SRIs 1st Annual MLB Spring Training Round-Up: American League Central Edition

March 10, 2009 – 10:39 am by Michael Bean

SRI continues our MLB Spring Training Roundups with the American League Central.  I believe this will be the most competitive division in all of baseball.  Last year the Tigers were predicted by most experts to win the division and by many experts to win the World Series.  Their lineup was supposed to be like the 1927 Yankees and their young pitching staff was only supposed to get better.  Didn’t quite work out that way as the Tigers finished last in the division proving once again that the games are won on the field and not on paper.

Injuries and intangible factors will play a huge role on who wins the AL Central.  Question marks abound for each and every team:  Can the White Sox manufacture a run or will it be home runs or bust again?  Are Jon Danks and Gavin Floyd ready to take the next step?  Who will weigh more, Bobby Jenks or Bartolo Colon? Is Alexei Ramirez the next great shortstop?  Can the Twins keep rebuilding every year and still be successful?  Which Francisco Liriano will we see?  Is there a faster outfield in baseball than Gomez, Young, and Span? Can Nick Punto be an everyday shortstop?  Can Kerry Wood hold up for a whole season with the Indians?  Can Grady Sizemore cut down on his strikeouts and raise his batting average?  What can Cliff Lee do for an encore?  Will Travis Hafner rebound? When will Matt LaPorta be ready?  Can the Royals be this year’s Rays?  Who will Jose Guillen be mad at this year? Is Zack Greinke the best pitcher no one’s heard of?  Will Alex Gordon live up to his billing?  Will Dontrelle Willis ever regain his dominating form?  Can Carlos Guillen succeed at his 5th position in the bigs?  How much does Gary Sheffield have left?  Will Jim Leyland ever go on the patch?

Thanks to all the radio stations for the great audio.

AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL

2008 FINAL STANDINGS

  1. Chicago: 89-74
  2. Minnesota: 88-75
  3. Cleveland: 81-81
  4. Kansas City: 75-87
  5. Detroit: 74-88

Audio From Around The Division

CHICAGO WHITE SOX


Listen here to DH Jim Thome on WSCR in Chicago

Listen here to SP Gavin Floyd on WSCR in Chicago

Listen here to 1B Paul Konerko on ESPN Radio Chicago

Listen here to P Mark Buehrle on ESPN Radio Chicago

Listen here to P John Danks on ESPN Radio Chicago

Listen here to P Bobby Jenks on WSCR

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MINNESOTA TWINS

Listen here to Closer Joe Nathan on WCCO in Minneapolis

Listen here to 3B Joe Crede on KFAN in Minnesota

Listen here to OF Denard Span on WCCO in Minneapolis

Listen here to GM Bill Smith on WCCO in Minneapolis

Listen here to President of Baseball Operations David St. Peter on KFAN in Mineapolis

Listen here to Manager Ron Gardenhire on KFAN in Minneapolis

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CLEVELAND INDIANS

Listen to GM Mark Shapiro on WFAN In New York

Listen here to new closer Kerry Wood on WTAM in Cleveland

Listen here to C Victor Martinez on WTAM in Cleveland

Listen here to P Jake Westbrook on WTAM in Cleveland

Listen here to Manager Eric Wedge on WTAM in Cleveland

Listen here to DH Travis Hafner on WTAM in Cleveland

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KANSAS CITY ROYALS

Listen here to Trey Hillman on WHB in Kansas City

Listen to GM Dayton Moore on WHB in Kansas City

Listen here to 1B Mike Jacobs on KCSP in Kansas City (from 02/25/09; near bottom of page in Chris and Cowboy audio)

Listen here to P Zach Grienke on KCSP in Kansas City (from 02/27/09; near bottom of page in Chris and Cowboy audio)

Listen here to OF Mike Teahan on KCSP in Kansas City

Listen here to P Horacio Ramirez with Roger Twibell on KCSP in Kansas City

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DETROIT TIGERS

Listen here to OF Curtis Granderson with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio

Listen here to RP Brandon Lyon on 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit

Jim Leyland on WJR in Detroit

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