Grady Sizemore's injury problems keep piling up. The young players (Lonnie Chisenhall, Jason Kipnis, Michael Brantley) aren't ready, and Cleveland looks like the second-half team of 2011.
The team again becomes fundamentally sound—a focal point of spring training—and Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer stay healthy. A starter emerges to help Carl Pavano and ease the load on an overtaxed bullpen.
Morneau can't play, Mauer's power never returns, and Francisco Liriano isn't good enough to be traded for prospects at the deadline. It's another lost season, and the future is bleak.
Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham return to form, Alexei Ramirez blossoms into a star, and John Danks pitches like the ace he's being paid to be. The White Sox make a surprise run at the Tigers.
Robin Ventura is overmatched as manager, Dunn can't turn his career around, and the closer's role remains a mystery all year long. Kenny Williams's rebuilding plan can't get off the ground.