Monday, April 9, 2007

MLB Preview - Part III

We open this week with the third installment of the '07 MLB Preview... The American League West. If you don't want to read any further, you should know that Vlad Guerrero can hit anything- little sisters included. That is why the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (more than a mouthful) are gonna take the division. The A's take second because Mike Piazza's hair is not as cool as Frank "the tank" Thomas on his worst day. And the only thing keeping the Rangers looking okay is the Mariners. In our next installment, we tackle the National League East. Enjoy.

1. Angels- All things considered, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim may have the best outfield in the game- dollar for dollar. Vlad Guerrero is a beast and will hit the cover off the ball as usual. Garret Anderson and Gary Matthews, Jr. round things out nicely. Expect solid seasons from Molina and Hillenbrand. If given the opportunity I think Robb Quinlan is prime for a break-out season. The starting rotation is strong enough to bring them a divisional pennant, but much further than that I harbor doubts. I like John Lackey to improve on his win/loss from last year, as well as Kelvim Escobar. Who names a kid Kelvim? When Bartolo Colon comes back from the rotator cuff… if he comes back… he will only make things stronger. Provided of course that his arm stays attached to his torso. By the way, Angel closer Francisco Rodriguez leads the majors in saves over the past two seasons with 92. Add three more this year at press time.

2. Athletics- Many pick the A’s to top the American League West. They did sweep the Twins before getting rolled by the Tigers last fall. But I think some of their off season moves are questionable. I do not expect Piazza to match the production Frank Thomas put up last season, despite being 11 for 28 through seven games so far. Alan Embree does provide a veteran arm in the pen, and was good for just over 50 innings last year. A strong hitting line-up will keep them close to the Angels, but I don’t look for them to be in contention for the wild card. They will be looking for big numbers from Nick Swisher, Eric Chavez, and Ex-Pirate Jason Kendall. Unless Piazza proves me wrong I think they will be just shy of the post season. The starting rotation will need more quality starts from the injury prone Rich ‘why is pitching so” Harden if they are going to make through the year in one piece.

3. Rangers- I don’t expect much from the guys in Arlington, but they will probably finish ahead of Seattle. They will need big numbers from Hank Blalock, which they didn’t really get last year. They could also use outfield production from Brad Wilkerson, which also was not there last summer. They shelled out somewhere in the neighborhood of $6m for Eric Gagne, who has yet to fully recover from back and elbow surgeries. But really, what is $6m to the Rangers? They are still paying A-Rod that much every year to play in New York. Six-mill to have the guy in your uniform must be nice. Millwood, Padilla and Brandon McCarthy don’t make a bad 1-2-3 in the rotation, but an iffy pen and lack of run production will keep the Rangers from achieving their goals this season. At least in my view that is.

4. Mariners- Hey, has anyone talked to Jay Buhner lately? We could use him. Here is an idea… we have been in the cellar for the past three years. Should we try to get some talent this season? Nah. The Mariners did not add anything close to significant to the roster for this season. Do not expect Mike Hargrove to have a job by the All-Star break if he doesn’t right this sinking ship. Of course Ichiro will put up another good season and be the Mariners only legitimate player to play during the mid-season break. The starting rotation is questionable at best. Only one man in the rotation had a winning record last year. Miguel Batista, who went 11 and 8 in Arizona last year. They also added Horacio Ramirez, who is coming off of a 5 and 5 season in Atlanta. You know you’re in trouble when Jeff Weaver is in the starting rotation. Anything but last place will shock me from the M’s this season. Good luck fellas. BA has no sympathy for you.


letsplaytummysticks said...

All of those teams play games that don't normally start until 11. It's like they don't even exist to me.

Brave Sir Robin said...

red seal? i might turn down an offer to play for one of those teams if i were told i could not buy red seal out there. i would reconsider if they told me there were lots of white shoes and girls who dig guys who wear them, but the lack of red seal would really suck. also, i would like to plan out where i would go to view, critique and purchase white shoes, and maybe check on getting rolls of red seal delivered to me via the interweb.