The American League East has some very well-known franchises. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are two of the most established franchises in all of American sports. Heading into each MLB season, some people likely have questions. Here is one for each team in the AL East heading into the 2020 season.
Question: Can they avoid losing 100 games?
In 2019, the Orioles went 54-108. To accomplish less than 100 losses, they’ll need at least nine more wins than they had last season. This is an attainable mark for Baltimore in 2020. They are still in a re-build, but they have some veterans on the team that can contribute, such as Jose Iglesias and Mychal Givens. Anthony Santander can also have a breakout year, as he hit 20 doubles and 20 homers in just 93 games with the Orioles last season.
Boston Red Sox
Question: Can they still make the Postseason after trading Betts and Price?
Along with Mookie Betts and David Price being traded to the Dodgers, the Red Sox also lost Brock Holt to the Brewers. However, the team did acquire outfielder Alex Verdugo, as well as sign middle infielder Jose Peraza and outfielder Kevin Pillar.
Last season, the Red Sox finished 84-78. That placed them at third in the AL East and out of playoff contention. After losing two of their All-Star players, it could be even tougher for Boston to play October baseball this season.
New York Yankees
Question: Can they avoid the injury bug this season?
So far they haven’t. Luis Severino is out for the season due to Tommy John surgery. Aaron Judge may not be fully ready for the start of the season. Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks are also injured, and it’s not even Opening Day of the 2020 season yet. The Yankees dealt with numerous injuries in 2019 as well. The team still made it to the ALCS before losing to the Astros. They have guys like D.J. LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres active, so they can provide some numbers for this team again in 2020.
Tampa Bay Rays
Question: How much playing time will Brendan McKay and Yoshitomo Tsutsugo get this year?
Brendan McKay had 11 plate appearances and pitched 49 innings with the Rays last season. Yoshitomo Tsutsugo is a 28-year-old who’s played professionally in Japan and hit 139 homers with Yokohama since 2016. However, neither one of these guys is in a set starting spot yet. That doesn’t mean they won’t get opportunities in 2020. With McKay’s ability to pitch and hit and Tsutsugo being listed at multiple positions, the Rays would likely want to see these guys develop at the major league level.
Toronto Blue Jays
Question: Can the new pitching rotation help the team’s young offense?
Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Vlad Guerrero Jr., Danny Jansen and Rowdy Tellez are five potential starters for the Blue Jays lineup, and they are all 25-years-old or younger heading into the 2020 season. A lineup as young as this one could be a potential risk factor, so the veteran pitching staff the Blue Jays built this offseason could benefit the young AL East offense.
Last year’s National League Cy Young runner-up Hyun-Jin Ryu joined the Blue Jays this offseason and will likely be their ace this year. The club also signed starting pitchers Tanner Roark, Matt Shoemaker and Shun Yamaguchi, as well as acquired Chase Anderson from the Milwaukee Brewers.
Feature Image Courtesy of sportingnews.com.