Matt Capps is back from the disabled list after missing the past two months with a shoulder injury, but in his absence Glen Perkins left no doubt that he’s the Twins’ best closer option.
Since taking over as closer Perkins has converted 14-of-15 save chances with a 1.91 ERA and 35/4 K/BB ratio in 38 innings, whereas Capps has a 3.64 ERA and just 73 total strikeouts in 121 innings since the Twins acquired him from the Nationals in mid-2010.
Capps has a $6 million option for next season, but even after giving up too much to get him and then paying too much to keep him the Twins will presumably cut bait on the 28-year-old right-hander. When healthy he’s a solid enough pitcher, but Capps has always been better suited for setup man duties.
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:
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
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:
New York Mets