Some news and notes from around the AL Central:
- Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera took a hot grounder off his left cheek in today's game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Cabrera was bleeding profusely and had to be taken out of the game. He was taken to the hospital for precautionary x-rays and will most likely need stitches. For some the injury may call into question the Tigers' choice to move Cabrera to third base, but it's impossible to know if a more experienced third basemen would have handled such a hot shot.
- The Minnesota Twins optioned infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka to triple-A Rochester today. Nishioka was a five time All-Star in Japan but has struggled since signing a three year, $9.25M contract with the Twins before the 2011 season. He hit .226 with just five doubles in 68 games in 2011, including 12 errors. He hasn't looked any better this spring, posting a .269 on-base percentage and a .320 slugging percentage in nine games. At this point the Twins have to wonder if Nishioka is a sunk cost.
- First it was Michael Pineda, then Roy Halladay, now the Cleveland Indians' Ubaldo Jimenez's velocity is reportedly down, according to one scout. Jimenez's velocity may be more of a concern than for other pitchers, as he is yet to show the Indians the dominate stuff he used to humiliate NL hitters for most of 2010. With Roberto Hernandez Heredia, aka Fausto Carmona, still stuck out of the country, the Indians are relying on Jimenez to compete in the AL Central.
- Jim Margalus over at South Side Sox examines Alex Rios' use, or overuse, of hitting to right field. Rios has been a huge disappointment since coming to the White Sox and, along with Adam Dunn, must rebound for the White Sox to have any chance in the AL Central for the next couple years.