Score at the end of Round 2:
- Rangers: 35
- Angels: 31
- Athletics: 15
- Mariners: 14
We’ll be ranking the benches and the managers for each of the AL West squads in this round, which will be handled a little differently from how we have handled the individual positions so far.
For benches, we are looking at the quality, depth and flexibility and we’ll have one rankings for the entire team. While the bench for a team, in it’s entirety, may not play the equivalent of a full 9 innings every game, I feel that it’s still more valuable than just one player. Given the flexibility and strategic advantage that a strong bench can provide to a team, we are going to double the points awarded in this section.
- Kendry Morales/Mark Trumbo, Bobby Abreu, Cesar Izturis, Hank Conger, Mike Trout/Peter Bourjos – LAA
- Craig Gentry/Julio Borbon/Leonys Martin, David Murphy, Yorvit Torrealba, Brad Hawpe – TEX
- Mike Carp, Alex Liddi, Adam Moore, Casper Wells, Michael Saunders – SEA
- Daric Barton, Eric Sogard, Chris Carter, Kila Ka’aihue, Collin Cowgill – OAK
This is a close one as both the Angels and Rangers have some flexibility with their bench and some starts, but the Angels take the pole here as they have the best two quality players overall in whoever isn’t starting at DH between and Morales and Trumbo and whoever isn’t starting in CF between Trout and Bourjos.
The Rangers have flexibilty with their starters at every infield position (Young & Napoli in mix with starters), CF and DH (Napoli and others with Younger considered starter) which amplifies the role that the bench players can play on a day-to-day basis. They clearly outpace the Mariners and Athletics, but fall short of the Angels primarily based on the quality of the players that would make the most impact off of the bench more often.
Similar to the bench, I feel like the manager rankings have to account for more than just the equivalent of one starter. Considering the impact that the manager can have on every game, we will be doubling the scoring in this section as well.
In 2012, both managers go into the season with an increased level of expectations and some new stars/phenoms to work with – Pujols & C.J. in LA and Darvish in TEX. The ranking comes down to who’s hotter as of late and Washington get’s the nod. That said, Scioscia is an excellent manager that knows how to use his players to maximize productivity and performance. There isn’t another division in baseball that has two better managers than Wash and Scioscia.
Score at the end of Round 3:
- Rangers: 35 from first two rounds + 8 + 10 = 53
- Angels: 31 from first two rounds + 10 + 8 = 49
- Mariners: 14 from first two rounds + 6 + 6 = 26
- Athletics: 14 from first two rounds + 4 + 4 = 22
Round 4 will cover all facets of pitching (starting rotation, relief and closer) and will be posted by this weekend. At that time, we’ll crown the winner of the American League West in 2012 and notify commissioner Selig that playing the games won’t be necessary this year. You picking up what I’m laying down here…my point exactly.