So, naturally, the Tribe's most consistent starter to date has been a 38-year-old coming off a season in which he went 9-17 with a 5.05 ERA. The Braves ate two-thirds of Derek Lowe's $15 million salary in an offseason deal that swapped the veteran righty for Minor League pitcher Chris Jones.
Now, Lowe is defying the odds and carrying an inconsistent Cleveland rotation. He enters his start on Tuesday with a 2.47 ERA and a team-high five wins.
"Lowe was Lowe," said Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez after Lowe's last outing, in which he earned the victory after holding Boston to two runs on nine hits in six innings of an 8-3 win. "Changeups, occasional slider. Kept the ball down and got ground balls."
Twins right-hander Jason Marquis will oppose Lowe on Tuesday. Marquis hasn't faced the Indians since 2006, when he was pitching for St. Louis.
Marquis has only faced four current Indians hitters: Johnny Damon, Casey Kotchman, Jose Lopez and Travis Hafner. Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire has seen enough of the Indians to know that they can be a dangerous opponent, as the Tribe posted a 5-4 win in Monday's opener.
"They're a good baseball team," Gardenhire said. "They're just carrying on what they did last year. They're pitching and they play the game as a really aggressive team."
Indians: Choo produces from leadoff spot Manager Manny Acta inserted Shin-Soo Choo into the leadoff hole on Monday and the right fielder responded with a game-winning RBI single in the ninth.
Choo is batting just .236, but is sporting a .362 on-base percentage. Acta said Choo would hit from the top spot again on Tuesday.
"He's never changed. He's always been an on-base percentage guy," Acta said. "And that's something we made clear to him. If he wants to swing at the first pitch of the game, go for it."
The Indians called up right-hander Jeremy Accardo from Triple-A Columbus to replace reliever Dan Wheeler, who the team designated for assignment following Sunday's 12-1 loss to Boston. In that defeat, Wheeler surrendered six runs in one inning, raising his ERA to 8.76.
Twins: Division foes scarce on Twins' schedule
Minnesota entered an AL-Central-heavy portion of its schedule on Monday. Just two of the Twins' first 34 games came against division opponents. However, starting with Monday's 5-4 loss to the Indians, 16 of their next 22 games are against AL Central rivals.
"It's a little different," Gardenhire said. "We've played the Angels nine times already. It's a little bit strange. But what can you do? We don't make the schedules. We only play them."
Francisco Liriano made his first relief appearance of the season on Monday, tossing two scoreless innings while walking three and striking out three.
Twins slugger Justin Morneau took live batting on Monday for the first time in two weeks as he rehabs from a sore left wrist.