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MLB Offseason Needs: AL West

With the conclusion of the 2018 MLB season, the Game Haus will be taking a look at each MLB team and their needs for the next season. We will also be looking at how addressing these concerns could help in the near future.

Today, we will be looking at the teams in the AL West.

Offseason Needs: Texas Rangers

2018 Result: 67-95, 5th in AL West
AL West
Image courtesy of Lone Star Ball

Not so long ago, the Texas Rangers were the best of the west and saw back-to-back World Series appearances. Not to mention they have taken their division over their division as recently as 2016. Now, potholes litter the road ahead for the team as they sit rock bottom of the AL West. Production wise, Texas’ offense, pitching and fielding were lackluster at best. Plus, having one the oldest average player ages in 2018 is not helping them. The Rangers will enter 2019 with a new manager: former LA Dodgers third base coach, Chris Woodward. Though a change in command sometimes immediately lead to positive results, Texas will need a significant makeover for their 40-man roster. They will need younger, electrifying players in several departments to return to fighting form.

Offseason Needs: Los Angeles Angels

2018 Result: 80-82, 4th in AL West

With the presence of Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, the Los Angeles Angels have something to build around for upcoming seasons. Problem is, Ohtani and Trout can’t play every position. Like Texas, the Halos will start 2019 with a new skipper: former Detroit Tigers manager, Brad Ausmus. But this will be far from the end of the changes needed to help the franchise rise. Their fielding defense was among the sharpest in the league last season, but their pitching and hitting have not been anything to write home about. Also like Texas, Los Angeles will need more players to step up. This will be needed to take the load off of Trout and Ohtani, especially when either of the two is injured.

Offseason Needs: Seattle Mariners

2018 Result: 89-73, 3rd in AL West
AL West
Nelson Cruz hit 39 home runs and had a career high .375 OBP in 2017. (Grantland)

The Seattle Mariners are heading in the right direction, winning 11 more games than they did in 2017, but they are not where they want to be yet. They will need improvements in hitting and pitching. The Mariners drove in the 7th fewest RBIs in the majors this past regular season. Meanwhile, their pitching staff has been middle-of-the-pack in team ERA and runs allowed by the pitcher. Though these numbers aren’t terrible, they won’t be taking the Mariners very far either. Plus, they will need the next men up to back up veterans Nelson Cruz and Felix Hernandez. Dee Gordon brought much-needed speed to the lineup, but the 40-man roster will need more to get back into October.

Offseason Needs: Oakland Athletics

2018 Result: 97-65, 2nd in AL West, Eliminated in AL Wild Card

The Oakland A’s had the season no one saw coming. With Khris Davis swinging for the fences and a bullpen heating up, Oakland grabbed a Wild Card spot, along with keeping tight with Houston for the division. However, their pitching staff will need to improve for the near future. The rotation will need a few more players to start throwing heat and give the league more to prepare for. A similar approach can be taken for the batting order as well, taking some off of Khris Davis’ shoulders. Not to mention Jed Lowrie is no longer wearing the green and yellow.

Offseason Needs: Houston Astros

2018 Result: 103-59, 1st in AL West, Eliminated in ALCS
AL West
Image Courtesy: Karen Warren/Houston Chronicle

The Houston Astros took back-to-back division pennants. Plus, they were back in the AL Championship Series once again. However, there is always room for improvement. In the pitching roster, two of their best aces, Justin Verlander and Charlie Morton, are now in their mid-to-late 30’s. Plus, Dallas Keuchel is no longer on the roster. They will need to brew up young pitchers to succeed Morton and Verlander in the near future. They will also need to start warming up new players to take over when their star player(s) get(s) injured. A formula that worked with Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve, more of this will have to happen to take back their World Series ring.

 

Featured image courtesy of AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez & The Mercury News
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