AL Central Notes: Indians, Royals, Liriano

The Indians weren't supposed to be sitting atop the AL Central standings a month into the season and the Twins weren't supposed to be in the cellar. Here are some links from the AL Central, including the latest reaction to a surprising April…

  • Everyone's wondering if the Indians are for real and Dave Cameron of FanGraphs provided an answer today: they aren't as good as they've seemed (19-8), but their offense should keep them in the race for much of the season, even if their pitching regresses, as expected.
  • Anthony Castrovince of points out that the Indians now have a chance. "Nobody predicted they'd have it, and few seem to think they can sustain it. But with each win comes a little more belief."
  •'s Dick Kaegel explains that the Royals are taking advantage of technology to approach advance scouting in a new way.
  • Removing Francisco Liriano from the rotation may not be the worst decision the last-place Twins could make, writes Chris Cwik of FanGraphs.
  • White Sox GM Kenny Williams told's Scott Merkin that he isn't looking to blame anyone for his team's 10-19 start.

23 Responses to AL Central Notes: Indians, Royals, Liriano Leave a Reply

  1. Maybe grabbing a guy like Rodrigo Lopez from the Braves could be cheap and helpful for the Indians. I’d love to see them keep contending personally.

  2. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    Liriano was a top 5 pitcher in the AL last year, what the heck is wrong with him?

  3. Not looking to blame someone? Anything that happens it because of someone or a group of someone’s. So lets blame the team.

    • dc21892 4 years ago

      Yes, the team. And let’s NOT blame the manager. I’m sick of managers becoming the easy scapegoats. 2 weeks ago everyone wanted Francona’s head. Why? His players weren’t producing. He can only pencil in the lineup, other than that it’s the job of the players to prepare to the best of their ability. Everyone slumps, it’s a fact of the game, but we tend to blame managers way too easily. Different team but same stuff really… sad, sad stuff.

      • whitesoxfan424 4 years ago

        I agree to an extent. But, I do not like Ozzie and his buddies in the dugout. He takes his job like a joke, and is not a good manager.

        Walker has consistently been behind an offense that can NEVER get a runner on third with less than two outs home. Batting average is consistently poor. If it wasn’t for Paulie, Walker would be gone.

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        to be fair, he hasn’t been penciling in lineups very well and he definitely hasn’t managed the bullpen well at all. so even if those were his only jobs (they aren’t), he wouldn’t be acing the test

        no, i didn’t and don’t want him fired. but i’d like him to spend less time massaging egos and more time not bringing dan wheeler in against lefties, for example

  4. Mick_Stepp 4 years ago

    Ben. I seem to remember your “might be the worst team in baseball” and “might lose 100 games” predictions for the Indians. I know I’m para-phrasing but you said it. You sticking with those predictions?

  5. ToledoFan 4 years ago

    Ben. Why no news about the move the Tigers made? They sent down Rhymes and recalled Sizemore, who has been hitting over .400 in Toledo for the past month. Do you think this will breath life into an anemic tigers offense?

  6. Good thing the twins stuck with Liriano

    • Removing Francisco Liriano from the rotation may not be the worst decision the last-place Twins could make, writes Chris Cwik of FanGraphs.

      Hhahaahahah or not……….

  7. Dogo Hess 4 years ago


  8. Ben_Cherington 4 years ago

    the easter bunny is not real…sorry

  9. Lastings 4 years ago

    They will end up blaming Lastings, he’s an easy target…

  10. whitesoxfan424 4 years ago

    This is speculation, but I have heard he gets unmotivated easily and that affects his control, which in turn, like you said hurts him bad. Does anyone know more about this? Others have said he’s lazy. I do not know, just things I have heard.

  11. twins33 4 years ago

    The pitching coach was mad at him during spring training because he didn’t do any of his strength exercises. I think bad work ethic is a big thing from him. I’ve seen it since 2006. Before he could get by on talent alone, but now after surgery he can’t because he’s not as dominating. He can be a great pitcher, he still has talent, but he’s missing the work ethic and the confidence. He’s used to getting by on talent alone. He’s not used to pitching bad, so when things go wrong you can read it all over his face.

    You can tell when an inning is going to blow up on him. It starts with the loss of control, which happens a lot, especially when a runner is on first. He starts throwing the ball into the other batters box, so if he’s throwing to a right hander the ball will be pretty close to the chalk line in the left handed batters box. It will be ball, ball, ball or pitches right down the middle. Then he gets this sad defeated look on his face like he’s going to cry. And it happens a lot. It happened a lot more in 2009 than it did in 2010. Now he’s back to sucking so he’s making that “you just kicked my puppy” face a lot again.

    The Twins are talking about his release point being all over the place this year and they are saying that’s the reason why. His release point has been a problem since surgery, so it wouldn’t surprise me.

    I would say yes, Liriano does seem unmotivated. I don’t think he’s come to realize that he will never be as good as he was in 2006 and that he needs to try harder now. I thought maybe he had finally learned in 2010, but right now that season is looking like a fluke.

  12. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    gently as you presented it, that’s a pretty damning description of a player in his position. any twins fans wishing they’d sold high on him this offseason?

  13. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    So was he “lazy” last year as well when he had some of the best pitching peripherals in baseball? ANd if he wasn’t lazy last year then why would he be so this year when he’s obviously nearing free agency and his first major payday.

  14. twins33 4 years ago

    I wish we did now, yes, but it’s the hindsight talking. With the way he pitched in 2010, I thought he turned a corner. Right now, as I said, it’s looking like a fluke.

  15. Guest 4 years ago

    I wish I didn’t draft him in my fantasy league…

  16. twins33 4 years ago

    I wouldn’t call it “lazy” per se. But Liriano thinks he can get by on talent alone and has had an attitude issues since 2006. In 2006, he thought he was the you know what (which he was, I’d say he was easily the best pitcher in all of baseball that year..then he got hurt). There was another year where he and his agent demanded that he be called up rather than getting called up when he deserved to be…this was not too long after surgery. There have been a few other incidents as well, but I can’t recall the time frame.

    And he routinely does not listen to his coaches, as this offseason/spring training was not the first time they’ve been upset that he doesn’t do what they tell him to do. I honestly don’t know what the difference really is between the years. 2009 was bad, 2010 was great, 2011 has so far sucked. He’s been the worst he’s ever been this year.

    I don’t think “lazyness,” or whatever it is, is the only thing that is stopping him. Repeatedly throwing balls or balls right down the middle have nothing to do with him being lazy, it’s just him sucking. That is what he is doing this year, absolutely sucking. I don’t think his attitude helps him though.

    Honestly, Liriano thinks too much on the mound. There was a recent article with comments he made about how he’s trying to be perfect or worrying too much about a baserunner. When there is a runner on base it’s like too much for his brain to handle or something, because he routinely messes up when there is a man on first. Last year he would go deep into games, making it through 7 about 50% of the time. This year, I think he’s made it past the fifth inning once. I’d say, talent-wise, Liriano can still be good even great (2010 is proof of that), which is what I said in my first post. I think Liriano’s biggest problem is what is between the ears and his reaction to situations. Like I said, you can see when Liriano is about to blow up…it’s all over his face.

  17. twins33 4 years ago

    With Liriano, you must pay attention to his spring training results to know how he will pitch during the season. 2009-suck in ST and suck during the season. 2010-awesome ST/winter ball and awesome during the season. 2011-suck in ST and suck during the season (so far).

    My Red Sox friend drafted him in 09 and repeatedly kept trying to trade him to me because I’m a Twins fan. I refused to draft him or trade for him because of all of the awful reports I heard pre-spring training and during. Liriano proved me right. I read all of the awesome reports during winter ball 2010 and drafted him in the ’10 draft and everyone wanted me to trade him to them. In 2011, again, back to bad reports. Seems to be following the pattern…

  18. twins33 4 years ago

    See, today is an example. Pretty great game, but too many walks. He can be great, he has the talent. He just has things to work on as well. I’m happy for the guy getting a no hitter. I hope 2010 Liriano has returned.

  19. Frankly, me too. Outside of Jared Weaver, I haven’t had too much to get excited about on my fantasy baseball team (Jeremy Hellickson, Frankie Liriano, Madison Bumgarner, Ian Kennedy, and the recently dropped Ryan Dempster).

    Let’s hope that Michael Pineda and the recently acquired Gio Gonzalez can pick up the crew.

    P.S., I deserve it for focusing entirely on offense during the draft before the tenth round (Weaver being the exception in the seventh).

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