Hey-What Am I Thinking About The American League?

I begin today with a disclaimer. This blog shall be entirely Hall of Fame and ARod free. No mention will be made of either. As I say about my weight, enough is enough.

Some things are rolling through my mind as I sit outside and whittle waiting for Spring Training to start.

The Orioles still have several holes to fill. I think they are weak at second base and left field in particular. The can certainly use another starter.

I do think rookie Jonathan Schoop shows promise. I don’t know if he can win the second base job, but I think he has a shot.

Delmon Young may help as a right-handed DH to team up with Henry Urrutia from the left side. But who plays left field? Is that Nolan Reimold? Young certainly isn’t an everyday answer there. Francisco Peguerro? That’s why I like Nelson Cruz in that role.

If Stephen Drew signs with the Red Sox, does that move Xander Bogaerts back to third and Will Middlebrooks to the bench? I’m just asking.

What’s the Red Sox plan for center field if Jackie Bradley Jr. still isn’t ready for an everyday role? Shance Victorino, I would guess. And Daniel Nava in right? Are they an outfielder short, even with Jonny Gomes?

I think the Yankees did a great job getting Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran, but who plays third base? How about second base? How about shortstop if Jeter can’t go? Well, shortstop will be in the able hands of Brendan Ryan defensively. But second and third? Yikes. I’m not sure Brian Roberts can stay healthy! And Kelly Johnson? It just doesn’t seem the Yankees are paying enough attention to those two positions. And as I’ve said before, they need at least one more starting pitcher. So if they don’t get Tanaka, look for Santana, Garza, Jimenez or Arroyo.

The Rays will be a much better club with Ryan Hanigan behind the plate. I think it’s one of the best off season moves. Little fanfare-but a solid catcher. And catching has been a black hole of the Rays for a while.

Heath Bell will be better in Tampa Bay than he was in Arizona. He was upset about not knowing his role from game to game. Hid mind will be settled and hr still has good stuff.

I haven’t backed off my opinion that the Blue Jays really want Tanaka. I don’t think they can match the contract length or the west coast environment Tanaka seems to seek. As a result, they’ll go “all in” on Jimenez, Garza and Santana and probably pay a ton to grab at least one of them.

It seems the Blue Jays will be using Ryan Goins and Maicer Izturis at second base.

I can’t find starting times for White Sox games on their schedule. Hope they release them soon.

The White Sox turnover includes Jose Abreu at first base, Matt Davidson at third base and Adam Eaton in center. Are they better now than when the season ended last year? I’m just asking’?

I can’t find much White Sox pitching depth behind Erik Johnson and Andre Rienzo in the 4 and 5 holes in the rotation.

I look for Carlos Santana to play plenty of games at third base for the Indians. They can get an extra bat in the lineup against left-handed pitching, using Lonnie Chisenhall only against righties. Santana is not a disaster at third.

I remember saying last year and the year before that Jeff Francoeur (now with the Indians) will always end up being………Jeff Francoeur. If you get my drift.

I am keeping an open mind on the Tigers Nick Castellanos. I have seen him play in the Arizona Fall League and he didn’t hit. But that was then. This is now. I am open to having my opinion change. On thing that will help. He’s back at his original position of third base.

Left field looks like a platoon between Andy Dirks and Rajai Davis. Is that enough? Nelson Cruz awaits a call.

The Royals Yordano Ventura has a great arm. If he commands his pitches, he’ll be a sleeper and help the rotation. We don’t hear enough about him whenever young pitching is discussed.

I think Omar Infante finally settles the Royals second base issues. He’s an underrated player.

Watch out for Twins C Josmil Pinto. The guy can hit.

The Twins have every faith in Pedro Florimon at shortstop. Good defender. Has to hit more.

Jason Kubel in right? Haven’t we seen that movie?

Astros first base prospect Japhet Amador had a huge season in the Mexican League. Don’t be surprised if he’s in Houston before the year is out. I write about him on MLBPipeline.com next week.

I like Mark Krauss more than the Astros do, I think. I believe he can hit as a platoon player.

Brett Oberholzer is a very craft, under the radar lefty.

I don’t think it’s a good sign that Tanaka did not visit the Angels in his visit to Los Angeles. I think that speaks volumes that they are not on his radar.

IMO the Angels need to move now on one of the remaining starters, lest they be shut
out.

Look for the Angels to play their regulars longer and more often in Spring Training.

Craig Gentry is a big addition to the A’s.

Parker, Griffin, Straily, Kamir, Gray. Not too shabby as a rotation. Watch out.

Who is Josh Reddick? 2012 edition or 2013?

I think the Mariners are greatly improved. But I wonder why they haven’t moved yet on Kendrys Morales. I think he can help them. So could one more pitcher.

What a great fit for Tanaka. Big park. Nice offense. Seattle.

After spending mega bucks this off season, don’t the Rangers just have to go out and get a pitcher to fill the missed innings from the Derek Holland injury? What am I missing here? I don’t think it’s Colby Lewis. And what if Alexi Ogando’s arm falls off at the shoulder?

Martin Perez can be really, really good.

Mitch Moreland as the DH? How about Nelson Cruz on a one year deal? Makes sense to me.

Nelson Cruz, I’m pulling for you, man. I tried to get you several jobs in this blog. Why? Because you can hit for power. Especially as a DH.

Hope you’ll read my weekly profiles on MLBPipeline.com and follow me on twitter @BerniePleskoff.

That’s it. I’m done. And as always, thanks for reading my work.

4 Comments

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Great work. Hope to read several more of these.

Bernie, good stuff as always. Per Boston: Are they committed to every day playing time for Bogaerts? At what position? Seems like they should be playing him every day at SS, but the schizophrenia with Middlebrooks and Drew scares me. Per Baltimore: I’m an Orioles fan. 14 year playoff drought broken in 2012, excitement with Showalter, Jones, Davis. Now nothing. I’m disturbed that the best they can do is Delmon Young. THEY NEED STARTING PITCHING! Per Tampa: What is your opinion of Wil Myers for 2014? Per Cleveland: Salazar, Salazar, Salazar. Your take? Per Seattle: Does Iwakuma continue to be effective at his age? Per Texas: Yes, they need another SP. Per Oakland: Does Sonny Gray suffer a sophomore slump? Per Angels: I think the Josh Hamilton hate has gone too far. This guy will rebound. Maybe not 40+ HRs rebound, but 30+ HRS with AVG. No more steals though. Thoughts? And my prediction is that Tanaka signs with the Dodgers for a truckload — what a rotation THAT would be. Thanks Bernie!

Forgot one thing: Per Texas: I like Martin Perez too, but I’m *very* concerned about his playing time with the Choo signing. And Ron Washington loves the platoon just a little too much which hurts Perez. What role do you see Perez having? Thanks Bernie!

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