Indians: Tyler Naquin last season looked to be Cleveland’s center fielder of the future. This year, Cleveland called up Bradley Zimmer, its first-round pick in 2014, and has to be pleased with the results. Zimmer hit .291 over his first 39 games with a .366 on-base percentage. He doesn’t try to do too much at the plate and is willing to use the opposite field. Definitely a young player to watch.
• • •
Royals: With no one taking control of the division, Kansas City’s recent surge has the Royals back in the picture. And they have done some of it without staff ace Danny Duffy, who has been out because of an oblique injury. But Duffy is in the middle of a rehabilitation assignment at Class AAA Omaha and could be back in the next 10 days. Duffy tweeted recently that no one in Kansas City has made vacation plans in October.
• • •
Tigers: Anibal Sanchez has been an expensive reliever, as he spent the early part of the year earning his $16 million salary out in the bullpen. But he went to Class AAA Toledo to get stretched out again and has entered the Tigers rotation with success. He posted a 2.45 ERA in his first two starts, with nine strikeouts in 11 innings. If Sanchez has regained his starter’s touch, it’s a big boost for Detroit.
• • •
White Sox: Former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected 65 times in his career. White Sox skipper Rick Renteria might be the new version of Gardy. Renteria was ejected three times over a six-game span during Chicago’s current 10-game homestand. That makes it five this season and 11 for his career. Renteria appears to be fiery, like Gardenhire, and is not afraid to stand up for his players.