Jul 8, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Minnesota Twins relief pitcherGlen Perkins
(15) pitches to the Seattle Mariners during the ninth inning at Safeco Field. Minnesota defeated Seattle 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Pitchers & Designated Hitter
• Designated Hitter: Jose Abreu (White Sox): He’s probably the second-best first baseman in the division behind Miguel Cabrera, but one day, I believe Abreu will surpass Cabrera for that title.
Jose Abreu is the cornerstone of the White Sox
Abreu has been a breath of fresh air for the White Sox this season, giving them not only hope for the future, but a cornerstone and a face for the franchise with the retirement of Paul Konerko at the conclusion of the season.
This season, Abreu is batting .287 with an MLB-leading 28 home runs and an MLB-leading .629 slugging percentage before Friday’s game at Cleveland. He has played in 79 games, and in those games he has 20 doubles and one triple. Abreu has also collected 71 RBIs in his rookie season thus far.
• Starting Pitcher: Chris Sale (White Sox): Sale is now a three-time All-Star and is arguably one of the top three pitchers in all of baseball. In 95 innings this season (14 starts), Sale is 8-1 with an ERA of 2.08.
He’s pitched two complete games this season and has amassed 102 strikeouts and held the opponent to a .190 batting average. His WHIP is 0.84.
I don’t believe Sale gets the recognition he deserves throughout baseball, and that was shown as he was snubbed twice on the AL All-Star team until he won the fan final vote on Thursday.
The ERA number is a bit higher than what is was last season, but he’s still one of the best pitchers in the AL. He has 146 strikeouts in 126.1 innings pitched.
• Relief Pitcher: Greg Holland (Royals): I believe he is the best closer in the AL Central. He has 24 saves this season and 52 strikeouts in 33.2 innings pitched.
Holland’s ERA is 1.87 in the 35 games he’s pitched, and he is on pace to repeat or at least be near the same numbers he had last season (1.12 ERA, 47 saves).
• Relief Pitcher: Glen Perkins (Twins): Perkins has 38 saves this season for an AL Central last-place Minnesota team. Perkins’s ERA is 3.05, but in 38 games pitched, he has just seven walks.
Perkins has 48 strikeouts (77 all of last season) and has pitched 38.1 innings. It is safe to say when Perkins is going for the save, the Twins will win the game.