AL Central Notes: Royals, Tigers, Humber

Adam Dunn (.916 OPS) and Alex Rios (.934 OPS) are off to strong starts for the 10-6 White Sox. If Dunn and Rios keep this up, their team may be much more interesting than most pundits expected. Here are the latest links from the AL Central…

  • Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star takes a long look at the Royals and points out that their abundance of minor league talent hasn't yet translated into a compelling on-field product. The Royals "deserve every bit of venom you can muster for a franchise that’s been a ubiquitous letdown for most of the last two decades," Mellinger writes. The team is in the midst of an 11-game losing streak and has started to pull back some of its "Our Time" marketing. “We’ve got to win games," GM Dayton Moore said. "Because we can’t lose our fans for the summer.”
  • Dave Cameron of FanGraphs suggests the Royals resemble a .500 team much more than it seems at first glance.
  • The Tigers announced that they have transferred right-hander Al Alburquerque to the 60-day DL. The move opens up a 40-man roster spot for Detroit.
  • Tom Verducci of points out that Philip Humber, author of the 21st perfect game in MLB history, is in many ways every general manager's dream. The White Sox didn't have to pay for the right-hander's signing bonus or wait for him to recover from Tommy John surgery, but they’ve developed him into a valuable MLB starter. White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper told Verducci that he and Humber kept things relatively simple. "What we tried to do was tap into his best asset: his stuff," Cooper said.
  • Cameron explained Humber’s evolution as a pitcher at FanGraphs yesterday. The 29-year-old has been using his slider effectively and his fastball velocity is up.

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