Atlanta Braves v Toronto Blue Jays

Over the next week, we will take a look at how each team’s lineups looked to start the season in 2012 compared to the projected look for 2013 (all ZiPS projections courtesy of Fangraphs.)

We covered the NL West and NL Central, NL East and AL West. Now we look at the American League East.

Toronto Blue Jays

2012 Opening Day Lineup Projected 2013 Opening Day Lineup
1. SS Yunel Escobar: .253/.300/.344 1. SS Jose Reyes: .287/.347/.433
2. 2B Kelly Johnson: .225/.313/.365 2. LF Melky Cabrera: .295/.348/.432
3 RF Jose Bautista: .241/.358/.527 3. RF Jose Bautista: .259/.377/.529
4. 1B Adam Lind: .255/.314/.414 4. 1B Edwin Encarnacion: .271/.359/.504
5. DH Edwin Encarnacion: .280/.384/.557 5. CF Colby Rasmus: .237/.312/.427
6. 3B Brett Lawrie: .273/.324/.405 6. DH Adam Lind: .272/.329/.460
7. LF Eric Thames: .232/.273/.399 7. C J.P. Arencibia: .232/.278/.451
8. C J.P. Arencibia: .233/.275/.435 8. 2B Emilio Bonifacio: .275/.336/.350
9. CF Colby Rasmus: .223/.289/.400 9. 3B Maicer Izturis: .267/.333/.360

What a difference a year makes! The Blue Jays open the season minus third baseman Brett Lawrie, but replace last year’s top two in the lineup (Escobar, Johnson – see Tampa’s lineup!) with Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera. The lineup is considered by many around the game to be the best in the league, now it just needs to perform on the field.

Boston Red Sox

2012 Opening Day Lineup Projected 2013 Opening Day Lineup
1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury: .271/.313/.370 1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury: .294/.346/.436
2. 2B Dustin Pedroia: .290/.347/.449 2. RF Shane Victorino: .269/.338/.418
3 1B Adrian Gonzalez: .299/.344/.463 3. 2B Dustin Pedroia: .296/.367/.459
4. DH David Ortiz: .318/.415/.611 4. 1B Mike Napoli: .248/.350/.498
5. 3B Kevin Youkilis: .235/.336/.409 5. 3B Will Middlebrooks: .277/.316/.490
6. RF Ryan Sweeney: .260/.303/.373 6. DH Jonny Gomes: .236/.337/.441
7. LF Cody Ross: .267/.326/.481 7. C Jarrod Saltalamacchia: .239/.309/.454
8. C Jarrod Saltalamacchia: .222/.288/.454 8. LF Jackie Bradley: .258/.351/.419
9. SS Mike Aviles: .250/.282/.381 9. SS Jose Iglesias: .240/.285/.283

David Ortiz, and Stephen Drew will likely begin the season on the disabled list, but the final decision will be made just before the opener vs. the Yankees. The Red Sox made plenty of moves following the departure of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez to the Dodgers, spending money on off-season acquisitions Mike Napoli, Jonny Gomes and Shane Victorino. Many have the Red Sox out of the mix in the AL East, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them contend this season.

New York Yankees

2012 Opening Day Lineup Projected 2013 Opening Day Lineup
1. SS Derek Jeter: .316/.362/.429 1. CF Brett Gardner: .275/.368/.371
2. CF Curtis Granderson: .232/.319/.492 2. RF Ichiro Suzuki: .294/.331/.370
3 2B Robinson Cano: .313/.379/.550 3. 2B Robinson Cano: .306/.361/.515
4. 3B Alex Rodriguez: .272/.353/.430 4. 3B Kevin Youkilis: .265/.371/.465
5. 1B Mark Teixeira: .251/.332/.475 5. DH Travis Hafner: .258/.363/.446
6. RF Nick Swisher: .272/.364/.473 6. 1B Juan Rivera: .257/.319/.413 Lyle Overbay
7. DH Raul Ibanez: .240/.308/.453 7. LF Brennan Boesch: .266/.320/.430
8. C Russell Martin: .211/.311/.403 8. SS Eduardo Nunez: .268/.311/.373
9. LF Brett Gardner: .323/.417/.387 9. C Chris Stewart: .237/.299/.333

Wow! The Yankees will open up against the Red Sox without Jeter (DL), A-Rod (Hip), Granderson (Hand), and Teixeira (Wrist). The replacements come Opening Day will be Youkilis, Boesch, Nunez and Rivera or Lyle Overbay, so Yankees fans can only hope their pitching carries them for the first fews months of the season.

Tampa Bay Rays

2012 Opening Day Lineup Projected 2013 Opening Day Lineup
1. CF Desmond Jennings: .246/.314/.388 1. CF Desmond Jennings: .261/.337/.417
2. RF Ben Zobrist: .270/.377/.471 2. LF Matt Joyce: .260/.353/.467
3 3B Evan Longoria: .289/.369/.527 3. 3B Evan Longoria: .273/.366/.516
4. DH Jeff Keppinger: .325/.367/.439 4. RF Ben Zobrist: .264/.369/.440
5. SS Sean Rodriguez: .213/.281/.326 5. DH Luke Scott: .243/.321/.458
6. 1B Carlos Pena: .197/.330/.354 6. SS Yunel Escobar: .276/.344/.377
7. 2B Elliot Johnson: .242/.304/.350 7. 1B James Loney: .279/.337/.406
8. C Jose Molina: .223/.286/.355 8. C Jose Molina: .224/.281/.332
9. LF Matt Joyce: .241/.341/.429 9. 2B Kelly Johnson: .241/.328/.407

Tampa quietly put together another serviceable lineup this off-season, added James Loney, Yunel Escobar and Kelly Johnson to a lineup already featuring Longoria, Jennings and Zobrist. The Rays should be in the mix once again come August.

Baltimore Orioles

2012 Opening Day Lineup Projected 2013 Opening Day Lineup
1. LF Nolan Reimold: .313/.333/.627 1. 2B Brian Roberts: .268/.345/.397
2. SS J.J. Hardy: .238/.282/.389 2. RF Nick Markakis: .297/.369/.457
3 RF Nick Markakis: .298/.363/.471 3. CF Adam Jones: .281/.329/.478
4. CF Adam Jones: .287/.334/.505 4. C Matt Wieters: .262/.341/.448
5. C Matt Wieters: .249/.329/.435 5. 1B Chris Davis: .286/.340/.532
6. DH Wilson Betemit: .261/.322/.422 6. SS J.J. Hardy: .254/.306/.422
7. 3B Mark Reynolds: .221/.335/.429 7. LF Nate McLouth: .237/.326/.400
8. 1B Chris Davis: .270/.326/.501 8. DH Nolan Reimold: .263/.340/.456
9. 2B Robert Andino: .211/.283/.305 9. 3B Manny Machado: ..256/.315/.419

The Orioles had an very good season in 2012, but to the surprise of many, didn’t make many moves to improve the team in 2013. Adam Jones and Matt Wieters will have to carry the offense, while Nick Markakis and Brian Roberts must stay off the disabled list if they have a chance to contend again.