The 3-2 pitch

Three observations

• Those who think the Royals were a fluke last season, think again. It's a good team, and if Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas improve on last year's numbers — which should be easy to do — Kansas City will be a factor in the AL Central race.

• The Phillies are doing the right thing by holding on to Cole Hamels. Some team is going to need a quality starting pitcher at midseason to fuel a postseason run, and that's when the Phillies will capitalize.

• There's a lot of excitement in Chicago about the new-look Cubs. But it's early to call them a playoff contender.

... and two predictions.

• Joe Mauer hit four homers all of last year. He will have at least six by July 1.

• David Ortiz needs 34 home runs to reach 500 for his career. He'll have to come back in 2016 for his 20th season to get it.