Source: USATSI

Source: USATSI

American League Central

1. Cleveland Indians

Projected Rotation: (with 2015 statistics)

The Indians capture the number one spot in the AL Central, because of their depth they have in the rotation. Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazer, and Trevor Bauer are all good compliments of Cory Kluber. They each can hold their own any given night and if you are an Indians fans, would be confident in any of your starting five, if the game was on the line. Josh Tomlin only started 10 games due to injury, but in those ten outings he performed at a high level for the Tribe. I expect big things from them this season, Kluber will rebound and look for, Carrasco and Salazer to have huge years.

2. Chicago White Sox

Projected Rotation: (with 2015 statistics)

Chicago lost Jeff Samardzija via free agency, but he was no super-star for the Sox in 2015. The staff is led by Chris Sale and will continue to be led by Sale for a long time, Jose Quintana is ready to break out and Carlos Rodon, had an impressive rookie campaign. The Sox have Carson Fulmer still in the minors, who may get some big league innings in 2016, with Sale, Rodon, and Fulmer, the light is bright for the Sox pitching staff in the future.

3. Detroit Tigers

Projected Rotation: (with 2015 statistics)

The Tigers did a good job this off-season, by adding, Jordan Zimmermann, hopefully to be their ace going forward and to release some of the pressure being put on Justin Verlander, who has not been the same after turning 30. Anibal Sanchez had a disappointing 2015 and will be looking to bounce back, Daniel Norris, who was acquired in the David Price trade, from the Toronto Blue Jays, is a good young talent. Mike Pelfrey will look to add some experience to the back end of the rotation, which isn’t the worst thing for the Tigers.

4. Kansas City Royals

Projected Rotation: (with 2015 statistics)

The defending world champs lost Johnny Cueto to the San Francisco Giants and has yet to find a replacement. Edinson Volquez and Yordano Ventura will have to carry the heavy load if the Royals are unable to get a starter before the 2016 season. With the pressure on to perform, the Royals will have to find some more pitching if they want to make it back to the World Series for the third straight year. Chris Young was a pleasant surprise, but I see him as the 2015, Alfredo Simon and do not expect him to have a good year in 2016.

5. Minnesota Twins

Projected Rotation: (with 2015 statistics)

Minnesota was a surprise team last year to say the least, but I wouldn’t expect the same turn out in 2016. The Twins will be dealing with overrated pitching and under producing hitting next year, unless the young stars continue to shine with the bat. Ervin Santana and Ricky Nolasco are on the end of 30 and Phil Hughes can’t keep it together for a full season. Tommy Milone and Kyle Gibson showed glimpses of hope during the 2015 season and we will see if they can continue to succeed in the upcoming year.

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About The Author

Matthew has been a baseball fan his entire life. Growing up in Southern Connecticut he emerged as an avid Mets fan. He recently graduated Anna Maria College in Paxton, MA. He received a degree in Human Services and Development. Follow him on Twitter @MattyJKozlowski

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