Results tagged ‘ AL East ’

Baltimore Orioles Offseason Recap and Preview

Baltimore Orioles 2010: 

 1. Badness in the first half. 
12369.jpg
 
 2. Buck in the second. 
buck-MOTY.jpg
 
 
 Grade: A+ 
 
 
Notable Additions:
mark-reynolds.jpg
 
Mark Reynolds, Derrek Lee, Kevin Gregg, JJ Hardy, Jeremy Accardo, Justin Duchscherer, Randy Winn, and Vladimir Guerrero.
 
Notable Subtractions:
imagesCA7V9EI2.jpg
Ty Wigginton, Sean Henn, Corey Patterson, and Garrett Atkins.
 
 
Why?:  Why do the Orioles have a higher grade than the Red Sox? That is because the Orioles gained players that will make more of a impact wins wise than the Red Sox. They also didn’t lose as many impact players as the Red Sox did.
 
The Orioles gained an impact player at every position besides that which they already had settled, Brian Roberts at Second. In doing this they also, solidified the middle of their line-up. They have a difference making hitter at each spot in the line-up now: DH Vladimir Guerrero, C Matt Wieters, 1B Derrek Lee, 2B Brian Roberts, 3B Mark Reynolds, SS JJ Hardy, LF Luke Scott, CF Adam Jones, RF Nick Markakis.
 
I think that this lineup will be one of the best in the Majors. It’s like a discount version of the Yankee’s line-up (no holes in it). Can anyone argue with me that the only influential player they lost is Ty Wigginton? They really lost near nothing this offseason.
 
But who cares about hitters (And never begin you sentences with a conjunction)? It’s pitching that wins championships. Here the names are not as abundant nor are the names as big. The weak pont of this team is still starting pitchers but they did  get some bullpen guys.
 
 
Predicted Record Range: 70-75 they might have a vastly separated this year’s line-up from that of last but they still have to pitch and probably won’t repeat their post break record from last year.

Toronto Blue Jays Offseason Recap and Preview

The Blue Jays lose possibly the best pitcher in the league and what do they do:

Thumbnail image for Jose-Bautista.jpg

 

Oh, nothing much. Just hit the most home runs of any team in the major leagues.

 

Grade: B-

 

Notable Additions:

Frank-Francisco.jpg

Frank Fancisco, Rajai Davis, Carlos Villanueva, Sean Henn, Corey Patterson, Octavio Dotel, Chad Cordero, Jon Rauch, and Juan Rivera.

 

 

Notable Subtractions:

vernon_wells_of_toronto-789.jpg

Vernon Wells, Jeremy Accardo, Kevin Gregg, Scott Downs, John Buck, Shawn Marcum, and Lyle Overbay.

 

 

Why?: I know that they lost three really good bullpen guys, but look. They also gained four former closers. I know that they lost two middle of the line-up hitters but got a bonafide lead off hitter and whatever you consider Juan Rivera and Corey Patterson to be.

 

The only thing that suffered in the offseason was the rotation. Not only because of what you might think in Marucm leaving for Milwaukee but also John Buck leaving. With Buck leaving the pretty consistent Blue Jay rotation has had three catchers in three years (or more?) and it is tough. I would make the analogy to Quarter Backs in football playing in different systems every year. It is tough to have to keep adjusting. Just when you get comfortable pitching to a certain catcher he leaves town.

 

Will the Blue Jays continue to hit home runs? I have no idea. All I know is that even though there were more homeruns, there was also a way lower team AVG. Takee Aaron HIll for example, normally he hits around 15 HRs and bats .280 but last year he hit 24 HRs (or something like that) and had an AVG of around the Mendoza line.

 

One thing I would tell people is to watch out for Blue Jay prospects in the future. With the new GM, Alex Anthopoulos, the Blue Jays invested a whole lot into scouting, which may pay dividends down the road.

 

Predicted Record Range: 77-82 wins I see them declining a bit even though they have people like Kyle Drabek coming up because I don’t think they can keep the home run production up in 2011.

 

 

Boston Red Sox Offseason Recap and Preview

kevin-youkilis-july-2010-injury-a92cb7fb52adb969_large.jpg

This scene was way too familiar to Red Sox fans last year. As, a result they overacheived by underacheiving (it makes more sense if you don’t think about it).

 

Grade: A-

 

Notable Additions:

110113_adrian_gonzalez.jpg

Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Brandon Duckworth, Jason Bergmann, Dan Wheeler, Andrew Miller and Bobby Jenks.

 

Notable Subtractions:

victor-martinez-sits-in-the-dugout.jpg

Victor Martinez, Adrian Beltre, Bill Hall, Felipe Lopez, and Mike Lowell.

 

Why?: Yes mister “my second dream in life was to play for the Red Sox” and Crawford were indeed big additions. Yes, maybe I am a bitter but optimistic Yankee fan but they also lost two big pieces in Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre. Now, I would take the trade of Gonzalez for Beltre any day of the year but I would rather have Gonzalez nothing, though. The piece that really bothers me is the  Martinez loss. This is because they don’t have a reliable cather behind him. Sure, he wasn’t the most reliable himself defensively, but he was a force in the lineup. One that will be replaced by either Jarod Saltalamachia (?) or Jason Varitek.

 

Though I am not sure why people are so up on their rotation, they added some nice armsto the bullpen. They now have, three possible closers, two guys who would normally be set-up  men, and a whole lot of depth.

 

Now on the issue of preformance. If you have a fantasy baseball team, pick Red Sox players. Adrian Gonzalez is going from the worst hitter’s ballpark to the best hitter’s ballpark. He hit 32 homeruns and has one of the best opposite field strokes in the major leagues. Many of the balls that he hit on the screws and were flyouts in PETCO, will be home runs in Fenway. I pedict somewhere in the 40 homerun range with somewhere in the 50 doubles and triples.

 

Crawford on the other hand, has behind him: Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Adrian Gonzalez, and David Ortiz. Sure having Jacoby Ellsbury in front of him may lower his steals somewhat from what they would have been had he been leadoff but remember that he has stolen 62 of 66 bases at Fenway. Maybe this was from the horribly throwing Red Sox catchers but he is still comfortable. I think it was in 2006 that he stole second, third, and home plate against the Red Sox.

 

Predicted Record Range: 94-99 wins They have the best line-up in all of baseball. However, these records do not account for injuries that have not yet happened.

New York Yankees Offseason Recap and Preview

Another year, another playoff. The only time the Yankees have missed the playoffs in my life time was in 2008 and they were closing a historic stadium:

new-york-yankees-miss-playoffs.jpg
I mean even Manny has to accept the simple truth that the Yankees will always be at least good:
manny_shrug.jpg
Grade: C-
Notable Additions:
 
rafael_soriano+.jpg
 
Raphael Soriano, Russell Martin, Pedro Fecliciano, and Freddy Garcia.
Notable Subtractions:
Andy-Pettitte.jpg
Andy Pettitte, Javier Vasquez, Austin Kearns, Chad Gaudin, Kerry Wood, Lance Berkman Marcus Thames, and Dustin Moseley.
Why?:   Another season of the Bronx is burning? I must have had at least half a dozen people ask me “Do you think the Yankees are making the playoffs this year?” My answer, I ‘m not sure. It isn’t because the Yankees aren’t a playoff caliber team but I see the Red Sox beating them for the division. As for the wild card, there are 3 really good teams in the AL Central, 3 great line-ups, and 3 solid pitching staffs. I don’t see this division as a purely “win it and in it” division. The wild card race will be competitive this year because there are three teams that will keep the pace up all year.
However, let me get something straight. The Yankees are not a horrible team all of a sudden because of the losses they took. Yankee fans see eight names in the “Notable Subtractions” section I see mid summer pick ups and easily replaceable players (except Pettitte) but losing Pettitte will not destroy this team. I will remind people that this team won NINETY FIVE games last year. I know they lost Pettitte but they didn’t have him for half of last year and he is not worth ten games in and of himself.

As far as the other players lost go. Most were the product of mid season trades anyway. Meaning, the Yankees were not afraid to lose them. The Yankees will almost always have mid season acquisitions because they will almost always be in the hunt (how they always have trade pieces is another issue).

Predicted Record Range: 87-92 wins They will slow up a little. Maybe I’m just a spoiled Yankee fan but I think they will indeed contend once more. Another thing to take into account is the impact Jesus Montero will have on the line-up which I cannot account for.

To parents: recaps of our last two games will be up tomorrow. To everyone else: the study I mentioned in some entry I can’t remember about adults’ perception of baseball will be up before next Sunday.

Tampa Bay Rays Offseason Recap and Preview

They did win the most games out of anyone in the American League:

BostonRedSoxvTampaBayRaysGame72wgofycAxRjl_display_image.jpg

because I knew the they won the AL East but it is still shocking in retrospect.

Grade:D- F

Notable Additions:

manny-ramirez.jpg

Manuel Ramirez, Johnny Damon, Kyle Farnsworth, Casey Kotchman, Felipe Lopez, and Dirk Hayhurst.

Notable Subtractions:

121110_Crawford.jpg

Carl Crawford, Dan Wheeler, Rafael Soriano, Jason Bartlett, Matt Garza, Joaquin Benoit, Grant Balfour, Randy Choate, Carlos Pena, Dioneer Navarro, Gabe Kapler, Brad Hawpe, and Chad Qualls.

Why?:  Well, let’s see where to start? For one, that is the first three line notable subtractions segment I have written. Normally, its about five guys that are notable and then ten or something minor leaguers that they lost to free agency. Here, it was just the opposite. I think everyone knew that this was the year they would lose most of their top talent but they lost the barn with the cows, losing so many people in their bullpen:

dan_wheeler.jpgTampa-Bay-Rays-Joaquin-Benoit-gets-the-win-over-Texas.jpgrandy_choate.jpgsvBALFOUR_wideweb__470x423,0.jpgChad+Qualls+RMvjfL1sBtmm.jpgrafael_soriano+.jpg

They did sell the barn to strengthen the farm though. They definitely know what to do with high draft picks. There was a book written on the subject. I think that the Rays will be better in the future because of not paying for their core but the grade is still how they helped their team THIS YEAR.

So, will they one up last year? No, but will they have a solid “time waste” year? What does that even mean?

Rays-shrug.jpg

3rd Place? 4th Place? Or just surviving the year with minimal financial loss?

Predicted Record Range: 65-70 wins Even if they can get a lot of runs. I see this being like the 2007 season. If anyone remembers, they would get ahead of very good teams and then give up afew runs late in the game because of their bullpen and lose. Their bullpen is even worse now but I think that their offense is much better as well. That year they didn’t have Evan Longoria in their line-up.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 413 other followers

%d bloggers like this: