Carlos Gonzalez hitting .360 since move to leadoff spot

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Carlos Gonzalez followed up his monster 2010 season by getting off to a slow start this year, hitting just .254 with a .728 OPS through 57 games.

However, since Dexter Fowler’s injury/demotion and manager Jim Tracy’s decision to move Gonzalez into the leadoff spot (and center field) he’s thrived, hitting .360 with four homers, nine doubles, and a 1.021 OPS in 21 games.

During that time the Rockies are 12-9, turning things around following a sluggish 27-31 start.

Gonzalez has plenty of previous experience as a leadoff hitter, but it’ll be interesting to see if Tracy is tempted to move him back into the middle of the lineup now that he’s producing big numbers again. At the time of the switch that was the stated plan.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves