Thursday, August 12, 2010

AL West Divisional Preview


1. Salem
2. Anaheim
3. Oakland
4. Seattle


Key Players Added: SP Daniel Mullens (R), SP Dusty Johnstone (L) (signed as FA), LF Kid Torre, FA signings of solid, all-around utility guys Stu Ford and Carlos Park ... Mullens and Johnstone are key as they provide much needed IP for a staff lacking true SP (originally built as tandem starters)

Key Players Lost: RF Cal Riggan, 2B Jung Lee

Key Transactions: get $15.9M SU Howie Grim back from season-long DL last season (if for nothing else so I'm getting something for that ridiculous contract); trade with Huntington to bring in Mullens and Torre in exchange and I could afford salary hit (Torre is $9M but in his last year of contract) and still sign FAs I was targeting.

Rookies expected to contribute: none (remember this organization has no minor league system whatsoever); possibly C/DH Jonathan Rauch might get a call-up; SU/CL Corey Rosen could be ready, but have a deep bullpen including Season 9 Fireman of the Year Bo Clark (49 saves, .239 OAV, 1.14 WHIP) so Rosen will spend another season in AAA and we'll see what happens for Season 11 ... or maybe trade bait?

Outlook: with losses at the plate from Riggan and Lee, but significant gains on the mound (moves plus another year experience for already great bullpen - Season 9 NCAA ERA leaders) and a vastly improved and (hopefully) stalwart defense to go with the pitching, hoping to repeat last season's run to the ALCS, but maybe take it step further, eh? ... would take a 90+ win season and a playoff berth


Key Additions: Darrin Williams will push Groucho Duncan at 1B, David Cordero will start at LF, SP Paul Fujiwara joins the rotation, RPs Adrian Kendall and Lawrence Wilson will try to ease the pain of losing Townsend, and Harry Turner will be the new starting SS.

Key Losses: SP Dusty Johnstone, Closer Bernard Townsend, RFer Rafael Nieves, and 1B/DH Otto Crosby. Loss of Townsend hurts the most, as he's one of the best closers in the game...I just wasn't willing to pay his asking price

Rookies: Allie Plesac steps in to start for Nieves in RF.

Outlook: The Trojans look to get back to the playoffs and compete for the AL pennant. Playing in arguably the best division in baseball, they felt the need to be major players in the FA market in order to compete and get back to the top of the division. Anything less than 90 wins and a playoff birth will be a huge disappointment.


Players added: Cal Riggan OF (FA), Shawn Walker OF (FA)

Players lost: Terrence Washington 3B (FA), Joe Campbell OF,3B (FA), Jolbert Rosado CF (FA), Miguel Hernandez 1B,DH (FA), Mel Brock IF (FA), Freddy Tanaka CL (FA), Eduardo Guerrero SP (FA)

Rookies Expected to contribute: Willis Lowry CF, Jose Sierra CL, Dante Li SP

Outlook: The team should again compete for the division, and AL best record. It however has never won a playoff series, and there is no reason to expect that to change as this years squad is less talented than last years.


After failing to protect #1 pitching prospect in the rule 5 draft, the Mariners #1 position prospect, Kevin Xaio, went down with a torn ACL and will miss 360 days (lucky it wasn't a year!). The Mariners should spend the year looking up at their division rivals once more as they patiently wait for younger players to break out.

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