Being Latino Deportes
Pitchers and catchers have reported – that’s right my friends, they are playing spring training baseball in Florida and Arizona. You can breathe easier now. In light of the onset of the new season, here are a few predictions of teams to watch in 2012. Of course, early prediction isn’t always viable, as last year the Phillies and Red Sox were all but proclaimed the winners of their leagues, only to lose in the NLDS and get eliminated on the last day of the season, respectively. So while Phillies fans still mourn Ryan Howard’s ankle, and while Bostonians hope Bobby Valentine will somehow be a better manager than Terry Francona (he’s not), let’s take a look at four teams that realistically (in February, anyway) have a shot at winning it all.
Philadelphia Phillies: So Roy Oswalt is gone. The Phightin’ Phils still have a fearsome top four rotation in Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Vance Worley. Joe Blanton is also still a Phillie. This is an aging team, but one that still has a lot of potential to do some damage offensively. Look for the return of first baseman Ryan Howard and another solid year from Carlos “CHOOOOOCH” Ruiz.
New York Yankees: What can be said about the Bronx Bombers that hasn’t already been said? Despite the departure of original ‘core four’ member Jorge Posada and the trading of one-time stud prospect Jesus Montero, the Yanks still have one of the better offensive lineups in the American League. Not to mention that this off season netted them the services of pitchers Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda. The Yankees now suddenly have a rotation that will be a threat for most of the season, on top of the one-two punch of CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova.
Detroit Tigers: The Tigers had a relatively quiet off season, not marked by many major moves or trades – until they shocked the baseball world by signing first baseman slugger Prince Fielder. The plan is to move Miguel Cabrera to third, allowing Fielder to remain in his natural position. Cabrera has a dangerous bat as well, but there are some that think moving him to the other side of the mound will hurt Detroit defensively (he has very little experience there). Cy Young winner Justin Verlander returns to lead a stellar starting rotation hoping to benefit from Fielders’ big bat.
Miami Marlins: Admittedly, something of a long shot, but I have high hopes for the Fish being able to shake things up in the National League this year. The addition of Heath Bell bolstered an already strong bullpen, and Mark Buehrle’s entrance into the rotation helps stabilize a team looking for something to prove in their first year. Also, it’s the only team that is Pitbull approved.
Every day that passes gets us a step closer to opening day on what should be great season. It’s finally time to play ball.
Stay tuned next week for our return to non-baseball sports news. And Soccer! I promise!