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Mariners / MLB

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - Page updated at 09:08 PM

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Team Capsules | American League East

1 | Boston Red Sox

2006 3rd place 86-76

Manager: Terry Francona.

Key free agents: OF J.D. Drew (5 years, $70 million), SP Daisuke Matsuzaka (6 years, $52 million), SS Julio Lugo (4 years, $36 million), RP Joel Pineiro (1 year, $4 million), RP J.C. Romero (1 year, $1.6 million).

Acquired in trade: RP Brendan Donnelly (from Angels).

Going, going, gone: SS Alex Gonzalez (signed by Cincinnati), OF Trot Nixon (signed by Cleveland), 2B Mark Loretta (signed by Houston).

On the hot seat: Red Sox fans will expect a lot for $70 million, which is what the team paid Drew to replace the popular Trot Nixon in right field. They won't be thrilled the first time Drew ends up on the disabled list.

Written in Stone: It was always hard to imagine Pineiro being entrusted to close, yet for much of spring the Sox were headed that way. They finally came to their senses and put Jonathan Papelbon back where he excelled last year. Provided his shoulder withstands the workload, that is the final piece to what could be a powerhouse. If Matsuzaka is close to the pitcher he was in Japan — and I think he will be sensational — the Red Sox are in position to surpass the Yankees. Despite the annual rumblings of a possible Manny Ramirez trade, the Big Papi-Manny combo is back again to inspire fear and loathing around the league. If Drew stays healthy behind them, look out.

Lineup card
P Hitters Avg HR RBI
SS Julio Lugo .308 12 27
1B Kevin Youkilis .279 13 72
DH David Ortiz .287 54 137
LF Manny Ramirez .321 35 102
RF J.D. Drew .283 20 100
C Jason Varitek .238 12 55
3B Mike Lowell .284 20 80
CF Coco Crisp .264 8 36
2B *Dustin Pedroia .305 5 50
TH Starters W-L ERA SO
RH Curt Schilling 15-7 3.97 183
RH Josh Beckett 16-11 5.01 158
RH **D. Matsuzaka 17-5 2.13 200
RH Tim Wakefield 7-11 4.63 90
RH Julian Tavarez 5-4 4.47 56
TH Closer W-L ERA SV
RH Jon. Papelbon 4-2 0.92 35
*Minor-league stats; **Japanese stats

2 | New York Yankees

2006 1st place 97-65

Manager: Joe Torre.

Key free agents: SP Andy Pettitte (1 year, $16 million), SP Kei Igawa (5 years, $20 million), 1B Doug Mientkiewicz (1 year, $1.5 million).

Going, going, gone: OF Gary Sheffield (traded to Detroit), SP Randy Johnson (traded to Arizona), SP Jaret Wright (traded to Baltimore), RP Octavio Dotel (signed by Kansas City), OF Bubba Crosby (signed by Cincinnati).

On the hot seat: Working for George Steinbrenner means your seat is always a little warm, but the Yankees haven't won the World Series since 2000, and Torre might not be back next season if they fall short again.

Written in Stone: This just in: The Yankees have a monster payroll and a boatload of talent. Of course, fat lot of good it's done them in the A-Rod era. Much of the focus this year will be on Rodriguez's out clause and his co-existence with lapsed buddy Derek Jeter. The Yanks' lineup, as usual, is loaded from top to bottom. Well, at least until you get to Mientkiewicz. The pitching staff has more worries than usual, starting with Chien-Ming Wang, last year's breakout 19-game winner, out with a hamstring injury. Look for Steinbrenner to make an all-out effort to land Roger Clemens, once the Rocket deigns that he's ready to play. In an upset, Carl Pavano might actually pitch this year.

Lineup card
P Hitters Avg HR RBI
CF Johnny Damon .285 24 80
SS Derek Jeter .343 14 97
RF Bobby Abreu .297 15 107
3B Alex Rodriguez .290 35 121
DH Jason Giambi .253 37 113
LF Hideki Matsui .302 8 29
C Jorge Posada .277 23 93
2B Robinson Cano .342 15 78
1B D. Mientkiewicz .283 4 43
TH Starters W-L ERA SO
RH *Carl Pavano 4-6 4.77 56
LH Andy Pettitte 14-13 4.20 178
RH Mike Mussina 15-7 3.51 172
LH **Kei Igawa 14-9 2.97 194
RH Darrell Rasner 3-1 4.43 11
TH Closer W-L ERA SV
RH Mariano Rivera 5-5 1.80 34
*2005 stats; **Japanese stats

3 | Baltimore Orioles

2006 4th place 70-92

Manager: Sam Perlozzo.

Key free agents: OF-1B Aubrey Huff (3 years, $20 million), OF Jay Payton (2 years, $9.5 million), RP Danys Baez (3 years, $19 million), RP Chad Bradford (3 years, $10.5 million), SP Steve Trachsel (1 year, $3.1 million), RP Jamie Walker (3 years, $12 million).

Acquired in trade: SP Jaret Wright (from Yankees).

Going, going, gone: SP Rodrigo Lopez (traded to Colorado), RP LaTroy Hawkins (signed by Colorado).

On the hot seat: Shortstop Miguel Tejada has been an All-Star each of his three seasons in Baltimore but hasn't always been a happy camper. Get ready for another summer of Tejada trade rumors.

Written in Stone: This organization has been an unadulterated mess for a decade, but there might finally be faint reason for hope. It lies mainly in a rotation that, amazingly, is pretty decent, with a chance to be better than that. Erik Bedard and Adam Loewen are rising talents, while Daniel Cabrera's stuff is as nasty as any in baseball. The O's hope this is the year he harnesses it. The season-ending shoulder injury to Kris Benson was a blow, but quickly signing Steve Trachsel wasn't a bad fallback. Jaret Wright will never be the pitcher he could have been, but he still has untapped potential. What's more, the Orioles made a valiant effort to upgrade their pen as well.

Lineup card
P Hitters Avg HR RBI
2B Brian Roberts .286 10 55
3B Melvin Mora .274 16 83
RF Nick Markakis .291 16 62
SS Miguel Tejada .330 24 100
1B Aubrey Huff .267 21 66
C Ram. Hernandez .275 23 91
LF Jay Gibbons .277 13 46
DH Kevin Millar .272 15 64
CF Corey Patterson .276 16 53
TH Starters W-L ERA SO
LH Erik Bedard 15-11 3.76 171
RH Daniel Cabrera 9-10 4.74 157
LH Adam Loewen 6-6 5.37 98
RH Jaret Wright 11-7 4.49 84
RH Steve Trachsel 15-8 4.97 79
TH Closer W-L ERA SV
RH Chris Ray 4-4 2.73 33

4 | Toronto Blue Jays

2006 2nd place 87-75

Manager: John Gibbons.

Key free agents: DH Frank Thomas (2 years, $18 million), SS Royce Clayton (1 year, $1.5 million), SP Tomo Ohka (1 year, $1.5 million), SP John Thomson (1 year, $500,000).

Going, going, gone: OF Frank Catalanotto (signed by Texas), SP Ted Lilly (signed by Cubs), C Bengie Molina (signed by San Francisco), RP Justin Speier (signed by Angels).

On the hot seat: Right-hander A.J. Burnett has great stuff, but he has never won more than 12 games. He was 10-8 in his first season with the Blue Jays, but needs to do better if Toronto is going to overtake the Yankees and Red Sox.

Written in Stone: There was dancing in the streets of Toronto last year when the Blue Jays finished ahead of the Red Sox. Well, not quite, but at least it was something, after finishing third to New York and Boston seven times in the previous eight years (and dead last the other year). The Jays' ultimate goal, of course, is to surpass both AL East powers and return to the playoffs for the first time since winning it all in 1993. That's still a longshot, but the gap is getting smaller. With Frank Thomas on board, there's no respite in the first six spots in the lineup. Roy Halladay, a perennial Cy Young candidate, anchors a top-heavy rotation. Ohka and Josh Towers must perform as they rarely have in their journeymen careers.

Lineup card
P Hitters Avg HR RBI
LF Reed Johnson .319 12 49
1B Lyle Overbay .312 22 92
CF Vernon Wells .303 32 106
DH Frank Thomas .270 39 114
3B Troy Glaus .252 38 104
RF Alex Rios .302 17 82
C Gregg Zaun .272 12 40
2B Aaron Hill .291 6 50
SS Royce Clayton .258 2 40
TH Starters W-L ERA SO
RH Roy Halladay 16-5 3.19 132
RH A.J. Burnett 10-8 3.98 118
LH Gustavo Chacin 9-4 5.05 47
RH Tomo Ohka 4-5 4.82 50
RH Josh Towers 2-10 8.42 35
TH Closer W-L ERA SV
LH B.J. Ryan 2-2 1.37 38

5 | Tampa Bay Devil Rays

2006 5th place 61-101

Manager: Joe Maddon.

Key free agent: 3B Akinori Iwamura (3 years, $7.7 million).

Going, going, gone: OF Damon Hollins (Japan), RP Travis Harper (released).

On the hot seat: So little is expected of the Devil Rays, it's hard to imagine anyone on a hot seat, but a lot is expected of right fielder Delmon Young. Hit 30 homers. Drive in 100 runs. Don't throw any bats at umpires.

Written in Stone: The Rays swear they have a plan. Apparently, it involves spending no money, alienating your fans, and raking in the profits. To be fair, Tampa Bay has some exciting young prospects, both in the majors and minors (though it's got to hurt to watch former No. 1 overall pick Josh Hamilton, who flamed out because of drug abuse, flourish in Cincinnati). On the bright side, their outfield of Young-Carl Crawford-Rocco Baldelli takes a backseat to no one's. And tuck away the name Elijah Dukes — he's got a world of potential, but like Young, comes with some attitude issues. Elsewhere, it's high time for B.J. Upton, once forecast as a can't-miss superstar, to make his mark. The Rays envision him as a Chone Figgins-like super-utility man. Hey, it's a start. The Rays' pitching can be summed up in one word: Yuck. Scott Kazmir excepted, of course. And James Shields is giving off positive vibes this spring. But closer Seth McClung is McAwful.

Lineup card
P Hitters Avg HR RBI
CF Rocco Baldelli .302 16 57
LF Carl Crawford .305 18 77
RF Delmon Young .317 3 10
1B Ty Wigginton .275 24 79
DH Jonny Gomes .216 20 59
2B Jorge Cantu .249 14 62
3B *Akinori Iwamura .311 32 77
C Dioner Navarro .254 6 28
SS Ben Zobrist .224 2 18
TH Starters W-L ERA SO
LH Scott Kazmir 10-8 3.24 163
RH Jae Seo 3-12 5.33 88
RH James Shields 6-8 4.84 104
LH Casey Fossum 6-6 5.33 88
RH Edwin Jackson 0-0 5.45 27
TH Closer W-L ERA SV
RH Seth McClung 6-12 6.29 6
*Japanese stats


Capsules by Bill Reader, section editor; Written in Stone and division rankings by Larry Stone, Seattle Times baseball reporter. Stats from 2006 season unless noted.

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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Mariners: Schedule | Stats | Forum | Roster
AL West W L Pct. GB Div. Streak
y-LA Angels 100 62 .617 --- 36-21 Won 1
Texas 79 83 .488 21 30-27 Lost 1
Oakland 75 86 .466 24.5 26-31 Lost 5
Seattle 61 101 .377 39 22-35 Won 3

y - clinched division, x - clinched playoff berth

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