Sunday Insider: Central Intelligence

  • Updated: August 23, 2014 - 6:35 PM

central intelligence

The offensive MVP for the Tigers this year has not been Miguel Cabrera. It’s Victor Martinez, who leads the team in home runs and RBI and whose .391 on-base percentage entering Saturday was the best of any regular. His presence keeps teams from pitching around Cabrera. First-year manager Brad Ausmus said of Martinez: “The focus is unparalleled. His work ethic, the passion which he goes about the art of hitting, I didn’t know anything about. I haven’t seen another player that can match him.”

• • •

Cleveland entered Saturday five games back of a wild-card spot. The Indians don’t look like they have enough to make a late charge, but they are not giving up. Especially manager Terry Francona, who will manage his way to three-hour games the rest of the season. Francona used 13 relievers in the three-game series against the Twins, matching up right-for-right and left-for-left. He really doesn’t have a rotation of pitchers known for going deep into games.

• • •

Billy Butler has played well at first base in place of Eric Hosmer, who is recovering from a fractured right hand. But Hosmer is a key cog in the Royals’ playoff push. Hosmer hasn’t swung a bat since July 31 and is scheduled to have a magnetic resonance imaging exam Monday. So former Twins slugger Josh Willingham will continue to fill the designated hitter role for Kansas City.

• • •

The White Sox aren’t done with presenting young mashers. Avisail Garcia, whom they received from Detroit in a trade last year, has missed most of the season with a torn labrum and avulsion fracture in his left shoulder. He’s back, and he hit a two-run home run Wednesday in a loss to Baltimore. But he had six RBI in his first five games since returning from the disabled list.

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