to the Kansas City bullpen. In five games while rehabbing with Class AAA Omaha, Tejeda has allowed one unearned run in six innings, giving up five hits, striking out six and walking two. He also worked back-to-back days on Friday and Saturday.

--C Brayan Pena is hitless in his past dozen at-bats. Pena's average has dropped to .196.

--The Royals did not commit an error on the five-game trip to New York and Detroit. They have not committed an error in nine of their past 10 games. Since May 4, they have committed two errors in 379 chances, a fielding percentage of .995, which tops the American League in that span.

BY THE NUMBERS: 10-3, 3.05-- Record and ERA of the Royals' bullpen in the first 39 games.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Just didn't come out of the chute with the best stuff. I guess I got a wake-up call." -- LHP Jeff Francis, who gave up three runs on his first 13 pitches and nothing the rest of the way in a complete-game 3-0 loss Saturday at Detroit.

ROSTER REPORT
MEDICAL WATCH:

--LHP Bruce Chen (left lat strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 6. He is expected to be out until at least early June.   

--RHP Robinson Tejeda (right shoulder inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 13. He threw his first bullpen session April 19, and he threw additional bullpen sessions April 30 and May 3. He began a rehab assignment with Class AAA Omaha on May 6 and could be close to returning to the bullpen.

--C Jason Kendall (right shoulder surgery in September 2010) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22. He was transferred to the 60-day disabled list May 5.

--RHP Henry Barrera (right elbow sprain) was hurt Feb. 25, and he went on the 60-day disabled list March 13. He hopes to return by midseason.

 


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