Friday, February 15, 2008

AL East: At a Glance.

Boston Red Sox:
Manager: Terry Francona - 5th season
Last Season: 96-66, 1st place, World Series Champions
Training Site: Fort Myers, FL.
Park: City of Palms Park
He's Here: 1B Sean Casey, RHP Dan Kolb, RHP David Aardsma
He's Outta Here: 1B Eric Hinske, INF Royce Clayton

Outlook: The World Series winners two of the past four seasons stood pat and have several key young players who gained experience. Two of them, LHP Jon Lester and CF Jacoby Ellsbury, helped in the title run. 3B Mike Lowell, World Series MVP, returns with a new 3-year contract. Cy Young Award runner-up Josh Beckett and closer Jon Papelbon lead a strong pitching staff, but RHP Curt Schilling's shoulder injury is a major concern. Sluggers David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez are back as is rookie of the year Dustin Pedroia.

New York Yankees:
Manager: Joe Girardi - 1st season
Last Season: 94-68, 2nd place
Training Site: Tampa, FL.
Park: Legends Field
He's Here: RHP LaTroy Hawkins, 3B Morgan Ensberg, RHP Jonathan Albaladejo, OF Jason Lane
He's Outta: Manager Joe Torre, RHP Roger Clemens, RHP Luis Vizcaino, 1B Doug Mientkiewicz, INF Andy Phillips, LHP Ron Villone, RHP Tyler Clippard

Outlook: The Yankees earned their 13th playoff spot in row and then had a busy off-season. Torre left for the Dodgers after 12 years when the team offered him a one year deal with a pay cut. Former bench coach Girardi, the 2006 NL Manager of the Year with Florida, takes over. Star 3B Alex Rodriguez, after his 3rd AL MVP, is back with a new $275 million. 10-year contract that beat his pervious record deal. New York brought back C Jorge Posada, LHP Andy Pettitte, closer Mariano Rivera, and RF Bobby Abreu. Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, and Ian Kennedy, who were not traded for Johan Santana, could all be in the rotation. The bullpen bridge to Rivera still looks shaky. Health is a big concern for Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui, coming off knee surgery. If Jason Giambi doesn't play some 1B, the team may have a logjam at DH with the three aging lefty hitters.

Toronto Blue Jays:
Manager: John Gibbons - 5th season
Last Season: 83-79, 3rd place
Training Site: Dunedin, FL.
Park: Knology Stadium
He's Here: 3B Scott Rolen, SS David Eckstein, INF Marco Scutaro, OF Buck Coats, RHP Randy Wells, RHP Shawn Camp, RHP Lance Carter, LHP John Parrish
He's Outta: 3B Troy Glaus, RHP Josh Towers, RHP Ty Taubenheim, INF Ray Olmedo

Outlook: Injuries to key players hurt the Blue Jays in 2007, with AJ Burnett(shoulder), BJ Ryan(elbow), OF Reed Johnson(back), 1B Lyle Overbay(hand), C Gregg Zaun(hand), and LHP Gustavo Chacin(shoulder) all missing time. Vernen Wells played hurt though most of the season as well. Staying healthy is key for this team. Rolen and Eckstein give Toronto a new left side of the infield. Rolen may not help this team stay healthy.

Baltimore Orioles:
Manager: Dave Trembley - 1st full season
Last Season: 69-93, 4th place
Training Site: Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Park: Fort Lauderdale Stadium
He's Here: OF Adam Jones, LHP George Sherrill, OF Luke Scott, RHP Matt Albers, LHP Troy Patton, RHP Dennis Sarfate, 3B Michael Cosmier, RHP Greg Aquino, RHP Lance Cormier, RHP Esteban Yan, C Guillermo Quiroz, LHP Ryan Rodriguez, 1B Tim Brown, RHP JP Martinez, RHP Randor Bierd
He's Outta: LHP Erik Bedard, SS Miguel Tejada, CF Cory Patterson, OF Jay Payton, RHP Todd Williams, RHP Rob Bell, C JR House, RHP Victor Santos

Outlook: Club president Andy MacPhail has gotten youth for stars Tejada and Bedard. In the process, he has essentially sacrificed this and perhaps next season. The Orioles' first act is to fill out a thin starting rotation. They have no closer and no adequate replacement for Tejada, whose departure leaves a gaping hole at SS and the lineup. The O's are staring at extending their franchise record run of 10 straight losing seasons.

Tampa Bay Rays:
Manager: Joe Maddon - 3rd season
Last Season: 66-96, 5th place
Training Site: St. Petersburg FL.
Park: Progress Energy Park
He's Here: RHP Matt Garza, RHP Troy Percival, SS Jason Bartlett, 3B Willy Aybar, OF Cliff Floyd, LHP Trevor Miller, 1B Eric Hinske, LHP Brain Anderson
He's Outta: OF Delmon Young, OF Elijah Dukes, INF Brendan Harris, RHP Jay Witasick, LHP Jeff Ridgeway, RHP Shawn Camp

Outlook: The Rays lauched a busy off-season by dropping the word "Devil" from their nickname, unveiling new uniforms, and announcing plans to build a new waterfront stadium. The club also pulled off a big trade sending Young to Minnesota for Garza and Bartlett. Tampa Bay also got Aybar to hold down third.

Spring Traing: At a Glance.


Super Johan said...

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Anonymous said...

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