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AL Central teams at the start of spring training

Published: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 1:18 PM
Updated: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 1:16 PM

            FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2017, file photo, Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game in Seattle. Determined to end their World Series title drought in 2017 after coming so close the previous season, the AL Central champions were bounced in the playoffs by the New York Yankees despite taking a 2-0 series lead. It was a bitter finish for a team that won 102 games and reeled off 22 straight victories. But while there was a sense of finality for some Cleveland fans, manager Terry Francona said these Indians aren’t done. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2017, file photo, Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game in Seattle. Determined to end their World Series title drought in 2017 after coming so close the previous season, the AL Central champions were bounced in the playoffs by the New York Yankees despite taking a 2-0 series lead. It was a bitter finish for a team that won 102 games and reeled off 22 straight victories. But while there was a sense of finality for some Cleveland fans, manager Terry Francona said these Indians aren’t done. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

A team-by-team look at the American League Central entering spring training, including key players each club acquired and lost, and dates of the first workout for pitchers and catchers, and the full squad:


Cleveland Indians

Manager: Terry Francona (sixth season).

2017: 102-60, first place, lost to New York Yankees in ALDS.

Training Town: Goodyear, Arizona.

Park: Goodyear Ballpark.

First Workout: Feb. 15/19.

He's Here: 1B-DH Yonder Alonso, OF Melvin Upton Jr., RHP Alexi Ogando.

He's Outta Here: 1B Carlos Santana, OF Jay Bruce, RHP Bryan Shaw, RHP Joe Smith, OF Austin Jackson, LHP Boone Logan.

Going campin': Poised to possibly end their 70-year-old World Series title drought, the Indians, who reeled off 22 straight victories in 2017, didn't even make it back to the AL Championship Series after squandering a 2-0 playoff lead against the Yankees. Unlike last winter, when the club signed DH Edwin Encarnacion in free agency, the Indians were relatively quiet, counting on their core to carry them in '18. Cleveland's rotation, led by two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, remains the team's greatest strength and why the Indians should repeat as division champions. There will be a four-way competition between Josh Tomlin, Danny Salazar, Mike Clevinger and Ryan Merritt for two rotation spots. The loss of run producers Santana and Bruce means the Indians will need more from Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley, two former All-Stars who have battled injuries the past two seasons. Shaw's departure will strain the bullpen, which is counting on elite lefty Andrew Miller to bounce back after he missed significant time last year with knee issues.


Minnesota Twins

Manager: Paul Molitor (fourth season).

2017: 85-77, second place, lost to New York Yankees in wild-card game.

Training Town: Fort Myers, Florida.

Park: Hammond Stadium.

First Workout: Feb. 14/19.

He's Here: RHP Fernando Rodney, RHP Addison Reed, LHP Zach Duke, RHP Michael Pineda.

He's Outta Here: RHP Matt Belisle, RHP Bartolo Colon, C Chris Gimenez, LHP Hector Santiago, LHP Glen Perkins, LHP Buddy Boshers, RHP Michael Tonkin, RHP Dillon Gee.

Going campin': The Twins made a massive 26-win turnaround last season, earning Molitor the AL Manager of the Year award and a new contract through the 2020 season. He'll have a much stronger bullpen to work with this year, after Twins relievers ranked 22nd in the majors with a 4.40 ERA. Rodney and Reed will be the anchors, lessening the pressure on the quartet of returning 26-year-olds Taylor Rogers, Trevor Hildenberger, Tyler Duffey and Alan Busenitz. Though the Twins could still add another starting pitcher, a pursuit stalled by the free-agency logjam all around baseball, the prospects for the rotation took a hit when Ervin Santana had surgery this week on his right middle finger that will keep him out until at least mid-April. With Pineda still recovering from Tommy John surgery, RHP Phil Hughes will have another chance to overcome shoulder trouble and re-establish himself as a reliable starter. Another healed-up returner, RHP Trevor May, will be in the mix to start again after Tommy John surgery erased his 2017. The entire starting lineup and some key bench players are back, but all eyes are on third baseman Miguel Sano in his recovery from surgery on the shin that kept him out for the last six weeks of the season. Sano is also under investigation by Major League Baseball for an alleged assault against a woman who brought the accusation forward in December.


Kansas City Royals

Manager: Ned Yost (ninth season).

2017: 80-82, third place.

Training Town: Surprise, Arizona.

Park: Surprise Stadium.

First Workout: Feb. 14/19.

He's Here: RHP Trevor Oaks, RHP Jesse Hahn, RHP Scott Barlow, RHP Wily Peralta.

He's Outta Here: 1B Eric Hosmer, CF Lorenzo Cain, 3B Mike Moustakas, LHP Jason Vargas, RHP Joakim Soria, LHP Scott Alexander, DH Brandon Moss

Going campin': The Royals could be in complete rebuilding mode after most of the core group that won two AL pennants and the 2015 World Series hit free agency. They managed to re-sign shortstop Alcides Escobar, and remained hopeful heading to spring training that some of the free agents still on the market could return. But they are also prepared for a rebuilding effort, which means young players replacing Cain (who signed with Milwaukee), Hosmer and Moustakas. The Royals will likely platoon at DH after dealing Moss and his hefty contract to Oakland late last month. They are also hoping for a big bounce-back year from left fielder Alex Gordon, who had arguably the worst season of his career. The starting rotation has jobs open, with lefty Danny Duffy and right-handers Jason Hammel and Ian Kennedy the only sure things.


Chicago White Sox

Manager: Rick Renteria (second season).

2017: 67-95, fourth place.

Training Town: Glendale, Arizona.

Park: Camelback Ranch.

First Workout: Feb. 14/19.

He's Here: RHP Miguel Gonzalez, C Welington Castillo.

He's Outta Here: C Geovany Soto, RHP Mike Pelfrey, RHP Al Alburquerque, RHP Jake Petricka, OF-2B Alen Hanson, RHP Zach Putnam.

Going campin': For a team with five straight losing seasons and a record that ranked among baseball's worst last year, the White Sox are generating plenty of buzz. That's because they're loaded with promising young players after going all-in on a rebuild prior to last season. The moves have sparked a belief that better days are coming. Second baseman Yoan Moncada and hard-throwing pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez showed promise in the majors last season. RHP Michael Kopech, outfielder Eloy Jimenez and outfielder Luis Robert are on their way in the minors. Other players to watch include outfielder Avisail Garcia, looking to prove he's not a one-hit wonder coming off a breakout year. SS Tim Anderson hopes to bounce back from a trying season in which a close friend got shot to death. And slugger Jose Abreu, viewed as a potential trade candidate this winter, remains in the middle of the lineup. Something else to monitor: LHP Carlos Rodon's rehab. He missed the start of last season because of shoulder and biceps problems and is expected to miss the start of this season after having surgery on his pitching shoulder in September.


Detroit Tigers

Manager: Ron Gardenhire (first season).

2017: 64-98, fifth place.

Training Town: Lakeland, Florida.

Park: Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.

First Workout: Feb. 14/19.

He's Here: OF Leonys Martin, RHP Mike Fiers, OF Victor Reyes.

He's Outta Here: Manager Brad Ausmus, 2B Ian Kinsler, RHP Anibal Sanchez, INF Andrew Romine, RHP Bruce Rondon.

Going campin': After finishing tied for the worst record in the majors, the Tigers enter 2018 with expectations as low as they've been in a while. They still have Miguel Cabrera — coming off the worst season of his career — and a bounce-back season from him would go a long way toward helping the team at least be respectable. Right-hander Michael Fulmer (elbow) and designated hitter Victor Martinez (irregular heartbeat) both dealt with health issues last season, but they are expected to be at full strength in spring training. Keep an eye on Jeimer Candelario, a 24-year-old third baseman the Tigers acquired in a trade last season. With Candelario at third, Nicholas Castellanos is preparing to play a lot in the outfield. Left-hander Daniel Norris had a disappointing 2017 but is still just 24, and lefty Matthew Boyd showed potential late last season when he nearly threw a no-hitter.


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Days of rain getting underway

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 3:53 AM
Updated: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 3:22 PM

Several rounds of rain may lead to flooding problems this week.

A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for Auglaize, Champaign, Darke, Logan, Mercer, and Shelby counties, in effect from 1 a.m. Thursday through 11 a.m. 

Total ice accumulations overnight could reach one-tenth of an inch with limited viability also expected. 

A Flood Watch has also been issued for Butler, Clinton and Warren counties, starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday through 10 a.m. Feb. 25. 

>> Record-breaking warmth this week 


  • FLOOD WATCH for southern Miami Valley begins tonight
  • WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for northern Miami Valley late tonight
  • 2 to 4 inches of rain possible through the weekend

>> 5-Day Forecast


5 Day Forecast with Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs

THIS EVENING: On and off rain. Temperatures will drop through the 30s.

Graphic by Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell

>> County-by-County Weather

TONIGHT: Rain likely. As temperatures drop, the rain may become freezing rain across the northern Miami Valley. Elsewhere, temperatures should remain just above freezing, in the lower to middle 30s.

THURSDAY: Rain or freezing rain in the morning then drying out. Clouds will remain. Temperatures will hold in the middle 40s.

Graphic by Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell

FRIDAY: Rain likely. The rain may be heavy at times. It will be mild with highs in the upper 50s.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

SATURDAY: Rain likely. The rain may be heavy at times with a chance for some thunder, mainly south. Highs will be near 60 degrees.

SUNDAY: Rain will taper off early in the morning with clouds breaking. It will be windy and cooler with highs in the middle 50s.

MONDAY: Sunshine returns. Breezy and cool with highs in the lower 50s.


WHIO Weather App

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Kettering substitute accused of sex with students ruled competent to stand trial

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 3:05 PM

Substitute teacher indicted on student sex charges enters plea

A judge has ruled the Kettering Fairmont High School substitute teacher accused of having sex with two students in a Big Lots and apartment complex parking lot is competent to stand trial, officials said.

Madeline J. Marx, 23, is charged with sexual battery.

A 17-year-old student told police he was given oral sex by a teacher July 19 in the parking lot of Big Lots on Wilmington Pike, according to the complaint, affidavit and statement of facts filed in municipal court.

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A 16-year-old boy told police he had intercourse with a substitute teacher Sept. 21 in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Smithville Road, according to court documents.

Marx was removed from Fairmont’s building Nov. 8 by police. Marx admitted to having sexual relationships with multiple students, according to court documents.

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An affidavit said Marx also confessed to sending several nude pictures via Snapchat and Instagram.

A prosecutor’s office press release indicated Marx also substitute taught in Oakwood. School officials in Oakwood sent parents a letter saying that they did not know of any victims in their school district.

State records indicated Marx has a four-year teaching license as a K-12 education intervention specialist.

Marx graduated in 2012 from Chaminade Julienne High School in Dayton and graduated from the University of Dayton in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in education, according to CJ and UD officials.

According to her UD transcript included in her personnel file, Marx withdrew from a fall 2013 class on sexual ethics.

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WATCH: West Carrollton HS student charged for alleged assault at school

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 7:59 AM
Updated: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 1:48 PM

Officials with West Carrollton Schools said they have dealt with a student after video of an assault at the high school showed up on Facebook. Video courtesy of Rachel Tussey's Facebook page.

UPDATE @ 1:45 p.m. 

A 15-year-old West Carrollton High School student who allegedly assaulted a classmate, accused the assault victim of telling a female acquaintance to kill herself, according to a police report. 

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The 15-year-old victim denied the allegation while the victim filed the police report, according to the report. Victim’s mother also denied the allegation when reached by this new organization. 

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The victim and his mother went to the West Carrollton Police Department after the victim received treatment at Dayton Children’s Hospital on Feb. 5. The victim suffered a concussion and a jaw injury in the incident, the report said.

The victim also said the suspect reached out to him on Snapchat after the alleged assault, asking him not to pursue criminal charges, but the victim and his family did not have screenshots of the messages, the report said.

After completing the police report, officers went to the suspect’s home, arrested him and took him in for questioning. 

“(The suspect) told me that (the victim) told his friend to kill herself, which upset him,” West Carrollton officers logged in the report. “(The suspect) said that he has been going back and forth with (the victim) via text messages about it.” 

The suspect told police he has an anger problem, and it caused him to “black out” and attack the victim, according to the report. 

This news organization is not naming the parties involved in this incident because they are minors. 


A West Carrollton High School student is facing assault charges after  the district said the student was allegedly involved in an assault at the school earlier this month that was filmed by someone at the school.

The assault was reported to have happened at the high school on Feb. 5

A parent shared a video with this news organization and on social media reportedly showing an attack in the hallway of the high school on the same day the district confirmed an assault occurred.  The district confirmed the video is part of their investigation.

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“This incident was investigated in accordance with school policies, and appropriate disciplinary actions were taken,” said West Carrollton Superintendent Andrea Townsend.  “Our District takes bullying very seriously, and is constantly teaching and reminding our students to be respectful of others in all their interactions.”

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First of two men convicted of killing mother in front of her child sentenced to prison

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 2:26 PM

Curtis Howard Burdette (Contributed Photo)
Curtis Howard Burdette (Contributed Photo)

One of two men convicted of killing Brittany Russell was sentenced in court Wednesday. 

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Curtis Howard Burdette, 39, of Dayton was sentenced to the maximum sentence of 25 years in prison Wednesday, according to a release from the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office. 

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Burdette was found guilty in March 2017 on charges of involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping, and tampering with evidence in connection to the death of Brittany Russell. Russell was found shot in the head in her car while her 6-month-old daughter was in the back seat. 

The co-defendant in the case, Brandon Carr, was found guilty on charges last week of murder, aggravated murder, kidnapping, felonious assault, tampering with evidence, endangering children, and other charges. Carr will be sentenced on March 9. 

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