Cincinnati Reds v Cleveland Indians

Over the next week, we will take a look at how each team’s lineups looked to start the season in 2012 compared to the projected look for 2013 (all ZiPS projections courtesy of Fangraphs.)

We covered the NL West and NL Central, NL East, AL East and AL West.  Now we look at the American League Central.

Detroit Tigers

2012 Opening Day Lineup Projected 2013 Opening Day Lineup
1. CF Austin Jackson: .300/.377/.479 1. CF Austin Jackson: .293/.363/.442
2. Rf Brennan Boesch: .240/.286/.372 2. RF Torii Hunter: .271/.336/.428
3 3B Miguel Cabrera: .330/.393/.606 3. 3B Miguel Cabrera: .331/.413/.595
4. 1B Prince Fielder: .313/.412/.528 4. 1B Prince Fielder: .299/.413/.548
5. LF Delmon Young: .267/.296/.411 5. DH Victor Martinez: .303/.369/.457
6. DH Ryan Raburn: .171/.226/.254 6. LF Andy Dirks: .282/.335/.438
7. SS Jhonny Peralta: .239/.305/.384 7. SS Jhonny Peralta: .264/.329/.423
8. C Alex Avila: .243/.352/.384 8. C Alex Avila: .269/.373/.446
9. 2B Ramon Santiago: .206/.283/.272 9. 2B Omar Infante: .282/.319/.405

The Detroit Tigers will have two new additions to the lineup for 2013 in Victor Martinez and Torii Hunter, who signed a two year deal with the club this off-season. The return of Martinez should help protect Prince Fielder in the lineup this year, something the Tigers were missing in 2012.

Cleveland Indians

2012 Opening Day Lineup Projected 2013 Opening Day Lineup
1. CF Michael Brantley: .288/.348/.402 1. CF Michael Bourn: .273/.344/.363
2. SS Asbrubal Cabrera: .270/.338/.423 2. SS Asdrubal Cabrera: .277/.341/.430
3 Rf Shin-Soo Choo: .283/.373/.441 3. 2B Jason Kipnis: .274/.351/.429
4. C Carlos Santana: .252/.365/.420 4. 1B Nick Swisher: .256/.362/.458
5. DH Travis Hafner: .228/.346/.438 5. C Carlos Santana: .261/.383/.476
6. LF Shelley Duncan: .203/.288/.388 6. DH Mark Reynolds: .231/.336/.463
7. 1B Casey Kotchman: .229/.280/.333 7. LF Michael Brantley: .279/.344/.379
8. 2B Jason Kipnis: .257/.335/.379 8. 3B Lonnie Chisenhall: .262/.310/.433
9. 3B Jack Hannahan: .244/.312/.341 9. RF Drew Stubbs: .246/.319/.386

The off-season started with the hiring of manager Terry Francona, but no one expected a major overhaul to the lineup for 2013. Indians management were able to get Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn and Mark Reynolds to join Cleveland, giving them a lineup that can compete with the Tigers.

Chicago White Sox

2012 Opening Day Lineup Projected 2013 Opening Day Lineup
1. CF Alejandro De Aza: .281/.349/.410 1. CF Alejandro De Aza: .295/.357/.438
2. 3B Brent Morel: .177/.225/.195 2. 3B Jeff Keppinger: .290/.342/.392
3 DH Adam Dunn: .204/.333/.468 3. RF Alex Rios: .273/.318/.443
4. 1B Paul Konerko: .298/.371/.486 4. 1B Paul Konerko: .281/.367/.486
5. C A.J. Pierzynski: .278/.326/.501 5. DH Adam Dunn: .207/.341/.442
6. RF Alex Rios: .304/.334/.516 6. LF Dayan Viciedo: .271/.316/.455
7. SS Alexei Ramirez: .265/.287/.364 7. SS Alexei Ramirez: .269/.309/.389
8. LF Dayan Viciedo: .255/.300/.444 8. C Tyler Flowers: .236/.338/.453
9. 2B Gordon Beckham: .234/.296/.371 9. 2B Gordon Beckham: .246/.314/.398

The White Sox has a quiet off-season, bringing in Jeff Keppinger to play third, while losing A.J. Pierzynski to the Rangers. The team will once again rely on Paul Konerko to lead the offense in 2013.

Kansas City Royals

2012 Opening Day Lineup Projected 2013 Opening Day Lineup
1. LF Alex Gordon: .294/.368/.455 1. LF Alex Gordon: .284/.366/.457
2. CF Lorenzo Cain: .266/.316/.419 2. SS Alcides Escobar: .272/.314/.365
3 1B Eric Hosmer: .232/.304/.359 3. DH Billy Butler: .300/.368/.490
4. DH Billy Butler: .313/.373/.510 4. 3B Mike Moustakas: .264/.316/.455
5. RF Jeff Francoeur: .235/.287/.378 5. C Salvador Perez: .299/.329/.456
6. 2B Yuniesky Betancourt: .228/.256/.400 6. 1B Eric Hosmer: .276/.342/.442
7. 3B Mike Moustakas: .242/.296/.412 7. RF Jeff Francoeur: .260/.314/.418
8. C Brayan Pena: .236/.262/.321 8. CF Lorenzo Cain: .280/.332/.424
9. SS Alcides Escobar: .293/.331/.390 9. 2B Chris Getz: .267/.327/.337

The Royals made major changes to their rotation, but when it comes to the lineup, not many moves were made. Alex Gordon is expected to bat lead off again with third baseman Mike Moustakas set to be the cleanup hitter. Salvador Perez, who missed the first 6 weeks last year after being injured in spring, looks to have a breakout season if he can stay healthy,

Minnesota Twins

2012 Opening Day Lineup Projected 2013 Opening Day Lineup
1. CF Denard Span: .283/.342/.395 1. CF Aaron Hicks: .234/.313/.359
2. SS Jamey Carroll: .268/.343/.317 2. 2B Brian Dozier: .253/.300/.372
3 C Joe Mauer: .319/.416/.446 3. C Joe Mauer: .317/.407/.452
4. DH Justin Morneau: .267/.333/.440 4. LF Josh Willingham: .248/.354/.479
5. LF Josh Willingham: .260/.366/.524 5. 1B Justin Morneau: .271/.348/.459
6. RF Ryan Doumit: .275/.320/.461 6. RF Chris Parmelee: .274/.359/.457
7. 3B Danny Valencia: .188/.199/.299 7. DH Ryan Doumit: .271/.328/.449
8. 1B Chris Parmelee: .229/.290/.380 8. 3B Trevor Plouffe: .243/.302/.444
9. 2B Alexi Casilla: .241/.282/.321 9. SS Pedro Florimon Jr: .246/.306/.343

The Twins made many changes, but one thing they didn’t change was the heart of the order. Mauer, Willingham and Morneau will be surrounded by mainly rookies, so it may be a long season in the Twin Cities.