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AL West preview capsules

AL WEST

Texas Rangers

2010: 90-72, AL champions, lost in World Series.

Manager: Ron Washington (5th season).

They’re here: 3B Adrian Beltre, RHP Brandon Webb, C Yorvit Torrealba, LHP Arthur Rhodes, C-1B Mike Napoli.

They’re gone: LHP Cliff Lee, DH Vladimir Guerrero, RHP Frank Francisco, C Bengie Molina, INF Jorge Cantu, OF Jeff Francoeur, RHP Rich Harden.Projected Lineup: 2B Ian Kinsler (.286, 9, 45), SS Elvis Andrus (.265, 0, 35, 32 SBs), LF Josh Hamilton (.359, 32, 100, AL MVP), 3B Adrian Beltre (.321, 28, 102), RF Nelson Cruz (.318, 22, 78), DH Michael Young (.284, 21, 91), 1B Mitch Moreland (.255, 9, 25), C Yorvit Torrealba (.271, 7, 37), CF Julio Borbon (.276, 3, 42, 15 SBs).

Rotation: LH C.J. Wilson (15-8, 3.35), RH Colby Lewis (12-13, 3.72), RH Tommy Hunter (13-4, 3.73), LH Derek Holland (3-4, 4.08), LH Matt Harrison (3-2, 4.71).

Outlook: With the addition of Beltre to an already potent lineup, the Rangers should be in contention to defend their AL West title despite losing Lee. They will get a big boost if Webb is healthy and able to contribute after coming back from shoulder surgery in 2009.

Oakland Athletics

2010: 81-81, second place.

Manager: Bob Geren (5th season).

They’re here: OF David DeJesus, DH Hideki Matsui, OF Josh Willingham, LHP Brian Fuentes, RHP Brandon McCarthy, RHP Rich Harden, RHP Grant Balfour.

They’re gone: RHP Ben Sheets, OF Rajai Davis, DH Jack Cust, INF Eric Chavez, OF Gabe Gross, RHP Justin Duchscherer, RHP Vin Mazzaro.Projected Lineup: CF Coco Crisp (.279, 8, 38, 32 SBs in 75 games), 1B Daric Barton (.273, 10, 57), RF David DeJesus (.318, 5, 37), LF Josh Willingham (.268, 15, 66), DH Hideki Matsui (.274, 21, 84), C Kurt Suzuki (.242, 13, 71), 2B Mark Ellis (.291, 5, 49), 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff (.247, 16, 71), SS Cliff Pennington (.250, 6, 46, 29 SBs, 25 errors).

Rotation: RH Trevor Cahill (18-8, 2.97), LF Brett Anderson (7-6, 2.80), LH Gio Gonzalez (15-9, 3.23), LH Dallas Braden (11-14, 3.50), RH Brandon McCarthy (4-2, 3.36 at Triple-A).

Outlook: The A’s bring back four of the 16 AL pitchers who had ERAs of 3.50 or better in at least 100 innings. If DeJesus, Willingham and Matsui can sufficiently upgrade the offense and the A’s can stay healthy, they could be in position to contend in the AL West.

Los Angeles Angels

2010: 80-82, third place.

Manager: Mike Scioscia (12th season).

He’s here: OF Vernon Wells, LHP Scott Downs.

He’s outta there: C Mike Napoli, OF Juan Rivera, DH Hideki Matsui.

Projected lineup: 3B Maicer Izturis (.250, 3, 27), SS Erick Aybar (.253, 5, 29, 22 SBs), DH Bobby Abreu (.255, 20, 78), 1B Kendrys Morales (.290, 11, 39, will start season on DL), RF Torii Hunter (.281, 23, 90), LF Vernon Wells (.273, 31, 88), 2B Howie Kendrick (.279, 10, 75), C Jeff Mathis (.195, 3, 18), CF Peter Bourjos (.204, 6, 15).

Rotation: RH Jered Weaver (13-12, 3.01, AL-leading 233 Ks), RH Dan Haren (12-12, 3.91, 216 Ks), RH Ervin Santana (17-10, 3.92, 169 Ks), RH Joel Pineiro (10-7, 3.84), LH Scott Kazmir (9-15, 5.94).

Outlook: After their first losing season since 2003, the Angels are hoping to come back strong with much the same roster from last season, but with fewer injuries and more production from the heart of their order.

Seattle Mariners

2010: 61-101, last place.

Manager: Eric Wedge (1st season).

They’re here: C Miguel Olivo, DH Jack Cust, INF Brendan Ryan, INF Adam Kennedy.

They’re gone: LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith, 3B Jose Lopez, DH Mike Sweeney, DH Ken Griffey Jr., 1B Casey Kotchman, C Rob Johnson, 1B-DH Russell Branyan.

Projected lineup: RF Ichiro Suzuki (.315, 6, 43, 42 SBs), 3B Chone Figgins (.259, 1, 36, 42 SBs), CF Franklin Gutierrez (.245, 12, 64), DH Jack Cust (.272, 13, 52), LF Milton Bradley (.205, 8, 29), 1B Justin Smoak (.218, 13, 48), SS Brendan Ryan (.223, 2, 36), C Miguel Olivo (.269, 15, 58), 2B Jack Wilson (.249, 0, 14).

Rotation: RH Felix Hernandez (13-12, 2.27, 232 Ks, AL Cy Young winner), LH Jason Vargas (9-12, 3.78), LH Erik Bedard (injured, did not pitch in 2010), RH Doug Fister (6-14, 4.11), RH Michael Pineda (11-4, 3.36 ERA in Double-A and Triple-A).

Outlook: The Mariners won’t call it rebuilding, but with a number of contracts coming off the books and promising prospects in the minors, the Mariners hope 2011 is a bridge to their future potential.



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