This is the final round of our American League West Position Rankings. To see how we got to our current standings/scores, be sure to check out the first three round.
Score at the end of Round 3:
- Rangers: 53
- Angels: 49
- Mariners: 26
- Athletics: 22
The primary reason for doing a full review of the American League West, rather than a Rangers vs. Angels review, was to provide a better reference point for how a player truly stacks up against his peers. That said, the Rangers and the Angels have dominated the top two spot at most positions (exceptions being DH and CF). The final round will consist of all facets of each team’s pitching, including 5 rotation spots, relief and the closer position. Similar to the adjustments we made to the scoring for Manager and DH, we’re going to increase the weighting for the relief position since that is made up of a handful of pitchers and not just one.
We’re going to go through the starting 5 for each team’s rotation and stack them up against each other. In order to avoid making assumptions around the rotation order, I’m going to be the using the depth charts for each team that they have posted on their team’s website. They seem to be pretty accurate as to what most would think, with the exception of a few.
- Jered Weaver, LAA
1. Felix Hernandez, SEA
- Colby Lewis, TEX
- Brandon McCarthy, OAK
Only real debate lies between the top two here, and I’ve gone back and forth on the order of these two guys quite a bit over the last few days. It’s very close, but I give Weaver the slight edge, no I give it to Felix, no Weaver…you get the point.
You could debate for days over who will have a better year in 2012, and in the end, I think they will both have dominating years where they finish in the top 8 in Cy Young voting. With that said, I’m going to give them both the top spot from a points perspective, and I’m going to give them both the bonus point. It’s not a knock on Colby Lewis, it’s just how good these two guys are.
- Dan Haren, LAA
- Yu Darvish, TEX
- Dallas Braden, OAK
- Jason Vargas, SEA
You could make an argument for putting Vargas in the third spot, but I think Braden is the better pitcher if he can bounce back from injury successfully (and word is he is ahead of schedule).
This is another close race between the top two, and I know my fellow Ranger fans are throwing their hands up in the air as they look at the ranking, but if I put my bias aside and look at the two pitchers, I lean towards C.J. having a slightly better campaign in 2012.
Baseball Do followers probably don’t want to hear this, but I think C.J. is going to improve slightly in 2012, primarily due to his new ballpark and being closer to home – which you could argue that his pitching ability isn’t really improving, but rather his conditions are.
I also believe that Holland is going to take the next step in his progression towards being a front-line MLB starter. He showed flashes of brilliance last year down the stretch and of course in showing us all that he could one day be an Ace with his performance in Game 4 of the World Series. All that said, he needs to prove that he can put a full season together, avoiding a slow start and showing more consistency.
- Neftali Feliz, TEX
- Ervin Santana, LAA
- Blake Beavan, SEA
- Brad Peacock, OAK
- Matt Harrison, TEX
- Jarrod Parker, OAK
- Jerome Williams, LAA
- Charlie Furbush, SEA
Relief (not including Closer)
Given the importance of the bullpen and the fact the bullpen is generally made up of 6-8 pitchers, we are going to adjust the scoring for this position by multiplying it by two.
Keep in mind, that the names representing each team’s bullpen could change between now and Opening Day, and obviously by mid-season or season’s end. That said, I’m going to try to avoid too much speculation with prospects and trades.
- Adams, Uehara (or maybe Mike Gonzalez…), Feldman, Ogando, Tateyama, Lowe – TEX
- Downs, Hawkins, Takahashi, Thompson, Cassevah, Bell, Mills, Jepsen – LAA
- Devine, Balfour, Fuentes, Wagner, Blevins, Carignan, Godfrey, De Los Santos – OAK
- Kelley, Wilhelmsen, Ruffin, Delabar, Sherrill, Jimenez – SEA
- Brandon League, SEA
- Jordan Walden, LAA
- Joe Nathan, TEX
- Whoever, OAK
Final Score of the Baseball Do American League West Position Rankings
- Rangers: Score After 3 Rounds of 53 + 2 + 3 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 8 + 2 = 80
- Angels: Score After 3 Rounds of 49 + 5 + 4 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 6 + 3 = 76
- Mariners: Score After 3 Rounds of 26 + 5 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 4 = 42
- Athletics: Score After 3 Rounds of 22 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 3 + 4 + 1 = 36
Keep in mind as well, that all four of these teams could look different by the trade deadline, with the Rangers and Angels both of some attractive pieces they could move in order improve, and the Mariners and Athletics have some attractive veterans they could deal in an effort to add youth.
My honest belief is that this is going to be one hell of a season for the Rangers and the Angels, which will come down to the final week, if the not the final 2-3 games. The final series between the two is here in Arlington, September 28th through 30th, so get your tickets for those games now, as the entire season could hinge on those three games. As fans, let’s just enjoy the ride. A ride which will hopefully continue into the post-season for the Rangers and end with the ultimate reward…
‘case that’s the way baseball go…