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Friday, March 16, 2007

2007 AL East Preview

Over the next few posts, I will doing a small breakdown of each division ranking each team in the order I think they will finish. I am going to start with the AL East:

1. New York Yankees *Division Winners
Lineup:
CF Johnny Damon
SS Derek Jeter
RF Bob Abreu
3B Alex Rodriguez
LF Hideki Matsui
DH Jason Giambi
2B Robinson Cano
C Jorge Posada
1B Doug Mienkewicz

Rotation:
RHP Mike Mussina
LHP Andy Pettite
RHP Chin-Ming Wang
LHP Kei Igawa
RHP Carl Pavano
Closer: Mariano Riviera

The Yankees are getting older, and I have a lot of questions regarding their starting rotation, but as long as Mariano Rivera is healthy and throwing well, the Yanks are going to be tough. If Pettite and Pavano pitch like they are capable of, they will run away with this division. Keep an eye on the young outfielder Melky Cabrera, he started coming on strong at the end of last year and if he continues to grow the Yanks' are going to have to start him somewhere.

2. Boston Red Sox *AL Wild Card Winner
Lineup:
2B Julio Lugo
1B Kevin Youkalis
DH David Ortiz
LF Manny Ramirez
RF J.D. Drew
C Jason Varitek
3B Mike Lowell
CF Cocoa Crisp
2B Alex Cora

Rotation:
RHP Curt Shilling
RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka
RHP Josh Beckett
RHP Jonathon Pappelbon
RHP Tim Wakefield
Closer: Joel Pineiro

If the Red Sox starting pitching is healthy all year and Dice-K is the real deal, they will have the best rotation in baseball. I am excited to see how Papelbon makes the adjustment to starting full time again. The lineup has a lot of power, but they lack speed. The real question for them will be how the bullpen will shape up. Pineiro is slated to start the year as the closer but something tells me that won't last too long.

3. Toronto Blue Jays
Lineup:
LF Reed Johnson
RF Alex Rios
CF Vernon Wells
DH Frank Thomas
3B Troy Glaus
1B Lyle Overbay
C Greg Zaun
2B Aaron Hill
SS Royce Clayton

Rotation:
RHP Roy Halliday
RHP A.J. Burnett
LHP Gustavo Chacin
RHP John Thompson
RHP Shawn Marcum
Closer: B.J. Ryan

The Blue Jays added more offense this winter going out and getting Frank Thomas to be their full time DH. They didn't address their biggest need which is starting pitching. They let one of their better arms go in Ted Lilly and didn't really replace him. Their bullpen is strong enough with B.J. Ryan closing out games, but this rotation is still thin and fragile.

4. Baltimore Orioles
Lineup:
2B Brian Roberts
3B Melvin Mora
RF Nick Markakis
SS Miguel Tejada
1B Aubrey Huff
C Ramon Hernandez
DH Jay Gibbons
LF Jay Payton
CF Corey Patterson

Rotation:
LHP Erik Bedard
RHP Daniel Cabrera
RHP Kris Benson
RHP Jaret Wright
LHP Adam Loewen
Closer: Chris Ray

The Orioles have had the same issue for the last 10 years and they wonder why they continue to struggle. Their pitching is weak and instead of devoting offseasons to re-shape their starting rotation, they are always more concentrated on going out and getting more offense. They should have spent the Huff and Payton money on another good starter. Chris Ray is one of the better young closers in the game.

5. Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Lineup:
CF Rocco Baldelli
2B Jorge Cantu
LF Carl Crawford
1B Ty Wiggington
DH Jonny Gomes
RF Delmon Young
3B Akinori Iwamura
C Dioner Navarro
SS Ben Zobrist

Rotation:
LHP Scott Kazmir
RHP James Shields
LHP Casey Fossum
RHP Jae Seo
RHP J.P. Howell
Closer: Seth McClung

The Devil Rays continue to shuttle great offensive from the minors to Tampa, but they haven't had the same success with the pitchers. Delmon Young, B.J. Upton should break onto the scene and make there marks this year. The Devil Rays should have a fun offensive squad to watch, but when they are in the field, things are not pretty.
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2 Comments:

  • At 6:34 PM, Blogger soleada said…

    regarding the orioles, kris benson is out for the season with a rotator cuff injury. steve traschel was added to the staff in his place. rotation will probably go bedard, cabrera, wright, loewen, traschel.

    while it's true that the O's starting pitching has been weak for a long while, that may begin changing this year. the trio of bedard, cabrera and loewen make one of the most promising young rotations in the majors, and bedard has already taken a huge step in realizing his potential. here are a couple of stories on them.

     
  • At 8:22 PM, Blogger TC said…

    Your right, I knew I was forgetting something about Benson,thanks Soleada. Trachsel is even worse though.

     

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