American League Cy Young Award – Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox. I may have been one year too early in predicting John Lester would win this award last year. Then again, if Lester hadn’t gotten off to such a bad start last year (1-2, 4.71 ERA in April), his stats would’ve looked even better than his impressive final stat line of 19-9, 3.20 ERA. If Lester can get off to a fast start for a change (4.58 career ERA in April), anywhere between 20-23 wins is a possibility considering the revamped Red Sox lineup, the speedy outfield, and the improved (at least on paper) bullpen.
The American League has seen the likes of Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee relocate to the national League. So Lester’s only competition should be Felix Hernandez and CC Sabathia. Hernandez will be hard-pressed to win 13 games again like he did last year despite a 2.27 ERA. Seattle’s offense and bullpen is just that bad. The Yankees’ Sabathia, despite still being only 30 years old, has logged over 230 innings in his last four seasons and has, remarkably, thrown over 180 innings in each of his 10 seasons in the majors. Might this be the year he breaks down? The Yankees don’t even want to consider the possibility.
It’s no secret that Miguel Cabrera is off to an incredible start, but the Tigers are also getting major contributions from Brandon Inge, who appears to be reborn in his return to third base. Last season, Inge hit .263 in 13 games against the sale jerseys, striking out 12 times and registering only five RBIs. Inge’s performance could play an enormous role on the outcome of this series.
However, the magic or talent has not been the same in 2013. The White Sox are currently at the bottom of the division and not many things are going right. Jake Peavy is injured again, Sale is struggling, and Paul Konerko could be finally showing his age. Then, there is Adam Dunn, with a batting average that is lower than some co-ed league bowling scores.
Letting this all soak in, I sat down, leaned against the fence and watched people around me. What i saw throughout the game was more of a social atmosphere. If that was because it was MY first Spring Training game this year, or how it always is, I’ll find out on Friday, but I believe there is more of a social atmosphere, at least in left field, than in the left field bleachers at Wrigley. One friend even commented on that to me.
It seems Rodriguez will get up to 49 more shots, as the appeal on his suspension is set to last into the offseason. Because he was only suspended under baseball’s drug policy and not the collective bargaining agreement, he still had a chance to appeal. Unlike everyone else in the Biogenesis scandal, he took that chance.
After a stellar 2009 season, Michael Wuertz began the year injured and rarely flashed his previous form. Finishing the year with a 4.31 ERA, Wuertz was often very inconsistent — resulting in a lot of anxious moments. Wuertz still had the ability to strikeout hitters regularly, but his walks were way up.