Thursday, March 31, 2011

Off Base AL Central Preview

Offbase editors Derwood Morris and MTD haven't had much luck previewing things lately-MTD incorrectly predicted Gary Discarcina would come out of retirement to help the Angels win the 2009 World Series and Derwood thought Teen Wolf 3 would be the 2010 summer blockbuster. But here are division previews anyway.

Today I preview the AL Central because my boy Mike at The Golden Sombrero doesn't respond to text messages anymore. Jerk.

Chicago (2010: 88-74)
The White Sox picked up Adam Dunn's Three True Outcomes to DH for a pretty good lineup provided Paul Konerko, Alex Rios and Carlos Quentin don't completely collapse on themselves. Somebody better knock on wood. The good news is Gordan Beckham can't possibly be as bad as he was in 2010. Unless he's been studying the Brandon Wood handbook to future unemployment. Remember when Jake Peavy was a great pitcher? No, seriously, I really want to know. Somebody look that up for me.

Minnesota (94-68)
I'm fascinated by the Twins. Justin Morneau won an MVP that he didn't deserve in 2006 but was well on his way to an MVP season last year before a concussion derailed his second half. I blame that on pee-wee hockey and Canada. Joe Nathan missed the entire season and Joe Mauer went back to not hitting for power. And then Carl Pavano pitched like he belonged in Major League Baseball and they won 94 games. My Off Base prediction for the Twins is that Tsuyoshi Nishioka will hit .387 in 2011 and then .116 in 2012 but they'll still make the playoffs thanks to Gardy's willingness to sac bunt in the first inning.

Detroit (81-81)
Miguel Cabrera had another offseason bout with alcohol and is projected to have another 35+ home run season. There's something to be said about consistency. Austin Jackson's BABIP and OBP should regress in a big way leaving Cabrera and Victor Martinez as the only Major League bats in the lineup.

Cleveland (69-93)
Quick, name a starter other than Fausto Carmona. Shin-Soo Choo is pretty much the bright spot for the Indians until Carlos Santana is fully healthy from his season ending injury in his rookie year. Grady Sizemore is still trying to get his once-bright career back on track after being derailed by injuries. Here's to hoping Grady can play at a high level again and keeps his clothes on.

Kansas City (67-95)
The Royals farm system is loaded. 2011 begins their journey toward World Series Championship contention...in 2015.

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