16. Arizona Diamondbacks – The Diamondbacks looked like a playoff team until the second half of the season. They need to improve that starting rotation to be a true contender.
The Tigers get their first look at Chicago’s Gavin Floyd Monday. The 26-year-old righty went 3-0 in five starts against Detroit in 2008. Chicago went on to win each of those five contests.
If the second lefty can remain seated for an entire fortnight, it stands to reason that there will be even less use for a third lefty. And if Sergio Santos maintains his significant reverse splits, Ohman would actually be the fourth guy you’d want to see against a lefty.
Yet even before Rodriguez had his first at-bat to lead off the second, the Yankees were already down by 3-0. It got to 7-0 after just three innings, as Andy Pettitte — another icon of the steroid era — was chased out after getting only eight outs.
Owens never was the answer in center field, though. At best, Owens projected out to be a player like Luis Castillo-a player who did not get a ton of extra base hits, but was always on the basepaths and creating havoc. Castillo never has had a season in the majors with a slugging percentage over .400, but with the exception of 2001, Castillo has never had a season in which he has had over 400 at-bats and an OPS below .700. In his heyday, Castillo simply got on base enough to make up for his lack of power.
And for the most bullpen stability, a team needs an anchor in the closer role — and Oakland has that in Andrew Bailey. In his second major-league season, Bailey posted a 1.47 ERA with 25 saves. But he only pitched in 47 games, missing time with injuries — and that threw the whole bullpen out of whack at times.
26. Chicago White Sox – The White Sox really need to rebuild from the ground up, and I think trading sale jerseys in the offseason would be a great start.
Baltimore Orioles – The Orioles finished strong and really aren’t that far from being back in postseason play, but they need to make several tweaks in the offseason.