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Fishing For Sleepers: AL West

Just because I am watching particular players and positions battles does not mean I am drafting those players.  Be forewarned!  On the some prime fishing spots in the AL West.

Texas Rangers, starting pitching:  The Rangers hired pitching coach Mike Maddux away from the Brewers.  My guess is his pitching philosophy works for at least one of the five Rangers starters.  Not really sure which one, but I am watching the 26-year-old Scott Feldman and 23-year-old Matt Harrison.

Seattle Mariners, 1B:  Atop the Rotoworld depth charts at 1B is Russell Branyan.  I don't believe.  Whether Chris Shelton can make 2005/6 re-appear or Jeff Clement transitions from catcher or something, there is no way Branyan mans 1B for a significant part of 2009.

Shelton must be a butcher at 1B.  His .870 and.806 OPS in 2005 and 2006 seems too good for him to have struggled to find ABs.  The Ks say something, but Russel Branyan isn't exactly a contact machine.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 1B:  This week Kendry Morales was essentially given the 1B job without any competition.  I'm underwhelmed.

Here is a radical idea  Why not platoon Morales with Brandon Wood.  I know scouts will go crazy moving a player with good middle infield skills to a position where those would appear to be wasted, but the Angels committed to a lifetime contract for manager Mike Scioscia.  Scoiscia has apparently committed to a lifetime of Chone Figgins at 3B and anybody but Wood at SS.  Why not see if Wood can be a plus defender at 1B?

Oakland A's, pitching staff: The A's are a trendy choice to surprise in the AL West thanks to the reputation of GM Billy Beane.  He reversed course this off-season and began to pack veterans into roles previously used to sow the next contending A's team.  If Beane has not just made the equivalent of a April 28, 2008 investment in Citigroup, then many pitchers have to win games and preserve leads.