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Sixty Feet, Six Inches (cont.)

Posted: Saturday April 2, 2005 6:03PM; Updated: Saturday April 2, 2005 7:34PM
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By David Young, Special to SI.com

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American League

Sidney Ponson
Sidney Ponson has loads of talent, but it's mitigated by more than a few off-field issues.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Baltimore Orioles -- Lopez, Bedard, Cabrera, Ponson, Chen

Bruce Chen appears to have locked down the last spot in the rotation. Perhaps he has actually learned to pitch. I'm rooting for the guy since he's been on more teams than Under Armor, but I'm taking a wait-and-see attitude, as in "I'll wait and see what team he pitches for next year." The top three of the rotation have had a nice spring, but what can we say about Sidney Ponson that hasn't already been put in a deposition? I think there may be more to the story, but regardless, stay away.

Boston Red Sox -- Schilling (DL), Clement, Wells, Wakefield, Arroyo

OK, so Curt Schilling will be on the DL a little while. And Wade Miller is still on the DL. And David Wells is fat. And ... don't worry about it. That offense will make any pitcher look good, and I like that bullpen. And while we're on it, I went to both preseason games against the Diamondbacks, and despite the fact a million closet Red Sox fans invaded the BOB and made the games fun (I'll be hearing, "Hey Lahr-ry! It's wicked haaht!" in my sleep), you guys owe me $20. I paid for a full team and you sent the Bingo Long Traveling All Stars (so just how much in your future plans is Dave McCarty?). Next time, don't bother.

Chicago White Sox -- Buehrle, Garcia, Hernandez, Contreras, Garland

Look away. Stay away. Run away. Perhaps I like Mark Buehrle, but not on my team. The rest of these guys -- in that park -- let it be someone else's problem.

Cleveland Indians -- Sabathia (DL), Westbrook, Millwood, Lee, Elarton

I still like Cliff Lee this year, but he won't be leading the AL in ERA this year (at least not in a way you want him too). Scott Elarton is worth a pick up if you "need" one more starter, but don't expect him to duplicate his spring.

Detroit Tigers -- Bonderman, Maroth, Johnson, Robertson, Ledezma

Hey, who was that that shut down the Yankees this week? Was it my sleeper Wil Ledezma? Yep. He had me worried earlier in the spring, but now he's hitting his stride. He may be the third best pitcher on that staff: Bonderman, Robertson, Ledezma, Maroth, some other guys (living and dead), Johnson.

Kansas City Royals -- Lima, Ru. Hernandez, Greinke, Anderson, Bautista

In the grand scheme of things, this is not a bad rotation. The offense is relying on a lot of rookies and sophomores. If they produce, perhaps a couple of these guys will help you (clue: those guys are not named Lima or Anderson).

Los Angeles (Anaheim) Angels -- Colon, Escobar, Washburn, Lackey, Byrd

While the top of this rotation is not as good as Minnesota's, the top-to-bottom strength of it is perhaps the best in the AL. Even though every team in their division got better, the Angels should still win it. I keep waiting for Kelvim Escobar to have a Cy Young-type season and every year there's some sort of lull or setback.

Minnesota Twins --Santana, Radke, Silva, Lohse, Mays

Everyone is on the Johan Santana bandwagon, and I'm sure there's a seat for me, too. But I don't think he keeps the WHIP under 1.00 this year, and I'm worried that 228 MLB IP is a lot for a 25-year-old. Perhaps not on the same level as I'm worried about Jack Bauer right now, but worried nonetheless. And yes, I feel the same about Pittsburgh's Perez and his 196 IP as a 22-year-old.

New York Yankees -- Johnson, Mussina, Pavano, Brown, Wright

It's been a great party. You've had your fill of drink, conversation and food, but it's winding down and it's time to go home. As you make your way to the hosts to thank them, they bob their heads toward one guest that seems like he's just settling in for the night. Their eyes implore you to take him with you. You hesitate, but decided that this would be small payment for the great time you just had. As you approach the man with a plate of food in one hand and the TV remote in the other, you realize he looks vaguely familiar. As you get closer you make the connection. You grab him by the wrist to get his attention and say, "Hey, Kevin, time to go." Balky back, no control, 40 years old. Hey, Kevin Brown, time to go.

Oakland A's -- Zito, Harden, Haren, Blanton, Saarloos

All of a sudden, those young guys are looking really young. Since I picked one in the NL, my AL early Cy Young candidate is Rich Harden. Yeah, I know Minnesota has some guy named Santana and that the A's offense isn't that impressive, but see my comments about Santana above, and the A's won't have to score that many runs to win Harden's starts (although I hate Octavio Dotel as a closer). Kirk Saarloos appears to have emerged as the winner of the fifth spot, but we've been here with him before.

Seattle Mariners -- Pineiro, Moyer, Meche, Madritsch, Sele

Aaron Sele appears to have beaten out Ryan Franklin for the last spot in the rotation. However, who knows how long that will last. If you're in a league or a desperate enough situation that you really care who the fifth Mariner starter is, perhaps this is the year you take off from fantasy sports.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays -- Brazelton, Kazmir, Hendrickson, Bell, Nomo

OK, I called this one at the beginning of spring training (nice to be right once in a while). Hideo Nomo will be the fifth starter. As a Devil Ray he won't get you the wins you need, but if his K's come back up, he might be worth a flier. Rob Bell has been incredible this spring. If he's un-owned in your league, be ready to pounce on him in April if he shows any inkling that March wasn't a fluke. Forget him if he doesn't.

Texas Rangers -- Drese, Rogers, Park, P. Astacio, C. Young

My love letter to Chris Young last week notwithstanding, I think the Rangers staff will continue to improve, and the addition of Matt Riley will only help. But are they worth the pain?

Toronto Blue Jays -- Halladay, Lilly (DL), Bush, Towers, Chacin, Walker

Ted Lilly has to contend with shoulder tendinitis and a liner off his ankle. Regardless, if he can get healthy in April, he should have a breakout year (or has he already had one of those?). Everyone is talking about the great things we'll see from Gustavo Chacin. While I think he has some skills, he'll still have his rookie ups and downs.


David Young is Baseball Editor and starting and relief pitching columnist for TalentedMrRoto.com, a fantasy sports site specializing in analysis, stats and advice. Please include your name and location when sending e-mails to MrSnappy@TalentedMrRoto.com.

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