Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Getting to Know a Rival: NL Central

I was going to do a seperate post for each of the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians, but because I don't have the time right now, I'm going to do a reasonanbly quick look at both teams, and what they will have to do with the Mariners push for postseason glory.

Cleveland Indians

Manager: Eric Wedge
2007: 96-66, first in ALC
Coming In: RHP Masahide Kobayashi, INF Jamey Carroll, RHP Jorge Julio
Packed Their Bags: OF Kenny Lofton, OF Trot Nixon, RHP Jason Davis

Outlook: The Indians are bringing back virtually the same team, so they should be seriously in the running for the AL Central. They didn't martgage the farm like the Tigers, but brought in a bit of relief depth. The 1-2 of CC Sabathia and Fausto Carmona is one of the best combos, and has a year more experience. Not to mention that Sabathia is in his contract year. The Indians biggest mountain to climb, is getting the team to the next level. In last year's ALCS, they went up 3-1 on the Boston Red Sox, but lost the next three games and had their playoff hopes dashed. That will be the only concern for this year. And maybe the Tigers.

Detroit Tigers

Manager: Jim Leyland
2007: 88-74, second place in ALC
Coming In: 3B Miguel Cabrera, SS Edgar Renteria, OF Jacque Jones, LHP Dontrelle Willis
Packed Their Bags: 1B Sean Casay, INF Omar Infante, LHP Andrew Miller, OF Cameron Maybin

Outlook: The Tigers gave up their top two prospects to get Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis in a blockbuster deal. The Tigers can only look to improve on their 2007 season now that they have a huge bat in the middle of their lineup, a dependable leadoff man in Edgar Renturia, and a solid number three starter, who should be way higher in the rotation, in Willis. Their rotation looks amazing, their lineup looks almost as good as the rotation. But the only concern may be their bullpen. It won't be an immeadiate problem, but half way through the season and some of the starters either get hurt or don't pitch enough innings, then people will start to realize that the Tigers' bullpen is fairly week. If the Tigers aren't competing for the division, they will be a pain in the wild card race if that's where the Mariners are.

The rest of the division looks alright, but won't be much, if anything of a problem to the Mariners this season. If you truly are interested in the Royals, White Sox and Twins, then I think that I could dig you up a couple of links if you haven't already.

No comments: