Thursday, March 31, 2011

2011 MLB Preview

It is that time of year again,yes its opening day.So it is time to do a nice little preview. Will it be the Red Sox for the third time in 8 years, or the Phillies for the second time in 4 years, we don't know, but we do know that right now everybody has the same record.

American League

1st Boston Red Sox 99-63
2nd New York Yankees 93-69
3rd Toronto Blue Jays 87-75
4th Baltimore Orioles 85-77
5th Tampa Bay Rays 83-81

1st Minnesota Twins 96-66
2nd Chicago White Sox 89-75
3rd Detroit Tigers 79-83
4th Kansas City Royals 75-87
5th Cleveland Indians 71-91

1st Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 92-70
2nd Oakland Athletics 84-78
3rd Texas Rangers 82-80
4th Seattle Mariners 72-90

National League
1st Philadelphia Phillies 104-58
2nd Atlanta Braves 86-76
3rd Florida Marlins 82-80
4th New York Mets 72-90
5th Washington Nationals 69-93

1st Milwaukee Brewers 92-70
2nd Cincinnati Reds 89-73
3rd St.Louis Cardinals 83-79
4th Chicago Cubs 75-87
5th Pittsburgh Pirates 73-89
6th Houston Astros 68-94

1st San Fransisco Giants 94-68
2nd Los Angeles Dodgers 87-75
3rd Colorado Rockies 85-77
4th Arizona Diamond-Backs 73-89
5th San Diego Padres 64-98


Division Rounds
Boston Red Sox defeat LA Angels 3-1
New York Yankees defeat Minnesota Twins 3-2
Philadelphia Phillies defeat Cincinnati Reds 3-0
San Fransisco Giants defeat Milwaukee Brewers 3-2

Championship Series
Boston Red Sox defeat New York Yankees 4-2
Philadelphia Phillies defeat San Fransisco Giants 4-1

World Series
Boston Red Sox defeat Philadelphia Phillies 4-3

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

2011 Blue Jays Preview

With 2011 Spring Training coming to a close it is time to do a preview for the 2011 Jays. I happened to be in spring training earlier this month, and I was very impressed with the group of players Alex has brought in this season. Jose Bautista looked even better than he did last season, and Adam Lind looks like he is ready to regain his 2009 Silver Slugger form. There are still a few question marks surrounding this team, and I will be answering them in this article.

1. Will Aaron Hill be able to regain his 2009 form, and if he doesn’t are the Jays going to pick up his two option years at the end of the season?
In Hill’s case last season he just lost his timing, and that is why he struggled so badly last year. I was fortunate enough to see him take a couple of at-bats while I was in Dunedin for spring training, and he absolutely crushed the ball to left field, twice. The first time the outfielder made a nice catch at the wall to rob Hill of extra bases, but the second time Hill won the battle. He ripped a ground rule double to left, clearing the fence after a towering hit. If he does perform I do see the Jays picking up his options. If not then he has been a great guy while on the Blue Jays, but likely won’t be signing with them for anything more than a one year deal come the off-season.

2. Can Jose Bautista repeat his performance of 54 hr`s and 124 rbi`s, and can he adjust to third base?
No, but he will have a great year. It is very unlikely that Bautista will put up those types of numbers again this season, but I do expect at least 35 hr’s and 95 rbi’s out of this guy. We know Bautista had the power his entire career, but he didn’t know how to utilize it. When he came to Toronto he was able to fix his swing, and he was off. From September 2009 till the end of last season he led the majors in home runs with 64, yes 64. I don’t think he will have to play third base for long this season because of the phenom Brett Lawrie ready to come up to the bigs. By June Bautista should be back in right field, and Juan Rivera will be traded.

3. Who will be the Jay's number 4 and 5 starters this season?
Entering Spring Training there was 4 pitchers vying for those two spot, and two others, but they had small chances of making the club. Kyle Drabek, Jo-Jo Reyes, Jesse Litsch, and Mark Rzepczynski were the favourites, with Zach Stewart and Scott Richmond as the outsiders. On Sunday, Manager John Farrell said that Rzepczynski was officially out of the race leaving just Drabek, Reyes, and Litsch. I believe Litsch will obtain the 4 spot, while Reyes will nab the 5th and last spot. The reason Reyes gets the spot over Drabek in my opinion is that the Blue Jays can delay Drabek`s free agency a whole year if they keep him in the minors to mid-May. So for a club that isn’t looking to contend till 2012, bringing him up earlier would just be stupid. Once Drabek gets called up Reyes will move to the bullpen if he is pitching well. If he doesn’t pitch up to standards, he will be optioned to the minors and placed on waivers.

4. Can Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion adjust to playing first base?
Yes, I saw both of them play while I was at spring training, and they were great. If they struggle I assume red hot David Cooper will be called up to the show to replace one of them.
This is my Predicted roster for the Jays come April 1st.
Position Line Up Number Name
CF 1 Rajai Davis
SS 2 Yunel Escobar
3B 3 Jose Bautista
1B 4 Adam Lind
2B 5 Aaron Hill
DH 6 Edwin Encarnacion
LF 7 Travis Snider
RF 8 Juan Rivera
C 9 J.P Arencibia

Rotation Number Throwing Hand Name
1 LHP Ricky Romero
2 RHP Brandon Morrow
3 LHP Brett Cecil
4 RHP Jesse Litsch
5 LHP Jo-Jo Reyes

Position Name
INF Mike McCoy
INF John Mcdonald
C Jose Molina
OUT Corey Patterson

Throwing Hand Name
RHP Jon Rauch
RHP Jason Frasor
RHP Shawn Camp
LHP David Purcey
RHP Jesse Carlson
RHP Casey Janssen
RHP Carlos Villanueva

I believe the Blue Jays will finish 3rd in the American League East again, with a record of 87-75.