The 2021 AL Central division champs were expected to repeat in 2022. They did not, instead regressing to 81-81. They faced a number of injuries but generally just didn’t play as well as expected. One exception was Dylan Cease. At one point he had 14 straight starts surrendering 0 or 1 run; he finished second in AL Cy Young voting. Their manager, Tony LaRussa, went on medical leave in August—he needed a pacemaker then had to have a follow up procedure and then simply never returned. Miguel Cairo served as the interim manager, but the skipper going forward will be Pedro Grifol.
Former AL MVP Jose Abreu has signed with the Astros as a free agent, so he will have to be replaced. They’ve signed Mike Clevinger and waived goodbye to Johnny Cueto. Clevinger will be 32 and Cueto 37 next year, but Cueto was the better pitcher this past season. In other words, so far, this team looks weaker instead of stronger heading towards 2023.