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AL West Spring Primer Part 1

Both the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Oakland A’s made key off-season moves that should figure into this year’s pennant race. The very dismal A’s lineup has some much needed improvements, giving it a new look that will help every day be a Holliday in the Bay area. The Angels made one of the least talked about off season signings that should show the greatest return and solidifying one of the best outfields in the bigs.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Key Lost FA:

RP Francisco Rodriguez NYM

2008 Stats
2.24 ERA 62 SV 77 IP 1.29 WHIP

Projected 2009 Stats
2.80 ERA 41 SV 69 IP 1.28 WHIP

1B Mark Teixeira NYY

2008 Stats
.308 BA 33 HR 121 RBI .410 OBP .552 SLG

Projected 2009 Stats
.301 BA 35 HR 124 RBI .392 OBP .557 SLG

Key FA Acquisitions (Italics Indicate upgrade):

RP Brian Fuentes COL

2008 Stats
2.73 ERA 30 SV 82 IP 1.10 WHIP

Projected 2009 Stats
3.20 ERA 33 SV 68 IP 1.12 WHIP

RF Bobby Abreu NYY

2008 Stats
.296 BA 20 HR 100 RBI 22 SB .371 OBP .471 SLG

Projected 2009 Stats
.286 BA 18 HR 84 RBI 20 SB .373 OBP .454 SLG

2008 Leaders:

HR V. Guerrero 27
RBI V. Guerrero 91
R V. Guerrero 85
OPS V. Guerrero .886
W J. Saunders 17
ERA J. Saunders 3.41
SO E. Santana 214

Injuries:

SP Ervin Santana

The Los Angeles Times’ Mike DiGiovanna reports Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim SP Ervin Santana (elbow) was diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right elbow and will begin the season on the disabled list. He has been shut down from throwing indefinitely, and no timetable has been set for his return.

C Mike Napoli

The Los Angeles Times’ Mike DiGiovanna reports Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim C Mike Napoli (shoulder) is throwing from 120 feet but still appears to be a long shot for opening day. He remains in the DH role for now.

SP Kelvim Escobar

The Los Angeles Times’ Mike DiGiovanna reports Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim SP Kelvim Escobar (shoulder) is far ahead of schedule but isn’t expected to return until at least May.

SP Joe Saunders
Saunders is again feeling some tightness in his left shoulder, the LA Times reports. He experienced the same tightness earlier this spring, but he says that the problem is not serious. The Angels will already be without Ervin Santana until mid-April, so they likely will be very cautious with Saunders during the rest of spring training.

RP Brian Fuentes
Fuentes has pulled out of the World Baseball Classic due to tightness in his back, the Los Angeles Times reports Fuentes will rest his back for a few days before deciding when he will return to the mound for the Angels. The team has given no indication of when that may be.

Projected 2009 Rotation

1. J. Lackey
2. E. Santana
3. J. Saunders
4. J. Weaver
5. D. Moseley

Projected 2009 Lineup

1. C. Figgans 3B
2. B. Abreu LF
3. V. Guerrero RF
4. T. Hunter CF
5. J. Rivera DH
6. K. Morales 1B
7. H. Kendrick 2B
8. M. Napoli C
9. E. Aybar SS

Oakland Athletics

Key Lost Via Trade:

RP Houston Street COL

2008 Stats
3.73 ERA 18 SV 70 IP 1.21 WHIP

Projected 2009 Stats
3.65 ERA 14 SV 65 IP 1.26 WHIP

SP Greg Smith COL

2008 Stats
7 W 16 L 190.1 IP 111 K 4.16 ERA 1.35 WHIP

Projected 2009 Stats
5 W 11 L 151 IP 101 K 4.88 ERA 1.43 WHIP

Key Acquisitions:

Trade:

OF Matt Holiday COL

2008 Stats
.321 BA 25 HR 100 RBI 28 SB .409 OBP .538 SLG

Projected 2009 Stats
.317 BA 26 HR 111 RBI 12 SB 28 .386 OBP .579 SLG

FA:

SS Orlando Cabrera CHW

2008 Stats
.281 BA 8 HR 57 RBI 19 SB .334 OBP .371 SLG

Projected 2009 Stats
.272 BA 6 HR 58 RBI 15 SB .322 OBP .365 SLG

1B Jason Giambi NYY

2008 Stats
.247 BA 32 HR 96 RBI .373 OBP .502 SLG

Projected 2009 Stats
.253 BA 28 HR 81 RBI .364 OBP .482 SLG

SS 3B Nomar Garciaparra LAD

2008 Stats
.264 BA 8 HR 28 RBI .326 OBP .466 SLG

Projected 2009 Stats
.275 BA 8 HR 39 RBI .333 OBP .428 SLG

2008 Leaders:

HR J. Cust 33
RBI J. Cust 77
R J. Cust 77
OPS J. Cust .851
W J. Duchscherer 10
ERA J. Duchscherer 2.54
SO J. Duchscherer 95

Injuries:

SP J. Duchscherer

Updating previous reports, Oakland Athletics SP Justin Duchscherer (elbow) had to stop playing long toss Saturday, March 14, due to persistent pain in his right elbow, according to The Associated Press. He was given a cortisone injection and won’t be allowed to touch a baseball until Tuesday, March 17. As a result, he will miss the beginning of the regular season.

RP J. Devine

Updating previous reports, Oakland Athletics RP Joey Devine (elbow) is expected to return to action with a week to 10 days, and could make at least four spring appearances before the season opener, according to The Associated Press.

3B E. Chavez

Oakland Athletics 3B Eric Chavez (shoulder) did some throwing Saturday, March 14, for the first time since being shut down Monday, March 9, according to The Associated Press.

Projected 2009 Rotation
1. J. Duchscherer
2. D. Eveland
3. S. Gallagher
4. D. Braden
5. G. Gonzalez
Projected 2009 Lineup
1. M. Ellis 2B
2. T. Buck RF
3. M. Holliday LF
4. J. Cust DH
5. J. Giambi 1B
6. R. Sweeney CF
7. N. Garciaparra 3B
8. O. Cabrera SS
9. K. Suzuki C
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