In this three-part series, we will compare the Cleveland Indians to the rest of the AL Central starting by power ranking each AL Central team’s projected starting rotation.
Thursday, the Cleveland Indians pitchers and catchers will report to Goodyear, Arizona in preparation for the 2021 season with the goal of ending the teams’ MLB long 72-year World Series title drought.
While for many, the Indians securing a fifth playoff berth in the last six years may be enough given the teams’ decision to trade away their best player in Francisco Lindor, the team clearly has bigger goals as long as Terry Francona, who won two World Series managing the Boston Red Sox is still the teams’ skipper.
In order to both get back to the playoffs and end their 72-year title drought, the Indians will need to navigate their way through the AL Central that is become increasingly more competitive each year.
Cleveland ran away with the division in both from 2016-18, but in 2019, the Twins overtook them as division champions and in 2020, Minnesota again won the division and the White Sox also made the playoffs finishing in third right behind the Indians.
This season, the Twins and White Sox are both projected by most to finish ahead of Cleveland, while the Kansas City Royals are a team on the rise and Detroit Tigers are expected to show some signs of their lengthy rebuild coming to an end.
With that in mind, our new three-part series will power rank each AL Central teams’ projected starting rotations, lineups and bullpens.
Since pitchers and catchers will be the first to report to Spring Training for all 30 teams across MLB, we will start the series by ranking all five projected starting pitching rotations in the AL Central.