Wednesday, April 01, 2009

AL West

Jumping around to the AL West solely because I'm tired and there's only 4 teams in the division.

Standings order first:


Angels: Despite changing cities without changing ballparks, the Angels have finished 1st in the division 4 of the last 5 seasons with over 90 wins in each of those seasons. There only off season they finished 2nd with 88 wins, so there's not many surprises here. They will miss Teixeiriaia's production, but they still have a collection of 35 outfield/1B/DH guys to fill in basically anywhere. Their starting pitching is banged up now, but I think they will be fine in the long run. In fact, a little extra prep and rest now may make for a strong finish in the late months of the season. Big question is how their bullpen deals with the loss of K-Rod and fits in behind Fuentes.

Mariners: This is a sleeper pick, but I think the Mariners will finish the season just over .500 because they have a decent combination of slick defenders (Franklin Gutierrez, Ichiro, Beltre) and swing and miss bashers (Junior, Branyan to a lesser extent). I don't think their pitching is spectacular if healthy, but I don't think it loses a lot of games for them this year.

Rangers: Milwood, Padilla, Benson, McCarthy. With the exception of McCarthy, their starters were being described as has-beens 5-6 years ago. McCarthy, at this point, seems to have become a much hyped never was. Kinsler and Hamilton are stud hitters that are only helped by hitting in a hitters park. Chris Davis will have a break out year, but the rest of the lineup needs work. No one will find out how good the bullpen is, because it is likely to rarely matter.

Athletics: When I looked at the teams, I thought I would be putting the A's in the 2nd spot as a sleeper instead of the Mariners. Then I looked at the A's depth chart, which reads like a highlight of the all the things that are wrong with the other AL West teams' rosters. There are a couple of starters (Duchscherer, Eveland) that may find their groove this year, but other than that it is a showcase of terrible. After Matt Holliday (who will be traded by the middle of the June), the offense peak (pimple) is either Orlando Cabrera (who I still can't believe couldn't find a real job this offseason) or Jason Giambi. The best they can hope for is putting at least half their roster on the DL to check out what talent they have in the minors.

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