Thursday, April 29, 2010

AL WEST Season 16 Preview

ML AL West (Season 15 Projected Standing)

Las Vegas Gamble
59.9M(72M) Estimated Opening Day Payroll
KEY OFFSEASON MOVES: GONE: 3B Vinny Hernandez- oft-injured, but solid ballplayer, RETIRED- SP Lucas Parker- solid backend starter, C Al Mesa- has the mind of a catcher, but nothing else. 1B Brace Miller-15 hits to get 2500 career, doesn't look likely, RP Brian Clarke-solid pen Arm, RP Alex Chang- Long in the tooth. ADDITION: RP Troy Cunningham- Potential is there, 3B Deivi Infante- good defender off the bench. Offense: Del Prieto is a multi-dimensional threat. Add in Everett Rodgers and Clay Cambridge and you get a solid top of the lineup. The bottom drops out pretty quick though as a number of players just aren't at ML levels yet or are career replacement players.Defense: Defense will be key to victory and should keep the games honest on their part. Not too many holes to worry about. Rotation: Preston Walker is closer to his breakout S14 numbers than is dismal s15 effort. Inge, Clark, and Molina round out an above average rotation. The Gamble should get a good effort out of this crew. Bullpen: CL Cookie Espinosa struggles at times as closer, he is still developing and still isn't quite there. He has very little help in the Pen though so he might get overworked very quickly. Predictions: 82-80

Kansas City McCoy's
107.5M (112M) Estimated Opening Day Payroll
KEY OFFSEASON MOVES: GONE: CF Mateo Johnson- no longer capable in CF but could be solid at 2B or somewhere in the outfield for a year.
Offense: Still have one of the better hitting groups in the league in, Freddie Reynolds, David Seanez, and Adrian Cassidy. Injury troubles have plagued Seanez for the past few seasons. If they can get through the season on scathed they should make a stink, but as they have shown the last 3 seasons this offense alone will not produce a division title. Defense: Defense is downgrading each season; they have to find a place to use Seanez without risking him to injury. CF isn't the best match, but they struggle to find any fielder that can play the key defensive positions. Rotation: Rotation is getting up in age and they are going to struggle to get 5 or 6 innings at times. They need to start planning for the future and let some of these veterans move on and see what they can get for them. A lot like Cincinnati 4 seasons ago, this team is old and exp3ensive. Unlike Cincinnati they have not thrown up a winning season in a few years. Bullpen: Jose Jose returns to close games; He is older and might find this season more difficult than last. He has a decent crew around them, but they will get a lot of work. Prediction: 80-82

Vancouver Maple Syrup
106.7M (127M) Estimated Opening Day Payroll
KEY OFFSEASON MOVES: GONE: SP Pedro Espinosa- Still capable of being a top line starter, C Roy Park- backup catcher, SS Russell Thompson- Defensive stopper, 2b Roberto Aparicio- Middle of the road Ml'er.Offense: All stars up on down the lineup by far the most potent lineup in the league. Most teams have 2 maybe 3 potential all-stars this team could have 9. Defense: Let most of their defensive depth walk this season; they will need to get a few guys to bring in late in games to maintain the lead in close games. Rotation: Lost Espinosa, but still have the money and the depth to field a very competitive unit. Alex Wang was a CY Young candidate from start to finish last season. Good chance to do that again this season. Bullpen: Stan Mason takes over for Sizzlers career save artist Matthews, Mason should love his return to the AL being on the Best AL team. The bullpen is very exceptional, they have the setup guys to make the late evenings tough for the opposing teams. Prediction:107-55

Salt Lake City Assault
68.1M Estimated Opening Day Payroll
KEY OFFSEASON MOVES: GONE: 1B Roosevelt Hanson- still might get another year somewhere, SS Carlos Zapata- can still field well enough to play every day, RP Juan Ozuna- solid reliever RP J.P. DeJesus- Solid Reliever, SS Fritz Lowe- back a fine season, but has aged a lot, SP Paul Black- spot starter at best now, RP Horacio Soriano- has made a career out of being just good enough, CF Sal Myette- Young enough and talented enough for someone to take a look, RF Joshua Murray- not a dependable hitter, 2B Lorenzo Diaz- solid defensive replacement, SP Damian Carter- Solid starter coming off a bad year, CL Neil Young- showed he was a premier closer in the league last season. ADDITIONS: RF Doyle Twitchell- upgrade over Murray, DH Trey Daniels- can hit, but fielding will be an issue, RP Tarrik McGee- dependable reliever, but can he close? CF Timothy Mabry an upgrade over Sal Myette in the field, but not at the plate. Offense: Scott Clarke was great at first in season 15, and the combination of Minnie Coleman, Twichell and Santiago should produce runs along with Crummack, Offense is looking more major league every season. Defense: young talent at SS and 3B and CF, plus the addition of Mabry might make their defense better than last season. Rotation: Injuries killed the starting pitching last season and frustrated the fans, the rotation greatly under produced and as a result top prospect Damien Carter was dealt. They now need to pick up a pitcher or 2 to fill the holes. Bullpen: Gone is the cornerstone Neil Young and in is Tarrik McGee, McGee is definitely a downgrade over Young, but could be a capable setup man similar to the role he held in Madison. They still need to pick up another good reliever to solidify this pen. Prediction: 79-83

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