Posts Tagged With: AL Central

Major league dream come true

Tom Makowski 1975

Tom Makowski 1975

The smell of a broken-in leather glove and fresh-cut grass; the crack of the ball hitting the sweet spot; the rough feeling of calluses formed from that same bat and the taste of dirt in your mouth after sliding into home.

This may not sound appealing to everyone, but for baseball players it appeals to the senses.

Aspiring players dream of experiencing these sensations in spring training. Tom Makowski is one of those players who got to live that dream. Continue reading

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One of Baseball’s O-bleak Injuries

Matt Lindstrom

Matt Lindstrom pitching yesterday — courtesy of ESPN

As reported, Chicago White Sox pitcher Matt Lindstrom battled an oblique strain this Spring. The injury plagued him for most of the team’s Spring ball session. According to White Sox beat reporter, Lindstrom likened the pain to being, “stabbed in the side.”

Saint Bonaventure University sophomore Ryan Crino, who started playing baseball at age four, battled the same injury at the onset of his senior year of varsity baseball.

“When I had it, I felt soreness in my abs,” Crino said. “It especially hurt when I would pitch because of how you need to rotate your body when throwing.” Continue reading

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Baseball royalty made their marks in the books photo photo

Jeter might have gone 0-5, but the Royals won 12-0.

While Derek Jeter was making his MLB debut on May 29, 1995, the Royals were making another tally in the win column.

The Royals had a victory over the Texas Rangers that day, while the Yankees fell to the Seattle Mariners in extra innings.

At that time, most of the current Royals roster was still in elementary school, and a couple of the players had probably just photo

completed potty training. Outfielder Johnny Damon was a few months away from making his MLB debut with the Royals.

Pitcher Tom Gordon got the win that day for Kansas City improving his record to 3-1, and Vince Coleman had a .301 batting average.

— Anna Ciesla


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A Look Back at Jeter’s Historic Debut

With Derek Jeter beginning the end of his last season, perhaps now is the best time to take a look back. On May 29, 1995, Jeter made his MLB debut to kick off a long, successful major league career. Here we are nearly two decades later, and the world of baseball – and everything else – has changed immensely.

Robin Ventura

Robin Ventura in 1995 – courtesy of ESPN

To put that gap into perspective, I wasn’t even two years old yet. Tupac Shakur was still alive, and almost a month later Disney would release its hit film, Pocahontas. Wayne Gretzky still had a good portion of his NHL career left. The Bills were only one season removed from their last Super Bowl appearance. As far as baseball goes, Frank Thomas and Robin Ventura (who is currently Chicago’s manager) were leading the Chicago White Sox in RBIs and batting – both have been retired now for at least six years. But while so much has changed, some things haven’t; the White Sox finished that season third in the AL Central. So here’s to consistency!

Gavin Lindahl

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Down and out in the sixth

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman took a line drive to the head Wednesday night during the sixth inning of their game against the Kansas City Royals, according to an article.

After being taken to Banner Del E. Medical Center in Sun City, Ariz., tests determined that Chapman has fractures above his left eye and nose. photo

The teams had been playing at Surprise Stadium when Royals catcher Salvador Perez hit a line drive off of Chapman in the bottom of the sixth inning.Trainers at the field and Surprise Fire Department paramedics immediately rushed to help. Coaches, players, medical help, and even Chapman’s father who have been in attendance gathered on the mound.

After the injury the umpires had decided to call the game. Crew chief Chris Guccione said that the players were “too rattled” to continue playing, and the coaches agreed with the decision.

The Royals would get the win in the record books with a score of 6-3.

– Anna Ciesla

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Cup check




A scary moment last week when a line drive hit Umpire Brad Myers in the groin area.


There were two outs in the bottom of the second with runners on first and second when Reds’ second basemen hit a screaming liner off of Indians pitcher Corey Kluber that hit Myers in the groin. Fortunately, Myers was able to get up by his own will, take a few sips of water and shake it off. The Indians would go on to lose in a walk off 5-4.

Perhaps next time, Myers’ cup check shouldn’t be so aggressive.

Click Here to watch.

— Daniel Cowan

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Lindstrom nearing return

According to White Sox beat writer Scott Merkin, pitcher Matt Lindstrom has missed about a week with a left oblique strain. The injury plagued him the first half of last week, and after feeling like someone was “shoving a knife” in his side Tuesday, Lindstrom decided to focus less on playing and more on rehab.

But according to Lindstrom, his return is nearing after playing catch and working out Monday.

“Tomorrow we’re going to go through my mechanics and actually get downhill,” Lindstrom said. “Those guys told me there’s going to be some soreness down in that rib cage area, and so I’m just kind of battling through that. So far, so good.”

Lindstrom’s return is anticipated by the White Sox as he and fellow pitcher Nate Jones are top candidates to fill in at the team’s currently empty closer spot.

Gavin Lindahl

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Minnesota Twins Outlook

With 2013 marking their third straight 90-loss season, the Minnesota Twins are looking forward to 2014 more than ever.

Will the switch of former MVP Joe Mauer from catcher to to first base be the right move in successfully moving forward?

In an attempt to protect their star player from further concussions and the day-to-day physical wear of being a major league catcher, the Twins announced on Nov. 11 that Mauer would permanently move from behind the plate to first base. Mauer, the only catcher in MLB history to win three batting titles, already has a reputation at bat, but he could also make a name for himself at first base this upcoming season.

Or will the reconstruction of their pitching line up be their key to success?

In 2013, the Twins were the only team in Major League Baseball to not reach 1,000 strikeouts. The Twins have been aggressive in fixing that problem by signing pitchers Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes and Mike Pelfrey to free-agent deals while researching investment with Matt Garza and Bronson Arroyo.

Either way, necessary changes needed to made in order for the 2014 season to look positive for the Twins.

Olivia Jackson

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Chicago White Sox Outlook

Ask most White Sox writers and fans what the outlook for the upcoming season looks like, and you’ll probably get the same answer — not good. Most believe that the White Sox will finish in the cellar of the AL Central again this season, but there is some hope to be had. Realistically, for the White Sox to finish fourth again, the team would have to have some pretty overwhelming bad luck.

First basemen Jose Abreu and pitcher Chris Sale, who have recently signed contracts with the team, would have to be season-long let downs, and the team would probably have to lose some pitchers to injuries to mirror the results of last season. But the chance of all three of these factors not panning out is pretty unlikely. If anything, Abreu should be worth his big contract by making an immediate impact this season to emerge as one of the more productive first basemen in the AL. Aside from Abreu, Chicago has a decent number of other prospects who are showing signs of potential during spring training.

The White Sox, who shipped young closer Addison Reed last season, have found two decent options in Nate Jones and Matt Lindstrom to fill Reed’s gap as the team’s closer. However, both players have had some injury concerns. Jones missed a few days with a left glute strain, but is now back to work. Lindstrom, though, is currently held up with an oblique strain with no real timetable for return yet.

Gavin Lindahl

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Cleveland Indians Outlook

After a long hard fought 2013 season, the Cleveland Indians were able to make the post season for the first

Indianstime since 2007. They played the Tampa Bay Rays in a 1-game playoff for the wildcard seed in the American League. They lost by a score of 4-0. After fighting all September long to gain the wildcard spot, they came up just shy against the Rays to make it to a series against the Red Sox.

However, that was last season. That is the great thing about baseball, there is always tomorrow to go out and win.

Last year, the team was able to muster up 92 wins with no sign of Cy Young Pitching, MVP Hitting, or anything really of that caliber. They came together as a team, scored some runs, stole some bases and won the games they needed to in September.

This year, however, the teams focus should be on solid offence. Their top offensive player last year was Jason Kippnis (Second Basemen). He hit a respectable .284, with 160 hits in 564 ABs. He also had 17 HRs and 84 RBIs to give himself a pretty decent season. The team should hope for more of the guys to hit like Kippnis and possibly get more production out of everyone.

Nick Swisher has had a couple of average seasons since being with the Yankees. He has the ability to hit .275 with at least 75 RBI’s and 20 HR’s. Look for him to bounce back this season and give the Indians an extra push offensively.

With the addition of John Axford in the pen, the closer job could be filled after releasing Chris Perez at the end of October in 2013. John Axford did not have the season he was looking for in 2013 with the Cardinals, but will look to rebound with the Indians this year.ive him a pretty good year. However, on a team that does not have many All-Star notables, it would be in their best interest to find some offensive power going into the 2014 season.

A key player that you should keep an eye on is Michael Bourn. After missing 52 games last year due to injury, he only was able to steal 23 bases. IF he has a full healthy season, as one of the fastest guys in the game, he could look at between 35 and 45 stolen bases this season. This would lead to having more chances for the meat of the order to drive in some more runs.

Although the Indians had a successful 2013, it is tough to say whether or not they will make a playoff run. They will have a good chance if their starting pitching performs like it needs to, and if the team continues to hit the gaps throughout the season.

Daniel Cowan

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