Chart: Previewing the AL Central

  • Updated: March 28, 2013 - 11:22 PM
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Hunter: He’s 37 but still strong.

DETROIT TIGERS

2012: 88-74 (44-32 after All-Star break)

Who’s gone: Jose Valverde, Delmon Young.

Who’s new: Torii Hunter, Brayan Pena.

Why they’ll contend: The defending AL champions spent the winter tinkering, not retooling, knowing DH Victor Martinez is coming back after missing 2012 with a knee injury. Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer are still here. And they’ve added Hunter, who turns 37 in July but can still play.

Why they won’t: Detroit was willing to let Valverde leave as a free agent because it has a closer-in-waiting in Bruce Rondon, whose fastball has hit 102 miles per hour. But that’s a big job when a team is expected, not just hoping, to reach the postseason. Beyond that, there aren’t many questions.

KANSAS CITY ROYALS

2012: 72-90 (35-43 after All-Star break)

Who’s gone: Joakim Soria.

Who’s new: James Shields, Wade Davis, Ervin Santana, Miguel Tejada.

Why they’ll contend: They’re certainly going for it. They re-signed Jeremy Guthrie, acquired Ervin Santana and traded top prospects Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery to get Shields and Davis from Tampa Bay. KC’s bullpen quietly posted a 3.17 ERA last year. If first baseman Eric Hosmer bounces back from his sophomore slump and Santana rediscovers his 2011 form, the Royals will be tough.

Why they won’t: Jeff Francoeur became an anchor last year. Myers looked poised to replace him, and now he’s gone. The bench will be thin, unless Tejada somehow revitalizes himself after missing 2012. History also works against this club, with just one winning season (2003) since 1994.

CHICAGO WHITE SOX

2012: 85-77 (38-39 after All-Star break)

Who’s gone: A.J. Pierzynski, Kevin Youkilis, Francisco Liriano, Brett Myers, Philip Humber.

Who’s new: Jeff Keppinger, Matt Lindstrom.

Why they’ll contend: The White Sox didn’t add any big pieces this offseason, but they kept Jake Peavy and Gavin Floyd from leaving via free agency. Chris Sale is one of the toughest lefties in baseball, and Jose Quintana quietly posted a 3.76 ERA last year. The pitching staff is talented and deep. Lindstrom adds to an already strong bullpen.

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.







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Cleveland 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Tennessee 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Detroit 12:00 PM
New England
Green Bay 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Jacksonville 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Cincinnati 12:00 PM
Houston
Tampa Bay 12:00 PM
Chicago
Arizona 3:05 PM
Seattle
St. Louis 3:05 PM
San Diego
Miami 3:25 PM
Denver
Washington 3:25 PM
San Francisco
Dallas 7:30 PM
NY Giants
NY Jets 11/24/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Baltimore 11/24/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 11/27/14 11:30 AM
Detroit
Philadelphia 11/27/14 3:30 PM
Dallas
Seattle 11/27/14 7:30 PM
San Francisco
LA Clippers 5:00 PM
Memphis
Portland 5:00 PM
Boston
Charlotte 5:00 PM
Miami
Golden State 6:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Denver 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
St. Louis 3:30 PM
Winnipeg
Montreal 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Arizona 7:00 PM
Anaheim
Chicago 8:30 PM
Vancouver
Coll of Charleston 12 1st Half 11:15
George Mason 12
Massachusetts 11:00 AM
Florida State
Youngstown St 11:00 AM
UNC Greensboro
Wofford 11:00 AM
Sam Houston St
Ark-Pine Bluff 11:30 AM
Central Mich
Southern Ill 12:00 PM
Ill-Chicago
Drexel 12:30 PM
Cornell
American Univ 12:30 PM
Morehead State
CS-Northridge 1:00 PM
Ark-Little Rock
Bethune-Cookman 1:00 PM
Central Conn St
South Dakota 1:00 PM
Fairfield
Columbia 1:00 PM
Lehigh
Texas A&M 1:00 PM
New Mexico
TX A&M-CC 1:00 PM
Saint Louis
Merchant Marine 1:00 PM
Stony Brook
Longwood 1:30 PM
Eastern Mich
Providence 1:30 PM
Notre Dame
Jackson State 2:00 PM
UAB
Coppin State 2:00 PM
Denver
Northwestern St 2:00 PM
Oklahoma
Catawba 2:00 PM
Radford
Newman 2:00 PM
Wichita State
Yale 2:30 PM
Kent State
USC 2:30 PM
Penn State
St Katherine 3:00 PM
UC Riverside
NC Central 3:00 PM
Creighton
South Florida 3:00 PM
NC State
Nichols College 3:05 PM
Holy Cross
Dayton 3:30 PM
Boston College
Wagner 3:30 PM
Hofstra
Towson 3:30 PM
Monmouth
UMKC 3:30 PM
Samford
NC A&T 4:00 PM
Bradley
Eastern Ill 4:00 PM
Cincinnati
Fla Atlantic 4:00 PM
Georgia
Presbyterian 4:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
St Francis-NY 4:00 PM
Rutgers
Binghamton 4:30 PM
Navy
USC Upstate 5:00 PM
UCF
UMass Lowell 5:00 PM
Fordham
Montana State 5:00 PM
Kentucky
Iona 5:00 PM
North Texas
Gardner-Webb 5:00 PM
Seton Hall
Akron 5:30 PM
South Carolina
Connecticut 5:30 PM
West Virginia
Hood College 6:00 PM
Howard
Sacred Heart 6:00 PM
Ohio State
Tennessee St 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Delaware 6:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
Mercer 7:00 PM
Colorado State
SD Christian 7:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Northern Ariz 7:00 PM
Ole Miss
Manhattan 7:00 PM
Northeastern
Pacific 7:00 PM
Washington
Miami-Florida 8:00 PM
Charlotte
Old Dominion 8:00 PM
Illinois State
UC Irvine 8:00 PM
St Marys-CA
Long Beach State 9:00 PM
UCLA
Montana 9:30 PM
Seattle
Kent State 0 Cancelled
Buffalo 0
Texas-El Paso 13 FINAL
Rice 31
Air Force 14 FINAL
San Diego St 30
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Utah State 41
Char Southern 9 FINAL
(9) Georgia 55
South Alabama 12 FINAL
So Carolina 37
Rutgers 3 FINAL
(10) Michigan State 45
Minnesota 28 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 24
Northwestern 38 FINAL
Purdue 14
(18) Marshall 23 FINAL
UAB 18
Kansas 7 FINAL
(23) Oklahoma 44
Indiana 27 FINAL
(7) Ohio State 42
Penn State 14 FINAL
Illinois 16
(16) Eastern Ky 3 FINAL
Florida 52
TX-San Antonio 7 FINAL
Western Ky 45
SMU 7 FINAL
UCF 53
Tulsa 28 FINAL
Houston 38
Virginia Tech 3 FINAL
Wake Forest 6
Washington St 31 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 52
Louisiana Tech 27 FINAL
Old Dominion 30
Western Mich 32 FINAL
Central Mich 20
New Mexico 20 FINAL
(22) Colorado State 58
Eastern Mich 30 FINAL
Ball State 45
Appalachian St 35 FINAL
Louisiana 16
(15) Arizona 42 FINAL
(20) Utah 10
FIU 14 FINAL
North Texas 17
(8) Ole Miss 0 FINAL
Arkansas 30
Louisville 31 FINAL
Notre Dame 28
Maryland 23 FINAL
Michigan 16
Texas Tech 34 FINAL
Iowa State 31
(14) Wisconsin 26 FINAL
Iowa 24
Syracuse 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
Boston College 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 20
Georgia State 0 FINAL
Clemson 28
Tulane 6 FINAL
East Carolina 34
Stanford 38 FINAL
California 17
Western Carolina 14 FINAL
(2) Alabama 48
ULM 30 FINAL
New Mexico St 17
So Florida 20 FINAL
Memphis 31
Colorado 10 FINAL
(3) Oregon 44
Fla Atlantic 34 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 35
Samford 7 FINAL
(16) Auburn 31
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
Virginia 30
Vanderbilt 0 FINAL
(4) Miss State 51
(19) Missouri 29 FINAL
Tennessee 21
Oklahoma State 28 FINAL
(6) Baylor 49
(24) USC 20 FINAL
(11) UCLA 38
Cincinnati 41 FINAL
Connecticut 0
Boise State 63 FINAL
Wyoming 14
Oregon State 13 FINAL
Washington 37
Fresno State 40 FINAL
Nevada 20
UNLV 35 FINAL
Hawaii 37
Ohio U 11/25/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
LSU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(5) TCU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
(21) Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(18) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(19) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(15) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(11) UCLA
(22) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(17) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(9) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
(20) Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(8) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(24) USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(6) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(12) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
(25) Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(16) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
New England 12:30 PM
Red Bull New York
Seattle 4:00 PM
Los Angeles
Montreal 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 3:30 PM
Calgary
Alabama 11:30 AM
Temple
Massachusetts 12:00 PM
Florida State
Creighton 12:00 PM
(1) Connecticut
Bryant 12:00 PM
Boston College
Robert Morris 12:00 PM
UMBC
Sacred Heart 12:00 PM
Maine
Virginia Tech 12:00 PM
Providence
Coll of Charleston 1:00 PM
George Mason
Hartford 1:00 PM
Lafayette
William & Mary 1:00 PM
High Point
Western Ill 1:00 PM
Florida Atlantic
Pittsburgh 1:00 PM
James Madison
Toledo 1:00 PM
(24) Purdue
Western Mich 1:00 PM
Michigan
Cleveland State 1:00 PM
FIU
San Diego State 1:00 PM
(2) South Carolina
Mount St Marys 1:00 PM
Davidson
IUPUI 1:00 PM
(15) Michigan State
Illinois State 1:00 PM
Colorado State
Incarnate Word 1:00 PM
Indiana
Cincinnati 1:00 PM
Iowa State
Furman 1:00 PM
Clemson
VA Commonwealth 1:00 PM
Ohio State
Marquette 1:00 PM
(7) Duke
Bethune-Cookman 1:00 PM
East Carolina
Coppin State 1:00 PM
Wake Forest
(24) Georgia 1:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Ball State 1:00 PM
(12) Louisville
Auburn 1:00 PM
Virginia
Utah 1:00 PM
(16) Nebraska
Minnesota 2:00 PM
Memphis
Georgetown 2:00 PM
Kansas
Northwestern St 2:00 PM
Arkansas
TX-San Antonio 2:00 PM
Lamar
Southern Miss 2:00 PM
McNeese State
Air Force 2:00 PM
SIU-Edwardsville
IUPU-Ft Wayne 2:00 PM
USC Upstate
Morgan State 2:00 PM
Texas Tech
Western Ky 2:00 PM
Miss State
Southern U 2:00 PM
Illinois
Eastern Illinois 2:00 PM
North Texas
Alabama State 2:05 PM
South Alabama
Wisconsin 2:05 PM
Drake
Seattle 3:00 PM
Montana State
UC Santa Barbara 3:00 PM
Northern Ariz
Hofstra 3:00 PM
Norfolk State
Iona 3:00 PM
Pacific
Middle Tennessee 3:00 PM
Ole Miss
Portland 3:00 PM
Cal Poly
(10) Texas 3:00 PM
UCLA
Fresno State 4:00 PM
USC
Ave Maria 4:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Holy Cross 4:00 PM
(3) Notre Dame
Chicago State 5:00 PM
Oakland
(11) North Carolina 5:00 PM
Oregon
Harvard 6:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Princeton 6:00 PM
American Univ
Missouri 8:30 PM
(14) California
Yale 9:30 PM
Washington
UNLV 10:59 PM
Hawaii
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