Pregame Notes: Cleveland Indians try to win series in Detroit on Francisco Lindor’s debut

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Cleveland Indians’ prized prospect Francisco Lindor set to make his debut in series rubber match

It’s been a long time coming for Cleveland Indians fans.

The season-long struggles of Cleveland’s left side of the infield has led to a handful of roster moves over the last week. Following yesterday’s game, the Tribe announced the organization’s top prospect Francisco Lindor will make his big league debut this afternoon.

The slick-fielding 21-year-old shortstop is MLB.com’s third-ranked prospect and is widely regarded as one of the best fielding middle infield prospects in the game. Lindor joins fellow rookie Giovanny Urshela, who was the first to get the call last week. Urshela has hit .231 with a home run in five games for the Tribe.

Only one of those rookies, though, will be playing this afternoon behind Tribe ace Corey Kluber, who is coming off another tough-luck loss after allowing just two earned runs in seven innings against the Seattle Mariners. After a rough start to the season, Kluber has dropped his ERA to 3.53 as he has thrown seven-plus innings in six consecutive starts. His 3-7 record is certainly not indicative of the reigning Cy Young winner’s performance this season, as his 2.46 average run support is the fourth-lowest in all of baseball. 

In his one start against the Tigers this season, Kluber tosses 6.1 innings while allowing two earned runs and fanning 10 in a no decision.

Opposite Kluber, Alfredo Simon will take the ball from Tigers’ manager Brad Ausmus. Simon, who enters the game 6-3 with a 2.76 ERA, beat the Tribe twice back in April on his way to a 4-0 start to the season.

Despite the two early losses this season, Cleveland is typically a very difficult match-up for Simon. Michael Brantley is 5-for-15 with seven RBIs in his career against the Tigers’ right-hander and David Murphy is hitting .500 in eight career at-bats vs. Simon.

Now playing with two rookies in the lineup, the Tribe looks to take the series rubber match against the Tigers in hopes of inching one game closer to Detroit in the AL Central standings.

Here are the starting lineups:

According to T.J. Zuppe of 92.3 The Fan, the Tribe was still awaiting the arrival of Lindor as of 8:40 a.m. No word on whether Lindor was originally expected to start, but perhaps manager Terry Francona prefers to give him a game in the dugout before he makes his debut in Chicago tomorrow night.

News & Notes:

-Indians closer Cody Allen posted a horrid 18.00 ERA through five appearances this season. Since that time, though, Allen has posted a 1.96 ERA in 23 innings pitched. He has converted three four-out saves this season and 14 of 15 of his save opportunities.

-Given the overall lack of production from Indians’ shortstops this season, Tribe fans have been clamoring for the arrival of Lindor for quite some time.

Next: Indians shouldn't play without Chisenhall for long

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