AL Central Notes: 5/2
With another week in the books, we take a look around the American League Central with this weeks version of Southside Showdown’s AL Central Notes.
Chicago White Sox (18-8)
After an impressive 5-2 homestand that included a three game sweep of the Texas Rangers, the White Sox were able to build on that momentum with a sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays on the road, and a series split in four games with the Baltimore Orioles. The White Sox have the best record in the American League and the most wins in MLB thanks to their starting pitching.
Although starter John Danks, and spot starter Miguel Gonzalez gave up five runs or more in their starts, Chris Sale and Jose Quintana were brilliant in their starts against the Blue Jays and Orioles. Sale held the Blue Jays to one run over eight innings pitched last Tuesday, and he gave up no earned runs against the Orioles on Sunday in five innings. Quintana shutout the Blue Jays last Wednesday in six innings with 10 strikeouts.
Detroit Tigers (14-10)
The Tigers dealt with some controversy last week as outfielder Tyler Collins appeared to flip off the home crowd at Comerica Park after he was booed for missing a fly-out. The Tigers outfielder apologized after the game for his outburst, but it wouldn’t matter as the team demoted him to its Triple-A affiliate Toledo Mudhens. After the Tigers won its home series against the Oakland Athletics, the team swept the Minnesota Twins on the road. Jordan Zimmerman continued his stellar start to the season with a superb outing against the Twins on Saturday. Zimmerman pitched seven innings and gave up one earned run on a solo home run to Byung Ho Park. The victory was his fifth consecutive win this season.
Kansas City Royals (13-10)
The defending World Series Champions had one of its worst weeks in recent memory as they lost five consecutive games to the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners on the road. The Royals were limited to one run in its first two games against the Mariners over the weekend. The main contributors to the Royals success in the past have struggled to start the season. Although the Royals ended their five game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the Mariners on Sunday, their offense ranks 27th in MLB for the season.
Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Mike Moustakas, Kendrys Morales and Alex Gordon are off to poor starts the season. Eric Hosmer has been one of the more consistent players on offense for the Royals. Hosmer owns a slash line of .333/.374/.911 to begin the season. Without more production from the rest of the lineup, the Royals offense has struggled to score runs. The Royals pitching has remained productive however as they rank seventh in MLB in total pitching.
Cleveland Indians (10-12)
The Indians appeared to be trending upward as they were coming off of a sweep of the Detroit Tigers on the road to start the week. However, the Indians failed to capitalize on its early momentum as they lost its next series to the Minnesota Twins, and were swept by the Philadelphia Phillies to end the week. The Indians starting rotation was dealt with a huge blow as they lost Carlos Carrasco to injury.
Carrasco is expected to miss up to six weeks after straining his left hamstring in an Indians victory over the Tigers on April 24. The starting pitcher was covering first base when he collapsed just before getting to the bag in excruciating pain. The Indians will start Trevor Bauer in Carrasco’s absence for now. Bauer gave up three earned runs over four innings pitch in a 4-3 loss for the Indians this past Saturday.
Minnesota Twins (7-18)
The Twins won its series at home against the Cleveland Indians to start the week, but couldn’t do the same against the Tigers. Minnesota’s pitching couldn’t help the team as they gave up nine runs against Detroit on Friday, and six runs on Sunday in a sweep by the Tigers. The Twins offense scored just two runs on Friday and one run on Saturday, but managed to score five on Sunday in a 6-5 loss. Minnesota’s offense ranks near the bottom of MLB in runs scored with 80.