Baseball is finally back. Teams are finally playing head to head in the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues, fans are getting to see their favorite players play, and other citizens of the baseball world get to see some well-hyped prospects that they've long heard about.
As the next 27 days of Spring Training will get you prepared not only prepare you for Opening Day, but get you 10 times more excited as well, let's take a look at the current storylines buzzing around the AL Central.
It's been quite a busy week for the Tribe. With Chad Durbin officially signing a Major League deal with the club, the bullpen is arguably a bit improved. The former Phillies & Royals right hander looks to eat some innings in what is a very young Indians bullpen. Continuing, Nick Johnson inked a minor league deal with the Indians. With a resume that consists of on-base domination as well as a career filled with injuries, there certainly are plenty of risks involved. So a minor league deal seems quite fitting. Lastly, the Indians traded Aaron Laffey to the Mariners in exchange for former Rangers farmhand Matthew Lawson. Lawson, who was Rule 5 eligible this past winter looks to continue to add depth to what is a very strong Indians farm system.
Watching the Royals play on TV the past few days, I'm nothing but excited about this team. The maturity in all of these superstar prospects is impressive and so valuable to the clubs future. It's really a good time to be a fan of the Royals. Twas a little over a week ago, but still interesting; the "Rewind Yourself" incident occured. Nick Wright was interviewing Mike Moustakas before Jason Kendall interrupted the conversation with vulger and nasty language towards the reporter. While not even understanding the question, Kendall felt the need to make a scene which was recorded. You can hear the interview by clicking on the link above.
Alas, the Royals are in a fine state at this point, with guys like Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer playing almost every day as well as Louis Coleman, Tim Collins, John Lamb, Mike Montgomery, Danny Duffy, Jeremy Jeffress, and other young arms lighting up the radar guns as well.
As we spoke about in Episode 7 of the Beyond the Box Score Podcast, Francisco Liriano is a big discussion topic right now. As the Twins haven't gone out and said anything in particular, the Yankees and Cardinals seem like logical fits due to the Adam Wainwright injury and the Yankees need for starting pitching. In my opinion, Liriano isn't going anywhere, but for the Twins sake, you just wonder if something is wrong. We've recently read reports about Liriano having a shoulder problem.
Justin Morneau is still not back to full health following his scary concussion with John McDonald last July. As Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated pointed out earlier, Jim Thome might prove to be the biggest free agent bargain over the last two seaons. Thome's coming off a fine year, and looks to repeat in the Twin Cities this year as well.
Not much happening with the Southsiders at this point. However, Jake Peavy and the Sox took on Scott Kazmir and the Angels today. In his 29-pitch two innings of work, Peavy was throwing great! He was throwing 89-92 consistently which is where he usually sits at, he was repeating his delivery, and he threw strikes. He simply looked great, and coming back from his arm injury, you want to see good things out of Jake Peavy.
With Miguel Cabrera finally back at camp and playing, the focus has shifted to other parts of the Tigers squad. Bless You Boys notes a couple of things swirling around in Lakeland. Unfortunately, after we thought he was back healthy, Joel Zumaya's shoulder disagrees. Apparently, it's just "a little scar tissue." The story explains it all. In addition, Kurt of Bless You Boys enlightens us on some outfield battles this spring.