Lets continue the brief look at each division by moving on to the AL Central. As in the last post, the order I address each team is the order in which I expect them to finish while acknowledging a shortened season actually makes it harder to predict as hot and cold streaks have greater affect on the final standings.
Minnesota Twins. This is a talented and well balanced team. They are legit contenders for the World Series…as long as the Yankees aren’t camped out inside their craniums. By the time the season starts, they’ll have Rich Hill back. They were active in the offseason, picking up Josh Donaldson and pitchers Kent’s Maeda, Michael Pineda, Homer Bailey, Sergio Romo, and Michael Pineda. About the only negative for them is that Pineda still owes about 5 weeks of a PED suspension.
Chicago White Sox. They, too, were active in the offseason—acquiring Edwin Encarnacion, Steve Cishek, Dallas Keuchel, and Gio Gonzalez. They get Carlos Rodon back in late July/early August. They’ve locked up their young talent for the foreseeable future. They are slowly becoming more competitive…I’m thinking they will surpass the Indians, but there’s still a sizable gap between them and the Twins.
Cleveland Indians. They traded away Corey Kluber. Their outfield is still a tire fire. That’s not a recipe for contention. It seems a matter of when, not if, Francisco Lindor gets traded away. The plus side is Mike Clevinger should be back from injury, and Carlos Carrasco’s elbow gets plenty of rest.
Kansas City Royals. They will get Adalberto Mondesi and Salvador Perez back from injury. They have several minor league pitching prospects getting close to MLB ready, including Brady Singer, Daniel Lynch, Jackson Kowar, and Kris Bubic. It’s not time to start moving them up in the standings yet though.
Detroit Tigers. Like the Royals, they have a couple pitching prospects who may or may not make their MLB debuts in 2020—specifically Casey Mize and Matt Manning. Before the shut down,Miguel Cabrera was looking healthier than he has for a couple years. A shortened season could help him stay that way possibly, but will of course delay his reaching the 3000 hit and 500 homer milestones, possibly until next year.