A few links from around the American League:
ESPN.com – There is Still No I in Konerko
Despite him being one of the best players in franchise history, not all White Sox fans are happy to see Paul Konerko back with the team in 2014. Critics feel that his skills have diminished, and the team is already chock full of slow, designated hitter types. But Konerko can still bring a lot to the table. He specializes in the little things that help to win games, and his veteran presence can certainly help influence some of his younger teammates.
Shin-Soo Choo wasn’t always looked at as a leadoff hitter. He used to be thought of as a middle of the lineup type, but then in 2012, the Cleveland Indians were left without an obvious option at the top of the order. Manager Manny Acta decided to try Choo there, and the move was an instant success. Choo signed with the Rangers as a free agent, and his new team is hoping that his on-base skills at the top of their lineup will lead to a lot of runs being scored in 2014.
Over the Monster – Can John Lackey repeat last year’s success?
John Lackey has been a bit overlooked in Red Sox camp this year. That’s somewhat surprising because his comeback from a poor 2012 season was a big reason why the Red Sox were able to win the World Series. The 2013 resurgence may have been partially due to luck, so there is a possibility that he may slip a bit this season. The key will likely be how well he can command his pitches. He can’t just throw strikes; he needs to throw quality strikes.
Sodo Mojo – When Cano talks, Mariners listen
When a team signs a player to a massive contract, it makes sense to try to make that player happy. So it isn’t surprising that the Mariners have seemed to spend this offseason listening to requests made by their new star Robinson Cano. Cano has said that he thought the Mariners needed another bat, and ever since, the M’s have been in hot pursuit of a hitter on the trade market. Cano also seemed to imply that they needed another pitcher. Could this eventually result in a trade for a big name pitcher?