For the past few days we’ve been previewing the 2013 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central.
It’s the Tigers’ world and everyone else is living in it. Of course we thought that last year too and Detroit didn’t truly wrest control of the AL Central until the last couple weeks of the season. This year, however, we feel like that won’t be a problem.
The Indians have a whole new look with Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn and Terry Francona, but do they have enough pitching to challenge for the wild card?
The White Sox were in the race all year in 2012, but with few offseason additions and aging sluggers, is there another season of contention left?
The Royals had the best spring training record of anyone, but does that and fifty cents get them anything more than a bag of chips?
The Twins: another year in the cellar seems unavoidable, but is there any hope at all?
Below are our team-by-team previews for the AL Central as well as our HBT Extra feature on the division. Enjoy.
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NEW YORK — With star outfielder Adam Jones nursing a tender hamstring, the Baltimore Orioles selected the contract of Julio Borbon from Double-A Bowie and optioned pitcher Mike Wright to Triple-A Norfolk.
Borbon was inserted in the starting lineup for Baltimore, batting ninth against hard-throwing New York Yankees rookie Chad Green.
“We had some other center field options,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Borbon is our best option at this point.”
Jones left Friday’s game in the second inning with a left hamstring strain. He departed the previous night’s game at Washington in the ninth inning with hamstring cramps and aggravated the injury hustling down the first base line on a soft grounder to third.
“I got a feeling that if he hadn’t had that first swinging bunt, it might not have been a problem,” Showalter indicated. “He’s not going to trot to first base as much as I talked to him about it before the game.”
Although Jones was unable to talk his way into Saturday’s lineup, Showalter speculated that he might be available to pinch-hit.
The 30-year old Borbon was 2 for 9 in five games with the Orioles earlier this season, but was designated for assignment on July 26. To create room for Borbon on the 40-man roster, pitcher Logan Ondrusek was designated for assignment on Friday.
Good news in Boston: An MRI on Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi‘s left knee revealed no structural damage.
Benintendi slipped while trying to avoid a tag at second base, injuring his leg, but it appears he’s avoided a serious injury. A timetable for his return isn’t known at this point, but the Red Sox expect to get him back before the end of the season.
Benintendi is hitting .324/.365/.485 with a homer and ten RBI in 21 games.