View From the Center: A.L. Central Contenders
Welcome to "View From the Center", where our resident pseudo-expert slash Cincinnati Reds fan Jeff Gentil takes a regular rundown of the topics of interest within baseball's divisional landscape. Last week, team aces. This week, contenders/pretenders.
Minnesota Twins: The Twins keep grinding along. Ten games over .500 and atop the Central, the Twins keep playing winning baseball year after year. No doubt they are at home in brand new Target Field as their 19-9 record would attest. The Twins are good enough to be a contender in the division in any year. The fact that the Royals, White Sox, and Indians are flat out awful only helps keep Minnesota at the top with no signs of change anytime soon. Contenders
Chicago White Sox: The White Sox have basically announced they are "open for business," according to Ozzie Guillen. Big contracts like Paul Konerko and Alex Rios are on the block for the highest bidder. It has been rumored that Jake Peavy is not one of the players on the block, but that can always change. The fact that they are nine games under .500 and 9.5 games out of first place are very good indicators the White Sox are not going to be in the race this summer. Pretenders
Cleveland Indians: The countdown is on for the Indians' annual fire sale. Names like Travis Hafner, Jake Westbrook, Fausto Carmona, and Kerry Wood are being tossed around rumor mills. In a division with the Kansas City Royals, the Indians are in last place so that tells you all you need to know about Cleveland's chances this year. Pretenders
Detroit Tigers: The Tigers themselves are trying to figure out if they are contenders or not. At three games over .500, they aren't having a season anyone would consider great, but they are only 3.5 games behind Minnesota. If ownership decides to take a chance on adding a big name and/or contract, they can make a run at the Twins. There is no doubt they have the talent to win the division, but they need to find some level of consistency. Contenders
Kansas City Royals: The Central's usual cellar dwellers have the Indians and their awful season to thank for keeping them out of last place. Still, the Royals aren't having a breakout season and are only two games away from the position in which they've grown all too accustomed. Cy Young candidate Zach Greinke and his 1-8 record aren't helping matters either. Pretenders