Seattle Mariners | Texas Rangers
The Washington Post
Friday, April 2, 2004; Page D5
2003 Finish: 77-85, 3rd.
Manager: Mike Scioscia (fifth season, 333-315).
Ace: Bartolo Colon had more complete games (nine) a year ago than Anaheim's entire staff (five). Colon has logged 200 or more innings five times in the past six seasons.
Best Young Arm: John Lackey won Game 7 of the 2002 World Series but suffered through a 10-16 season a year ago. Still, the 6-foot-6 Lackey is only 25 and throws hard (6.7 strikeouts per nine innings in '03).
Closer: Troy Percival (33 saves) converted 20 straight save chances last year, but his 48 strikeouts were the lowest total for his career. His likely successor, Francisco Rodriguez, will be the Angels' primary set-up man.
Key Acquisition: Vladimir Guerrero (.330, 25, 79) missed almost all of June and half of August; it was the first time in six seasons he hadn't hit at least 34 home runs and driven in 108 or more runs.
Core Question: Having thrived as a gritty wild-card team on their way to the 2002 World Series title, how will the Angels cope as the favorites?
Projected Finish: First. All the pieces are in place for the Angels to finish on top, and they won't sneak up on anyone.
2. Oakland Athletics 3. Seattle Mariners 4. Texas Rangers -- Drew vanEsselstyn © 2002- The Washington Post Company
3. Seattle Mariners 4. Texas Rangers -- Drew vanEsselstyn © 2002- The Washington Post Company
4. Texas Rangers -- Drew vanEsselstyn © 2002- The Washington Post Company
-- Drew vanEsselstyn
© 2002- The Washington Post Company