Tuesday, January 29, 2008

AL West Season 1 Preview

by Sweetnss355 (Originally published in HBD forum 10/17/07)

1) Seattle
The Mariners have an excellent pitching staff which should leave opposing lineups shaking their heads after a series at cavernous Safeco field. Alex Kubinski is a bonafide #1 Starter, a true ace. He seems to have put the domestic battery charges from the offseason behind him, and is off to a flying start at 2-0. Mrs. Kubinski is recovering quite nicely. Art Henry and Rob Tollberg should also pitch the Mariners deep into games. As long as these excellent starters can get the ball to closer Graham Brown, they should pick up plenty of W’s. The Seattle lineup has enough offense to support the excellent pitching staff. Richard Ishii is an excellent all-around player, Pasqual Guerrero could lead the league in steals if he gets on base enough, Edgard Baez hits bombs, and Ariel Mendez isn’t very good at baseball, but he’s a great “clubhouse guy.”

2) Anaheim
The Angels bolstered their bullpen with the recent acquisitions of Carter Andrews, Mike Roberts, and Al Fuentes. This gives them one of the deepest bullpens in the league. Unfortunately, the starting staff is a piecemeal group which will struggle to deliver a lead to that relief corps. Roland Corey leads the way for the staff. Lew Spencer was a free agent steal considering what other guys got in the open market. Most teams shied away from him because of his inopportune appearance with Chris Hansen on “Dateline NBC”. With Disneyland in the shadows of his new home stadium, let’s hope this cruel twist of irony doesn’t claim any victims. The Angels’ offense should score plenty of runs. Tony Contreras is one of the best 2nd basemen in the business. Though currently injured, Arthur Boggs is a masher. Karl Turner and Darryl “Reggie Cleveland All-Star” Whitaker are good hit, no field players.

3) Oakland
The A’s offense should be a force to be reckoned with. Patrick Romero is one of the best hitting catchers in the league. Recently acquired Tommy Blakely moved across the Bay from San Francisco, and will man 2nd base for the A’s. All three starting outfielders should be .300+ hitters this season. Benji Vazquez was acquired by the A’s via trade from Florida, and should be the anchor of the staff. He demanded a trade to Oakland so his “alternative lifestyle” could spread its wings in nearby San Fran. Beyond the super fabulous Vazquez, the starting staff is looking pretty thin. The other starters will have a hard time pitching deep into games, but Oakland does have a very solid bullpen with Eddie Carver and Max “Duran” Duran leading the way.

4) Portland
The Portland rotation looks to be very solid. Josias Rosado is an ace in the making. Kip Redmond is a steely veteran whom opponents charge with doctoring the ball. Parker Parris and Furio Ferrell have goofy names but are serviceable SPs. The bullpen is also above average, and the pitching staff as a whole should put up good numbers in a pitchers’ park.Luis Reynoso is a stud at 3b and anchors the Beaver lineup. He works at a local soup kitchen in his spare time and won the Roberto Clemente Award last season. Bobby Dawkins is a man on a mission, motivated by the owners throughout the league who denigrated his abilities after the controversial trade with Arizona. He will be a solid player for a long time. Beyond those two, however, there is not much offense on this squad. They will struggle to score runs.

All-Division Team
C) Patrick Romero, Oakland
1b) Arthur Boggs, Anaheim
2b) Tony Contreras, Anaheim
SS) Richard Ishii, Seattle
3b) Luis Reynoso, Portland
LF) Edgard Baez, Seattle
CF) Wade Baker, Oakland
RF) Bobby Dawkins, Portland
SP) Alex Kubinski, Seattle
RP) Graham Brown, Seattle

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