Al Central

Spring Training 2000

February 16, 2000|By ROCH KUBATKO

Chicago White Sox

Manager: Jerry Manuel

1999 record: 75-86, second place

No. 1: Has a young core of players matured enough for a serious run at the playoffs?

No. 2: Which Frank Thomas will show up this season?

No. 3: Will Jose Valentin bring a calming presence at shortstop, where young Mike Caruso made 59 errors in two seasons?

No. 4: What's the over-under for starter Cal Eldred going on the disabled list?

No. 5: Is the team desperate enough to give former Oriole Randy Myers a shot?

Cleveland Indians

Manager: Charlie Manuel

1999 record: 97-65, first place

No. 1: Did the club really need a new manager after five straight division titles, and was Manuel the right choice?

No. 2: Have the Indians finally landed the No. 1 starter they've needed for so long in Chuck Finley?

No. 3: Is Lance Johnson a suitable fill-in until injured Kenny Lofton returns in midseason?

No. 4: Who will take over for departed closer Mike Jackson?

No. 5: Has Roberto Alomar grown complacent during the winter after making the usual splash in his first season with a new club?

Detroit Tigers

Manager: Phil Garner

1999 record: 69-92, third place

No. 1: Does adding Juan Gonzalez to the lineup automatically make the Tigers a playoff contender, or just more fun to watch?

No. 2: Will they regret losing pitchers Justin Thompson and Francisco Cordero in the Gonzalez deal?

No. 3: Can Matt Anderson harness his 100 mph fastball?

No. 4: Will Hideo Nomo prove a bargain at $1.25 million or was his success in Milwaukee an illusion?

No. 5: Will the Tigers respond better to Garner than his predecessor, Larry Parrish?

Kansas City Royals

Manager: Tony Muser

1999 record: 64-97, fourth place

No. 1: How many calls will the Royals receive from the Orioles concerning left-hander Jose Rosado?

No. 2: With struggling closer Jeff Montgomery retired, how much of an upgrade is Ricky Bottalico?

No. 3: What about the rest of the bullpen? There was plenty of blame to go around for 30 blown saves.

No. 4: Can the Royals realistically expect 100-RBI seasons again from Mike Sweeney, Jermaine Dye and Carlos Beltran?

No. 5: Can former Orioles pitcher Chris Fussell make the club out of spring training and contribute?

Minnesota Twins

Manager: Tom Kelly

1999 record: 63-97, fifth place

No. 1: Will the Twins be able to sign ace Brad Radke to a long-term deal or be forced to trade him?

No. 2: How big of a void has been created in the bullpen with the departure of Mike Trombley?

No. 3: Is any late-inning lead safe with the likes of Eddie Guardado, Hector Carrasco and Travis Miller vying to close?

No. 4: Where does the power come from?

No. 5: At what point does Kelly put a "Gone fishing" sign on his door?

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