#1 Check in every day this week for two new von Dogcat250 13.08.2019 08:44

Baseball season is just around the corner and TSN.ca has you covered for whos in, whos out and what to expect from all 30 teams. Check in every day this week for two new division previews, finishing up with Scott MacArthurs look at the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday. Heres what to expect out of the American League East in 2014. Baltimore Orioles GM: Dan Duquette Manager: Buck Showalter 2013: 85-77, third in AL East. Did not qualify for playoffs. That was Then: The Os came into 2013 feeling like world-beaters. Having out-performed presumed playoff candidates like the Tampa Bay Rays and the disappointing Boston Red Sox in the American League East and taken the wild card playoff berth from the defending A.L.-Champion Texas Rangers, the Orioles were expected to challenge in an even tougher East. However, despite career years out of first baseman Chris Davis and closer Jim Johnson, the Orioles were unable to repeat the feat. The pieced-together rotation saw four starters hit 20-plus starts but only 16-7 Chris Tillman was able to carry a heavy load, logging 206.1 innings, meaning their (admittedly excellent) bullpen was once again leaned upon to the tune of 500-plus innings. Davis had a star-making year, setting career-highs in home runs, runs batted-in, average, OPS and total bases while hitting the 160-game plateau for the first time in his career. He became the second Oriole in MLB history to surpass the 50-home run plateau, after Brady Andersons "surprise" 1996 outing. When the dust settled, the Os finished level with the depleted Yankees for third in the Division and were left figuring out ways to recapture their 2012 team spirit and compete once more. This is Now: Apparently the best way to improve is to ship 50 saves over to a fellow Wild Card contender. Johnson, who was arbitration-eligible this past winter could become a free agent at the end of 2014, may well have priced himself out of Baltimore, but the man did still put up over 100 saves over the past two seasons. So the closers gig is now up for grabs with the likes of Darren ODay, Ryan Webb and former starter Tommy Hunter looking to get the ball in the ninth. Jemile Weeks - the return from Oakland for Johnson - will likely take over the lions share of the work at second with Brian Roberts Bronx-bound. Meanwhile, the Os offensive core of Davis, Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, J.J. Hardy and Nick Markakis remains intact. If Manny Machado can be more of the guy he was between April through June (that is a .300-plus hitter on pace for 80-plus RBI) and not the guy that slumped through July and September with a sub-.200 average, the bats could carry this team. The Orioles took advantage of the late-winter market for free agent bats once theyd already forfeited their first-rounder to bring in Nelson Cruz. The bullpen workhorses - Hunter, ODay, T.J. McFarland - are all returning and the rotation has been bolstered with the additions of Korean free agent Suk-Min Yoon and Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez late in the winter, but will they be able to keep pace if the Yankees and Rays return to push for the Red Sox division crown? Whos In?: IF David Adams (claimed from CLE), RP Brad Brach (trade with SD), OF Nelson Cruz (one-year contract), RP Edgmer Escalona (one-year contract), SP Ubaldo Jimenez (four-year contract), UT Steve Lombardozzi (trade with DET), OF Francisco Peguero (one-year contract), SP Johan Santana (minor league contract), RP Ryan Webb (two-year contract), 2B Jemile Weeks (trade with OAK), SP Suk-Min Yoon (international free agent). Whos Out?: OF Chris Dickerson (signed with PIT), SP Scott Feldman (signed with HOU), RP Jim Johnson (trade with OAK), OF Nate McLouth (signed with WAS), OF Michael Morse (signed with SF), IF 2B Brian Roberts (signed with NYY), RP Francisco Rodriguez (signed with MIL), C Chris Snyder (signed with WAS), C Taylor Teagarden (signed with NYM). Boston Red Sox GM: Ben Cherington Manager: John Farrell 2013: 97-65, first in AL East. World Series Champions. That was Then: The Sox went into 2013 under a cloud of uncertainty as to whether additions like Mike Napoli or Shane Victorino would be enough to get them out of the Eastern cellar. There was also some concern as to whether John Farrell - recruited from the fourth-place Blue Jays - was the right man to lead the team from the bench. However, on April 15, the Sox 2012 struggles became a triviality in Boston. The City -shaken by the Boston Marathon bombings - rallied together under the "Boston Strong" mantra and the Sox returned the favour. The Sox would go 15-4 to finish April and would never look back atop the East. Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz (despite the latter missing a sizable chunk of the season with a neck strain) both had tremendous seasons and the veteran leadership of Napoli and Victorino added to the core group including David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia to power the Sox to their first division crown since their 2007 World Series triumph. Staring down a possible 0-2 deficit in the ALCS, Ortiz grand slam brought the Sox level with the Detroit Tigers and turned the playoff picture around for the team. The Red Sox would complete the "Boston Strong" narrative with a six-game World Series win over the St. Louis Cardinals to win their third title in 10 years. This is Now: Theres been some change to endure for the Sox over the winter, so the re-shaped Sox may once again need some time to gel. The most notable absence will be lead-off man Jacoby Ellsbury, who jumped ship to the arch-rival Yankees. The Sox will undoubtedly miss his presence on the base-paths as he was the League leader in steals in 2013. The Sox may have found an unlikely replacement in the form of camp-invite Grady Sizemore, who has not played a Major League game since 2011. Jarrod Saltalamacchia will give way to A.J. Pierzynski behind the plate, while 21-year-old Xander Bogaerts will take over from Stephen Drew at shortstop. Bogaerts will be one of two crucial young cogs for the Sox, as they may also need 23-year-old Jackie Bradley to pick up some of the slack in centre. The Sox did well to insulate now-undisputed closer Koji Uehara with Cardinals closer Edward Mujica and should have a reliable rotation with a healthy Buchholz as well as a full year of Jake Peavey. Was 2013 a product of shrewd management or one of emotional momentum? The Sox will likely be able to forget their days of cellar-dwelling, but whether they can keep ahead of the rest of the East remains to be seen. Whos In?: P Blake Badenhop (trade with MIL), SP Chris Capuano (one-year contract), IF Jonathan Herrera (trade with COL), RP Edward Mujica (two-year contract), C A.J. Pierzynski (one-year contract), OF Grady Sizemore (free agent). Whos Out?: SP Alfredo Aceves (signed with BAL), RP Andrew Bailey (non-tendered), SS Stephen Drew (qualifying offer declined),OF Jacoby Ellsbury (signed with NYY), IF John McDonald (signed with LAA), RP Franklin Morales (trade with COL), C Jarrod Saltalamacchia (signed with MIA), RP Matt Thornton (signed with NYY). New York Yankees GM: Brian Cashman Manager: Joe Girardi 2013: 85-77, fourth in AL East. Did not qualify for playoffs. That was Then: The Yankees were forced to scramble to fill some roster holes in 2013, looking to the likes of Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay and Travis Hafner to fill production vacancies left by Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and more. A strong April got the Yanks off to a decent enough start, but the team was middling throughout most of the rest of the season. Team captain Derek Jeter was in and out of the line-up all year long with injuries to his ankle, calf and quadriceps, making 2013 a continuation of how his 2012 season ended. Mariano Rivera said goodbye to the Majors, picking up keepsakes in nearly every city in the latter half of the season, while Alex Rodriguez opted to fight the 211-game suspension he was handed for his part in the Biogenesis scandal and defiantly finished the season with the Yankees. The Bronx Bombers made do with what they had in 2013, but it wasnt nearly up to their fans lofty standards. They would finish the year tied for third with the Orioles while posting their lowest winning percentage since 1992. This is Now: A year without Jeter, the A-Rod rodeo and the Mariano Rivera farewell tour are all things of the past. Unfortunately for Yankees fans, the future does not include Robinson Cano at second base, the 31-year-old chasing top dollar and signing with the Seattle Mariners in the off-season. Never afraid to spend, the Yankees have brought in a lot of options via free agency to compete for playing time. Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran replace Curtis Granderson and Wells. Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts will both vie for Canos job at second while Brian McCann comes in behind the plate. The Yanks also lured the off-seasons biggest international free agent to the Bronx, plucking Masahiro Tanaka from Japan at a cost of $155 million over seven years. Pressure will likely be huge to make the Jeter era end on a high note as the franchise bids farewell to one of its icons. However, the Yanks deep pockets and "winning it for the captain" might not be enough if the teams age starts to show. Whos In?: OF Carlos Beltran (three-year contract), OF Jacoby Ellsbury (seven-year contract), 2B Kelly Johnson (one-year contract), C Brian McCann (five-year contract), 2B Brian Roberts (one-year contract), SS Brendan Ryan (two-year contract), SP Masahiro Tanaka (seven-year contract), RP Matt Thornton. Whos Out?: IF David Adams (signed with CLE), OF Brennan Boesch (signed with LAA), SS Reid Brignac (signed with PHI), 2B Robinson Cano (signed with SEA), RP Joba Chamberlain (signed with DET), IF Luis Alfonso Cruz (released), IF Alberto Gonzalez (signed with SD), OF Curtis Granderson (signed with NYM), SP Phil Hughes (signed with MIN), 3B Brent Lillibridge (signed with TEX), RP Boone Logan (signed with COL), IF Jayson Nix (signed with TB), 1B Lyle Overbay (signed with MIL), SP Andy Pettitte (retired), IF Mark Reynolds (signed with MIL), RP Mariano Rivera (retired), C Chris Stewart (signed with PIT), OF Vernon Wells (released), 3B Kevin Youkilis (signed in Japan). Tampa Bay Rays GM: Andrew Friedman Manager: Joe Maddon 2013: 91-71, second in AL East. Lost to Boston in American League Division Series. That was Then: Stop us if youve heard this before, but a shrewd piece of off-season business proved to be a catalyst for the Rays success last season. Trading James Shields to the Kansas City Royals brought in one of the games top prospects in Wil Myers and the 23-year-old turned on the jets almost the minute he made his full-time debut for the Rays in June. Less than a week into his MLB career, Myers had his first grand slam and the kid would hit .293, driving in 53 runs in 88 games en route to the A.L. Rookie of the Year Award. The Rays responded in kind to Myers arrival, losing just five games in July and finishing strong to force not one, but two win-and-youre-in playoff games after a three-way tie left the Rays, Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers tied after Game 162. David Price went the full nine to top the Rangers in Game 163 and Tampa blanked the Indians to make the ALDS. There they would run into destiny in the form of the Boston Red Sox, but the Rays booked another solid season, proving themselves once again to be one of baseballs model franchises. This is Now: The Rays will once again piece together their line-up and try to get maximum efficiency out of low-profile pick-ups. James Loney and Yunel Escobar will stick around in the infield and be insulated by Logan Forsythe. Fernando Rodneys arrows will head towards someone elses rafters, replaced by former As closer Grant Balfour and one-time stud Heath Bell, whom manager Joe Maddon believes will show marked improvement at the Trop. Any team with Maddon at the helm has a fighting chance and the Rays still have tremendous balance both at the plate with Evan Longoria anchoring the line-up and on the mound with Matt Moore and Alex Cobb emerging as legitimate threats alongside Price. Speaking of Price, the vultures will be circling soon enough as the 28-year-olds clock appears to be winding down in Tampa. Likely the next high profile casualty of Tampas tight budget, Price is free agent-eligible after next season, putting his value at arguably its high-point by the middle or end of the 2014 campaign. If the Rays dont get the kind of performance to which theyve become accustomed, could a mid-season move be in the cards? Whos In?: RP Grant Balfour (two-year contract), RP Heath Bell (trade with ARI), RP Brad Boxberger (trade with SD), IF Logan Forsythe (trade with SD), C Ryan Hanigan (trade with CIN). Whos Out?: RP Jesse Crain (signed with HOU), 1B Shelley Duncan (signed with ARI), OF Sam Fuld (signed with OAK), SP Roberto Hernandez (signed with PHI), IF Kelly Johnson (signed with NYY), IF Ryan Roberts (signed with CHC), RP Fernando Rodney (signed with SEA), RP Alex Torres (trade with SD), RP Jamey Wright (signed with LAD), RP Wesley Wright (signed with CHC), OF Delmon Young (signed with BAL). Toronto Blue Jays Check back in on Friday for Scott MacArthurs exclusive 2014 Blue Jays preview. Cheap Nike Soccer Jerseys .C. -- The Bobcats announced theyve signed centre Justin Hamilton to a 10-day contract. Fake Soccer Jerseys Online .com) - The Vancouver Canucks recovered from a fluke goal early last time out to knock off one of the top teams in the league. http://www.cheapjerseyssoccercustom.com/ .C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes have activated defenceman Joni Pitkanen from injured reserve. Replica Soccer Jerseys 2020 .com) - The Vancouver Canucks hope an upcoming stretch of home games will be enough to get the club into the postseason. Wholesale Soccer Jerseys . The Philadelphia left fielder clubbed a tiebreaking, solo home run in the seventh inning, and the Phillies edged the Red Sox, 2-1, in the middle test of a three-game interleague series at Citizens Bank Park.NASHVILLE -- Barry Trotz hopes his Predators can learn from an ugly win. Patric Hornqvist scored the winner on a power play 5:13 into the third period to lift Nashville to a 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night. Mike Fisher, Shea Weber, and Craig Smith each had a goal and an assist for Nashville, which has won three of four. "It was a frustrating game," Trotz said. "I would probably say that game we were probably the most sloppy weve been in all the games this year; not real detailed, making poor judgment errors all over the ice, just not real sharp tonight. But we found a way to win and thats part of learning to win." Jonathan Juberdeau, Marcel Goc, and Matt Gilroy scored for Florida. The Panthers have lost five of their last six. With the game tied 2-2 after two periods, Smith and Hornqvist scored early in the third period for the Predators. Florida goaltender Jacob Markstrom stopped a shot by Gabriel Bourque, but Smith went to the net and was able to fight through traffic and poke the rebound in for his first goal of the season at 1:22. "I just crashed the net," Smith said. "I just went to the net. Weve been harping all camp and through the beginning of the season here, going to the net hard. I did that and I was rewarded." Less than four minutes later, Hornqvist struck on the power play with a nice individual move from the right side. "Thats the difference in a hockey game," Florida coach Kevin Dineen said. "It is something that were trying to take out, those mistakes, and we had a tough backcheck and a goal that shouldnt get scored. I dont fault the compete effort; I think thats something that weve talked too much about, but that certainly is paart of our game and has to be part of our identity every night to give ourselves a chance.dddddddddddd" Weber scored the games first goal at 9:23 of the opening period. Fisher had the puck on the right side and slid a pass to Weber at the centre of the blue line. The Nashville captain one-timed the puck by Markstrom for his first goal of the season. "We made it hard on ourselves tonight," Weber said. "We didnt play very well, we just found a way to win though. Thats what you need to do sometimes." Florida tied the game at 1 early in the second period when Huberdeau stickhandled through the Nashville defence before beating Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne with a wrist shot. The 2013 Calder Trophy winner has three goals in his last four games. Fisher gave Nashville the lead again at 12:48 of the second, but former Predator Marcel Goc tied it less than a minute later, beating Rinne from the right side in close. "It wasnt the start to the third that we wanted to have; they scored two in the first five minutes," Goc said. "Overall, I think it was a tight game; it was pretty even." Fisher and Hornqvist are the only Predators with more than one goal on the season. Gilroy drew the Panthers within one at 11:37 of the third, but they could not forge their third tie of the game. NOTES: After allowing the first goal in their first four games, Nashville has scored first in consecutive games. ... Nashville C David Legwand played his 900th career NHL game, all with the Predators. ... Florida C Nick Bjugstad appeared in his first game of the season since sustaining a concussion in early September. ... Goc played 124 games for Nashville in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons. ' ' '

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