Through the Joe Maddon era, the Rays were known for employing different lineups and looks every day. Expect more stability in the day-to-day lineup under new manager Kevin Cash, writes Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Maddon averaged 137 lineups per season over his five year tenure. Cash hopes to set a couple basic lineups based on opposing pitcher handedness. His key players should have an idea of where they’ll hit, which Cash believes is better for the players. Here’s more from the AL East.
- The Orioles have 11 players who could be eligible for free agency next fall, reports Rich Dubroff of CSN Baltimore. Dubroff examines the likelihood of each player returning beyond 2015. Steve Pearce may be the best fit on a short-term extension. Others like Matt Wieters, Wei-Yin Chen, Bud Norris, and Chris Davis may play their way out of town. In the case of Davis, another rough season could open a buy low opportunity. He’s set to earn $12MM next season.
- The Blue Jays upgraded the roster without addressing their deficiencies, writes Ben Nicholson-Smith for USA Today. Despite notable additions of Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin, the bullpen, second base, and center field remain as potential problems. The outfield is probably the best off, with prospect Dalton Pompey expected to fill the void. The bullpen could be addressed internally, but there are also several decent relievers on the free agent market. Second base looks dicey. Devon Travis may eventually fit, but Maicer Izturis and Ryan Goins will have to hold the fort in the meantime.