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Monday, March 20, 2006

AL West Preview

1.Oakland Athletics * Division Winners
C Jason Kendall
CF Mark Kotsay
RF Milton Bradley
3B Eric Chavez
C Bobby Crosby
1B Dan Johnson
DH Frank Thomas
2B Mark Ellis
LF Nick Swisher

LHP Barry Zito
RHP Rich Harden
RHP Estaban Loazia
RHP Danny Haren
RHP Joe Blanton
Closer: Houston Street

The Al West looks to be a very tough division with every team (besides the Angels) improving in the offseason. The A's look to have the deepest overall squad with a tremendously strong pitching staff. The A's need to get a full season out of Milton Bradley and Rich Harden, but this is the most talented A's team since the days of Giambi, Damon and Isringhousen.

2. Los Angeles Angels
3B Chone Figgins
SS Orlando Cabrera
RF Vlademir Guerrero
LF Garret Anderson
1B Casey Kotchman
CF Darrin Erstad
DH Juan Rivera/Dallas McCpherson
2B Adam Kennedy
C Jose Molina

RHP Bartolo Colon
RHP John Lackey
RHP Kelvim Escobar
RHP Jeff Weaver
RHP Ervin Santana
Closer: Francisco Rodriguiz

The Angels always have one of the best bully's in the league, but their offense has downgraded with the loss of Molina. Their rotation upgraded with the addition of Weaver, but they still lack a lefty. I am a little worried about their lack of power outside of Vlad, but they have a lot of playoff tested veterans and they should be in it all season.

3. Texas Rangers
DH David Dellucci
RF Brad Wilkerson
SS Michael Young
1B Mark Texiera
3B Hank Blalock
LF Kevin Mench
CF Gary Matthews Jr.
C Rod Barajas
2B Ian Kinsler

RHP Kevin Millwood
RHP Adam Eaton
RHP Vicente Padilla
RHP Juan Dominguez
LHP C.J. Wilson
Closer: Francisco Cordero

As always, the Rangers have a potent offense, but their starting pitching is what will need to carry them into the playoffs. It improved marginally this winter with the additions of Millwood, Padilla and Eaton, but they also lost their 2 top starters from last year in Kenny Rodgers and Chris Young.

4. Seattle Mariners
RF Ichiro Suzuki
CF Jeremy Reed
3B Adrian Beltre
1B Richie Sexson
LF Raul Ibanez
DH Carl Everett
C Kenji Johjima
2B Jose Lopez
SS Yuniski Betancourt

LHP Jamie Moyer
RHP Felix Hernandez
LHP Jarrod Washburn
RHP Joel Pineiro
RHP Gil Meche
Closer: Eddie Guardado

The Mariners are a very young team and still maybe a year or 2 away from being back in the running. Hernandez and Pineiro have the potential to lead the staff, but Pieneiro has been inconsistant during his young career. Their lineup looks pretty good, but they need more production from their middle infield.

The Giants Baseball Blog