American League West: Each Team’s 3 Burning Questionsby Joe Heller February 19, 2020 0 comments
The beauty of Spring Training is that every team enters with a glimmer of hope of potential glory in the coming season.
However, every team still enters with an array of questions. As Spring Training begins to get underway, here are three burning questions for the American League West.
Can they make it three straight? The A’s have managed to sneak into the playoffs the last two seasons, only to get sent home almost immediately. This division as a whole improved immensely, I’m not sure if they have enough to compete.
Big acquisition? Oakland has never been one to make a splash in free agency. This past winter the biggest move they made was bringing in veteran utility player Tony Kemp.
Unheralded to just enough? Their formula although not successful anywhere else in the league has to catch up to them at some point. This could be that point.
Los Angeles Angels
Maddon 20? New manager Joe Maddon has had success in Tampa Bay and in Chicago. He led the Cubs to the 2016 World Series Championship. That should bode well for the Angels this season.
Trout season again? Mike Trout is poised to have yet another MVP-caliber season. With the added chip on his shoulder in his feelings on the Astros just adds fuel to his fire. He will win the Most Valuable Player award this season.
What does 245 get you? The Angels’ big off-season move was signing free-agent third baseman Anthony Rendon to a seven-year deal worth $245 million. He’s fresh off of a World Series title with the Nationals.
Rebuild in full swing? They let many of their more veteran players walk this season, including Felix Hernandez. So is back to the drawing board in Seattle.
Oh, Carl? The Mariners brought in Carl Edwards Jr. He’s coming off a rough 2019 season with the Cubs. He could have a low key “rebirth” in the AL West, on a team with low expectations.
What are the expectations? Their hopes are to hover around the .500 mark. That seems very unlikely, I can see them losing 90 plus games.
The Todd-Father? After losing out on Josh Donaldson, and growing impatience with both Kris Bryant and Nolan Arenado’s respective clubs, the Rangers signed Todd Frazier. The veteran third baseman will look to revitalize his career in Texas.
What’s the big deal? The Rangers pulled the trigger on a deal for former Indians ace Corey Kluber. That could be the biggest offseason move in this division.
Eddie come back? They also signed veteran pitcher Edinson Volquez, who was contemplating retirement. The pressure shouldn’t be heavy on his shoulders, Kluber bears that. They also signed Jordan Lyles to solidify the rotation.
Target practice? The Astros’ batters have a huge bullseye on their chests, arms, and heads. The rest of the league is adamantly angry about the entire investigation. Whether warned by MLB or not, they will get hit by pitches early and often.
Can he return to form? Lance McCullers is back after missing all of last season after having Tommy John surgery. If he can get back to form, it will lessen the blow to the pitching staff of not reigning Gerrit Cole.
Has there ever been a tougher spot? A.J. Hinch was suspended and ultimately fired after the sign-stealing scandal investigation was completed. Veteran manager Dusty Baker to the job presumably no-one wanted. If he would be able to weather the storm Houston has come their way through this season.