Page 20

2014 Seattle Gameday HQ

FIELDING Beltre is considered one of the greatest fielders ever at third base, and he has four Gold Gloves to show for it. He was sixth in fielding percentage among AL third basemen, and committed just 14 errors. Andrus is stellar with the glove, his .976 fielding percentage and 97 double plays turned leave him among league leaders. Profar is a natural shortstop, so he’ll show great range at second base. Martin tied for the league lead among center fielders with 11 assists, while Choo and Rios bring solid range at the corners. STARTING PITCHING It all starts with Darvish. The Japanese import has established himself as one of the top pitchers in baseball, leading the Major Leagues with 277 strikeouts and going 13-9 with a 2.83 ERA. He missed a perfect game by one out in a 2013 start against Houston. Derek Holland’s preseason knee injury landed him on the 60-day DL to start the season. Robbie Ross and Martin Perez will attempt to fill Holland’s void, while Tanner Scheppers, Joe Saunders and Matt Harrison should ably fill out the bottom of the rotation. RELIEF PITCHING Neftali Feliz came back late in the season following Tommy John surgery and pitched 4.2 innings without allowing a run. The 2010 AL Rookie of the Year had 81 saves in his first two years in the big leagues, so he figures to be in the mix for saves upon his return to the bullpen. Joakim Soria is a two-time All-Star who had elbow issues of his own. He was the Royals’ closer as recently as 2011. Alexi Ogando could figure into the late innings if he’s not in the rotation. MANAGING Ron Washington is entering his eighth season managing in Texas, a team that won just 75 games and finished fourth in his first season with the Rangers in 2007. Since, he has had winning records in the last five seasons and twice led the team to the World Series. GM Jon Daniels has deftly assembled one of the strongest cores in baseball through player development (Andrus and Profar), trades (Fielder and Rios), free agency (Beltre and Choo) and international signings (Darvish). This will be the first year without Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan as team president. Yu Darvish RONALD MARTINEZ/GETTY IMAGES SPORT


2014 Seattle Gameday HQ
To see the actual publication please follow the link above