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Homegrown talent: AL Central

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  February 23, 2011 08:33 PM

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While Young Manny carefully loads the baseballs here, let's check out part three of our Homegrown Rosters series, which includes the great-hit, lousy-field Indians (Manny! Thome! V-Mart!), a Twins roster that looks a whole lot like the current Twins roster, and a Royals breakdown that is even more depressing than we assumed.

cameronmikefinn.jpgCHICAGO WHITE SOX
Lineup: CF Chris Young, SS Alexei Ramirez, 2B Gordon Beckham, DH Carlos Lee, RF Magglio Ordonez, LF Aaron Rowand, 1B Dayan Viciedo, 3B Brent Morel, C Humberto Quintero.
Rotation: LHP Mark Buehrle, LHP Gio Gonzalez, LHP Clayton Richard, RHP Brandon McCarthy, RHP Daniel Hudson

Bullpen: LHP Chris Sale, RHP Matt Guerrier, RHP Jon Rauch, LHP Boone Logan, RHP Adam Russell, LHP Aaron Poreda, RHP Bobby Seay, RHP Lucas Harrell

Prospects, suspects, expatriates: CF Mike Cameron, CF Ryan Sweeney, INF-OF Michael Morse, OF Eduardo Escobar, OF Stefan Gartrell, OF Chris Carter, OF Aaron Cunningham, 2B Chris Getz, 3B Josh Fields, INF Brandon Allen, P John Ely, P Kanekoa Texeira, P Fautino De Los Santos, P Dan Cortes

Closing comments: The least I could do is have Cousin Kris, the benevolent mastermind of this project, put together the White Sox' lineup, rotation, and 'pen since this is his team . . . He pegged the lineup as "mediocre at best," but I kind of like it, particularly compared to the rest in the Central save for the Indians . . . I'd go with Cameron (eight seasons of 20+ homers) over Rowand in the outfield, though the latter was better for the White Sox . . . The three lefties in the rotation won a combined 42 games last year . . . The bullpen is one of the deepest and most versatile that we've seen so far.

ramirezmannyrfinn.jpgCLEVELAND INDIANS
Lineup: 2B Marco Scutaro, 3B Jhonny Peralta, C Victor Martinez, LF Manny Ramirez, DH Jim Thome, 1B Russell Branyan, RF Luke Scott, CF Ben Francisco, SS John McDonald

Rotation: LHP CC Sabathia, RHP Fausto Carmona, RHP Jeremy Guthrie, LHP Brian Tallet, RHP Josh Tomlin

Bullpen: RHP Danys Baez, LHP Rafael Perez, RHP Jensen Lewis, LHP Tony Sipp, RHP Frank Herrmann, RHP Edward Mujica

Prospects, suspects, expatriates: P Vinnie Pestano, P J.D. Martin, RHP John Gaub, RHP Luis Perdomo, LHP David Huff, RHP Aaron Laffley, INF Maicer Izturis, INF Joe Inglett, OF Josh Rodriguez, INF Carlos Rivero, INF Kevin Kouzmanoff, OF Ryan Church, OF Trevor Crowe, OF Jordan Brown, OF Nick Weglarz

Closing comments: Just as you'd expect, there's some pretty serious pop in this lineup, all the way down to Scott in the No. 7 spot . . . Manny (555) and Thome (589) have combined for 1,144 home runs. That's a lot . . . The starting pitching is just adequate beyond Mr. Carsten Charles Sabathia . . . We went with smooth-fielding John McDonald at short since defense is at a premium on this stone-handed team . . . The bullpen is about average, though it's notable that the once-electric Perez has seen his K/9 ratio nearly cut in half since 2008.

kaplergabefinn.jpgDETROIT TIGERS
Lineup: LF Andres Torres, SS Omar Infante, CF Curtis Granderson, DH Matt Joyce, RF Cody Ross, 1B Ryan Raburn, 3B Brandon Inge, 2B Ramon Santiago, C Alex Avila

Rotation: RHP Justin Verlander, RHP Jair Jurrjens, RHP Rick Porcello, RHP Jeff Weaver, RHP Brian Moehler

Bullpen: RHP Francisco Cordero, RHP Joel Zumaya, RHP Ryan Perry, RHP Fernando Rodney, RHP Jason Frasor, RHP Burke Badenhop, LHP Trever Miller

Prospects, suspects, expatriates: OF Brennan Boesch, OF Cameron Maybin, OF Gabe Kapler, P Andrew Miller, P Trever Miller, P Jesse Carlson, P Luke French, P Robbie Weinhardt, P Cristhian Martinez, P Guillermo Moscoso, INF Cale Iorg, INF Will Rhymes, INF Scott Sizemore, INF Ryan Strieby, INF Danny Worth, INF Audy Ciriaco, OF Don Kelly, OF Gorkys Hernandez, OF Casper Wells, OF Clete Thomas

Closing comments: Who needs a lefty in the 'pen when you have so many power-armed righthanders? Ah, I guess we'll throw Miller in there anyway if for no other reason than he's stuck around pro ball for 21 years . . . A healthy Jurrjens is a capable No. 2 to ace Verlander. Think the Tigers lament swapping him to the Braves for AL-phobic Edgar Renteria? . . . Jurjjens's age-22 season was remarkably similar to Roger Clemens's in 1985 . . . Granderson is a fine player, but when he's your No. 3 hitter, you know you don't have much of a lineup . . . I'm not a believer in Boesch at all; the league figured him out in the second half (.458 OPS in 245 plate appearances).

damonjohnnyrfinn.jpgKANSAS CITY ROYALS
Lineup: RF David DeJesus, LF Johnny Damon, CF Carlos Beltran, 1B Billy Butler, DH Mike Sweeney, 3B Alex Gordon, 2B Mark Ellis, SS Mike Aviles, C Matt Treanor

Rotation: RHP Zack Greinke, RHP Luke Hochevar, LHP Jeremy Affeldt, RHP Chad Durbin, LHP Danny Duffy

Bullpen: LHP J.P. Howell, RHP Mike MacDougal, RHP Brian Sanches, LHP Dusty Hughes, RHP Blake Wood

Prospects, suspects, expatriates: P Henry Barrera, P Carlos Rosa, P Greg Holland, 1B Kila Ka'aihue, INF Clint Robinson, INF Jeff Bianchi, INF Angel Sanchez, INF Andres Blanco, OF Mitch Maier, OF David Lough, OF Derrick Robinson, OF Jarrod Dyson, P Noel Arguelles, P Everett Teaford

Closing comments: As someone who grew up admiring the distinctive, distinguished George Brett-led Royals teams of the '70s and '80s, this is just sad . . . What we have here is a mishmash of unfulfilled promise (Gordon, Hochevar) and stars who didn't stay (Beltran, Damon, Greinke) . . . The pitching was so thin that we were tempted to add Bret Saberhagen to the rotation. His shoulder has to be feeling better by now, and at 46, he's nearly two years younger than Jamie Moyer . . . At least it gets better. The Royals are widely regarded to have the best farm system in baseball, and we included one of their better prospects, lefty Danny Duffy, in the rotation as a beacon of hope even though he hasn't pitched above Double A . . . How many hops do you think it took for Damon's throw there to reach the cutoff man? The over/under is three.

huntertoriifinn.jpgMINNESOTA TWINS
Lineup: LF Denard Span, 3B Danny Valencia, C Joe Mauer, 1B Justin Morneau, CF Torii Hunter, DH Jason Kubel, RF Michael Cuddyer, 2B Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS Matt Tolbert

Rotation: RHP Matt Garza, RHP Scott Baker, RHP Kevin Slowey, LHP Brian Duensing, RHP Nick Blackburn

Bullpen: RHP Grant Balfour, LHP J.C. Romero, RHP Jesse Crain, RHP LaTroy Hawkins, RHP Pat Neshek, LHP Jose Mijares, RHP Evan Meek, RHP Peter Moylan

Prospects, suspects, expatriates: RHP Alex Burnett, RHP Rob Delaney, LHP Glen Perkins, RHP Jeff Manship, RHP Anthony Slama, RHP Anthony Swarzak, RHP Loek Van Mil, RHP Mike Lincoln, RHP Frank Mata, C A.J. Pierzynski, C Chad Moeller, C Wilson Ramos, C Jose Morales, OF-1B Chris Parmalee, SS Trevor Plouffe, INF Steve Tolleson, INF Luke Hughes, OF Joe Benson, OF Ben Revere, OF Rene Tosoni, OF Greg Halman

Closing comments: Looks essentially like you'd expect a Twins team to look, doesn't it? . . . A deep bullpen, the Morneau-Mauer combo, a Torii Hunter flashback (still seems weird that he's an Angel: I'll be saying that about Vernon Wells for a few years, too), and a bunch of capable, seemingly interchangeable starting pitchers, with Garza playing the role of ace instead of original Giants property Francisco Liriano . . . Didn't realize Meek, who had a terrific year for the Pirates last season, was released by the Twins during the 2005 season.

About Touching All The Bases

Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.

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