American League Central

Standard

* – indicates new to team
AVG – Batting Average
ERA – Earned Run Average
HR – Home Runs
RBI – Runs Batted In
SV – Saves

1. Detroit Tigers
Signing Joe Nathan was the best offseason acquisition.
2. Kansas City Royals
This is their make or break year with James Shields’ free agency looming.
3. Cleveland Indians
Too many pitching questions brings them back to the middle of the pack.
4. Chicago White Sox
A lot of upside, but the rotation falters after Chris Sale.
5. Minnesota Twins
Some encouraging moves in the rotation, but where’s the power in the lineup?

Player to Watch: P James Shields Kansas City Royals
He has not disappointed in Kansas City after many criticized the Royals last season for giving up so much (Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi) to get Shields for only two years of service. Shields will become a free agent after the 2014 season, but Kansas City feels that their time is now with the vast array of hitters at their disposal and a deep talented bullpen. It will be interesting to see how this season plays out because if the Royals do fall out of contention before July, there will be a lot of rumors swirling about the availability of Shields before July 31.

Best Acquisition: P Joe Nathan Detroit Tigers
Make no mistake this was the biggest acquisition of the offseason. Bigger than Fielder being dealt from Detroit to Texas or the Yankees signing Masahiro Tanaka. The Tigers bullpen stunk that last two seasons and some could argue that’s why they didn’t win a World Series in that time. With Nathan coming aboard that means with Detroit having a lead going into the 9th inning they will be all but assured of a victory with Nathan’s career save percentage at just under 90%. That’s in Mariano Rivera territory.

New Kid on the Block: 1B Jose Abreu Chicago White Sox
A lot has been said about Abreu. He’s been called the Cuban Barry Bonds for one and his numbers in the professional Cuban league were considered other worldly (2010-11 .453 AVG 33 HR 93 RBI in only 66 games). Those numbers most likely won’t translate to the MLB level, but if he hits say .280 with 30 home runs and drives in 100. That will be considered a successful investment for the White Sox who dropped $68 million for his services. If he struggles early it could be a rough going for Abreu.

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Tigers Lineup

1. CF Austin Jackson
.272 AVG 12 HR 49 RBI
2. 2B Ian Kinsler*
.277 AVG 13 HR 72 RBI
3. 1B Miguel Cabrera
.348 AVG 44 HR 137 RBI
4. DH Victor Martinez
.301 AVG 14 HR 83 RBI
5. RF Torii Hunter
.304 AVG 17 HR 84 RBI
6. C Alex Avila
.227 AVG 11 HR 47 RBI
7. 3B Nick Castellanos
.276 AVG 18 HR 76 RBI (AAA stats)
8. LF Rajai Davis*
.260 AVG 6 HR 24 RBI
9. SS Alex Gonzalez*
.177 AVG 1 HR 8 RBI

Bench

OF Don Kelly
.222 AVG 6 HR 23 RBI
INF Andrew Romine*
.259 AVG 0 HR 10 RBI
C Bryan Holaday
.260 AVG 4 HR 24 RBI (AAA stats)

Rotation

1. Justin Verlander
13-12 3.46 ERA
2. Max Scherzer
21-3 2.90 ERA
3. Anibal Sanchez
14-8 2.57 ERA
4. Rick Porcello
13-8 4.32 ERA
5. Drew Smyly
6-0 2.37 ERA

Setup

Joba Chamberlain*
2-1 4.93 ERA

Closer

Joe Nathan*
43 SV 1.39 ERA

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Royals Lineup

1. RF Norichika Aoki*
.286 AVG 8 HR 37 RBI
2. 2B Omar Infante*
.318 AVG 10 HR 51 RBI
3. 1B Eric Hosmer
.302 AVG 17 HR 79 RBI
4. DH Billy Butler
289 AVG 15 HR 82 RBI
5. LF Alex Gordon
.265 AVG 20 HR 81 RBI
6. C Salvador Perez
.292 AVG 13 HR 79 RBI
7. 3B Mike Moustakas
.233 AVG 12 HR 42 RBI
8. CF Lorenzo Cain
.251 AVG 4 HR 46 RBI
9. SS Alcides Escobar
.234 AVG 4 HR 52 RBI

Bench

OF Justin Maxwell
.252 AVG 7 HR 25 RBI
OF Jarrod Dyson
.258 AVG 2 HR 17 RBI
INF Danny Valencia*
.304 AVG 8 HR 23 RBI

Rotation

1. James Shields
13-9 3.15 ERA
2. Jason Vargas*
9-8 4.02 ERA
3. Jeremy Guthrie
15-12 4.04 ERA
4. Yordano Ventura
8-6 3.14 ERA (AA and AAA stats)
5. Bruce Chen
9-4 3.27 ERA

Setup

Aaron Crow
7-5 3.38 ERA

Closer

Greg Holland
47 SV 1.21 ERA

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Indians Lineup

1. CF Michael Bourn
.263 AVG 6 HR 50 RBI
2. 1B Nick Swisher
.246 AVG 22 HR 63 RBI
3. 2B Jason Kipnis
.284 AVG 17 HR 84 RBI
4. 3B Carlos Santana
.268 AVG 20 HR 74 RBI
5. LF Michael Brantley
.284 AVG 10 HR 73 RBI
6. SS Asdrubal Cabrera
.242 AVG 14 HR 64 RBI
7. RF David Murphy*
.220 AVG 13 HR 45 RBI
8. DH Ryan Raburn
.272 AVG 16 HR 55 RBI
9. C Yan Gomes
.294 AVG 11 HR 38 RBI

Bench

INF Mike Aviles
.252 AVG 9 HR 46 RBI
3B Lonnie Chisenhall
.225 AVG 11 HR 36 RBI
OF Nyjer Morgan*
.239 AVG 3 HR 16 RBI (2012 stats)

Rotation

1. Justin Masterson
14-10 3.45 ERA
2. Danny Salazar
2-3 3.12 ERA
3. Corey Kluber
11-5 3.85 ERA
4. Zach McAllister
9-9 3.75 ERA
5. Carlos Carrasco
1-4 6.75 ERA

Setup

Cody Allen
6-1 2.43 ERA

Closer

John Axford*
7-7 4.02 ERA

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White Sox Lineup

1. CF Adam Eaton*
.252 AVG 3 HR 22 RBI
2. 2B Gordon Beckham
.267 AVG 5 HR 24 RBI
3. 1B Jose Abreu*
(Played in Cuba)
4. DH Adam Dunn
.219 AVG 34 HR 86 RBI
5. RF Avisail Garcia
.283 AVG 7 HR 31 RBI
6. LF Dayan Viciedo
.265 AVG 14 HR 56 RBI
7. SS Alexei Ramirez
.284 AVG 6 HR 48 RBI
8. 3B Conor Gillaspie
.245 AVG 13 HR 40 RBI
9. C Tyler Flowers
.195 AVG 10 HR 24 RBI

Bench

1B/DH Paul Konerko
.244 AVG 12 HR 54 RBI
OF Alejandro De Aza
.264 AVG 17 HR 62 RBI
INF Jeff Keppinger
.253 AVG 4 HR 40 RBI

Rotation

1. Chris Sale
11-14 3.07 ERA
2. Jose Quintana
9-7 3.51 ERA
3. John Danks
4-14 4.75 ERA
4. Erik Johnson
3-2 3.25 ERA
5. Felipe Paulino*
3-1 1.67 ERA (2012 stats)

Setup

Matt Lindstrom
2-4 3.12 ERA

Closer

Nate Jones
4-5 4.15 ERA

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Twins Lineup

1. CF Aaron Hicks
.192 8 HR 27 RBI
2. 2B Brian Dozier
.244 AVG 18 HR 66 RBI
3. 1B Joe Mauer
.324 AVG 11 HR 47 RBI
4. LF Josh Willingham
.208 AVG 14 HR 48 RBI
5. 3B Trevor Plouffe
.254 AVG 14 HR 52 RBI
6. DH Jason Kubel*
.216 AVG 5 HR 32 RBI
7. RF Oswaldo Arcia
.251 AVG 14 HR 43 RBI
8. C Josmil Pinto
.309 AVG 15 HR 74 RBI (AA and AAA stats)
9. SS Pedro Florimon
.221 AVG 9 HR 44 RBI

Bench

C Kurt Suzuki*
.232 AVG 5 HR 32 RBI
INF Eduardo Escobar
.236 AVG 3 HR 10 RBI
1B Chris Colabello
.194 AVG 7 HR 17 RBI

Rotation

1. Ricky Nolasco*
13-11 3.70 ERA
2. Phil Hughes*
4-14 5.19 ERA
3. Kevin Correia
9-13 4.18 ERA
4. Mike Pelfrey
5-13 5.19 ERA
5. Kyle Gibson
2-4 6.53 ERA

Setup

Jared Burton
2-9 3.82 ERA

Closer

Glen Perkins
36 SV 2.30 ERA

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