Thursday, January 1, 2009

Al East Comparison

One of my readers brought to my attention that maybe I wasn't being completely objective when I wrote my "Yankees seal Red Sox doom" article. (Me bias?????) He said that I should compare their rosters side by side before stating that the Red Sox are finished. Ok, this seems fair. But in order to make it truly fair we must include the Rays in the comparison. (After all they did win the division last season) We will compare Position by Position then starting rotations and finish with bull pen and bench players. I will also give each player a grade and at the end we will try and sum it up with win loss predictions and perhaps an award candidate or two.

We will start with Catchers

Rays: Dioner Navarro

Dioner is still a young player, at age 24 Dioner has gotten better each of the last three seasons. Last year was his best hitting .295 with 7 HR and 54 RBI. He seems to be growing confidence behind the plate and works well with the Rays young pitching staff earning him an all-star game appearance. However he is no Carl Lewis on the base pads and with only 7 Hr hasn't shown to have allot of power. His arm is decent but not exceptional. Grade B

Red Sox: Jason Varitek (assuming they resign him)

Jason is not known as an offensive catcher but rather coveted for his leadership and defensive skills. He has slightly more pop in his bat than Navarro but in 2008 batted only .220 with 13HR and 43 RBI's . For his career he’s a .263 hitter averaging closer to 20 HR and 80 RBI. He is 36 years old and after a sub par season last year many wonder weather or not he is still the catcher he once was. But he is the team captain and an incredible clubhouse motivator. Varitek is probably the best defensive catcher or the three and a proven leader for this I give him a B+

Yankees: Jorge Posada

Posada is definitely the best of the three offensively. Although injured last year for the majority of the season he is a career .277 hitter and is usually good for 20+HR and 90-100 RBI. This is a rare for a catcher. Much like Navarro he is not very nimble around the base pads and of the three he has the weakest arm. In 2007 he showed improved defense but coming off an Injury he has allot to prove. Posada is also 37 years old and many wonder how many more years he will be able to catch if at all. Because of all the question marks lingering around Posada for 2009 I'm only giving him a grade of : B

Next up 1st base. Hmmmm wonder who will win that battle?

 For the record the reason that Toronto and Baltimore have been left out is that I feel that they are not going to be a factor in the Division Race. However at the beginning of last season I said the same about the Rays.

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