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Itching for the Pitching

Calen Wolfskill

Staff Writer

It’s almost time for baseball, ladies and gentlemen and that means it’s time to find out who the teams to watch are this year. My top four would have to be the Cubs, Blue Jays, Giants and Rangers. The Cubs being the team that has the most talent, and the most potential I feel for a World Series run. However, last season I made the same mistake in picking the Nationals who looked decent, but didn’t live up to all the hype as the season continued. With that in mind the Nationals themselves do not look like a bad team they just are not the favored so far this off-season. The cubs, however are the favored this off-season having won 97 games last year with a young team, of which most if not all will be returning. This gives the cubs the potential to have over 100 wins season.

J. A. Happ was acquired by the Blue Jays.
J. A. Happ was acquired by the Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays lost their lead rotation man David Price this off-season, but were quick to acquire J.A. Happ and Jesse Chavez to replace some of the talent they lost. The Jays however are strong at the plate and have a pretty good defense to back up their slightly weaker pithing staff. Their bullpen is solid with their three dominant pitchers, Brett Cecil, Aaron Sanchez and Roberto Osuna, but they should more than likely try to pick up another setup man before the trade deadline just to give themselves a little breathing room incase someone gets injured.

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The Giants are right up there with the Cubs as far as talent is concerned. With Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey at the top of that list. The giants needed to pull together a good starting rotation behind Bumgarner and they’ve succeeded. Signing both Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto to long term deals. They are still missing one or two pieces to their fielding unit, such as the potential hole in left field. Although, with the starting rotation that they have along with one of the best catchers, if not the best catcher in the MLB, there shouldn’t be too big of a problem with the defense.

Last season the Rangers gave the Blue Jays a run for their money in a five game divisional series that was one of the best series’ to watch last year. The team didn’t make any real changes of note other than adding Tom Wilhelmsen and Tony Barnette to the bullpen for some additional support. The Rangers will also more than likely have a healthy Adrian Beltre and a Josh Hamilton that is still arguably one of the best in the game today. The Rangers rotation to tag along with these players is above average but nothing too special. The teams’ ace being Yu Darvish and now they will get the chance to have Cole Hamels for an entire season. This season should shape up to be an interesting one with the amount of changes made and the talent that has been tossed around the league.