|Joe Mauer has battled injuries all season long|
Minnesota Twins: The Twins came into the season riding high after winning the AL Central for the second year in a row. They were very confident with the likes of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau in the line-up while Matt Capps and Co. were on the mound. The Twins instead dropped a deuce in the first quarter of the season, holding the MLB's worst record for a while. The Twins have been gaining ground but with a high powered Tigers team on top and a young and determined Indians line-up chasing them they look to be out of the hunt. Minnesota fans had hoped that this was their year with the resigning of several key players and the addition of pitcher Matt Capps. Instead it looks like the Twins will have to wait till next year.
Cincinnati Reds: A young Reds ball club surprised many last season when they dominated the NL Central and came out as the champs to reach their first playoff birth in 15 years. They looked poised for another playoff appearance and hopefully another playoff run after retaining all of their key players and signing the World Series MVP, Edgar Renteria, and outfielder Fred Lewis. Instead the Reds have fallen well off the pace in the NL Central as the Brewers and Cardinals look to be in a two team race. Last season they won all the close games and this year they aren't pulling that off. The pitching has been very unimpressive, beside Johnny Cueto, while the batting has failed to capitalize on many opportunities. Look for the young club to be back and battle atop the NL Central next season.
|Carlos Gonzalez hasn't been close to |
repeating his 2010 season
Los Angeles Dodgers: I am just going to skip all of the off field problems and get to the problems on the field. With the exception of Cy Young candidate ,Clayton Kershaw, and MVP candidate, Matt Kemp, the Dodgers have failed to produce for a second straight season. Clayton Kershaw is the seventh best hitter on the entire roster... that just shows you how much this team needs to improve at the plate. On the mound Clayton Kershaw has wowed batters all season and Hiroki Kuroda has pitched well with a sub 3 ERA but hasn't gotten much help at the plate. After those two the rest of the line up is up over a 4.15 ERA and when you have a cold hitting offense you can't give up four runs a game.
These teams aren't extremely far out of the race but at this point in the season and how they have been playing, the playoffs seem like a long shot.