Links from the AL Central before the Tigers host the Twins and the White Sox host the Indians…
- Joel Zumaya has started throwing in Florida, the first time he's done that since Spring Training according to MLB.com's Chris Vannini and Jason Beck. Zumaya won't make it back in time to pitch for the Tigers this year, but it's a "sign of hope" that he'll be ready for the start of 2012. The hard-throwing righty is a free agent after the season.
- The Twins fired Triple-A manager Tom Nieto and hitting coach Floyd Rayford, according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. GM Bill Smith told MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger that the firing was due to the Triple-A team's performance over the last two years, not about mistakes made by rookies at the MLB level (Twitter link).
- Ryan Ford of the Detroit Free Press runs through some of the Tigers’ best (Ivan Rodriguez and Jose Valverde) and worst (Dean Palmer) free agent signings in recent memory.
- Justin Verlander has been generating MVP buzz recently and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports adds Miguel Cabrera’s name into the mix, along with Jose Bautista, Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez.
- Indians manager Manny Acta told MLB.com's Jordan Bastian that Asdrubal Cabrera has been his team's MVP "without a doubt." The shortstop, who played through some minor injuries this season, has a .275/.336/.462 line with 22 homers.