2009 Preview: AL East

The 2009 season begins this weekend and to build up to it, Swing and a Long Drive brings you a preview of the upcoming season. In this series, I will share my personal predictions for the season, the Phillies, teams around MLB, key players in the game as well as who and what to look out for.

Here is a preview and my predictions for the 2009 American League East.

1. New York Yankees- Divison Winners

The Yankees improved their by adding C.C Sabathia and A.J Burnett to their rotation and first baseman Mark Teixeira. Chein-Ming Wang and Jorge Posado return from injuries, but Alex Rodriguez will miss time due to one. Don't forget the captain, Derek Jeter, and Mo, Mariano Rivera, who will try to help bring the team back to the playoffs.

2. Boston Red Sox- Wild Card

Reigning AL MVP Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and ace Josh Beckett will try to bring the Red Sox back to the World Series after being eliminated in the ALCS last season. No Manny, but the Sox have Jason Bay in left, a talented rookie named Jed Lowrie at shortstop, Mike Lowell who return from an injury at third and Kevin Youkilis at first and Jonathan Papelbon to shut the door in the ninth.

3. Tampa Bay Rays

Can the Rays repeat their Cinderella story? Only now it won't be as Cinderella-ish with the emergence of Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton, and start pitchers Scott Kazmir and James Shields. The Rays also added Pat Burrell as their DH, and have Carl Crawford in left. Troy Percival will return to do the closing, but can the Rays bullpen hold up again? In 2007 they had one of the worst in the leagues, but amazingly turned it around a year later. The Rays also have ALCS hero David Price, who will start the year in the minors.

4. Toronto Blue Jays

Ace Roy Halladay always seems to be a candidate for the Cy Young award. The Jays have some hitters like Vernan Wells and Alex Rios, and closer B.J Ryan returning, but don't have much of a core. They seem to like left fielder Travis Snider, but their going to need some more depth, especially in the pitching department.

5. Baltimore Orioles

Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Brian Roberts are all talented players. However, the O's need more pitching depth. After Jeremy Guthrie, the O's don't have a strong rotation as well as their bullpen that revolves around George Sherrill.


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