Around The League: American League Central
The first few days in early Spring Training have kicked off with a bang. While many expected for pitchers to be far more progressed this early in spring training, the AL central has certainly not been the case. I'll start in the Grapefruit league. The Detroit Tigers, at the moment stand at 5-2. Hopeful starter, Drew Smyly, made his first outing on February 27, when he pitched 2 innings, gave up 2 hits, an earned run, struck out one, and walked one batter. Tigers slugger, and reigning MVP went 0-1 in his spring debut. Minor Leaguer Blaine Hardy got the win while surrendering 1 run to the Braves over his 2 innings of work. Tiger bats would continue to thrive the rest of the week. In each game, they scored at least 5 runs. Staying in the Grapefruit league, let's go to the Minnesota Twins. Against the Red Sox, the Twins enjoyed an easy 8-2 victory. Brian Dozier went 1-2, and Mike Pelfrey pitched 2 innings of solid baseball only giving up one hit. With the exception of Sundays loss to the Rays, pitching and offense have really shined in these early Spring games. Switching to Cactus League. The Cleveland Indians didn't start Spring Training off as well as they hoped they would. Bats started off quietly, and pitching has been horrendous. Also in the Cactus League, the Kansas City Royals have been hot. Although they lost to the White Sox today, bats have, as the young people would say, came in like a wrecking ball. KC has scored at least 5 runs in each of their games this year. Also in Arizona are the South-Siders from Chicago. The White Sox on the other hand, did not come in like a wrecking ball. In their first game, they failed to score in their first game against the Dodgers. After their match with the Indians was cancelled due to rain, they came back with some firepower, scoring more than 5 runs in each of the next two games. Overall, I suspect good things for the AL Central, and I expect a tight race between everyone. At the end of the season, I believe the Tigers will be on top, followed by the Royals in the first Wildcard Spot. Should be an interesting year indeed.