American League East: Each Team’s 3 Burning Questionsby Joe Heller February 20, 2020 0 comments
As spring training begins to get underway, here are three burning questions for the American League East.
New York Yankees
Will Cole Dominate in the Bronx? After agreeing to a mega contract this off-season, Cole is under immense pressure. Adding to that, there is a cloud of suspicion because he was a member of the Astros pitching staff during the time the scandal was proven to have taken place. If he can block all that out and pitch the way he has, he should be just fine.
Are you happy you made him angry? Aroldis Chapman had been one of the most outspoken players on the Astros. Just what he needs to drive him this season.
Triple Threat the most feared? Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez, like Chapman, have not pulled any punches. While the offense will miss Didi Gregorius, these three will more than carry the offense.
Boston Red Sox
Did they really do that? Boston traded Mookie Betts to the Dodgers along with David Price. It’s going to be hard to replace their best player, especially since the return was close to nothing.
How will they weather the storm? They remain under the cheating cloud, even after the team and manager Alex Cora mutually agreed to part ways. It’s common belief Cora brought some form of sign stealing with him from the Astros, who he was apart of in 2017.
Will he stay or is he trade bait? Along with Betts, the other player rumored to be on the move this past off-season was Jackie Bradley. I expect he’ll be moved come the trade deadline.
Toronto Blue Jays
Did they really stand pat? They held onto their most coveted trade bait in closer Ken Giles. But like Bradley in Boston, he could be moved around the deadline.
Doesn’t it feel like the ’90s?The names Bichette, Biggio, and Guerrero (Jr.) make up three quarters of the infield. They comprise a great nucleus for this team for years to come.
Enough pitching? The Jays added Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chase Anderson, and Tanner Roark to their starting pitching depth. All three are veterans who’ve had success in the league.
Can they drive 55? The Orioles only won 54 games a season ago, so anything north of 55 would be an improvement. But that may be a far stretch.
That’s it? The only move Baltimore was bringing in shortstop Jose Iglesias, which was a good one. But like many I expected that to be their first move rather than the only one.
What do they need? They are hoping first baseman Chris Davis returns to the guy they gave good money to. He’s batted under .200 for the second season in a row. If not their sake but maybe they’ll be able to trade him at the deadline.
Tampa Bay Rays
Encore, anyone? By many estimations, they were the surprise team in all of baseball last season. They managed 95 wins and finished ahead of the reigning World Series champion Red Sox.
Good move or great move? The Rays signed 28-year-old, Japanese left-handed hitter Yoshitomo Tsutsugo who hit over 200 home runs in 10 seasons in Japan.
Consistency behind the plate? The biggest off-season move they made was resigning catcher Mike Zunino. For a young pitching staff, he may be the unsung MVP.
The division is the Yankees’ to lose. I see them leading it from Day 1, but I think the Blue Jays may be this season’s Rays of last season.