PREVIEW: Indians vs. A’s OPENING DAY March 31st
It’s that time of year again, where we can enjoy those warm summer nights enjoying the wonderful game of baseball (excluding Cleveland, we are going to a few more cold winter nights.) The Indians open up in the bay area to start the 2014 campaign. If you really look at the A’s and Indians are a mirror image of each other. Both small market, low payroll teams, both overcoming the odds of their disadvantages and making it to the post-season in 2013. In the A’s case the past 2 seasons, being back to back AL West champs. If we look at both teams, there isn’t a real superstar, they both have great players, that institute and continually use bench players. They are both having to do much with less, and again this season, people are expecting them not to make the playoffs.
RHP Justin Masterson vs. RHP Sonny Gray
Masterson in a contract year, hopefully will have the motivation to prove to the Indians he is worth the 17MM he is asking. Sonny Gray will be making his first career Opening Day start. Last season he was 5-3 with 2.37 ERA in 12 games. Reminds me of our Danny Salazar, he pitched only 64 innings and started a ALDS game last year against Detroit. A very promising young right hander for the A’s, he is only 24 years old.
Both Melvin and Tito have much versatility in their lineups. With the bench players both teams have and their involvement it will be the first of many lineups for both teams. The A’s and Indians have something to prove and it will all start tomorrow night.
This will mark the first season-opening meeting between these two teams since 1997. The Indians won the game, 9-7, at the Coliseum. Charles Nagy started for the Tribe and Ariel Prieto for Oakland. Nagy is now a pitching instructor in Cleveland’s system, while Prieto is a coach on Melvin’s staff.
-Jeff Dieringer, CST Indians Beat Reporter