Questions for the contenders

Updated: September 21, 2010, 10:45 AM ET
By Buster Olney

The American League playoffs figure to be much more wide open than in recent memory, and as ex-Tigers and ex-Twins great Jack Morris would tell you, in the postseason it comes down to who is throwing well and who is healthy. With that in mind, some recent developments to think about:

1. Rotation depth: Each AL team has a front-line ace -- CC Sabathia, David Price, Francisco Liriano, Cliff Lee -- capable of shutting down opposing lineups. But for each playoff club, there are questions about the middle of the rotation. For example, Matt Garza was good enough to throw a no-hitter last month, and, on the other hand, he struggled again Monday and now has a 7.98 ERA in four starts this month. A.J. Burnett's black eye is a mystery, and so are his starts.