Wassup Sports!?!?!?!?

17 year old Cale's very opinionated view on everything sports.

Posts Tagged ‘AL East

MLB Season Preview: #25 Toronto Blue Jays

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Overview: The Jays are a mess of a team. They traded away the best pitcher in baseball, P Roy Halladay, gave up on OF Alex Rios, and are stuck with the burden of contracts belonging to OF Vernon Wells and 1B Lyle Overbay. After making several moves during the offseason, it is clear that Toronto is in a rebuilding stage, and going with the youth movement.

Offseason Moves: The Jays brought in a lot of young arms this offseason. Top pitching prospect Kyle Drabek leads the group, that also consists of P Brandon Morrow, P Dana Eveland, and P Merkin Valdez. To bolster the bullpen, Toronto brought in closer Kevin Gregg. However, the biggest acquisitions may have come from within for Toronto, for pitchers Shawn Marcum, Dustin McGowan, and Jeremy Accardo are returning from injuries in 2010. On offense, Toronto made nearly no moves, only bringing in light-hitting SS Alex Gonzalez, and top prospect IF Brett Wallace.

Projected Lineups and Pitching Staff:

1. LF Joey Gathright (.267, O HR, O RBI)

2. 2B Aaron Hill (.286, 36 HR, 108 RBI)

3. DH Adam Lind (.305, 35 HR, 114 RBI)

4. CF Vernon Wells (.260, 15 HR, 66 RBI)

5. RF Travis Snider (.241, 9 HR, 21 RBI)

6. 3B Edwin Encarnacion (.225, 13 HR, 39 RBI)

7. 1B Lyle Overbay (.265, 16 HR, 64 RBI)

8. C John Buck (.247, 8 HR, 36 RBI)

9. SS Alex Gonzalez (.238, 8 HR, 41 RBI)

Backup C: Jose Molina (.217, 1 HR, 11 RBI)

Backup IF: John McDonald (.258, 4 HR, 13 RBI)

Backup IF: Randy Ruiz (.313, 10 HR, 17 RBI)

Backup OF: Jose Bautista (.235, 13 HR, 40 RBI)

1. Ricky Romero (13-9, 4.30 ERA)

2. Shawn Marcum (No stats in ’09)

3. Brandon Morrow (2-4, 4.39 ERA)

4. Marc Rzepcyzynski (2-4, 3.67 ERA)

5. Dustin McGowan (No stats in ’09)

CP: Kevin Gregg (5-6, 4.72 ERA, 23 SV)

SU: Jason Frasor (7-3, 2.60 ERA)

SU: Scott Downs (1-3, 3.09 ERA)

MR: Jesse Carlson (1-6, 4.66 ERA)

MR: Shawn Camp (2-6, 3.50 ERA)

MR: Jeremy Accardo (0-0, 2.55 ERA)

LR: Dana Eveland (2-4, 7.16 ERA)

Player to watch: Top prospect Brett Wallace has been traded twice within the past year. He also has been moved all around the infield, from third base to first base, and also spending time at DH. Toronto has decided that Wallace will be its first baseman of the future, however his road is currently blocked by 1B Lyle Overbay. Don’t expect that for too long, as the Jays will attempt to trade most of their veterans to give the young guys a shot. Of course, Wallace’s massive power and ability to hit for a high average will help move the process along.

Prediction: 58 – 104, 5th in AL East

The Jays have 2B Aaron Hill and DH Adam Lind to build around on offense. However, there isn’t much offense after that. Excluding those two players, the Jays batting average of last season was .251, which is nowhere near the average needed to compete with the pitching in the AL East. Yes, the Jays will be the worst team in baseball this season. However, if it weren’t for the division they play in, Cleveland would be the worst team. Toronto has talent coming up. Ps Kyle Drabek and Brett Cecil will be front-line starters in the future. First basemen David Cooper, Brian Dopriak, and Brett Wallace lead the way on offense. It will just take some time to develop the talent, and it’s not easy to do in the American League.

MLB Season Preview: #28 Baltimore Orioles

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Overview: Although Baltimore finished in the cellar of the AL East again, they have made many strides to improve. Namely, much of their young talent is beginning to arrive, which gives O’s fans renewed hope for the playoffs in a treacherous division.

Offseason Moves: The Orioles made some key acquisitions this offseason, mostly adding veterans to mentor their young players, and provide a good mix of talent. Baltimore improved their bullpen by signing closer Mike Gonzalez to a three-year deal, while also acquiring reliever Cla Meredith. The O’s also added an ace to head their young rotation by trading for P Kevin Millwood. On offense, the Orioles brought in 3B Garrett Atkins for a stabilizing right-handed power bat in the middle of the lineup. Baltimore also brought back SS Miguel Tejada, who had played for the Orioles only two years before. These moves have made the team significantly better than it was last season.

Projected Lineups and Pitching Staff:

1. CF Adam Jones (.277, 19 HR, 70 RBI)

2. 2B Brian Roberts (.283, 16 HR, 79 RBI)

3. 3B Miguel Tejada (.313, 14 HR, 86 RBI)

4. RF Nick Markakis (.293, 18 HR, 101 RBI)

5. 1B Garrett Atkins (.226, 9 HR, 48 RBI)

6. C Matt Wieters (.288, 9 HR, 43 RBI)

7. LF Nolan Reimold (.279, 15 HR, 45 RBI)

8. DH Luke Scott (.258, 25 HR, 77 RBI) —- Will platoon with IF Ty Wigginton

9. SS Cesar Izturis (.256, 2 HR, 30 RBI)

Backup C: Chad Moeller (.258, 2 HR, 10 RBI)

Backup IF: Ty Wigginton (.273, 11 HR, 41 RBI)

Backup OF: Felix Pie (.266, 9 HR, 29 RBI)

1. Kevin Millwood (13-10, 3.67 ERA)

2. Jeremy Guthrie (10-17, 5.04 ERA)

3. Brad Bergensen (7-5, 3.43 ERA)

4. Brian Matusz (5-2, 4.63 ERA)

5. Chris Tillman (2-5, 5.40 ERA)

CP: Mike Gonzalez (5-4, 2.42 ERA, 10 SV)

SU: Jim Johnson (4-6, 4.11 ERA)

SU: Will Ohman (1-0, 5.84 ERA)

MR: Dennis Sarfate (0-1, 5.09 ERA)

MR: Kam Mickolio (0-2, 2.63 ERA)

MR: Cla Meredith (4-2, 3.99 ERA)

LR: Mark Hendrickson (6-5, 4.37 ERA)

LR: Koji Uehara (2-4, 4.05 ERA)

Player to watch: If the young players already on the roster continue to progress, the Orioles could make a real run this season. However, I believe the key to this team will be the production of 1B Garrett Atkins. After a mediocre ’09 campaign, Baltimore gave Atkins a chance to return to form, where he averaged 25 HR and 100 RBI for three consecutive years in Colorado. If Atkins can drive in 100 runs, look for the Orioles to hang around in the divisional race deep into the summer.

Prediction: 75 – 87, 4th in AL East

I truly believe that the Orioles could win the AL Central, or get a wild card spot if they were in the NL or the AL Central. Unfortunately, they’re not. They are in the AL East, which is currently the best division in baseball. The Orioles are making strides, and some of their young pitchers, such as P David Hernandez, are on the way to the majors. A couple of key additions to improve the bullpen, and progression of their top prospect starters, would land Baltimore in first place of the division in the coming years. Frankly, I believe that as soon as next season, the Orioles can win the AL East. However, this will be a season of learning, as the team should compete for much of the year.

Odds and Ends

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After not posting anything in two weeks, I figure it’s time to cover up some odds and ends. First, I was totally wrong on the Penguins, and congratulations to them for winning the Stanley Cup. Also, congratulations to the Lakers for winning their 15th title.

Other things I am waiting on:

  • Stephen Strasburg to sign with the Nationals…which could never happen.
  • Brett Favre to come back… which might not happen this time!
  • Terrell Owens’ first accusation of secret meetings between Trentto Edwards and Lee Evans in Buffalo.
  • The Flyers to let longtime wing, and fan favorite Mike Knuble walk.
  • The New York Mets to somehow overcome their injuries, only to collapse to the Phillies again in September.
  • The Cowboys, even without their alleged problem in Owens, to once again lose in the first round of the playoffs.
  • Ricky Rubio to return to Spain, just because he doesn’t want to play in Minnesota.
  • Stephen Curry’s first trade request out of Golden State.lebron
  • LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Curry to unite in New York, and lift the Knicks to a title.
  • The Padres to trade Jake Peavy, for much less value then they had been asking for.
  • The Blue Jays collapse down the stretch, after they decide to keep ace Roy Halladay.
  • The Orioles to get good! Of course, this won’t happen for another five years, but they are the future of the AL East.
  • The Indians to trade Victor Martinez, Cliff Lee, and anyone else who could actually be apart of a winning ball club that they apparently don’t need.
  • The Cubs to win a World Series.

cubs

Yes, I am waiting on a lot, much of which could conceivably happen.