Saturday, June 11, 2016
AL Central Assessment: Up is Down, Left is Right
Nothing can stay constant in this division anymore, it seems. We started off the season with the White Sox and Royals in front, and right now the Indians and Tigers are in front. The only real consistency is that the Twins are absolutely dreadful.
The White Sox running out of steam is pretty damn sad, because this is a team that HAD IT, for a solid month. They had it, everybody was on, they were rock-solid...and then things started going to shit. Mat Latos started giving up homers, Jimmy Rollins stopped hitting, the youth movement stopped looking impressive, and right now they're in fourth. Kenny Williams is currently scrambling, dropping Latos and Rollins, picking up Justin Morneau (which is pretty nice, TBH), and bringing up SS prospect CJ Anderson to FINALLY answer the SS question that'd been hurting the team since Alexei Ramirez left.
The rest of this division is actually looking kind of fickle. The Indians are in first, and are RED HOT right now, streaking like hell and commanding the division. Second place is flipping between Detroit and KC- right now the Tigers are in 2nd, thanks to some great stuff from Cameron Maybin, and the unstoppable Ian Kinsler, who I don't think has EVER had a bad season. The Royals are still pretty damn hot, so I don't expect the 2nd place Tigers thing to last, especially considering the fact that Detroit is currently playing the Yankees...and we already took one away from them, so the bloodloss could keep coming.
Look, for a division that seemed like a lock 3 months ago, this has been some pretty exciting stuff, because literally everyone (but the Twins) is a contender, and all four have gotten their moment in first place so far this season.
Out of all four, I'd say the Tigers have the weakest odds at making the postseason, mostly because of the back end of the pitching staff failing them, but they still have a nice little team, and if Kinsler keeps it up he'll be getting more than a few MVP votes, I'd say.
Coming Tomorrow- He's a pitcher for the Cubs...but not one of the ones you'd think I'd be making a custom of in June. Not Arrieta, or Lester, or Lackey. And yet this guy's one of the most surprisingly effective pitchers at Wrigley this year.