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

Posts Tagged ‘American League

MLB Season Preview: #23 Chicago White Sox

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Overview: The White Sox were an under-achieving team last season. They had a load of power, and depth in their pitching staff. Yet, injuries were abundant on the south side of Chicago, and the Sox dwindled down the stretch.

Offseason Moves: The White Sox added an abundance of players during the offseason. To address the problems in the bullpen, the Sox brought in Ps Tony Pena and J.J. Putz. To improve on offense, Chicago brought in speedy OF Juan Pierre, OF Andruw Jones, and IF/OF Mark Teahen. IFs Omar Vizquel, Jayson Nix, and Mark Kotsay were brought in primarily for defensive purposes.

Projected Lineups and Pitching Staff:

1. CF Juan Pierre (.308, 0 HR, 31 RBI)

2. SS Alexei Ramirez (.277, 15 HR, 68 RBI)

3. 3B Gordon Beckham (.270, 14 HR, 63 RBI)

4. 1B Paul Konerko (.277, 28 HR, 88 RBI)

5. LF Carlos Quentin (.236, 21 RBI, 56 RBI)

6. DH Mark Teahen (.271, 12 HR, 50 RBI)

7. RF Alex Rios (.247, 17 HR, 71 RBI)

8. C A.J. Pierzynski (.300, 13 HR, 49 RBI)

9. 2B Jayson Nix (.224, 12 HR, 34 RBI)

Backup C: Ramon Castro (.219, 7 HR, 25 RBI)

Backup IF: Omar Vizquel (.266, 1 HR, 14 RBI)

Backup OF: Andruw Jones (.214, 17 HR, 43 RBI)

1. Mark Buehrle (13-10, 3.84 ERA)

2. Jake Peavy (9-6, 3.45 ERA)

3. John Danks (13-11, 3.77 ERA)

4. Gavin Floyd (11-11, 4.06 ERA)

5. Freddy Garcia (3-4, 4.34 ERA)

CP: Bobby Jenks (3-4, 3.71 ERA, 29 SV)

SU: Matt Thornton (6-3, 2.74 ERA)

SU: J.J. Putz (1-4, 5.22 ERA)

MR: Scott Linebrink (3-7, 4.66 ERA)

MR: Tony Pena (6-5, 3.99 ERA)

MR: Randy Williams (0-1, 4.58 ERA)

MR: Greg Aquino (1-2, 4.50 ERA)

LR: Dan Hudson (1-1, 3.38 ERA)

Player to watch: The key to the Sox’s success lies in the right arm of P Jake Peavy. Injured for most of last season, Peavy didn’t make much of an impact after being traded from San Diego. However, Peavy is a former ace, and was often in the NL Cy Young Award talks. A switch to the American League should inflate his numbers a bit, although, he still has the tools to be a good pitcher. If Peavy performs like he is capable of doing, the White Sox have a real shot at taking the AL Central.

Prediction: 83-79, 2nd in AL Central

I think that the White Sox are going to be one of this year’s surprise teams, and a team that many will cheer for. They are a group of veterans that no one is really expecting much out of. However, they play in a weak division, and may have just the right mix of players to succeed. I’m thinking with my head picking them to only finish 2nd in the division because too many things need to happen in Chicago’s favor for them to make the playoffs.

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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: #26 Cleveland Indians

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Overview: Two seasons ago, the Indians had the likes of players like P C.C. Sabathia, C Victor Martinez, and P Cliff Lee. Now that those players (and many others) have been traded, the Indians are clearly in a rebuilding mode. They will center the franchise around CF Grady Sizemore. However, Sizemore was injured most of last year, and Cleveland was terrible. Expect more of the same this year from the Tribe.

Offseason Moves: The Indians made very few significant moves this offseason. Their biggest acquisition was 1B Russell Branyan, who is coming off a career year in Seattle. Cleveland also brought in veterans, such as OF Austin Kearns, 2B Mark Grudzielanek, C Mike Redmond, and P Saul Rivera. None of these players will have a great impact, and will serve as mentors and stop-gap players waiting for Cleveland’s young talent to progress through the minor leagues.

Projected Lineups and Pitching Staff:

1. LF Michael Brantley (.313, 0 HR, 11 RBI)

2. 2B Asdrubal Cabrera (.308, 6 HR, 68 RBI)

3. CF Grady Sizemore (.248, 18 HR, 64 RBI)

4. 1B Russell Branyan (.251, 31 HR, 76 RBI)

5. RF Shin-Soo Choo (.300, 20 HR, 86 RBI)

6. SS Jhonny Peralta (.254, 11 HR, 83 RBI)

7. DH Travis Hafner (.272, 16 HR, 49 RBI) —- Will platoon with OF Matt LaPorta

8. 3B Andy Marte (.232, 6 HR, 25 RBI)

9. C Lou Marson (.246, 0 HR, 4 RBI)

Backup C: Mike Redmond (.237, 0 HR, 7 RBI)

Backup IF: Luis Valbuena (.250, 10 HR, 31 RBI)

Backup OF: Matt LaPorta (.254, 7 HR, 21 RBI)

Backup OF: Austin Kearns (.195, 3 HR, 17 RBI)

1. Jake Westbrook (No Stats in ’09)

2. Aaron Laffey (7-9, 4.44 ERA)

3. Justin Masterson (4-10, 4.52 ERA)

4. Fausto Carmona (5-12, 6.32 ERA)

5. David Huff (11-8, 5.61 ERA)

CP: Kerry Wood (3-3, 4.25 ERA, 20 SV)

SU: Rafael Perez (4-3, 7.31 ERA)

SU: Chris Perez (1-2, 4.26 ERA)

MR: Joe Smith (0-0, 3.44 ERA)

MR: Saul Rivera (1-3, 6.10 ERA)

LR: Jensen Lewis (2-4, 4.61 ERA)

LR: Jamey Wright (3-5, 4.33 ERA)

Player to watch: OF Matt LaPorta was the center-piece of the C.C. Sabathia trade a couple of years ago. After a decent rookie campaign, LaPorta finds himself in a log-jam for a spot in the Indians’ outfield, and possibly splitting time at DH with Travis Hafner. If LaPorta lives up to his ability and forces his way into the lineup, it will be interesting where the Indians put him in the field. LaPorta has the potential to be a 30 HR, 100 RBI hitter, and be the right-handed power bat in the Tribe’s lineup for years to come.

Prediction: 60 – 102, 5th in AL Central

The Indians will be the 2nd worst team in MLB this season. They simply have no pitching, and a lineup that will be suspect at times. You need pitching to survive in the American League, and Cleveland doesn’t have it. Not to mention that every other team in the division has good if not great pitching, which will help shut down the Tribe’s offense.