Tag Archives: A.L. Central

2011 American League Central Previews- Royals

Today’s Focus: Kansas City Royals

The biggest news for the Royals this offseason is the loss of Zack Greinke. In return the Royals received Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain and Jeremy Jeffress. Alcides Escobar is not only a HUGE defensive upgrade, he can also be a terror on the base paths and is a good contact hitter. Don’t let the 14 SB over the past two years fool you, anyone would have trouble stealing a base from the 8th spot in a National League lineup. He may be their top candidate for leadoff even though he can’t draw a walk. Lorenzo Cain also brings speed to the lineup but his Major League sample size is too small for us to make any solid predictions. Jeremy Jeffress looks to make an immediate impact in the bullpen while hitting 100 mph on the radar gun.

Billy Butler locked in at the 3 spot in the order. It will be interesting to see how the Royals handle the Eric Hosmer call up. The team would not have room for Hosmer, Butler and Kila Ka’aihue. Spring training will have to play out before we decide the odd man out in the 2B/3B situation. I would start Mike Aviles at 2B and Wilson Betemit at 3B until Mike Moustakas is ready, leaving Chris Getz the odd man out. Jeff Francoeur, Alex Gordon and a combination of Lorenzo Cain/Melky Cabrera will man the outfield.

The starting rotation for the Royals are nothing more than place-holders for the prospects waiting to arrive. Luke Hochevar is the staff ace (Hochevar a former #1 pick himself), followed by Jeff Francis, Bruce Chen, Kyle Davies and probably Vin Mazzaro. The bullpen is pretty right-handed unless Tim Collins makes the team. Robinson Tejeda is still the set-up man for Joakim Soria.

Notable Pick Ups: Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Jeff Francoeur, Jeremy Jeffress, Vin Mazzaro, Melky Cabrera, Jeff Francis

Notable Losses: Zack Greinke, David DeJesus, Yuniesky Betancourt, Brian Bannister, Gill Meche

Look for the Royals and their revitalized lineup to pass the Cleveland Indians for 4th place in the A.L. Central in 2011.

2011 American League Central Previews: Indians

Today’s Focus: Cleveland Indians

When I look at this team, I feel sad and I’m not even a Cleveland Indians fan.

It looks like Carlos Santana will be staring opening day and Shin-Soo Choo is returning healthy. Lonnie Chisenhall, Alex White and Jason Kipnis are their 3 best prospects and Kipnis may see time at 2B this year. Manager Manny Acta has mentioned Jared Goedert will get a good look at 3rd base this spring. In 481 ABs between AA and AAA, Goedert hit .283 with 27 home runs and 83 RBI.

Read more of this post

American League Central Previews- Tigers

Today’s Focus: Detroit Tigers

The additions of Victor Martinez and Joaquin Benoit are huge. They also have a guy named Miguel Cabrera who will see more strikes with VMart hitting behind him. Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer will be the best 1-2 starters in the A.L. Central. Their bullpen is a strength with Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit, Daniel Schlereth, Joel Zumaya and Brad Thomas. Is this enough for the Tigers to compete in 2011?

Brad Penny is a good add for the back-end of the rotation. The only dilemma I see is Brad Penny and Rick Porcello are both ground ball pitchers. This will have a negative affect on the Tigers leaky infield defense. Carlos Guillen has lost his range and Jhonny Peralta never had any. Miguel has never been a great defender.

As for the lineup, you have about five guys who should be penciled in at DH and most of team is right-handed. What happens when the injury-prone Brandon Inge goes down? Do you move the injury-prone Carlos Guillen to 3rd? Carlos Guillen may not be back until May. Scott Sizemore and Will Rhymes will platoon at 2B until he returns.

Notable Losses: Armando Galarraga, Johnny Damon, Gerald Laird, Jeremy Bonderman

Notable Pick Ups: Brad Penny, Victor Martinez, Joaquin Benoit

This team seems to have too many aging veterans and injury concerns for my liking. Expect them to finish 3rd in the Central again finishing behind the White Sox and Twins.

American League Central Previews- White Sox

Today’s Focus: Chicago White Sox

The White Sox will need to step it up in April and May to contend for the A.L. Central Division Title. Gavin Floyd, Jake Peavy, Alexei Ramirez, Carlos Quentin and Gordon Beckham all did their part in ensuring a sub par April and May in  2010.

For the most part, the lineup looks to be pretty solid. The addition of Adam Dunn not only adds incredible power, but he also brings a much need left-handed bat in the middle of a right-handed heavy lineup. Gordon Beckham’s strong 2010 second half suggests a breakout campaign. The only glaring hole would be at 3B. Mark Teahan and Brent Morel will battle it out for the 3B job but this could be a possible platoon situation. Mark Teahan has a career .200 AVG vs. lefties and Brent Morel bats from the right side.

As for the pitching, they may have the best staff in the A.L. Central when it’s all said and done. The only issue I see is, we don’t know who will be filling in for Jake Peavy until his return. If they decide to go with Chris Sale, it will thin out their bullpen and they could go with a platoon of Jesse Crain, Sergio Santos and Matt Thornton in the closer spot.

Notable Losses: Manny Ramirez, Bobby Jenks, Mark Kotsay, Andruw Jones, Scott Linebrink, Freddy Garcia

Notable Pick Ups: Adam Dunn, Lastings Milledge, Will Ohman, Jesse Crain, Phillip Humber

If the White Sox can keep their heads above water during April and May, they will take the A.L. Central dethroning the Minnesota Twins.