Tuesday, April 28, 2009

An updated look at the AL West

Texas - Derek Holland and Luis Mendoza upgrade the bullpen a little, while Scott Feldman is a functional upgrade over the terrible Kris Benson. But this is still the worst pitching staff in the majors. However, the pitching upgrades add a few wins to their projected finish: They're still on track for 90-95 losses.

Seattle - Losing Kenji Johjima to injury wasn't a big downgrade since Johjima as a hitter came close to replacement level anyway. Rob Johnson could even be a hitting upgrade at catcher. Ryan Rowland-Smith may take his time coming back from a bum elbow, which allows Chris Jakubauskas, arguably a superior option as the #5 starter, to ring up more starts before returning to the pen. Seattle still has this division right where they want it, and remain on track for about 85 wins.

Oakland - Adding the replacement level Dan Giese may not prove a productive move, nor may going with eleven pitchers to get Jack Hannahan on the team. Hannahan improves the offense a tad, but dumping lefthander Jerry Blevins doesn't improve the pitching staff. It appears Oakland will ride their six relievers until the need arises to add a 7th, which is generally a sound idea, but Giese was a definite downgrade. Oakland remains on pace for 85-90 losses.

Anaheim - The likely imminent return of Ervin Santana and John Lackey is a huge boost for the Angels, but this is still a sub .500 team with a ton of holes in the bullpen and not enough power in the lineup. The likely chance of getting 200-220 replacement level innings over this season still sinks the Angels, a 75-80 win team.

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