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AL Central Notes: Spring play begins this week

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This week actual Cactus League and Grapefruit League games begin across the MLB landscape signaling the actual start of what most folks consider spring training.

The AL Central, which could be the closest (and maybe most competitive) division in all of baseball during the upcoming 2015 season, is no different with their five teams beginning their exhibition seasons as well.

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Some teams start their spring slates on Tuesday against MLB teams, with others starting on Wednesday, including the following contests:

Tuesday, March 3:
(all times ET)
• Detroit Tigers vs. Baltimore Orioles (1:05 p.m.)

Wednesday, March 4:
(all times ET)
• Tigers at Orioles (1:05 p.m.)
• Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Dodgers (3:05 p.m.)
• Cleveland Indians vs. Cincinnati Reds (3:05 p.m.)
• Kansas City Royals at Texas Rangers (3:05 p.m.)

The Minnesota Twins will play their first spring training game against MLB competition on Thursday, March 5 against the Boston Red Sox at 7:05 p.m.

With those being the games that will open spring play, here are some articles from the FanSided teams on the AL Central before the games begin.

Motor City Bengals (Detroit Tigers) wrote about Nick Castellanos and how this begins his second season with the reigning AL Central champions:

"“What Castellanos had in at the plate, he lacked in the field. Castellanos was the third worst defensive player in baseball in 2014 according to FanGraphs, but that defense should improve. I believe he will be better in 2015 for numerous reasons.”"

Kings of Kauffman (Kansas City Royals) has an article titled: “Joe Blanton to be used as a reliever for the Royals.”

"“It certainly makes sense to try Joe Blanton in the bullpen. After all, the Royals rotation is set, and when Kris Medlen returns, there will be six starters and only five spots.”"

Wahoo’s on First (Cleveland Indians) wrote the following article: “Indians’ Lonnie Chisenhall Must Prove Himself In 2015.”

"“Chisenhall eventually slowed down during the second half of the year, but his mini-breakout season in 2014 only makes you wonder if he can build on it in 2015. If so, it would be an easy decision to sign him long-term; the Indians need a third baseman.”"

Puckett’s Pond (Minnesota Twins) posted the following article: “Twins Dealing With Illness In Florida.”

"“Given that the team continues to be in such close proximity of each other, it’s quite possible that more players find themselves on the unfortunate end of the sickness as well. Here’s to hoping that the Twins can get the bug out of the clubhouse, and move on with a healthy spring.”"

Next: Would keeping 13 pitchers be a smart idea?

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