15 February 2011
Posted by on
Today’s Focus: Chicago White Sox
The White Sox will need to step it up in April and May to contend for the A.L. Central Division Title. Gavin Floyd, Jake Peavy, Alexei Ramirez, Carlos Quentin and Gordon Beckham all did their part in ensuring a sub par April and May in 2010.
For the most part, the lineup looks to be pretty solid. The addition of Adam Dunn not only adds incredible power, but he also brings a much need left-handed bat in the middle of a right-handed heavy lineup. Gordon Beckham’s strong 2010 second half suggests a breakout campaign. The only glaring hole would be at 3B. Mark Teahan and Brent Morel will battle it out for the 3B job but this could be a possible platoon situation. Mark Teahan has a career .200 AVG vs. lefties and Brent Morel bats from the right side.
As for the pitching, they may have the best staff in the A.L. Central when it’s all said and done. The only issue I see is, we don’t know who will be filling in for Jake Peavy until his return. If they decide to go with Chris Sale, it will thin out their bullpen and they could go with a platoon of Jesse Crain, Sergio Santos and Matt Thornton in the closer spot.
Notable Losses: Manny Ramirez, Bobby Jenks, Mark Kotsay, Andruw Jones, Scott Linebrink, Freddy Garcia
Notable Pick Ups: Adam Dunn, Lastings Milledge, Will Ohman, Jesse Crain, Phillip Humber
If the White Sox can keep their heads above water during April and May, they will take the A.L. Central dethroning the Minnesota Twins.
9 February 2011
Posted by on
Today’s focus: Boston Red Sox
The story for the Red Sox last season was injuries. When you have Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Jason Varitek, and Marco Scutaro all injured during the course of one season it definitely becomes tough to keep up in a division as talented as the American League East.
This year, if they can keep everyone healthy the Red Sox should be the team to beat. They have a great combination of speed and power, especially with the additions of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez. Moving Youkilis to third and bringing in Gonzalez at first will improve the offense, while losing Beltre at third will definitely be a liability in the field. Overall, still a plus for the Sox though. Additionally, bringing in former closer Bobby Jenks definitely helps to solidify the bullpen.
Notable Losses Include: Adrian Beltre
Notable Pick Ups: Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Bobby Jenks
The obvious weaknesses to focus on at this point are the question marks in their starting rotation. John Lester and Clay Buchholz will anchor the rotation, but John Lackey was up and down last season and Josh Beckett was clearly not his Cy Young self. I think we have seen about the best we can expect from Daisuke Matsuzaka, so the Sox are counting on Lackey and Beckett to be back in form. Assuming minimal improvement there, I see the Red Sox offense carrying them to another divisional crown.