2014 Season Preview Part IV (Translation Updated!!!)

2 Apr

I’ve wanted to post/translate this article since March 25th but just couldn’t find enough time to do it! However, the Opening Day just wrapped up today so I have no choice but post it without translation! Sorry about that!

 

I originally planned to have 3 season previews — Nova, Pineda, and Tanaka (Again, C.C is as important as they are to Yankees and maybe more so this season because of his disaster last season. However, there is little new analysis we haven’t talked about so I didn’t (won’t) put C.C. on the season preview list) — but I think this one is a must-have. You need to know as much as possible about your opponents in order to have the most wins, don’t you? XD~

http://riveraveblues.com/2014/03/2014-season-preview-al-east-100839/

BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Notable Additions: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, OF Nelson Cruz, RHP Ryan Webb, RHP Suk-Min Yoon, OF/DH Delmon Young
Notable Losses: RHP Scott Feldman, RHP Jason Hammel, RHP Jim Johnson, OF Nate McLouth

This isn’t a loss in the sense that he was on the team and now he’s not, but it’s certainly worth mentioning that third baseman Manny Machado will start the season on the DL following offseason knee surgery. He should return sometime in April.

Baltimore is better than they were last season because of Jimenez and Cruz, though I’m not sure if they’re good enough to make a serious run at a wildcard spot. I guess it depends on how long Machado is out, which Jimenez shows up, and how the bullpen shakes out without Johnson.

 

BOSTON RED SOX
Notable Additions: RHP Burke Badenhop, LHP Chris Capuano, RHP Edward Mujica, C A.J. Pierzynski
Notable Losses: RHP Ryan Dempster, SS Stephen Drew, OF Jacoby Ellsbury, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Boston has earned some leeway after winning the World Series, but they lost a lot of good players this winter and are counting mostly on internal solutions to replace the lost production. That’s dicey, especially when talking about prospects. If Bogaerts or either of the center fielders don’t produce, the Sox will be left scrambling. Luckily for them, the pitching staff is deep and stalwarts like Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz are still around to anchor the lineup. The Red Sox have a great farm system and a ton of money, so they have the wherewithal to address any needs at midseason. That said, they won the division by 5.5 games last year and the gap appears to have closed a bit.

 

TAMPA BAY RAYS
Notable Additions: RHP Grant Balfour, RHP Heath Bell, C Ryan Hanigan
Notable Losses: RHP Roberto Hernandez, RHP Fernando Rodney, DH Luke Scott, RHP Jamey Wright

The Rays will be without Jeremy Hellickson for a few weeks following offseason elbow surgery. They still have David Price and Alex Cobb to front the rotation, but Matt Moore is having a real problem throwing strikes this spring. Like 15 walks in 14.1 innings problem. Chris Archer had a strong rookie season and rookie Jake Odorizzi will replace Hellickson for the time being. Tampa always seems to crank out quality young starters, but with Moore struggling and Odorizzi projecting as more of a back-end arm than anything else, their staff seems more vulnerable than it has been at any point in the last five of six years.

Full seasons of Wil Myers and David DeJesus should boost an offense — DeJesus isn’t great, but remember, he’s replacing Sam Fuld — that ranked third in baseball with a 108 wRC+ last summer. Tampa improved this winter after winning 92 games a wildcard spot a year ago, so of course they’ll be right back in the thick of the race this year.

 

TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Notable Additions: C Dioner Navarro
Notable Losses: C J.P. Arencibia, OF Rajai Davis, RHP Josh Johnson

It’s unbelievable the Blue Jays did nothing this winter, isn’t it? They made all those moves last offseason and were such a colossal disappointment in 2013, yet nothing.

I guess the good news for Toronto is that their offense is dynamite, at least when healthy. The Blue Jays are banking on health and steps forward from guys like Hutchison and Rasmus to improve the team, and even if they get that, they still might only be the fourth or fifth best team in the division.

 

On paper, I think you can argue the Yankees are anywhere from the best to fourth best team in the division. They’ve obviously upgraded but so have the Rays and Orioles, all while the Red Sox lost some key pieces. The top four teams in the division are more scrunched together this season, which means the race will be more tougher and more exciting deep into the season. Injuries and unexpected performances, both good and bad, will play an even bigger role in determining the AL East this summer. The division is again very good and there are four teams to be reckoned with. (Sorry, Blue Jays.)

 

Again, as much as I would like to translate this preview like did in the previous 3, I really don’t have time >_<‘. I’ve got 2 ~ 3 hours of sleep most of the days during the past 2 weeks (I only remember three days of 7 ~ 8 hours of sleep, which was a luxury!). If I have time after next Monday, I will come back to add this translation!

 

*****

要。點。精。譯 (終於有時間補上翻譯了 ^^!)
知己知彼美東篇
金鶯
增添的新兵:Ubaldo Jimenez, Nelson Cruz, Suk-min Yoon, Delmon Young
離隊的舊雨:Scott Feldman, Jason Hammel, Jim Johnson
重要傷兵:三壘手Manny Machado,應該四月回得來。

增添的新兵Ubaldo Jimenez和Nelson Cruz,金鶯比去年好,不過不確定他們進不進的了外卡,大概看Machado啥時回來、Jimenez骰子骰到哪一面以及沒有Jim Johnson的牛棚表現如何

紅襪
增添的新兵:Edward Mujica, A.J. Pierzynski
離隊的舊雨:Ryan Dempster, Stephen Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jarrod Saltalamacchia

紅襪很多好選手離開,他們寄望農場能替代離隊的戰力,雖然這樣有點冒險,一旦農作物沒長成,紅襪就得拚湊補強了。不過幸運的是他們有輪值深度與Pedroia和Ortiz等球隊支柱都在。紅襪農場長得好,且有錢,所以如果有需要,他們有本錢季中補強。雖然這樣說,他們去年球季領先的5.5場勝差似乎縮小了一些

光芒
增添的新兵:Grant Balfour
離隊的舊雨:Fernando Rodney
光芒Hellickson去年季後手肘手術,所以開季幾週會在傷兵名單,。前段輪值仍然是David Price和Alex Cobb,但Matt Moore春訓投不進好球帶,14.1局祭出15個保送。Chris Archer去年新人年表現優異,今年的新秀jake Odorizzi會暫時替代Hellickson。光芒好像永遠有源源不絕的優質年輕投手,但隨著Moore好球帶掙扎中與Odorizzi大概是後段輪值,他們整個輪值應該是近五年來最弱的

進攻方面,Wil Myers打整季與David DeJesus對打線都有幫助(即使DeJesus沒有很棒,但他取代的是Sam Fuld)。去年夏天,他們的wRC+是108,大聯盟排行第三。

整體來說,比起去年球季贏92場拿到外卡的光芒,他們現在更強了,所以當然今年一樣是勁敵

藍鳥
離隊的舊雨:J.P. Arencibia
很難相信藍鳥今年季後完全沒動作。2012年季後大肆捕強,2013年球季大失落,但卻按兵不動。
好消息是他們的打線,至少以健康的藍鳥打線來說。不過,即使打線全回來,他們在美東戰績應該還是排第四或第五

 

紙上戰力來說,我認為洋基可能是美東最好的,也有可能是美東第四。洋基的確補強了,但光芒和金鶯也都變強了。美東前四名戰局本季更膠著,接近季末時,比賽更刺激。傷兵和未預期的表現(好和壞的表現)會是今年夏天決定美東戰績的更大影響因素。

 

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