Baseball is back in full stride. Now that I got my first game under my belt Saturday, I am already entrenched firmly in the glory that is major league baseball. There is nothing like walking around Comerica Park these days. The place is almost always packed, buzzing with enthusiasm, and now fans can get themselves Michigan craft brews and bacon on a stick. Mmmm…..bacon. Mmmm…..beer.
Anyway, while my heart is always with the Tigers, I’ve made a concerted effort to take in some action of the Tigers divisional foes when I’m not in the stands, or watching the Tigers on television. Every once in a while, I will be doing some random observations of what I have seen, basically to keep our fans in touch with the Tigers Central Division foes.
Here we go…
*It may take a while, but I do think the Tigers bullpen situation sorts itself out. However, it is going to be a frustrating issue until that happens, so may as well get used to the idea early on.
*Torii Hunter is going to be worth the money and then some. He is the perfect fit, both as a teammate and as a player. His wealth of knowledge is likely to help Austin Jackson become an even better player than he has already become.
*It’s only two starts in pretty cold weather, and it could just be a dead arm period, but Justin Verlander‘s velocity is down a bit. Nothing to worry about yet at this point, but this is the epitome of a random observation.
*I have more faith in Darin Downs right now than I do the majority of the bullpen. Maybe he can close games? Hey Jim, what do you think?
Chicago White Sox
*The White Sox are way too reliant on the long ball offensively, though they do have a good amount of power in their lineup. It could make them prone to long stretches of offensive ineffectiveness
*Chris Sale is absolutely fantastic, but you have to wonder if he is going to wear down late every year until he puts a bit of meat and muscle on his frame.
*Carlos Santana is starting to become an absolute beast of an offensive player, and I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if he pushes himself into the A.L. MVP race by the time the season is over. Especially if he can defend the catching position at even an average level.
Apr 7, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Cleveland Indians catcher Carlos Santana (41) hits a two-run home run during the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Cleveland won 13-0. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
*The combination of Drew Stubbs and Mark Reynolds are likely to provide fans in Cleveland with plenty of frustration, likely fanning over 300 times between them. But they are also, along with Lonnie Chisenhall, likely to provide the bottom of the order with some pop that they haven’t had in a while.
*With the addition of Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, and Mike Aviles, Cleveland easily could’ve dealt SS Asdrubal Cabrera in the off-season and been more than capable offensively still, and gotten a pitcher in return. Ultimately, counting on Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez to carry the weight isn’t the best idea.
*Josh Willingham is a really under-appreciated baseball player. He quietly goes about his business, and when the Twins start to fade this summer, they should cash in on his talents and continue to add to their pitching talent pool.
*Aaron Hicks has the tools to be a real good baseball player someday, however, he is just not ready for prime time in the batters box yet. That being said, Minnesota should allow him to get his feet wet and take his lumps. Defensively, he looks the part of a major leaguer already, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he acquires a Gold Glove or two before it’s all done.
*Pedro Florimon is probably a utility player, but if I was a Minnesota fan, I would think that I would enjoy watching him play shortstop on a daily basis.
Kansas City Royals
*The entire Kansas City bullpen is immensely talented. However, they have the wrong guy in the closer’s role. Greg Holland was much more effective as a set up guy. Kelvin Herrera is absolutely filthy, as is Tim Collins. I would try out those guys right now if I was Royals management, they might save themselves a couple losses.
*Eric Hosmer is likely to have a better season than last year, but I’m not sure he will ever become the star he was projected to be. Every time I watch him, he seems to be jamming himself at the dish.
*Mike Moustakas, whose biggest question mark at one time was his defense, has turned himself into one of the best defensive third baseman in the league. It’s now his offensive ability that is in question, he just doesn’t seem to hit for loud contact enough.