The AL central looks to make some noise this year. The White sox are brining back a squad that lead almost wire to wire last season before faltering in the playoffs. The Twins pushed all their chips in with off season moves no one saw coming. And The Tigers spent cash and are ready to roar.
Chicago White Sox
Last season: 93-69 | Key additions: AJ Pollock (OF) Josh Harrison (2B), Kendall Graveman (P) Johnny Cueto | Key subtractions: Carlos Rodón (P) Krig Kimbrel (CL)
Time to get the party started. 🎉 pic.twitter.com/zwxPKTuKqJ — Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) April 6, 2022
The Upside: The White Sox ran away with the division last year — it was never remotely in doubt and I think that hurt them down the stretch and into the playoffs — and nearly the entire team returns. There is some room for improvement but that can be handled in season. The addition of Cueto helps. With better health for Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert the team should compete down the stretch. Pollock gives them depth in the Outfield at all three spots, Health is going to be the Key with the Chi-Sox. Look for third Basemen Jake Burger to break out.
The Downside : Carlos Rodón was one of the best pitchers in the American League last season, and Chicago let him walk. The hope being Michael Kopech can stay on the field . The White Sox stood pretty pat in the off season in both their lineup and their rotation is questionable when you consider how much better Minnesota is going to be this season. .
Last season: 73-89 | Key additions: Carlos Correa (SS), Gary Sánchez (C), Gio Urshela (3B), Sonny Gray (P) Dylan Bundy (SP) | Key subtractions: Josh Donaldson (3B) Michael Pinada (SP) Alex Colm (P)
The Minnesota Twins announce rookie Joe Ryan as their opening day starter! pic.twitter.com/CgpH3aDS8f — Morning Shift Media (@MorningShiftM) March 31, 2022
The Upside: With Carlos Correa at shortstop, Jorge Polanco at second and Byron Buxton in center field The team is built right. Strong up the middle. The Twins added a solid starting pitcher in Sonny Gray and if all Catcher Gary Sánchez needed was a change of scenery? That’s a huge get. RHP Jordan Blazavic should get a callup before the All Star Break. oh did i mention Rookie Righty Joe Ryan ?
The Downside: The team seems to be building something, but the long-term goals hinge on health and how things turn out this season. If Correa and Buxton are healthy and the pitching works out, this team could go on another run. With a few injuries and a losing record, Correa could opt out and be gone next winter.
Last season: 77-85 | Key additions: Javier Báez (SS), Eduardo Rodriguez (P) Andrew Chafin SP, RF Austin Meadows | Key subtractions: Niko Goodrum (SS)
Shhhh, the manager is speaking. pic.twitter.com/IGj4CNTnGi — Detroit Tigers (@tigers) April 7, 2022
The Upside : The Tigers showed they were a team on the upswing last season. And ownership decided to invest serious money in free agency. Javier Báez gets back to shortstop, where he is a great defensive player. Add E-Rod to this staff and AJ Hinch has arms to deal with. First/ third base prospect Spencer Torkelson, has made the opening day roster This should help Carbrera allowing him a full time DH role. If outfielder Akil Baddoo and pitcher Casey Mize are as good as they looked at various points last season, this could be a team on the rise. Meadows was a sneaky good trade for the Tigers.
The Downside: Báez’s patience at the plate or lack thereof and Eduardo Rodriguez’s inconsistency help explain why their clubs allowed them to walk away. At some point, with the addition of 2020 top overall pick Torkelson, and Meadows the team will likely say goodbye to Miguel Cabrera, which sucks.
Last season: 80-82 | Key additions and subtractions: yea Void .
GOOD MORNING, @CleGuardians!!⚾️💫 pic.twitter.com/4kNClpiJMD — C0RY (@c0ry024) April 7, 2022
The Upside: The team has a new name. And Jose Ramirez has a new five year deal. This young roster won’t wow, but can hold its own. Shane Bieber is healthy, which is a huge improvement from last season. 1b Bobby Bradley has 40 Home run potential if he can get his K Rate down. Emmanuel Clase was top five in Saves last year and is set to close again. Keep a sharp eye on rookie Steven Kwan . Kids got it
The Downside: Jose Ramirez has a new five year deal, can the Indi – oops Guardians that’s going to take time people, Can the Guardians afford to get him some help ?
Last season: 74-88 | Key additions: Zack Greinke (P), Amir Garrett (P) Taylor clark (P) | Key subtractions: Mike Minor (P)
What a view .
I Can Feel It Coming In The Air, Tonight!! Finally, baseball season is upon us. #believe #royals pic.twitter.com/6gKG5n16QX — Michael J. 🍥 (@revive85KC) April 7, 2022
The Upside: Amir Garrett could be a great addition and Zack Greinke’s return to Kansas City brings him full circle, and should help the back end of the rotation. Salvador Perez is one of the best catchers in baseball. Royals fans are getting the chance to see the young shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. play regularly. That alone is worth the price of admission.
The Downside: Beyond the all star play of catcher Salvador Perez, the return of Greinke and the promise of Witt, there isn’t a lot here in KC to be happy about. And that’s a shame. but the potential is here
As always you may follow / give me grief on Twitter @Tmurph207