Poll: Which AL Team Will Have Biggest Turnaround?

The postseason is expanding by a total of just two games, but ten teams will now qualify for playoff berths each year, so pennant races should continue deep into the summer. Though Spring Training camps are generally optimistic, there’s even more reason for hope this year, and many teams are looking to turn things around.

MLBTR readers suggested over the weekend that the Nationals, Marlins and Reds are strong contenders for 2012 turnarounds in the National League. Let's turn our focus to the ten American League teams that missed the playoffs in 2011 and determine which of those clubs might be poised for a significant turnaround this coming season.


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82 Comments on "Poll: Which AL Team Will Have Biggest Turnaround?"


Encarnacion's Parrot
3 years 5 months ago

Blue Jays. A full season of the man in the white shirt will pay off huge dividends.

mattinglyfan
3 years 5 months ago

I’m gonna have to go with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on this one. It was a tough choice, but I think I made the right call. 

Bob9988
3 years 5 months ago

The Angels weren’t that bad last year.  What are they rebounding from?

3 years 5 months ago

Tony Reagins.

3 years 5 months ago

bahaha reagins

3 years 5 months ago

The Chicago Whi….HAHAHAHA Sorry, couldn’t even finish the sentence.

3 years 5 months ago

Talk to me in September.

Coollet
3 years 5 months ago

That’s when Adam Dunn wins the MVP award right?

iheartyourfart
3 years 5 months ago

that’s november

Coollet
3 years 5 months ago

Nope, he’s just gonna be that good that he’ll get it in September

baseballa11
3 years 5 months ago

by far the angels considering they were under 90 wins last year and could go for 100 this year

3 years 5 months ago

 Just like my Red Sox last year, lol

3 years 5 months ago

I don’t see any way the Angels don’t end up fighting Texas until the last day of the season, considering the changes.

3 years 5 months ago

I think you have to go Twins, just because they have so much more room TO improve. 

Rabbitov
3 years 5 months ago

With no hype at all, and no moves that really give us hope, we have 59 votes thus far for the Orioles!  Awesome.  

Come on lets crush the competition. 

johnsilver
3 years 5 months ago

Would be nice if the orioles could tag on another 20+ wins.. I fully agree with ya there..

The Duke needs to drag Weaver out of retirement.. Another Trader Jack like scenario, much like the Fish did last year to instill old school and winning style fundamentals to that team.. Maybe that type magic could work with the O’s and Weaver was a magician working with very little offensive talent.

Yeah.. I am dreaming again…

Rabbitov
3 years 5 months ago

I think this season is Pedro or broke.

Daniel Wesley
3 years 5 months ago

Considering the Royals played 7 games under their pythag last year and made a couple of nice moves in the offseason, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a big jump in wins this year.

aerobica
3 years 5 months ago

Daniel Wesley, you are correct!

Pawsdeep
3 years 5 months ago

Would’ve agreed, especially with their younger guys getting more experience, but that rotation is abysmal. Pretty big hamstring there.

3 years 5 months ago

With Chen and Sanchez, they really only need one of Hochevar/Paulino/Duffy/Montgomery to break out to be a winning ballclub. Paulino looked pretty good when he joined the Royals last year and Duffy is a solid strikeout pitcher the league hasn’t seen much of. 

I find their rotation underrated though improvable. Either way their offense and bullpen can carry what their rotation can’t. They get my vote.

PWNdroia
3 years 5 months ago

 Fortunately for them, their division is winnable.

diamonddailybaseballblog
3 years 5 months ago

I’m hoping you’re right Daniel. I do think that hosmer and gordon will continue their production and the young guys with experience will help the Royals have an exciting season. Hopefully they can contend for the division. We all know that us Royals fans are craving a full season worth of excitement from our team :p

3 years 5 months ago

Jays/Angels/Red Sox were all good teams last year so I don’t see how they’re “turning things around.” The Royals seem like a sexy choice to a lot of people but I’m going with the Mariners. There’s potential for an above-average player at every spot in the lineup by season’s end, things just have to break right-ish. 

Wells/Smoak/Seager/Montero/Carp/Ackley… any number of these guys could have a huge breakout, and if Ichiro/Gutierrez bounce back then this club will suddenly have a lot in common with the 2011 Diamondbacks, but with Felix. An interesting AL West would be so, so much fun.

Lunchbox45
3 years 5 months ago

I would have to say the Angels, they underachieved last year and added the most to their club this year..

Devon Henry
3 years 5 months ago

Angels..Yuuuuuuup!

YuRADickey
3 years 5 months ago

Blue Jays, Lawrie ROY

Lunchbox45
3 years 5 months ago

Does ROY stand for Really Obnoxious Youth?

Because he lost his rookie status last year and isn’t eligible for the award.

Coollet
3 years 5 months ago

Instead, what about:
Receiving Ovations Y’all
Rocking Our Youth
Rolling Over You
Ridiculous Ominous Youngster

Lunchbox45
3 years 5 months ago

The last ones good

Coollet
3 years 5 months ago

These letters are hard to work with.

3 years 5 months ago

I dig it, but he’s anything but ominous. More like a Corvette crashing into your living room.

BrettLawrieBiggestFan
3 years 5 months ago

Hes gonna win an MVP watch i’m calling it

3 years 5 months ago

The Angels obviously have the biggest upside even with Wells and Hunter. I see a World Series between Angels and Diamondbacks. Either way Dipoto wins.

PWNdroia
3 years 5 months ago

 not gonna happen.  I doubt D-Backs even make the playoffs.

Pawsdeep
3 years 5 months ago

I had to go Angels. They werent bad last year, but didn’t make the playoffs. I think they will this year so that’s a good enough “turnaround” for me.

Toronto gets honerable mention. It’s too bad for them that their division is murder.

steve2345
3 years 5 months ago

Probably Angels if they had any actual protection for Pujols.  Holliday and Berkman gave pitchers incentive to pitch to Pujols.  Hunter & Wells?  HA!  Please…  Expect 50+ IBB

3 years 5 months ago

 Kendrys Morales?

rpoabr
3 years 5 months ago

 Yeah, if all goes well it will be Kendrick in front and Morales behind him. Then will come Hunter, Wells, etc

Devon Henry
3 years 5 months ago

Hunter Morales Trumbo all could provide excellent protection

Lunchbox45
3 years 5 months ago

Trumbo :/

3 years 5 months ago

I vote none of the above. The Angels weren’t really that bad last year, although they should be better with Pujols. Okay, I voted for the Royals. I don’t know why. Nothing to lose, I guess. 

soxfan0928
3 years 5 months ago

From April 16th – August 30th, the Red Sox played 123 games and won 82 of them. That’s a 107 win pace.

And that was with the RF hitting to a .652 OPS, SS hitting to a .730 OPS, and Lackey/Wakefield/Weiland/Miller/Bedard starting 71 games to a 5.9 ERA. 

I’d say the Sox are due for a rebound.

notsureifsrs
3 years 5 months ago

they’ll rebound because they played record-breakingly bad baseball the rest of the time, but the hot stretch in the middle was not necessarily their true talent level either

soxfan0928
3 years 5 months ago

Well to be fair, it’s not like it was a 40 game hot stretch. 123 games represents 76% of the season. Regardless, I agree – They’re not going to win 107 games this year, but a 95 to 97 win season is hardly out of the realm.

Lunchbox45
3 years 5 months ago

Their offense will be top 3 in the AL easy, even with a decline in Ellsbury, a rebound in Youk and Crawford will more than make up for it, plus Gonzalez will be better (yes thats scary)

however their pitching is a big question mark and Lester, Buccholz, and Beckett will have to be every bit as good as they are. If one has a bad year, it could mean the difference in making the playoffs or not.

soxfan0928
3 years 5 months ago

Ya know, I’m actually really comfortable with Bard in the 4 slot too. You look at a guy like Ogando and that’s the best comparison, but he had 41 appearances in 2010 before making the transition, and then he threw 160 IP. Bard made 70-75 appearances in 2010 and 2011 – that’s virtually throwing every other game, so he’s probably accustom to the wear and tear on his arm, just a different kind. Plus everyone tries to say “he failed in A ball”. Well he was also walking 9 per 9, and his BB/9 has decreased in each year, down to 3.0 last season. 

I also really like Doubront, and think he can make a big impact as the #5 man. I don’t think people are giving him nearly enough credit. 

Andrew Miller is wildly inconsistent, but at least they’re just telling him to get back to how he threw in college rather than trying to tweak his delivery more and more. Who knows, he’s got the stuff to be an elite pitcher if he can gain consistency, but all he is right now is a bonus, not anyone we can count on by any means.

lefty177
3 years 5 months ago

I heard somewhere that he stayed with Lester over the winter to see how he trains as a starter & Bard throws more bullpens & pitches per bullpen than Lester throws for a starter

NYPOTENCE
3 years 5 months ago

As long as some guys can step up in the back-end of the Bullpen and the front of the Rotation can provide quality Innings (especially Buccholz) the Red Sox will be fine.

aa
3 years 5 months ago

That’s like saying the Orioles had a 6-1 start to the season last year so therefore they’re due for a rebound.  I’m not necessarily saying you’re wrong, but there’s a reason they play 162 games a year and not 123

NYPOTENCE
3 years 5 months ago

If they were playing in a different the division perhaps the Blue Jays would do the trick but they are not. Therefore I go the AL central where it should be very plausible for the Royals to finish second. Hosmer, Moustakas and a solid young core should lead to a much-improved season.

Drew Tweedie
3 years 5 months ago

Anyone else not finding the Yankees on the list?

Robert Slye Jr.
3 years 5 months ago

with good reason! they made the playoffs!! just because they didn’t win the World Series doesn’t mean they have tons of room for improvement.

Drew Tweedie
3 years 5 months ago

Although I wrote that original post in jest, I’m now considering with the changes in the rotation. Obviously, they can’t have a huge turnaround in the wins department, but they seem better built to succeed in the playoffs.

Drew Tweedie
3 years 5 months ago

Although I wrote that original post in jest, I’m now considering with the changes in the rotation. Obviously, they can’t have a huge turnaround in the wins department, but they seem better built to succeed in the playoffs.

3 years 5 months ago

Yet, the CashMan found ways to make them much better. Sadness.

PWNdroia
3 years 5 months ago

Indians gonna shock the world. Angels and Yankees biggest disappointment- may sneak in (Yanks will get in most likely), but won’t live up to hype.

Red Sox will get 110 wins if the players play to calibur (probably won’t happen though). It’s likely the Rays will win the East.

Lunchbox45
3 years 5 months ago

 lol

3 years 5 months ago

Will anyone ever learn that it’s spelled “caliber,” not calibur?

PWNdroia
3 years 5 months ago

well it’s legible, better than most other mistakes

PWNdroia
3 years 5 months ago

well it’s legible, better than most other mistakes

0vercast
3 years 5 months ago

It has to be the Twins, who fell from 94 wins in 2010 to an embarrassing 63 wins in 2011.  I expect they will finish around .500 this year, maybe a game or two under.  Aside from maybe the Angels, how many other teams on that list will improve their record by 15-20 wins?