American League Early Reactions

We’re not quite a quarter of the way through the baseball season, but there’s been plenty to talk about so far. Both World Series teams from 2016 are currently not in first place in their division, everyone is hurt, and dirt bike riding is the new least favorite activity among people in San Francisco. There’s still plenty of games left to be played, but we can learn a lot about teams through the first quarter of games. Let’s see who and what has caught my eye so far.

Check out the NL piece here.

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Baltimore Orioles 2017 Team Preview

2016 Recap: 89-73, 3rd in the AL East. Lost in Wild Card game to Toronto. The 2016 Baltimore Orioles slugged their way to their third playoff appearance in the last five seasons. With the help of one of the best bullpens in the majors and a solid defense, the Orioles continue to win games in the tough AL East despite mediocre at best starting pitching. The Birds season ended in brutal fashion with an extra inning loss to division rival Toronto with maybe their worst pitcher in Ubaldo Jimenez on the mound, while their best pitcher Zach Britton sat in the bullpen. It was a dark October night in Charm City. The Orioles brightened things up for their fans however with the resigning of Mark Trumbo that puts them in a two year window to really compete before homegrown superstar Manny Machado hits free agency. As an Orioles fan, I’m just pretending as if the winter of 2018 is never going to happen and Manny will stay in orange and black forever. The Orioles were lucky enough to get Seattle to take Yovani Gallardo (5.42 ERA in 2016) off their hands one year after signing him in free agency and giving up another compensation pick despite having an already weak farm system for an average at best starter like they did with Ubaldo Jimenez in 2014. I could write an entire blog entry on all the young pitchers and draft assets Baltimore has given up on only to acquire veteran pitchers who weren’t any good to begin with, but that’s enough negativity for now. This is the Orioles time to shine.

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MLB American League Offseason Review

The calendar has officially turned to 2017 and that means it’s time to start talking some baseball. Since the NFL has been extra stupid this season with all the bad teams and quarterback injuries affecting the playoffs, lets turn our attention something more interesting. The Hot Stove reached some pretty high temperatures this winter and we will get right into breaking it down starting with the American League.

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2016 MLB Trade Deadline: Deals That Need to Happen

The MLB All Star Game and festivities are finished which only means one thing: it’s time for the hot stove to be turned all the way up. In 1986, Major League baseball changed the non-waiver trade deadline from June 15th to July 31st (unless July 31st falls on a Sunday which this year it actually does making the deadline August 1st) and since then we have seen our fair share of trades. We have seen deals that did not amount to much at all, but we have also seen plenty of franchise altering trades occurring minutes before the deadline as well as during the weeks leading up to it.

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Figuring Out the A.L. East

 

The American League East is annually the most talked about division in all of baseball. While not always the best division, when you have big media markets and historic clubs like the Yankees and Red Sox, you’re going to get some big time attention. Throw in all the rivalries and the fact that since 2010 every team has at least one division title and you’ve got the premier division in Major League Baseball.

This year appears to be one of the seasons where the division actually warrants all of the attention. Entering play on Friday, only 6.5 games separate the first place Orioles and the last place Rays. The A.L. East is the only division where it’s this close from top to bottom. In fact the Cubs, Giants and Rangers all have at least a 6 game lead or larger over second place in their respective divisions. With all five east teams making their case for a run at a division title, we will break down each team in order of where they currently sit in the standings entering a big weekend of baseball.

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Baltimore’s Lead Birds

It was an interesting offseason for the Baltimore Orioles. Maligned owner Peter Angelos finally allowed general manager Dan Duquette to open up the checkbook. The first order of business was to give former all-star backstop Matt Wieters a one-year $15.8 million qualifying offer, followed by a four-year $31 million offer to all-star set-up man Darren O’Day, and last but not least, a seven-year $161 million break-the-bank contract to two-time American League home run champion Chris Davis. Along with offensive all-stars Adam Jones, Manny Machado, J.J. Hardy and new slugger Mark Trumbo (acquired in an offseason trade with Seattle), this team was expected to hit, and hit they have. The Orioles are currently second in the American League in team OPS at .757 (as of April 8th). That is 43 points higher than league average.

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