Spring Training: One Thing to Watch From All 30 Teams - AL Central


Next up on our weekly look into Spring Training across baseball, we check in on the AL Central.  The AL Central may be, from top to bottom, the worst division in all of baseball.  The Indians are favorites again, but weaker than they have been in a few years.  Beyond them, you have 3 rebuilding ball clubs. That does not mean there isn't intrigue to be found though....

Cleveland Indians

One could say the biggest story line is Francisco Lindor's calf injury that should sideline him until after the season begins.  But that means he is actually not part of Spring Training.  Thankfully for Cleveland fans, in such a weak division, their pitching staff who after much trade talk, continues to be lead by Corey Kluber.  Kluber will be followed up by Carlos Carrasco and young up and comers Trevor Bauer, Shane Bieber, and Mike Clevinger.  This group should lead the Indians  to another AL Central crown.

Knowing their staff is set and strong, that makes the Indians' biggest Spring Training storyline about the outfield.  Who is the outfield?  Currently on Opening Day, Cleveland is slated to have Jordan Luplow, Leonys Martin, and Tyler Naquin having their names called during pregame introductions.  They also have Greg Allen fighting for playing time. There are a lot of lesser names jockeying for playing time, and it should be interesting to see if any of them actually stand out this spring and establish themselves as a legit threat in the box.  If anyone has the chance, my money is on Leonys Martin.  Also, keep an eye on the Indians to be a team to go approach veteran free agent outfielder Adam Jones about a job.  He may be one injury away from a phone call.

Chicago White Sox

White Sox fans were hoping their biggest storyline was going to be Manny Machado coming to the South Side.  Unfortunately that hope crashed to earth with Machado making history with his 10 year 300 million dollar deal with the Padres.  Chicago now enters 2019 not looking much better than they did a year before.  With that said, help is on the way and February and March baseball gives us all a chance to see that help.  Top prospects Eloy Jiminez and Dylan Cease are close to reaching the majors.  Eloy, a power outfielder, hit .337 with 22 home runs across two levels of the minor leagues.  Dylan Cease, a power righty pitcher once projected to be relegated to bullpen work, now appears to have the potential of a front line starter.  He has a fastball that has touched as high as 98, coupled with a strong curveball and an above average changeup.  Both guys could be sent to Triple A to begin the season, but both should get the call sometime soon this year.

Minnesota Twins

I think without a doubt all eyes will be on Miguel Sano this season.  Two years ago Sano hit 28 bombs only to fall off drastically last year.  Overall in 2018 he hit a measly .199 with only 13 long balls and was even sent all the way to Single A ball to refine his game.  He has already started off 2019 on the wrong foot (no pun intended) as he has a heel laceration leaving him in a walking boot.  Everything else out of the equation, Sano has arguably the most raw power in all of baseball.  It will be interesting to see him back on a field this spring to see if he is still capable of showing it off.

Detroit Tigers

All that is left of the once mighty Tigers is Miguel Cabrera.  Limited to only 38 games a year ago because of biceps surgery, Cabrera hopes transitioning to a full time DH role will help him stay on the field and produce for a Tigers team that will be desperate for runs.  The thing to know is before his injury in June, Miggy was having a typical Miggy season, batting .299 with 3 homeruns and 22 RBI's.  The average shows he can still hit.  Now injury free, and the hopes to stay that way without playing the field, eyes will be on Miggy this spring to see if the power returns as well.  Clearly passed his prime, it will be interesting to see what is left in the tank.

Kansas City Royals

I have to be brutally honest with you.  There is little to nothing here to work with in Kansas City this spring, and all summer long to be exact.  Coming off a 104 loss season, this years' team may top that.  If there is anything at all to keep an eye on, I would say it is their middle infield made up of Whit Merrifield and Adalberto Mondesi.  In today's game, where it is all power and no more speed on the basepaths, the Royals will rely on speed to manufacture runs.  Between the two of them alone, they will push 100 steals.  Chicks dig the long balls, but speed thrills.

Be on the lookout for AL West edition next week.

Follow Ryan on Twitter and ask your fantasy questions @BesseBoy.

Questions, comments, or ideas for the weekly podcast? Use @BostonSportsSYN.



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Boston Sports Syndicate: Spring Training: One Thing to Watch From All 30 Teams - AL Central
Spring Training: One Thing to Watch From All 30 Teams - AL Central
Boston Sports Syndicate
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