We’re almost done with this series, which means baseball is coming back to us soon.
2010 ended the Anywhere Angels’ three year reign of terror on the AL West and saw the Texas Rangers ride a division title to a World Series berth, the first in franchise history. Each year, though, this division seemed–and still does–wide open. This year, it seems about the same. I don’t think the Rangers will be awful or anything, but I think they’ll take a small step back. If I had to pick it today, I’d give the division to the Oakland A’s. I like their pitching and the improved OF featuring David DeJesus and Josh Willingham. Plus, it’ll be fun to root for Hideki again; man I hated seeing him on the Angels.
Texas Rangers: Neftali Feliz. Your reigning AL champions lost Cliff Lee, but it seems that we’re going to see Neftali Feliz jump into the rotation. He hasn’t started a game in the Majors, but he’s dazzled nonetheless. Let’s see if he can duplicate that bullpen success in the rotation.
Oakland Athletics: Quick quiz: Who led the American League in walks last year? Daric Barton led the AL in walks last year. This is definitely a guy to watch going forward. With a .109 IsoD in his career despite a .139 IsoP, it looks like we may have another version of Nick Johnson on our hands, hopefully without the injuries.
Angels (I don’t like typing that ridiculous name): Let’s go with Vernon Wells here. From 2006-2010, we’ve seen a lot of ups and downs from Wells. wOBAs: .382; .306; .357; .314; .362. He was just part of what we all called a pretty awful trade. Now, he’ll have a new home in which to try to live up to his massive contract.
Seattle Mariners: Umm…there’s not really much to go on here. I guess I’ll go with Franklin Gutierrez. After a semi-breakout in 2009 that featured a .337 wOBA and a ridiculous UZR, he fell back to earth a bit. His wOBA fell to .300 and his raw UZR fell from a holy crap 31 to still solid 7.3. Let’s see where he goes from here.
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