Friday, December 20, 2013

AL North


LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The Twins get a lot of innings out of their starters and put an excellent defense behind those starters. While they don’t score a lot of runs, they don’t have to (until the playoffs when all bets are off). The team is basically unchanged. Older and little wiser. No key pieces moved on. Overall, I think Toronto is better (sorry). But Thunderdonkey has his guys ready and now they have MORE bulletin board material.

OUT: Albert Maradona, Wade Taylor, Sven Hammonds
IN: Fred Wolf, Al Palcios, Antone Farr, Wiki Roque, Kent Robertson, Ivan Gomez

There has been a lot of movement within the Twins organization. The offense has been beefed up by Gomez, and Palacios. Farr is an excellent defensive catcher. Pedro Lucano (111 runs created), and MVP Charley O’Brien helped the Twins become the most dangerous offensive team in the AL at 875 runs. I really ate my words when I said “they don’t score a lot of runs”. Ya…right.
The pitching staff lost Maradona, Taylor, and Hammonds. But, the replacements are solid in Roque and Robertson.
Overall, the Twins made moves to improve their team and chase that World Series Ring. While the rest of the AL contenders look a little more solid on paper the Twins have as good a chance as anyone.
PREDICTION: 98-64, 1st Place

Chicago White Sox (AL)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The offense was pitiful (only scoring 689 runs), but the pitching staff was actually really good (705 runs). That should have led to an 80-82 record, but they were 15-28 in one run games. Did Jnew COOK up a plan? Fixing the 1 run problem? Defense and bullpen pitching. The Sox have it, so expect a better season.

OUT: Sherman Coleman, Donatello Bollea, Norm Fowler, Pablo Beltran, Trevor Tyner, Javier Toregas, Al Palacios
IN: Rex Davis, Trace Epstein, Ramon Chang, Donaldo Granados, Wellington Rojas

Not even I could have predicted the White Sox magical run to the post season as the Wild Card. They did solve the 1 run problem, and the pitching staff remained one of the better in the AL. The Offense was a rag tag bunch with only two players even reaching .800 ops, and 80 runs created.
This season White Sox gave up three starters that provided value but at a prohibitive cost. They were replaced with solid pitchers in Davis, Epstein, and Chang.
On the offensive side there was a lot of movement. I’m not sold on the change was for the better. For a team that was offensively inept they seem to have gotten weaker.
Overall, it’s hard to see this team making another run. JNew is a magician so you never know.


LAST YEARS PREVIEW: How does a team with this much talent only win 74 games? How does an offense that should be prolific, only score 698 runs? A horrible catcher, a right fielder that should be at first base, and a guy playing first base that is probably the best fielder on the team (Ted Lombard). I just don’t trust this team.

OUT: Fergie Munro, Nick Goodwin
IN: Timothy Wolf, Stewart Daniels, Marc Torres

The Tigers finally turned the corner and earned a trip to post-season. The pitching was outstanding, and the offense did enough to get them into the playoffs. One concern was the 19-29 in one run games. That shouldn’t happen with a bullpen this good.
In the past, I’ve been very open about my lack of trust in this team. And I’ve bagged on them frequently. Jdrake has taken it all in stride, and is optimistic about his team. “Nothing has changed other than my young guys getting better…”, he said. Although I do see a lot of young talent, this same talent has been around for a few years. A few of the older players are starting to slide, and losing pitchers like Munro and Goodwin are not always easily replaced.
In the final analysis…I think this team was a bit unlucky last year. But it goes back to my lack of trust in this team. A playoff shot might be in their future, but I feel this team takes a step back.

Toronto Blue Jays (AL)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

LAST YEARS PREVIEW: I’m on the Blue Jays bandwagon. Problems are fixed, team is better. Playoffs and Division title again.

OUT: Goose Grahe, Jair Villafuerte, Delanor Johnstone
IN: Rule V’ers

What in the world happened in Toronto??? This team should have won last season, but only managed 75 wins. Their pitching allowed 770 runs, and only managed to score 730. Not Toronto-like.
Toronto lost a lot of pitching help, and the only incoming players are rule V cast offs.
Sorry, but I’m off the bandwagon.

PREDICTION: 72-90, Last place

No comments:

Post a Comment