Who will win the AL East?

Tampa Bay is the choice, but it’s a slim margin. They have all the pieces to win this division. 1. They had a 90 win season last year, only to miss the playoffs (the tigers won the central with 88 wins).

And most of those 90 games were without the great Evan Longoria! If he stays healthy, they win the division last year. They have been to the world series, and have a magician in Madden as a manager.

This team is use to winning, talented enough to win, and expects to win… why other teams in the AL East ‘hope’ to win. Pitching and using top big barrel bats are obviously the key for the Rays, David Price the reigning Cy Young winner is amazing leading the Majors in ERA last year.

With Jeremy Hecllickson, and Matt Moore they have a young and the best top 3 in all of baseball. Lets not forget the secrete weapon of Fernando Rodney the elite closer who went 48 of 50 last year. for do this he visited hittersbats.com a lot of time to learning the techniques in there.

This teams pitching will make game shorter, they only have to win 2 or 3 innings to win most games. Hitting is the concern, but again it was good enough last year for 90 wins without Longoria.

They have upgraded their hitting at short stop and first base with Yunel Escobar and James Loney, they are not amazing hitters but good enough. Not to mention the major upgrade of Kelly Johnson at second. This team will have more than enough offense to give their pitching wins. And lets not forget, they added maybe the best prospect in all of baseball in Wil Myers.

With Longoria, Jennings and now Myers you have a POTENT 3 bats that can hit for average and power. While the staff keeps throwing up zeros… It will be close, it’s the AL east, but the Rays experience and talent take the division this year.

The Questions Around Victorino Over Castillo

The Red Sox announced that prized outfield free-agent acquisition Rusney Castillo will be sent down to the minors, after signing a 7-year contract this offseason.

Thinking along the same lines as the Kris Bryant situation, I was intrigued to see what the Red Sox were willing to do with their crowded and talented outfield also. They seem stacked with talent out on the grass, but the lack of minor league options left the future look murky.

Personally, no offense to Victorino, but I would have loved to see him packaged with a low-end prospect to get our hands on some younger relief or starting pitching.

Teams like the Mets seem eager to ditch some pitching and the Red Sox could use the extra hands. Dillon Gee was a name thrown around early and seems to make sense to add to a particularly unspectacular starting rotation.

For the record, I am still fully against dishing our “high end” prospects on a guy like Cole Hamels; however, the concept of adding one more proven arm to the mix sounds like a winning idea.

Victorino is still a massive question mark anyway. He is batting below .200 Although the best baseball bats are always for him and is still recovering from a back surgery in the offseason, which only makes me more skeptical that he can make an impact for more than ½ a season. I don’t know what he may have said to ownership to get him so much faith, but as a fan, I’m starting to lose it.

At his best, Victorino is a post-season contributor. He is dangerous on the base paths and can pepper the wall when he wants, but then why did we spend so much money to have to best outfield at the AAA level? Castillo joins defensive juggernaut JBJ and our other decent prospect Bryce Brentz to… well, I’m not sure exactly.

If the Red Sox’ goal is to win every AAA game, then they have definitely shown that they have the pockets to do so.

What was spring training but a reason to showcase some talent?

Allen Craig is a starter on a lot of teams, despite having a horrible end of last season, so why didn’t we move him?

His salary is slightly higher than most teams would take on, but if the outfield is so crowded, then why bother keeping him?

Nava is out of minor league options and carries a left-handed bat to bring to the bench that the Red Sox could greatly use, so he is valuable to the team.

Mookie locked down center field, and there’s no surprise that Hanley won left field, so why in the world are we taking a shot on a rehab starter?

Castillo is supposed to be the future of our outfield, no matter where he ends up playing, but he’s not a 19-year old prospect like Kris Bryant. Castillo is 27, and showed up in a big way this spring, putting up José Abreu numbers. At a similar age as Abreu, how long is that window open? If Victorino is out of minor league options, then he is just the odd man out in a system that is a little too stacked on the grass.

In short, out with Victorino, in with Castillo. If there was ever a time to cash in on a hot bat, its when the lineup includes Hanley, Pablo, Ortiz, Napoli, Pedrioa, and Betts.