AL Feast Week 2 (31/03/2013)


He believes the Yankees are making the World Series. Let’s point at him and laugh!

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

As countless families hunt for Easter eggs and prepare a wonderful dinner feast, we here at Jays Journal are preparing to provide you with a feast of AL East divisional rival news. That way you can be both full of mind and, after dinner, full of stomach.

It’s the AL Feast: Week 2!

New York Yankees

-When you’re the manager of a club that’s won 27 different World Series’, the expectations are high. They are stacked even higher when your veteran pitcher says “I expect [Yankees] to be in the World Series,” as with what Andy Pettitte said in the New York Post. Yes, most of the Yankees’ big names players like Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez will be likely active during the stretch run in September, but they’re starting off the season with the likes of Brennan Boesch, Eduardo Nunez, Lyle Overbay and Vernon Wells for quite some time. A slow start might bury them early, however the first unofficial rule of baseball is never count out the Yankees.

-Former Yankees pitcher “Bullet” Bob Turley has passed at the age of 82, the New York Daily Mail reports. A career 101-85 record with a 3.64 ERA, Turley, his biggest game came the day after Don Larsen pitched history’s only World Series perfect game. It was a 10-inning game that resulted in a cruel 1-0 loss while striking out 11.

-The New York Times takes a look at how all the injured Yankees might affect ticket sales. A constant sellout in New York, I doubt there will be a noticeable drop off in ticket sales. The Yankees are one of the city’s big tourist attractions, and with a Metropolitan population of almost 19,000,000, I’m sure the Yankees will do just fine. Maybe not the Mets, though.

Tampa Bay Rays

Luke Scott is headed to the DL for roughly 5 weeks due to a calf injury, Tampa Bay Times reports. For a team that’s not necessarily known for its offense, losing Scott at the beginning of the season is definitely a loss to potential power production.  Likely Shelley Duncan will get some AB with the big club in his stead.

Roberto Hernandez has been named the Rays’ fifth starter, according to Fox Sports Florida. This means that Jeff Niemann will be the Rays’ long relief bullpen guy. It’s good to see that a progressive baseball team like the Rays are going to keep 6 starters on their club and keep one of them in the bullpen, even if it is one of the Blue Jays’ divisional opponents. They’re way more valuable than LOOGY (Lefty One Out GuY), which is essentially a waste of a roster spot (*COUGH Cecil COUGH*). Also in the case of injury, they don’t need to call up a pitcher from the minors who may not be ready.

Boston Red Sox

-The Red Sox are not pursuing Rick Porcello, despite being on the trade block, NESN reports. It wouldn’t make sense for them, either. Although their starting rotation isn’t the greatest, they do have enough pitching depth on their roster as is. Alfredo Aceves has gone multiple innings in spring training, Rubby De La Rosa will be waiting in the minors and they can call up Daniel Bard if they absolutely need to. Doesn’t make sense to trade for a 5th starter with mid-4 ERA and non-impressive stuff.

Ryan Sweeney has been granted release by the team, as seen on Tireball Sports Media. He wasn’t willing to accept his assignment for AAA, so they agreed to let him pursue another team on free agency. Likely he would have to sign a minor league deal elsewhere, but that’s for him to accept later in the season.

Just minutes after this post went up, the Knobler tweeted that Jackie Bradley, Jr. has made it onto the Red Sox major league roster. Last year in A+-AA ball he went .315/.430/.482 with 9 HR, 63 RBI and 42 doubles. He’ll likely hit near the bottom of the lineup in the 8th or 9th spot.

Baltimore Orioles

-Over at Birds Watcher, Margaret Hooper questions the idea of Jason Hammel and ponders if he is a true staff ace. For the Orioles; absolutely. For most other clubs; not so much. Hammel did have an excellent start last year with a sub-2 ERA in April, but in May his ERA was 4.25, 3.73 ERA in June and 4.96 ERA in July before getting injured. It’s possible Hammel will lead the Orioles to success over a full season of pitching, but I’m a doubter. But heads up for using a Margaret Atwood quote!

-According to the MLB Depth Charts listed on Baseball Prospectus, the Orioles still haven’t named an official fifth starter. What has been confirmed is Brian Matusz will start the season in the bullpen, Tommy Hunter will be a swing man and original projected starter Chris Tillman has been placed on the DL. I guess they’ll throw out SOMEBODY last minute.

-This piece is a bit older than other news links, but Beyond the Boxscore looks at the Baltimore Orioles’ 2012 season and explains one-run games are unsustainable in 2013. It’s a bit heavy on sabermetrics and complicated graphs, but try to stay with it. It explains Pythagorean Win% and also debunks bullpen management and reinforces the fact that the Orioles were only expected to have a .505 winning percentage last year.

Starting next week, I’ll be finishing off each AL Feast post with the AL East divisional standings on weekly Win-Loss records. This week, I’ll follow the traditions of every blogger that thinks they knows how the season will end up and predict the 2013 AL East division.

AL East Predictions

Blue Jays 92-70 (D)
Rays 89-73
Yankees 84-78
Red Sox 83-79
Orioles  76-86

I believe that an AL West and AL Central team will win the wildcards this year due to just how difficult the AL East is. What are your AL East predictions?

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