AL spring training capsules
Editor's note: Rosters as of Feb. 15; new players in CAPS
American League East
Projected rotation: LHP Zach Britton, LHP WEI-YIN CHEN, LHP TSUYOSHI WADA, RHP JASON HAMMEL, RHP Tommy Hunter, RHP Jake Arrieta, LHP Brian Matusz, LHP DANA EVELAND, RHP ARMANDO GALARRAGA, RHP Chris Tillman.
Projected bullpen: RHP Kevin Gregg, RHP Jim Johnson, RHP MATT LINDSTROM, RHP LUIS AYALA, RHP Darren O'Day, RHP Brad Bergesen, LHP Zach Phillips, LHP Troy Patton, RHP Jason Berken, RHP Alfredo Simon, RHP Pedro Strop, RHP Willie Eyre, RHP Wynn Pelzer, RHP PAT NESHEK, LHP DENNYS REYES, RHP OSCAR VILLARREAL.
Key departures: RHP Jeremy Guthrie, RHP Jeremy Accardo, LHP Mark Hendrickson, RHP Mitch Atkins, RHP Chris Jakubauskas, LHP Jo-Jo Reyes, RHP Rich VandenHurk, Mark Worrell; C Jake Fox; INF Cesar Izturis, Brandon Snyder; OF Vladimir Guerrero, Luke Scott, Felix Pie, Kyle Hudson.
Spring issues: Buck Showalter and his coaches will have over 30 pitchers to look at with few spots on the staff etched in stone Young arms like Matsuz and Arrieta need to bounce back from awful 2011 seasons Orioles hope Roberts' long siege of injuries is finally behind him Baltimore needs to see more from people like Wieters and Markakis New GM DAN DUQUETTE is likely to bottom-feed for new bodies throughout the spring and 2012 season.
Boston Red Sox
Projected rotation: LHP Jon Lester, RHP Josh Beckett, RHP Clay Buchholz, RHP Daniel Bard, RHP Alfredo Aceves, RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka, LHP Felix Doubront, RHP CLAYTON MORTENSON; RHP VICENTE PADILLA, RHP AARON COOK, RHP CARLOS SILVA, RHP JOHN MAINE.
Projected bullpen: RHP ANDREW BAILEY, RHP MARK MELANCON, LHP Franklin Morales, RHP Bobby Jenks, LHP Andrew Miller, RHP Michael Bowden, RHP Scott Atchison, RHP Junichi Tazawa, LHP JESSE CARLSON, RHP DOUG MATHIS, LHP Rich Hill.
Key departures: RHP Jonathan Papelbon, RHP Tim Wakefield, LHP Erik Bedard, RHP Dan Wheeler, LHP Hideki Okajima, LHP Kyle Weiland; C Jason Varitek; INF Jed Lowrie, Marco Scutaro; OF J.D. Drew, Josh Reddick, Brett Carroll.
Spring issues: Big focus for new manager BOBBY VALENTINE will be how the rotation firms up, beginning with Bard's ability to convert from being reliever into starter Right field probably becomes semi-platoon position between Ross and Sweeney Shortstop is a work in progress, as is the back end of the bullpen Buchholz is supposedly over his back troubles, as supposedly are Gonzalez (shoulder) and Youkilis (groin) Matsuzaka is likely out until at least late summer.
New York Yankees
Projected bullpen: RHP Mariano Rivera, RHP David Robertson, RHP Rafael Soriano, LHP Boone Logan, RHP Cory Wade, RHP Joba Chamberlain, RHP Dellin Betances, LHP George Kontos, LHP HIDEKI OKAJIMA, RHP MATT DALEY, RHP MANNY DELCARMEN.
Spring issues: Yankees are hoping Pineda's so-so second half for Seattle last year will not carry over Still likely to sign a left-handed hitter (maybe Raul Ibanez or Johnny Damon) for DH and backup outfield work DH duties are likely to rotate between several of Yankees' aging everyday players A-Rod's injured knee is supposedly close to 100 percent as he looks for a bounce-back season Yankees have been shopping Burnett for several weeks Chamberlain likely out until at least midseason.
Tampa Bay Rays
Key departures: RHP Juan Cruz, RHP Lance Cormier, RHP Andy Sonnanstine, RHP Adam Russell, RHP Rob Delaney, RHP Mike Ekstrom; C Kelly Shoppach, John Jaso; INF Casey Kotchman, Russ Canzler, Dan Johnson; OF Johnny Damon, Justin Ruggiano.
Spring issues: As happens annually for Rays, the bullpen will take all spring to sort out The lineup has to prove it can be effective against quality pitching, something that has been lacking Aside from the great starting pitching from which the Rays could deal for help, the overall depth is weak with little extra payroll room with which to work.
Toronto Blue Jays
Projected rotation: LHP Ricky Romero, RHP Brandon Morrow, LHP Brett Cecil, RHP Henderson Alvarez, RHP Dustin McGowan, RHP Kyle Drabek, RHP NELSON FIGUEROA, LHP AARON LAFFEY, RHP Deck McGuire, RHPDrew Hutchison.
Projected bullpen: RHP SERGIO SANTOS, RHP FRANCISCO CORDERO, RHP JASON FRASOR, LHP DARREN OLIVER, LHP Casey Janssen, RHP Jesse Litsch, RHP Carlos Villanueva, LHP Luis Perez, RHP GARRETT MOCK, RHP ANDREW CARPENTER, RHP TRYSTAN MAGNUSON.
Key departures: RHP Frank Francisco, LHP Brian Tallet, RHP Jon Rauch, LHP Brad Mills, LHP Jesse Carlson, RHP Shawn Camp, RHP Nestor Molina, RHP Kyle Davies, RHP Chad Gaudin, LHP Wil Ledezma, RHP P.J. Walters; C Jose Molina; INF Mark Teahen, Jayson Nix; OF DeWayne Wise, Adam Loewen.
Spring issues: Rotation lacks depth to sustain any major injuries, but the rebuilt bullpen should be a strength Lawrie is healthy after 2011 injuries and could emerge as a star Jury remains out over whether Rasmus will realize his potential.
American League Central
Chicago White Sox
Projected bullpen: LHP Matt Thornton, RHP Addison Reed, RHP Jesse Crain, LHP Will Ohman, RHP Dylan Axelrod, RHP Zach Stewart, LHP Hector Santiago, RHP Gregory Infante, RHP JHAN MARINEZ, RHP Brian Bruney.
Spring issues: New White Sox manager ROBIN VENTURA needs bounce-back seasons from people like Dunn, Rios, Beckham and Peavy for club to be respectable Spring opens with no certain closer in bullpen though hopes are high for young Reed Viciedo will get every chance to be the middle-of-the-lineup hitter the White Sox project him to be If the Sox's season starts deteriorating, veterans like Pierzynski and Konerko will likely be shopped.
Projected rotation: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP Justin Masterson, RHP Josh Tomlin, RHP DEREK LOWE, LHP David Huff, RHP Jeanmar Gomez, RHP JON GARLAND, RHP KEVIN SLOWEY, RHP Zach McAllister, LHP Scott Barnes.
Projected bullpen: RHP Chris Perez, LHP Rafael Perez, RHP Vinnie Pestano, LHP Tony Sipp, RHP Joe Smith, RHP Frank Herrmann, LHP Nick Hagadone, RHP DAN WHEELER, RHP CHRIS RAY, RHP JEREMY ACCARDO, RHP ROBINSON TEJADA.
Spring issues: Indians are not counting on having identity-challenged RHP Fausto Carmona (now known as Roberto Hernandez) available for the near future To contend, Jimenez must return to being a dominant starter following his poor 2011 debut in Cleveland Good health is vital for oft-injured regulars Sizemore, Hafner and Santana in what could often be an all-lefty-batting lineup Indians hope young infielders Kipnis and Chisenhall will emerge as strong everyday players Rotation is all right-handed unless Huff earns a spot.
Projected bullpen: RHP Jose Valverde, RHP Joaquin Benoit, RHP OCTAVIO DOTEL, LHP Phil Coke, RHP Al Alburquerque, LHP Daniel Schlereth, RHP David Pauley, RHP COLIN BALESTER, LHP Adam Wilk, LHP Matt Hoffman, RHP CHRIS BOOTCHECK.
Spring keys: Fifth starter's job in the rotation is wide open among several young in-house candidates Obviously, there will be constant focus on how a slimmed-down Cabrera is handling defense at third base DH job will likely be shared by several players with Tigers roster having a lot of interchangeable parts For Tigers to go the distance as many predict, they will need more consistency from Scherzer and Porcello.
Kansas City Royals
Projected bullpen: RHP Joakim Soria, LHP Tim Collins, RHP JONATHAN BROXTON, LHP JOSE MIJARES, RHP Blake Wood, RHP Louis Coleman, RHP Greg Holland, RHP Kelvin Herrera, RHP Vin Mazzaro, LHP TOMMY HOTTOVY.
Spring issues: Royals' continued growth greatly depends on an improved rotation, beginning with Sanchez, whom they hope will finally emerge after teasing the Giants for years KC intends to move Crow from bullpen to rotation Lineup is dependent on the continued growth of big prospects like Hosmer and Moustakas If Broxton bounces back from his arm troubles, it could make Soria available for a trade down the line Overall depth is iffy which means the Royals sink or swim with their kids.
Projected bullpen: RHP Matt Capps, LHP Glen Perkins, RHP Alex Burnett, RHP Anthony Swarzak, RHP Scott Diamond, RHP Lester Oliveros, RHP Kyle Waldrop, RHP Jeff Gray, RHP JOEL ZUMAYA, RHP JASON BULGER, RHP JARED BURTON, RHP CASEY FIEN, RHP DARYL THOMPSON, RHP LUIS PERDOMO.
Spring issues: Everything begins and ends with the health of Mauer and Morneau Rotation lacks a real ace unless Liriano re-emerges after several down seasons Capps opens as closer but bullpen is largely wide open Lineup has to feel loss of Cuddyer Returning GM TERRY RYAN has been busy with over 65 players coming to Twins camp.
American League West
Los Angeles Angels
Spring issues: Angels will love to see Trumbo adapt to third base so that a supposedly healthy Morales could fit back in as DH Abreu has been shopped, though he remains insurance for both DH and outfield depth Trout is wild card who could force way into lineup and perhaps make Bourjos available or put the expensive Wells on the bench Bullpen depth remains iffy with Walden an unproven commodity as championship-caliber closer.
Projected bench: C Anthony Recker, Josh Donaldson; INF Daric Barton, Chris Carter, KILA KA'AIHUE, Eric Sogard, Adam Rosales; OF YOENIS CESPEDES, COLLIN COWGILL, Michael Taylor, Jermaine Mitchell, JASON PRIDIE, BRANDON MOSS.
Key departures: RHP Trevor Cahill, LHP Gio Gonzalez, RHP Andrew Bailey, LHP Craig Breslow, RHP Guillermo Moscoso, LHP Josh Outman, RHP Trystan Magnuson, RHP Rich Harden; INF Andy LaRoche; OF Hideki Matsui, David DeJesus, Ryan Sweeney, Jai Miller.
Spring issues: Things would get a lot more interesting around this bare-bones team if Cespedes forces his way into the Opening Day lineup Re-shuffled rotation will likely include one of the new prospects such as Peacock or Parker First base remains a big question and the overall lack of power makes the lineup look as weak as any in baseball.
Projected bullpen: RHP Brandon League, RHP Shawn Kelley, RHP Tom Wilhelmsen, LHP HONG-CHIH KUO, LHP GEORGE SHERRILL, RHP Chance Ruffin, RHP SHAWN CAMP, RHP Steve Delabar, LHP Cesar Jimenez, RHP MATT FOX, RHP AARON HEILMAN, RHP JOSH KINNEY, RHP JEFF MARQUEZ.
Spring issues: Mariners are counting heavily on Montero to immediately be a middle-of-lineup force, but Seattle also needs progress from young hitters like Ackley and Smoak to field a more competitive attack Rotation is largely up in the air beyond Hernandez and Vargas Mariners are considering dropping Ichiro from the leadoff spot Speculation will continue that if Seattle struggles early, Hernandez could be available, especially if highly regarded Hultzen advances quickly.
Projected bullpen: RHP JOE NATHAN, RHP Alexi Ogando, RHP Mike Adams, RHP Koji Uehara, RHP Scott Feldman, RHP Yoshinori Tateyama, LHP Michael Kirkman, RHP Mark Lowe, RHP Mark Hamburger, LHP JOE BEIMEL, LHP MITCH STETTER, RHP SEAN GREEN.
Spring issues: With the Rangers intent on putting Ogando in the bullpen, the rotation has very little depth as the season begins Until he signs, Roy Oswalt remains on Texas' radar How Hamilton approaches season is huge key Napoli supposedly is still hobbled with late-season ankle injury while Moreland needs to come back from wrist surgery Backup infield job is wide open Until he starts pitching, Darvish remains a question as does Feliz' transition into the rotation.
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