Wednesday, December 28, 2016

AL East Outlook

I'm probably a little biased but this is the toughest division in Uecker!

Burlington-  They shocked the league by winning 108 games last year. This team was bad for years but they drafted and signed IFA's well. With 7 players rated 79 or higher and all of them under the age of 30 it seems the future is bright and it's here right now. They are anchored by stud hitter Leonys Cabrera and 2x Cy Young winner Clyde Lara. They did lose 18 game Adam Waltman but should be able to overcome that with young talent. Shored up catching as well this off season. Was the success a 1 year thing or are the Lake Monsters here to stay? I say they are in it for the long run.

Durham- After 101 wins and getting bounced in 3 games during the playoffs you think there would be some changes. Durham stayed pretty status quo with the only addition being 2 time MVP Joe O'Connor. He should see many good pitches hitting behind Ruben Bochachica. They did suffer the loss of veteran back end arm Yunesky Romero and slugging 1B Terry Stowers. Will be looking for contributions from rookies Jhoulys Hernandez and Vinny Tabaka. They will be looking to win games 13-12. Should be in line for a wild card as long as they don't get too injured.

Boston- Can they follow up the 101 win season with the loss of a few good players? The offense is anchored by all world players Mac Aoki and Omar Polonia. With some super nice complimentary pieces this team will score runs. The back end of the rotation is questionable until they get into the playoffs and can run a short staff. One way or another Boston always finds a way to compete by milking stats from guys that are under valued. Always in it until the end.

Richmond-  The Rebels got the tough luck award last year. Finishing 10 games over .500 while competing in the buzz saw division is one heck of an accomplishment. The Rebels are gonna score. They have tons of young hitters and are paced by Darby Connelly and Benny Alonso. They were able to resign Dan Leroux and added two bullpen arms in Brace Kemp and Izzy Castner.  Only question is if the pitching will hold up in this division. If they can improve on last year it is a heck of an accomplishment.

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