Michael Pineda's labrum tear doesn't bode well for his future, but it's not the death sentence it used to be.
On Wednesday, the Yankees revealed that Michael Pineda had suffered a torn labrum, a devastating turn of events both for the 23-year-old righty and for the team that acquired him from the Mariners for top prospect Jesus Montero back in January. Pineda will miss the entire season and part of 2013, thinning the Yankees' surplus of starting pitching—and underscoring the fact that you can never have too much—while raising the question of whether they will ever get much value out of him.
There's a rising favorite in the AL Central, as our experts weigh in on everything from division winners to Matsuzaka's line.
Our annual predictions arrive this year as our Hope and Faith series comes to an end. While the beauty of spring training is that every team can think it has a chance, somebody has to take the losses. For today, we concentrate on the division standings and the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year) in the American League. Tomorrow we'll conclude with the National League predictions, along with the staff picks for the World Series.
Each author's division standings predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results. In each table you'll find the average rank of each team in their division, plus the results of our preseason MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year voting. A slight shift at the bottom of the AL East rankings, a rising favorite in the AL Central, and anarchy in the AL West highlight our staff's guesses.
With all those zeros flying around, some had to come from Kansas City. Meanwhile, the Dodgers and Red Sox bicker over tampering, and the Cubs spend for the little guy.
"This was one of the more miserable winter meetings I've ever been to. Between the lack of activity and the volcanic (free agent) market, it was tough."
--Mariners GM Bill Bavasi, on the winter meetings.
Back from Orlando--an experience in itself--Joe looks back on the week that was.
Today, I'm running my winter meetings wrap-up, a piece that was originally intended for Friday publication. That it's running today is by design, not by sloth. I was working on this stuff late Thursday night when I became disenchanted with the article, and with my analysis in general, and shelved it for a couple of days.
Felix Hernandez has a terrific nickname and the adoration of thousands just weeks into his MLB career.
Two starts into his major-league career, 50 starts as a professional, barely old enough to vote in the U.S., certainly not old enough to buy alcohol here…and yet Felix Hernandez has been branded royalty. That's not bad for someone who started the 2004 season in the California League.
Entering the 1999 season, 20-year-old Gil Meche was rated the fourth-best
prospect in the Seattle Mariners' organization by Baseball America,
behind Ryan Anderson, Freddy Garcia and Carlos Guillen. Both Garcia and
Guillen started the year with the big league squad, and while Anderson is
currently laboring at Double-A New Haven, Meche has pitched so well that he
will make his major league debut Tuesday night in Anaheim.
Meche is a 6'3", 185-pound right-hander who throws a 94-mph fastball with
good movement and a hard slider. He has reduced his reliance on a
late-breaking curveball that he has trouble throwing for strikes and is
instead throwing more changeups. Meche cites his improved changeup as a big
reason for his success this year.