Cast your Vote for the All-AL Central Squad


If you’ve been following along, we here at FanSided are in the middle of a group project where the writers from each division are putting together the best possible team to compete with all other divisions.

Last week, we settled the position players with a fan vote, one that wound up going to Minnesota’s Danny Valencia over Brandon Inge for third base. The turn out was good and several of the non-Fansided bloggers helped out in spreading the word. Mad props to whichever member of his family that cast a vote for Cleveland’s Jayson Nix as well.

So now we turn to you, the readers, once again.

The pitching staff is basically set. We have four starters and two relievers, we need just one more starting pitcher. The staff so far:

As was the case with the last poll, our Royals site, Kings of Kauffman is hosting the voting. This time, however, we have no dog in the fight, so to speak. Perhaps I should have re-phrased that as one of the candidates is Chicago left hander, and noted dog lover, Mark Buehrle. I don’t want him wishing injury upon me like he did Mike Vick.

Joining Buehrle is fellow Southsider Gavin Floyd, Cleveland’s Fausto Carmona, and Minnesota’s Carl Pavano.

A brief glimpse at each candidate after the jump.

Buehrle is the one who got my vote if for no other reason than his impressive consistency. In each of the last 10 seasons, Buehrle has made at least 30 starts and worked at least 200 innings. He has averaged better than 14 wins per year and is one of only a handful of pitchers with a perfect game and another no-hitter under his belt. While he doesn’t strikeout a ton of batters, he rarely issues walks, either and has a career 2.48 K/BB ratio.

Pavano is famous for a lot of things. His ill-fated four year contract with the Yankees (thank God he turned down the Tigers offer), his horrible pornstache, and his dominance against the Tigers since he found his health again. Oh, and his 17 wins and league leading seven complete games in 2010. Pavano is even more stingy than Buehrle when it comes to free passes and he tends to strikeout a few more hitters as well. He certainly doesn’t have the career track record that the southpaw does, but this is about picking a team for 2011, not 2005.

In Carmona, you just can’t be sure what you’ll get and you can be even less sure that he’s ever been as good as his numbers indicate. Carmona won 19 games in 2007 and looked like a dominant force for years to come. Over the next two seasons, however, Carmona fell off so much that at one point the Indians optioned him to rookie ball and had him work his way back up to the Show. Carmona seemed to get back to where he was last season with a 3.77 ERA for a bad Indians team, but he is absolutely dependent on ground balls and throwing strikes. When he has good command, he can be effective, when he doesn’t he might as well be back in rookie ball.

The strikeout artist of the list is Floyd. After a breakout 2008 season, it appeared as if Floyd took a step backward in each of the last two years as he’s gone just 21-24 in that time. FIP suggests he’s been much better than his four plus ERA would indicate. Floyd has lowered his walk rate and has posted K;BB ratios of over 2.6 in each of the last two years.

Now that you’ve met the candidates, head on over to KofK and cast your vote. Who will join Verlander and Scherzer in representing the Central when we go up against the rest of the divisions? The poll will be open until Monday morning, but don’t wait. Go vote!

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