Just a Fun Thing

If anyone is interested, please list each AL East Team, the impact player that you feel most needs to perform for them to succeed in 2009. If you are not sure what I mean follow my example.

Tampa Bay Rays – Andy Sonnanstine. Shields will be great. Kazmir will be great. Sonnanstine reminds me of Glavine from the ’90s Braves in his role to this team. Two all-star pitchers followed by a precision pitcher who is not going to come at you with the hard stuff and strike you out, but will still end up with all-star worthy numbers. Sonnanstine was very consistant last year and without him, the rotation looks much less comparable to the powerhouse Red Sox rotation and now the strong 1-2-3 of the Yankees (Sabathia, Burnett, Wang).

Boston Red Sox – Kevin Youkilis. Youk is my impact player for the Sox. We need him to drive in 117 (or more) RBI’s again and be that big bat behind Ortiz. Jason Bay I think will have a career year going into this season as he really seems thrilled to be on a competitive team, and bat .300 for the Sox after his acquisition. Youkilis to me is the curveball. .280 and 80 RBI’s will not cut it for Youkilis if the Red Sox hope to continue to compete. We are relying on him for another all-star year. I think Pedroia being at the front of the lineup last season is why his RBI totals went up so dramatically, and I don’t see that changing as Ellsbury is more likely to have a better year this year than a worse year.

New York Yankees – Robinson Cano. Teixeira will hit. A-Rod will hit. Jeter will hit. However, with names like Melky Cabrera and sometimes Molina in the lineup, they really can’t afford to have Cano be a 3rd hole again. Sure Sabathia may win 20 again. AJ Burnett may win 15, Wang may win 17, and Joba may win 12-15, but thats only 64-67 wins. The other 30 will have to come from other places over the course of the season if they want to have a shot at competing at the division next season. I see them as far from the favorites if Cano is not back to .300-.310 at the plate.

Toronto Blue Jays – No offense but without Burnett, its game over for the Blue Jays. There is no way they will compete next year and I think they know it and hence are not going out and spending. If I have to call an impact player for this team its Rolen. Scott Rolen needs to stay healthy and put up a good season for them to stay a plus .500 team.

Baltimore Orioles – Even had they signed Teixeira, this team is too underdeveloped also to become a true factor in the AL East. To maintain a respectable win percentage, I would say they are counting on Nick Markakis to continue to grow and become an even better player than he was last season. They need him to draw in the fans and keep money flow. Its a real shame they didn’t want to bid any higher on Teixeira.

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