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AL Central

AL Central

Trial by Fire: Is Rick Porcello Heading to Detroit?

It is starting to get intriguing down in Lakeland, Fla.

What appeared to be the longshot of all longshots this Spring may indeed be coming to fruition, although not in the way many believed it would happen.

Rick Porcello, the Detroit Tigers first round draft pick way back in 2007, is a strong bet to make the rotation. 

That alone would merit a "wow" sentiment.  What may really blow your socks off is the idea that Porcello might not be the number five starter, but rather number four.

Saves: The Most Overrated Stat in Major League Baseball

On Sept. 13, 2008, Rodriguez broke Bobby Thigpen's saves record for a single season with 58. The following day, I jumped onto YouTube to watch a video of the record-breaking moment and couldn't help but look at some of the comments people had written.

Many of the comments were along the lines of, "K-Rod is the best closer in Major League Baseball." As a huge Joe Nathan fan, I was a little ticked off. I rattled in my head a number of players who I thought were better, such as: Joe Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon, Mariano Rivera, Brad Lidge, and Joakim Soria.

Five Things You Won't See in the American League Central Division in 2009

There's arguably no race in the Major League that is more difficult to predict than the American League Central Division.

Last year was a prime example.

Most preseason baseball forecasters picked either the Detroit Tigers or the Cleveland Indians to capture the division. Chicago was picked third, with Minnesota in fourth followed by Kansas City at the bottom.

Well, we all know what happened.

Yankees Win with Posada Back Behind Plate

The Yankees had a good day on both sides of the ball and beat the Minnesota Twins 5-1 at The Boss.

Can Justin Morneau Do It Again Without Joe Mauer?

Ruth and Gehrig...Mantle and Maris...Mays and McCovey...Aaron and Matthews.

All superstars in their own right, all capable of carrying a team on their backs. Put them together and you had dynamite.

The Minnesota Twins' Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau don't yet belong in this rarefied company. But they've accomplished a lot in their short careers.

The Chicago White Sox' 2009 Slightly Premature Preview

As I tend to do, I've saved the favorite for last. In the American League Central, that has to be the Chicago White Sox because they are the defending champions of the division. This is certainly the most wide open set of five in Major League Baseball.  Depending on who's talking, every team has a true shot to take the flag.

You cannot say that about any other division in baseball—thanks to the San Diego Padres and the AL West (only has four teams).

Are the Minnesota Twins Set for a Fall?

Sure, the Minnesota Twins confounded the baseball pundits by nearly capturing the American League Central Division crown in 2008. Off the strength of that performance, which surprised the hardiest of Twins' fans, even Vegas is hopping on Minnesota's bandwagon in 2009.

Is this optimism justified?

There are several troubling signs that 2009 could be a very bumpy ride.


Joe Mauer's health.

Fantasy Baseball Position Preview: Third Base, A Mighty Aramis

The Detroit Tigers' 2009 Slightly Premature Preview

In the interest of full disclosure, Justin Verlander and Gary Sheffield destroyed my fantasy team last year. Verlander was the second pitcher I drafted (after Aaron Harang—ouch), and all I needed from Sheff was one decent run at the end of the season to take my opening round playoff series. Swing and a miss on both counts.

Consequently, the residual bitterness may creep into this preview of the 2009 Detroit Tigers. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Delmon Young and Michael Cuddyer: A Community Projection

The pitchers have been covered—assuming the team will go with an 11-man staff and assuming the correct bullpen has been predicted. It's now time to move on to projecting the lineup and bench.

Instead of doing one at a time we're going to switch to two at a time to get done faster.

One more set will likely be posted before next week, and then three will likely go up within the next week to hopefully get these mostly done with time before the season.


Best of the American League
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