AL Central Weekly: Quintana Still Quality, Cabrera Dials In

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Chicago: The White Sox continued to roll on this past week and it’s beginning to look like they may be unstoppable as even the mighty Texas Rangers couldn’t handle them. Chicago lost two of three to the Yankees over the weekend before sweeping the Rangers. On Friday, they took the first game of their series against the Blue Jays. In other words, the White Sox are winning and at three games ahead in the division, they’re proving why they’re the AL Central’s best team.

White Sox Pitcher of the Week: Jose Quintana (4-1, 2.04)

Jose Quintana has been impressive. That’s the simplest way to sum up his season so far, and Thursday was no different. Quintana dominated the Rangers as he went eight full innings, allowing just one run on two hits and a walk while striking out eight.

Quintana has been solid throughout his eight starts this year and his worst outing was in New York, where he gave up six to the Yankees. Other than that, Quintana has posted three starts where he held opponents scoreless and he has not permitted more than three walks per start.

One might argue that Quintana’s season has merely been a result of beginner’s luck, but any 23-year-old who can throw two consecutive eight-inning shut-outs and hold the Rangers to two hits deserves a lot of credit.

White Sox Hitter of the Week: Kevin Youkilis

It sickens me to do this, but I really have no choice. Youkilis had a solid week with Chicago. He hit .348 through six games, which included two home runs and eight RBIs.

While I still don’t believe he would have been the answer the Cleveland’s offensive woes, I must admit that he’s had an outstanding start with his new team.

Cleveland: Cleveland had an up-down week as they started off strong, taking three of four from the Orioles over the long weekend before winning two of three from the Angels. Then the Rays came to town and things seemed to be working in Cleveland’s favor at first as they won Thursday’s game, but Friday’s disastrous start by Justin Masterson tipped the scales out of Cleveland’s favor again.

Tribe Pitcher of the Week: Josh Tomlin (5-5, 5.45)

It was about time Tomlin put together a good outing. He’s been worrisome and rightfully so as consistency has not been his forte this year. Teams can typically expect to produce a good number of hits off of him, but on Thursday, Tomlin kept the Rays to just two hits through seven innings. Thursday’s win gave Tomlin back-to-back wins and dropped his ERA further away from the 6.00 mark.

Tribe Hitter of the Week: Shin-Soo Choo

The Korean Trains chugs on in the Tribe’s lead-off spot and has become one of the team’s most reliable bats. Through his last seven games, Choo hit .448 with two home runs and six RBIs while drawing a trio of walks. He is now hitting .298, so keep an eye for him to clear the .300 mark this weekend.

Detroit: The Tigers had a decent week as they took a four-game series from the Rays last weekend and split a four-game with the Twins. On Friday, they topped the Royals and it seems that Detroit is holding its own in the AL Central race as they presently sit 4.5 out of first place.

Tigers Pitcher of the Week: Justin Verlander (9-5, 2.58)

At this point, I don’t think much explanation is ever needed for Justin Verlander. He was lights out as usual on Wednesday as he picked up his ninth win over the Twins. Verlander went the full distance and relinquished just one run on four hits while striking out seven. This was Verlander’s fifth complete game of the year and he presently leads the AL in strikeouts with 128.

Tigers Hitter of the Week: Miguel Cabrera

This was an inevitable choice, being that Cabrera hit .560 through his last seven games. This included two home runs, eight RBIs, and five walks with just one strikeout. That’s about as locked in as it gets as he’s now hitting .327 on the year and all I can say is I’m really glad the Tigers aren’t currently in Cleveland.

Kansas City Royals: It was certainly a roller coaster for the Royals as their streaky offense couldn’t come together to compile enough runs for more than one game at a time. The pitching wasn’t lights out this week as Bruce Chen gave up three home runs in his start and the offense struggled, such as when the line-up struck out 10 times against Drew Smyly on Friday.

Royal Pitcher of the Week: Everett Teaford (1-1, 4.70)

Teaford was certainly not dominant in his start on Monday, but he was solid enough to pick up his first win. He gave up five hits, two of which were home runs, but held the Blue Jays to just three runs. It was just Teaford’s third start and it seems like walks have been as issue for him this season, but he only surrendered two on Monday.

Royal Hitter of the Week: Salvador Perez

Perez had a fantastic week as he hit .500 through six games. This included a pair of doubles and a homer while he struck out just once.

Through his 11 games in the bigs, Perez is hitting .425 after he tore up AAA, where he hit .340.

Minnesota: The Twins are ten games back in the AL Central but they can at least say they split with the Tigers this week. They may be in the basement, yet they always seem to ruin things for the better teams in the division.

Twin Pitcher of the Week: Scott Diamond (7-3, 2.62)

I’m not going to lie, I was surprised by Diamond’s numbers when I took a peek at them, as I hadn’t realized he was having such a good year.

Diamond went seven strong on Thursday, where he allowed two runs on five hits while fanning four Tigers. Though Diamond tends to surrender a fair amount of hits, he’s done a good job of implementing damage control this season and has not permitted more than four runs through his last 10 starts.

You can follow Stephanie on Twitter @SKMetzger to hear her whine about the Indians and muse about life. Also, become a fan of MTAF on Facebook.

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