Tuesday, October 4, 2011

AL East - Preview

Boston Red Sox
With new management in town the Red Sox have started the roster turnover needed to make the team a sustainable winner. Traded away are big names John Tebeau, Kevin Edmunds and Brett Kerr in return for numerious propects. the focus of the trades was to improve the future pitching of the team as management belives that is the key to winning championships. With the many departures allows for the playing of many young players. Noted rookies include Will Taylor, Vicente Franco, Brent Wunsch, Sammy Vega, Benjamin Carew, Alex Kyung, Jesus Miranda and Welington Balboa. As management continues to turn over the roster other young players will have the oppertunity to show that they belong on the ML team. Even with all the turnover and terrible record last year, management expects this group to compete in every game but is expecting about 70 wins for the club.

Cleveland Indians
Key Player Lost – Stubby Swann – he declined his option then wanted to file for free agency. I didn’t have the money to keep him, that will be a big loss.

Key Player Added – Not a single player addition can make up for losing Stubby Swann. No major additions either.

Transactions: Revamped bullpen with some new faces. No good way to make-up for losing Stubbby. Also bringing up Bruce Liddi from the minors should be a nice boost for the lineup.

Rookie – as mentioned above, adding Bruce Liddi will hopefully prove to be a big plus for the team. Solidifies an infield position to give some consistency.

Outlook – expect a solid season from the lineup again, but the pitching is definitely a question mark. I expect to be somewhere near the playoff race, although it might be as a wild card. I expect the offense will carry the team this year, but will need good performance from the bullpen and at least passable pitching.

Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles are a team in transition this season. Gone are veteran players SS/3B-Glenn Aspromonte and CF-Pascual Perez (free agency) as well as veteran RHP-Alex Kennedy and C-Martin Cook (traded).

The team did sign three veterans in SP-Art Harvey, C-Cory Williams, and LF-Marv Sauveur; and, it traded for two prospects in CF-Michael Swindell (who made the ML team) and SS-Enrique Bazardo (low-A) who is still a few seasons away from his Camden Yards debut.

The goal this season is to let ML rookies 3B-Ralph Bay and CF-Michael Swindell gain experience while meshing with the other members of the team's young nucleus (SP-Roy Leonard, SP-Vernon Sewell, etc). ..all that, while trying to avoid a 114+ loss season (which would be 200 in two seasons).

It will be a struggle in the AL East as the Indians are always the team to beat and the young and hungry Yankees have improved a lot in the off-season as well. Adding to the dilemma...is the fact that other teams like Kansas City, Minnesota and Oakland made some big moves to get better this off-season too...so it will be a chore to avoid losing 100+ games in the always tough American League this season.

The Orioles hope to have a great draft this year as they have 4 of the top 69 picks...including #15 overall. The team is also looking to sign an International free agent or two this season to expedite the rebuilding process.

GM Terry Swayne has gone on record to say that “No one on our team is untouchable. We will consider trading anyone in our organization as long as it makes financial sense and makes us a better team. Our goal is to become an elite organization in this league. One that will be good for a long time and win multiple Championships. We want to build a dynasty here in Baltimore and we will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to accomplish that.”

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