Players to Watch: A.L. East

NL West-AL Central can be found here At long last, I’ll be done with this series of posts. And, fittingly, we end it with the Yankees’ division: The American League East. Without question, this is the best division in baseball. The Yankees, Rays, and Red Sox are three of the top teams in either league. The Blue Jays would appear much better if they weren’t in this hellacious division, and I’m sure rebuilding would’ve been easier for the Orioles. Anyway, let’s get to it. Tampa Bay Rays: Jeremy Hellickson. Rated the #18 prospect before 2010, Hellickson has put together a Continue reading Players to Watch: A.L. East

Checking In On The Competition

With Spring Training a few weeks old, I thought it would be useful to check in on the other 4 AL East teams and see which story lines have dominated their camps thus far. Boston Red Sox Prospects Opening Eyes: A number of prospects who play the middle infield have been quite impressive, with 2B Oscar Tejada, SS Jose Iglesias, and UTI Yamaico Navarro all getting off to strong starts at the plate. Iglesias has apparently been dropping jaws with his defense as well, which is supposedly otherworldly and has been drawing raves from players and writers alike. Struggling Regular: Continue reading Checking In On The Competition

A look at the 2011 Toronto Blue Jays

In 2010 the Toronto Blue Jays did not actually hit 397 home runs against the Yankees, while using a starting rotation composed entirely of lefthanded junk-ballers to hold the Bombers to only 4 runs en-route to a record of 114-2 against a division rival. It just seemed that way. Instead, the 2010 Blue Jays hit 209 home runs versus all of their opponents, and compiled a 10-8 record against the Yankees. This was, believe it or not, the first time the Yankees managed a losing record against Toronto in the Unbalanced Schedule Era. The Jays’ overall 85-77 record can only be Continue reading A look at the 2011 Toronto Blue Jays

Jays jettison Yankee Killer Vernon Wells while Tampa Bay goes all 2004 Red Sox and signs both Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon

I step away from the Internet for two hours only to come back and find that two of the Yankees’ AL East rivals have made a handful of notable moves. First up, the Toronto Blue Jays apparently traded Vernon Wells to the Angels for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera. I’m having a hard time figuring this deal out from the Angels’ perspective — the Jays are undoubtedly thrilled to be free of Wells’ contract, and they’re getting not one but two pretty serviceable players in return. Wells started last season out on fire before cooling off some and finishing with Continue reading Jays jettison Yankee Killer Vernon Wells while Tampa Bay goes all 2004 Red Sox and signs both Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon

Brett Cecil becomes Majors' winningest pitcher against 2010 Yankees in Blue Jay rout; A-Rod hits 30-HR plateau for 13th straight season

It may say Managing General Partner next to Hal Steinbrenner’s name, but it is in fact 24-year-old Brett Cecil who actually owns the New York Yankees. Cecil led the Blue Jays to a 8-3 romp of New York, picking up his Major League-leading fourth win against the Yankees in 2010 and improving to 4-0 in five starts against the Bombers this season. The win was no surprise whatsoever considering the Yankees haven’t been able to do anything of note against Cecil all year and have done nothing but struggle against slow-throwing pitchers of his ilk. It obviously didn’t help the Continue reading Brett Cecil becomes Majors' winningest pitcher against 2010 Yankees in Blue Jay rout; A-Rod hits 30-HR plateau for 13th straight season

And exhale

Needing one more victory to clinch a playoff spot, the Yankees turned to ace CC Sabathia to finally restore some order to the proceedings (since Friday, August 6, the Yankees have gone 26-24 over their last 50 games with a 4.25 team ERA. In the 107 games prior they posted a 3.82 team ERA) and Sabathia responded in kind, hurling one of his best outings of the year. Sabathia tossed 8 1/3 innings of three-hit, one-run ball, giving him his 21st victory of the season and helping the Yankees beat the Blue Jays 6-1 to clinch at the very least Continue reading And exhale

Dual overarching 2010 storylines of A.J. Burnett being terrible and Blue Jays (and Vernon Wells) positively owning Yankees collide in 7-5 laugher

The Blue Jays beat the Yankees 7-5 Monday night, continuing what has been a season-long stretch of dominance over New York. The win improved the Jays’ season record against the Yankees to 9-7 (only the Rays have beaten the Yankees more times, with 10 victories), a mark that includes a 5-2 record at Rogers Centre. Unless the Yankees can win the next two games they will set a new record for futility on the road at Toronto in the Unbalanced Schedule Era, as they’d never previously won less than four games at Skydome since 2001. Here’s some startling news: The Continue reading Dual overarching 2010 storylines of A.J. Burnett being terrible and Blue Jays (and Vernon Wells) positively owning Yankees collide in 7-5 laugher

Yankees vs. Blue Jays VI: Oh, it's you again

The Yankees and Blue Jays meet in Toronto for what feels like the 300,000th time this season though in actuality will be the sixth and final match-up between the two. I was already sick of Toronto in the last Series Preview, and I can’t say I’m exactly thrilled to see Mr. Newest-Member-of-the-50-Home-Run-Club yet again. The Blue Jays have been a thorn in the Yankees’ side all season, and at 8-7 (4- 2 at Rogers Centre) are one of only three teams with a winning record against the Yankees this season — the others being the Rays and Phillies. As I’ve Continue reading Yankees vs. Blue Jays VI: Oh, it's you again

The starting pitching depth in the AL East

Given the success of the young starting pitchers on our divisional rivals who have made the Yankees look silly for the last three games, I wanted to take a quick look at how the starting pitchers on all five teams in the AL East have fared this season to see if there were any interesting conclusions to be drawn. I included almost every pitcher who has started a game for the Orioles, Red Sox, Yankees, Rays and Blue Jays, with the exception of starters I assumed aren’t going to figure into their teams’ respective starting mixes after this season (i.e. Continue reading The starting pitching depth in the AL East