American League capsules
Following are spring training capsules of each American League team, broken down by division. Players listed in italics are new to the team. Click here to see the National League capsules.
|Manager:||Dave Trembley (fourth year)|
|Report dates:||Pitchers/catchers -- Feb. 18 | Position players -- Feb. 23|
|Spring home:||Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota, Fla.|
|Projected Lineup:||C Matt Wieters, 1B Garrett Atkins, 2B Brian Roberts, SS Cesar Izturis, 3B Miguel Tejada, LF Nolan Reimold, CF Adam Jones, RF Nick Markakis, DH Luke Scott|
|Potential Rotation:||RHP Kevin Millwood, RHP Jeremy Guthrie, LHP Brian Matusz (R), RHP Chris Tillman, RHP David Hernandez, RHP Brad Bergesen|
|Projected Bullpen:||LHP Mike Gonzalez (CL), RHP Jim Johnson, LHP Mark Hendrickson, RHP Cla Meredith, RHP Kam Mickolio, RHP Matt Albers, LHP Alberto Castillo, RHP Koji Uehara, RHP Dennis Sarfate|
|Projected Bench:||C Michel Hernandez, C Chad Moeller, INF Robert Andino, INF Ty Wigginton, OF Felix Pie, OF Lou Montanez|
|Key Departures:||RHP Danys Baez, RHP Chris Ray, LHP Rich Hill, LHP Jamie Walker, RHP Radhames Liz, INF Melvin Mora|
Notes: If young starters like Matusz and Tillman develop quickly, the Orioles could be competitive with their deeper lineup. ... The bullpen is helped by the addition of Gonzalez, but like all Orioles relievers, the new closer is fragile. ... The Orioles are likely to shop Wigginton over the spring for bullpen help. ... Remember that the Orioles have had decent first halves in the past two years only to be among the majors' worst in the final months. It's a trend that made the rehiring of manager Dave Trembley such a head-scratcher.
|Manager:||Terry Francona (seventh year)|
|Report dates:||Pitchers/catchers -- Feb. 20 | Position players -- Feb. 24|
|Spring home:||City of Palms Park, Fort Myers, Fla.|
|Projected Lineup:||C Victor Martinez, 1B Kevin Youkilis, 2B Dustin Pedroia, SS Marco Scutaro,
3B Adrian Beltre, LF Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Mike Cameron, RF J.D. Drew,
DH David Ortiz
|Projected Rotation:||RHP Josh Beckett, LHP Jon Lester, RHP John Lackey, RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka, RHP Clay Buchholz, RHP Tim Wakefield|
|Projected Bullpen:||RHP Jonathan Papelbon (CL), LHP Hideki Okajima, RHP Ramon Ramirez, RHP Daniel Bard, RHP Manny Delcarmen, RHP Michael Bowden, RHP Boof Bonser, LHP Brian Shouse|
|Projected Bench:||C Jason Varitek, INF/OF Bill Hall, INF Jed Lowrie, 3B Mike Lowell,
OF Jeremy Hermida, OF Josh Reddick
|Key Departures:||LHP Billy Wagner, RHP Takashi Saito, LHP Hunter Jones, INF Alex Gonzalez,
1B Casey Kotchman, INF Nick Green, OF Jason Bay, OF Rocco Baldelli,
OF Brian Anderson
Notes: The starting rotation could become the best in the majors, with Beckett motivated by his free-agent year and Matsuzaka in the best shape of his career for what is a turning-point season for him. ... Same goes for Beltre with a one-year contract (what a novel innovation to make someone produce in order to be rewarded). ... Ellsbury's move to left is not etched in stone. ... Roster has 9 players who have hit 25 or more home runs, the most in the majors. ... Bench much-improved but little was done in a bullpen that could have depth issues. ... Unless deluged by injuries, they're a lock to win 90-plus games.
|Manager:||Joe Girardi (third year)|
|Report dates:||Pitchers/catchers -- Feb. 18 | Position players -- Feb. 24|
|Spring home:||Legends Field, Tampa, Fla.|
|Projected Lineup:||C Jorge Posada, 1B Mark Teixeira, 2B Robinson Cano, SS Derek Jeter, 3B Alex Rodriguez, LF Randy Winn, CF Curtis Granderson, RF Nick Swisher, DH Nick Johnson|
|Potential Rotation:||LHP CC Sabathia, RHP A.J. Burnett, LHP Andy Pettitte, RHP Javier Vazquez, RHP Phil Hughes, RHP Chad Gaudin, RHP Sergio Mitre|
|Projected Bullpen:||RHP Mariano Rivera (CL), RHP Joba Chamberlain, LHP Damaso Marte, RHP David Robertson, RHP Alfredo Aceves, RHP Mark Melancon, LHP Boone Logan|
|Projected Bench:||C Francisco Cervelli, C Mike Rivera, INF Ramiro Pena, OF Brett Gardner, OF Marcus Thames, OF Jamie Hoffmann|
|Key Departures:||RHP Chien-Ming Wang, RHP Brian Bruney, LHP Phil Coke, RHP Ian Kennedy, C Jose Molina, INF Jerry Hairston Jr., OF Johnny Damon, DH/OF Hideki Matsui, OF Melky Cabrera, INF/OF Eric Hinske, OF Shelley Duncan, OF Xavier Nady|
Notes: There's little chance that Winn, Gardner and Johnson will match last year's LF/DH production of Damon and Matsui (52 homers, 172 RBI, 169 runs scored). ... On the other hand, Granderson could approach 40 home runs playing in Yankee Stadium. ... The fifth-starter derby will be interesting; the sense is that Chamberlain is targeted for the bullpen and Hughes for the rotation. ... A-Rod will be healthy from the start this spring and poised for a monster year after his big postseason. ... On the horizon, contracts will expire after this year for Jeter, Rivera and manager Joe Girardi, but nothing seems likely to happen until after the season.
|Manager:||Joe Maddon (fifth year)|
|Report dates:||Pitchers/catchers -- Feb. 19 | Position players -- Feb. 24|
|Spring home:||Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte, Fla.|
|Projected Lineup:||C Dioner Navarro, 1B Carlos Pena, 2B Ben Zobrist, SS Jason Bartlett, 3B Evan Longoria, LF Carl Crawford, CF B.J. Upton, RF Matt Joyce, DH Pat Burrell|
|Potential Rotation:||RHP Matt Garza, RHP James Shields, LHP David Price, RHP Jeff Niemann, RHP Wade Davis, RHP Andy Sonnanstine, RHP Jeremy Hellickson (R).|
|Projected Bullpen:||RHP Rafael Soriano (CL), RHP Grant Balfour, RHP Dan Wheeler, RHP Lance Cormier, LHP J.P. Howell, LHP Randy Choate, RHP Jeff Bennett|
|Projected Bench:||C Kelly Shoppach, INF Willy Aybar, INF Reid Brignac, OF Gabe Kapler, OF Desmond Jennings (R)|
|Key Departures:||RHP Chad Bradford, RHP Joe Nelson, LHP Brian Shouse, RHP Russ Springer, C Michel Hernandez, C Shawn Riggans, C Gregg Zaun, OF Gabe Gross|
Notes: It's time for Garza, Shields and Price all to take a step up, and if they do, the Rays will be dangerous. ... The bullpen remains a huge question, beginning with new closer Soriano, who has the distinction of having left both the Mariners and Braves as one of the least-liked people in the respective clubhouses. ... Should the rookie Jennings light it up this spring, there may be an effort to move Upton. ... Tampa Bay wants Joyce to take hold of the right-field job; if he doesn't, then it becomes a mix of Kapler, Zobrist et al. ... Money worries could make free-agents-to-be Crawford and Pena available by midseason if the Rays are struggling.
|Manager:||Cito Gaston (third year)|
|Report dates:||Pitchers/catchers -- Feb. 22 | Position players -- Feb. 26|
|Spring home:||Knology Park, Dunedin, Fla.|
|Projected Lineup:||C John Buck, 1B Lyle Overbay, 2B Aaron Hill, SS Alex Gonzalez, 3B Edwin Encarnacion, LF Travis Snider, CF Vernon Wells, RF Jose Bautista, DH Adam Lind|
|Projected Rotation:||LHP Ricky Romero, RHP Shaun Marcum, LHP Brett Cecil, RHP Brandon Morrow, LHP Marc Rzepczynski, LHP Zach Jackson, RHP Scott Richmond, RHP Dustin McGowan, RHP Jesse Litsch, RHP Casey Janssen, LHP David Purcey, RHP Kyle Drabek (R)|
|Projected Bullpen:||RHP Jason Frasor (CL), LHP Scott Downs, RHP Jeremy Accardo, LHP Brian Tallet, LHP Jesse Carlson, RHP Josh Roenicke, RHP Merkin Valdez, RHP Lance Broadway|
|Projected Bench:||C Raul Chavez, INF John McDonald, INF Jarrett Hoffpauir, OF Jeremy Reed, OF Joey Gathright|
|Key Departures:||RHP Roy Halladay, RHP Brandon League, RHP Brian Wolfe, C Rod Barajas, INF Joe Inglett, SS Marco Scutaro, 1B Kevin Millar, OF Dave Dellucci|
Notes: Sorting out the starting rotation will be a spring-long version of "American Idol" auditions. ... After season-ending injuries last year, McGowan is expected back in May, Litsch in June. ... Encarnacion was hurt in winter ball, and his frequent injuries underscore the Blue Jays' lack of depth. ... Toronto hopes Snider can emerge this year like Lind did in '09. ... Wells is supposedly 100 percent after wrist surgery following the season, and he obviously has something to prove.
|Manager:||Ozzie Guillen (seventh year)|
|Report dates:||Pitchers/catchers -- Feb. 20 | Position players -- Feb. 24|
|Spring home:||Camelback Ranch, Glendale, Ariz.|
|Projected Lineup:||C A.J. Pierzynski, 1B Mark Kotsay, 2B Gordon Beckham, SS Alexei Ramirez, 3B Mark Teahen, LF Juan Pierre, CF Alex Rios, RF Carlos Quentin, DH Paul Konerko|
|Potential Rotation:||RHP Jake Peavy, LHP Mark Buehrle, LHP John Danks, RHP Gavin Floyd, RHP Freddy Garcia, RHP Daniel Hudson, RHP Daniel Cabrera|
|Projected Bullpen:||RHP Bobby Jenks (CL), RHP Scott Linebrink, RHP Tony Pena, LHP Matt Thornton, RHP J.J. Putz, LHP Randy Williams, RHP Jhonny Nunez, RHP Freddy Dolsi, RHP Greg Aquino|
|Projected Bench:||C Ramon Castro, INF Omar Vizquel, INF Jayson Nix, OF Andruw Jones, OF Alejandro De Aza|
|Key Departures:||RHP D.J. Carrasco, RHP Bartolo Colon, RJHP Octavio Dotel, INF Chris Getz, INF Josh Fields, OF Jermaine Dye, OF Scott Podsednik, OF Dewayne Wise|
Notes: There are few spring questions for President Obama's favorite team, other than getting a lot of first-base time for Kotsay to allow Konerko to fill the hole at DH. ... Among the experts, the White Sox are a trendy pick to win the division, but they hardly are without issues. ... The rotation can be among the best in the league, but the bullpen has loads of questions. ... The White Sox are sure Beckham will make a smooth transition to second base, but the infield defense could be shaky. ... Chicago needs Quentin to return to his '08 batting level and make a smooth move to right field for the White Sox to go the distance. ... Then there is the remarkably wealthy Rios, whom the White Sox need to play worthy of his salary.
Notes: The fruits (at least they hope they're fruits) of all the Indians' dump deals start the spring in key roles -- Brantley, LaPorta, Marson, Masterson et al. ... By June 1, look for rookie Carlos Santana to move Marson out of the catching job. ... To be even remotely competitive, the Indians desperately need Westbrook to come back from elbow surgery and for Carmona to come back from Steve Blass disease. ... Wood could be dealt at any time, though the closer market seems exhausted at least until midseason. ... The Indians are counting on Sizemore to be 100 percent recovered from wrist injury when spring training begins. ... Because he got his managerial start in Washington, new manager Acta is used to springs full of non-roster auditions and too few places in the lineup being settled.
|Manager:||Jim Leyland (fifth year)|
|Report dates:||Pitchers/catchers -- Feb. 19 | Position players -- Feb. 23|
|Spring home:||Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland, Fla.|
|Projected Lineup:||C Gerald Laird, 1B Miguel Cabrera, 2B Scott Sizemore, SS Adam Everett, 3B Brandon Inge, LF Ryan Raburn, CF Austin Jackson, RF Magglio Ordonez, DH Carlos Guillen|
|Potential Rotation:||RHP Justin Verlander, RHP Rick Porcello, RHP Max Scherzer, RHP Armando Galarraga, RHP Jeremy Bonderman, LHP Dontrelle Willis, RHP Eddie Bonine|
|Projected Bullpen:||RHP Jose Valverde (CL), RHP Ryan Perry, LHP Bobby Seay, LHP Phil Coke, LHP Daniel Schlereth, LHP Fu-Te Ni, RHP Zach Miner, RHP Joel Zumaya, RHP Casey Fien, LHP Brad Thomas|
|Projected Bench:||C Alex Avila, INF Ramon Santiago, INF Jeff Larish, OF Wilkin Ramirez, OF Clete Thomas|
|Key Departures:||RHP Fernando Rodney, RHP Brandon Lyon, RHP Freddy Dolsi, LHP Clay Rapada, LHP Jarrod Washburn; INF Placido Polanco, INF/OF Aubrey Huff; OF Curtis Granderson|
Notes: The Tigers hope Jackson will play himself into being the Opening Day center fielder, but that could be a reach. The talented Ramirez could also play himself into the starting lineup with a big spring. Detroit thinks Sizemore, a rookie, will be recovered from a broken hand in time to win the second-base job in spring training. Bonderman supposedly is throwing close to his pre-injury ability, which would add depth to the three big-time young arms atop the rotation. The Tigers have four solid left-handers for their bullpen -- Coke, Seay, Schlereth and Ni -- so Coke is going to get a spring look as the fifth starter. Cabrera is in the best shape of his career and could be poised to have an MVP-type year.
Notes: The Royals are one of baseball's best teams every fifth day, when Greinke pitches. A revamped lineup still lacks the presence that's needed to compete in the American League. The Royals' overall depth, however, seems improved. Butler could move into the first-base job. Coming off an awful season in St. Louis, Ankiel was an interesting signing. To be competitive, the Royals again need to overcome one of baseball's most reliable truisms in recent years -- namely, that any team with Farnsworth, who will be looked at to possibly become a starter, has no chance of winning.
|Manager:||Ron Gardenhire (ninth year)|
|Report dates:||Pitchers/catchers -- Feb. 22 | Position players -- Feb. 27|
|Spring home:||Hammond County Stadium, Lee County, Fla.|
|Projected Lineup:||C Joe Mauer, 1B Justin Morneau, 2B Orlando Hudson, SS J.J. Hardy, 3B Brendan Harris, LF Delmon Young, CF Denard Span, RF Michael Cuddyer, DH Jason Kubel|
|Potential Rotation:||RHP Kevin Slowey, RHP Scott Baker, RHP Carl Pavano, RHP Nick Blackburn, LHP Brian Duensing, LHP Francisco Liriano|
|Projected Bullpen:||RHP Joe Nathan (CL), RHP Matt Guerrier, LHP Jose Mijares, RHP Pat Neshek, RHP Jon Rauch, RHP Jesse Crain, RHP Clay Condrey, LHP Mike Maroth|
|Projected Bench:||C Jose Morales, C Drew Butera, INF Jim Thome, INF Nick Punto, INF Matt Tolbert, INF Alexi Casilla, OF Jason Pridie|
|Key Departures:||RHP Boof Bonser, RHP R.A. Dickey, C Mike Redmond, INF Orlando Cabrera, INF Joe Crede, INF Brian Buscher, INF Mark Grudzielanek, OF Carlos Gomez|
Notes: The new Target Field replaces the Metrodome, which was one of baseball's biggest home-field advantages, and the effects are being felt immediately: Believe it or not, the Twins will have a bigger payroll than the Los Angeles Dodgers this season. The Twins would love to get Mauer's contract done prior to Opening Day. With Hudson and Hardy, the lineup has become very deep. Morales, the backup catcher, needed wrist surgery recently and may not be ready to begin the season; Punto also had wrist surgery, but his was less serious than Morales'. Slowey should be 100 percent in spring training after missing half a season. Liriano pitched well in winter ball, but he remains an uncertainty. The Twins have their fingers crossed on Neshek and Crain, both of whom are returning from injuries, to provide bullpen depth.
|Manager:||Mike Scioscia (11th year)|
|Report dates:||Pitchers/catchers -- Feb. 18 | Position players -- Feb. 23|
|Spring home:||Tempe Diablo Stadium, Tempe, Ariz.|
|Projected Lineup:||C Mike Napoli, 1B Kendry Morales, 2B Howie Kendrick, SS Erick Aybar, 3B Brandon Wood, LF Juan Rivera, CF Torii Hunter, RF Bobby Abreu, DH Hideki Matsui|
|Potential Rotation:||RHP Jered Weaver, RHP Ervin Santana, LHP Joe Saunders, RHP Joel Pineiro, LHP Scott Kazmir, RHP Matt Palmer, RHP Sean O'Sullivan, RHP Rich Thompson|
|Projected Bullpen:||LHP Brian Fuentes (CL), RHP Fernando Rodney, RHP Brian Stokes, RHP Scot Shields, RHP Jason Bulger, RHP Kevin Jepsen|
|Projected Bench:||C Jeff Mathis, INF Maicer Izturis, INF Robb Quinlan, INF Freddy Sandoval, OF Reggie Willits, INF Terry Evans|
|Key Departures:||RHP John Lackey, RHP Kelvim Escobar, LHP Darren Oliver, RHP Jose Arredondo, RHP Shane Loux, RHP Dustin Moseley, INF Chone Figgins OF Gary Matthews Jr., DH Vladimir Guerrero|
Notes: What Figgins gave to the Angels' lineup can't be replaced, but Wood could add more power to what is an underrated middle of the order. Bullpen additions plus the expected return to 100 percent of Shields makes the Angels' relief corps much more solid. Rodney could end up closing frequently, with Fuentes filling the needed left-handed set-up spot. Lackey's staff leadership will be missed, but the Angels' rotation depth is still among the best in the American League. The experts are predicting a major Angels drop-off, but there is something to be said for the franchise's mantra: Trust in Scioscia.
Notes: Fox, Chavez, Barton and Cust will likely share at-bats at 1B/DH/LF. Pitching could be a force, especially if Devine comes back from arm troubles to add bullpen depth. The lineup lacks a middle-of-the-order presence, and scoring runs remains iffy. Pennington is a defensive whiz on a team that annually struggles defensively. Stadium issues continue to cloud the team's future. Constant roster upheaval over the past four years makes it hard to remember that the A's actually were in the ALCS in 2006.
Notes: The Mariners could get 45-50 wins out of the 65 or so starts from Hernandez and Lee. Lee expected to be ready for Opening Day after undergoing minor foot surgery in early February. The defense was upgraded in several areas. The Mariners are one of those trendy picks to win the AL West, and the optimism is justified in some areas. But how about a reality check in regard to the catching and the bullpen depth? Also, who exactly is going to drive in the runs for this team? There's no question the cheery personality of Milton Bradley will make every day a sunny day in usually cloudy Seattle.
Notes: The impressive Feliz could end up in the rotation, especially if McCarthy and Harrison struggle as they return from injuries. Saltalamacchia is coming off shoulder troubles, but the Rangers think he will be ready to go in the spring. Greene could likely play some outfield as well as be a backup all around the infield. Smoak is a wild card, a big-time offensive prospect who could force some moves if he has a big spring. The ownership situation has finally stabilized, which should help the entire franchise in a year in which they could be legitimate contenders.