Another baseball season is almost upon us. The Cincinnati Reds are already in camp at Goodyear, AZ, with the Cleveland Indians not far behind. Will one, both or neither team contend in their respective divisions?
The Reds have taken strides to improve their pitching this season. However it may not be the moves the Reds have made, but the turns others in the National League Central have undergone that may prove to be the Reds route to the playoffs.
The defending division champion Milwaukee Brewers have to deal with two losses as the season embarks. Prince Fielder is gone to the Detroit Tigers, and Ryan Braun is suspended 50 games for alleged drug use. By the time Braun gets back the Brewers could be in a hole they can’t overcome.
St. Louis will change dramatically with the loss of Albert Pujols. Tony LaRussa is gone so he can’t perform his magic. However the biggest loss may be with Dave Duncan, the Cardinals pitching coach. He will be gone for a few weeks attending to his wife who is ill. Pittsburgh might cause a stir in the division, if they can bring newly acquired pitcher A. J. Burnett back to previous New York form.
Simply stated, the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros will be watchers in this year’s race.
The Cleveland Indians look to their pitching to keep them in the American League Central Division race. That was before and after the loss of Fausto “Robert Hernandez Heredia” Carmona. It’s doubtful he will be back in an Indians uniform ever. So the state of the pitching staff will either sink the Tribe, or help them swim because the offense is almost non-existent.
Meanwhile the Detroit Tigers still seem on paper to be the class of the Central. They have added Fielder, lost Victor Martinez, but they still have the best pitcher in baseball Justin Verlander. The Chicago White Sox still have the core of their team intact, but they will need a lot of help. Pitching and the return of Adam Dunn will be good for the Sox, but there are more needs than remedies for Chicago.
Every year we expect Kansas City to be improved and every year they finish last. And Minnesota will be hard pressed to be better than last season. So the A. L. Central should be interesting, but Detroit’s to lose.
The Central division’s in each league and the fortunes of the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians will be discussed and evaluated each and every week on the Ultimate Sports Talk newest radio show “Ohio Baseball Weekly.”
Starting Monday, March 5th at 9pm, join Dave Mitchell and Mark Donahue as they chat about both teams and the exploits of the Central Divisions they belong too. From Spring Training through the playoffs, we will be speaking with reporters, players and fans about each team, and others in the Central Division.
“Ohio Baseball Weekly” will start Monday night, March 5th at 9pm.