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.


Full Story | 82 Comments | Categories: MLBTR Polls

82 Responses to Poll: Which AL Team Will Have Biggest Turnaround? Leave a Reply

  1. Encarnacion's Parrot 3 years ago

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

  2. mattinglyfan 3 years 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. 

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

  4. baseballa11 3 years ago

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

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

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

  7. Rabbitov 3 years 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 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…

  8. Daniel Wesley 3 years 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 ago

      Daniel Wesley, you are correct!

    • Pawsdeep 3 years ago

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

      • 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 ago

           Fortunately for them, their division is winnable.

    • diamonddailybaseballblog 3 years 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

  9. 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.

  10. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

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

  11. YuRADickey 3 years ago

    Blue Jays, Lawrie ROY

    • Lunchbox45 3 years 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 ago

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

        • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

          The last ones good

          • Coollet 3 years ago

            These letters are hard to work with.

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

    • BrettLawrieBiggestFan 3 years ago

      Hes gonna win an MVP watch i’m calling it

  12. 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 ago

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

  13. Pawsdeep 3 years 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.

  14. steve2345 3 years 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

  15. 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. 

  16. soxfan0928 3 years 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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

  17. NYPOTENCE 3 years 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.

  18. Drew Tweedie 3 years ago

    Anyone else not finding the Yankees on the list?

    • Robert 3 years 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 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 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.

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

  19. PWNdroia 3 years 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.

  20. 0vercast 3 years 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?

  21. Brandon Christy 3 years ago

    RED SOX!!!!!!!!!! They got andrew bailey and cody ross. BEAST

  22. Brandon Christy 3 years ago

    RED SOX!!!!!!!!!! They got andrew bailey and cody ross. BEAST

  23. Angels were what, 3 games out of the wild card?  What exactly are they rebounding from?

    • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

      teams that are built to win now and don’t make the playoffs have to rebound. not really a foreign idea 

  24. Angels were what, 3 games out of the wild card?  What exactly are they rebounding from?

  25. The Royals should turn the corner this year!!!!!!

  26. hawkny1 3 years ago

    For 129 games played in 2010 the Red Sox played .667 winning baseball.  A repeat of this experience in 2012, for the full regular season of 162 games will result in a 107-55 season for Boston.  This 15 game improvement, if it occurs, will be hard to top by any of the listed teams save and except the LA Angels..

  27. JonBoyd 3 years ago

    Why are the Red Sox and Angels on this list? They barely missed the playoffs last year. They don’t really have much to improve on.

  28. youklis 3 years ago

    Twins will be the biggest turnaround, last year they win some 60 games. So there will improve at least by 20games. So this makes the biggest turnaround. I know people will say Angels, but they won almost 90 last year, I can’t see them improving by more than 5 games.

  29. Lucas Kschischang 3 years ago

    As a Yankee hater, it pains me to say this, but… the Yankees.
    Rotation looks strong, and their lineup is powerful as always.

  30. NordeastMPLSTwinsFan 3 years ago

    Did you watch the Sox play last year?  They were not good.  And they don’t have a lot of the same players.  They lost some of the few good players the did have (Buehrle, Quentin, Santos).  They’re going to have a tough time this year, especially playing Detroit, Cleveland and KC as often as they have too.

    I know I’m a Twins fan, and probably a bit biased, but the Sox really looked bad last year.  Not as bad as the Twins, but at least Twins fans can blame it on injuries.  The Sox don’t have that excuse.  

  31. VivaJackMurphy 3 years ago

    “What makes you so confident the White Sox will be bad? The team is basically the same as last year…” 

    This is what’s known as “answering your own question.”

  32. PWNdroia 3 years ago

    They just didn’t play to calibur.  If the White Sox did, they’d would’ve been the best in their division. Since last year though, they’ve dismantled parts of the team.

  33. skollias1 3 years ago

    we have an excuse…. adam dunn decided to have pablo ozuna  hitting prowess

  34. NYPOTENCE 3 years ago

    The Twins have too much of a mediocre rotation and they lost a guy that has stayed on the field more than both Morneau and Mauer over the last couple of seasons. The Twins are headed towards a dead end with their pitching.

  35. 2009 was a good year for Beckham
    2010 was supposed to be his breakout
    Then it was 2011.
    Now 2012.
    Can’t wait to hear it next winter, after another disappointing season – “this is finally gonna be Gordon Beckham’s year!”

  36. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

     because no player has ever struggled before breaking out before?

  37.  I’m not saying he can’t turn it around and break out, just that maybe people should temper their expectations until he, you know, builds on his 2009 success with something better than back-to-back stinkers. Call me crazy.

  38.  I’m not saying he can’t turn it around and break out, just that maybe people should temper their expectations until he, you know, builds on his 2009 success with something better than back-to-back stinkers. Call me crazy.

  39. sallen22 3 years ago

    LOL at Red Sox being better than the Angels.  New Front Office, new manager, no shortstop or RF, rotation is a mess.  Whereas the Angels have a new front office (that’s actually a good thing) a lineup that will add Pujols and Kendrys Morales into it and a rotation that blows the Red Sox out of the water. 

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