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Continued: Chart: Previewing the AL Central

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  • Last update: March 28, 2013 - 11:22 PM

Why they won’t: With Pierzynski gone, the jury is out with Tyler Flowers at catcher. Keppinger replaces Youkilis at third base. Paul Konerko remains a force, but other hitters in the lineup are boom or bust, including Adam Dunn, Alex Rios, Alexei Ramirez and Gordon Beckham.

CLEVELAND INDIANS

2012: 68-94 (24-53 after All-Star break)

Who’s gone: Shin-Soo Choo, Travis Hafner, Grady Sizemore, Roberto Hernandez, Jack Hannahan, Shelley Duncan.

Who’s new: Terry Francona (manager), Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher, Mike Aviles, Trevor Bauer, Scott Kazmir, Brett Myers, Bryan Shaw, Drew Stubbs.

Why they’ll contend: They reshuffled the deck after another brutal second half last year. It wasn’t former manager Manny Acta’s fault, but the Indians landed a proven winner in Francona. Ownership re-established its commitment by signing Swisher for $56 million and Bourn for $48 million. And the back end of the bullpen is solid, led by All-Star closer Chris Perez.

Why they won’t: The starting rotation has too many question marks. If Ubaldo Jimenez and Justin Masterson are on their game, look out. But that’s a big if, especially for Jimenez, who’s been a huge disappointment since 2010.

TWINS

2012: 66-96 (30-47 after All-Star break)

Who’s gone: Scott Baker, Denard Span, Ben Revere, Carl Pavano, Matt Capps.

Who’s new: Vance Worley, Mike Pelfrey, Kevin Correia.

Why they’ll contend: The last time the Twins entered a season with expectations this low was 2008, their first year without Johan Santana and Torii Hunter. Expected favorites Detroit and Cleveland flopped, and the Twins wound up losing a Game 163 tiebreaker to the White Sox 1-0. The Twins have had two straight seasons derailed by injuries, so better health would be a boost.

Why they won’t: Their pitching staff pales in comparison to Detroit’s and Chicago’s. Worley, Pelfrey and Correia might stabilize things after last year’s debacle, but they are not high-end talents. And the lineup has too many question marks — second base, third base, shortstop, center field, right field — to imagine it coming together at once.







  • related content

  • Hunter: He’s 37 but still strong.

  • Tejada: Young Royals added a vet.

  • Francona: Knows how to win.

  • Keppinger: White Sox 3B hope.

  • Worley: He’s an improvement.

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Minnesota «02100001X492
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:C.Fien(5-4) L:B.Shaw(4-2) S:G.Perkins (23)
HR: CLE- None MIN- J.Willingham (9)

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Los Angeles - WP: H. Ryu 5 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 2
San Francisco - WP: G. Kontos 7 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: C. Lee 4
Texas - WP: M. Mikolas 4 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Greene 2
Boston - WP: J. Lackey 14 FINAL
Toronto - LP: D. Hutchison 1
Miami - WP: B. Morris 3 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: S. Simmons 1
Cincinnati - LP: M. Latos 2 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
Cleveland - LP: B. Shaw 3 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: C. Fien 4
Kansas City - LP: J. Guthrie 1 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 3
Washington - WP: D. Fister 7 FINAL
Colorado - LP: F. Morales 2
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 4 FINAL
Arizona - LP: R. Delgado 3
Baltimore - WP: B. Norris 4 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: M. Shoemaker 2
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 2 FINAL
Seattle - WP: R. Elias 5
Calgary 7/24/14 8:00 PM
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Winnipeg 7/25/14 9:00 PM
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