Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Big Spenders In Offseason Ready For First Pitch

Originally written for publishing on April 1, 2013.

The Major League Baseball season kicked off on Sunday, and given the marathon-like feeling of a 162 game season, anything can happen. There are a lot of teams who are facing high expectations, and may have trouble living up to them.

The Toronto Blue Jays added Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonafacio and Mark Buehrle in exchange for Yunel Escobar and a bunch of minor leaguers in one trade. They also added R.A. Dickey from the Mets and now have a scary rotation and lineup. I do not agree with the conventional wisdom that they will be a World Series team, but I do see them winning the AL East.

The AL Central seems to be the most obvious race in the MLB. Although the Indians look to be a very improved team, the division appears to be the Detroit Tigers and four inferior teams.

The Tigers added Torii Hunter to a lineup where he will be hitting in front of two of the most feared hitters in the league, Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera. Not to mention, they have the game’s most dominant pitcher, Justin Verlander. The rotation is filled out with a few more solid pitchers, such as Daniel Schlereth.

The AL West will prove to be a battle. The Angels appeared to have shifted the power tremendously by taking Josh Hamilton from the defending division champion Texas Rangers. However, the Angels appear to have some questions with pitching that will plague them early on. The starting rotation is made up of Jered Weaver and CJ Wilson, and then three new guys.

Jason Vargas, Tommy Hanson and Joe Blanton will need to hold down the fort. New closer Ryan Madson will miss time early as well.

The Angels will struggle filling pitchers into roles until Madson comes back and the starters will not be great at the beginning, but towards the end of the season the Angels will run away with the division, backed by the best line up in the game today, and maybe ever.

The Rangers will take one wild card spot, and the Yankees will grab the other.

The National League East also appears to be easy. The Washington Nationals appear to be a front runner to play well into October.

Bryce Harper will be entering his second year, and the 20-year-old phenom is on top of many preseason MVP ballots. The pitching staff, which was great last year, added Dan Haren and will not have to count Steven Strausburg’s innings.

The NL Central is kind of wide open, with no team looking too great. In the end, it should go to the Cincinnati Reds, who added Sin Soo Choo to an already great line up, and decided to keep Aroldis Chapman, who has the fastest fastball ever, in the closer role. They should take the divison fairly easily.

The NL West appears pretty easy too. Even though the San Francisco Giants are the defending World Series champions, the Dodgers spent way too much money to not do well. They added Zach Greinke to an already great rotation, and their lineup is stacked with Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Adrian Gonzalez in the middle. They should take it handily.

The two wild card teams should be the Giants and the Braves.

The Nationals should eek out the Dodgers to advance to the World Series, and take on the Angels, who should just beat out the Tigers.

At the end of it all, the Angels should be able to hoist the trophy high. They have two star pitchers, and the rest will have to claw but will come together and get it done.

It will not be pretty, and the should give up a lot of runs. But when your lineup includes Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, who are three of the top ten hitters in baseball, the ptching does not have to be great.

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