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Cleanup Hitters - American League

As you know, cleanup hitters tend to have many RBI opportunities.  Let's take a look at each team's projected #4 hitter. 

American League

Baltimore Orioles - Aubrey Huff, Luke Scott.  The trade of Miguel Tejada leaves Nick Markakis' protection in question.  Or, Markakis could be dropped to fourth.  As a veteran with a solid final two months I'll give the nod to Huff.  He could crack 90 RBIs for the first time since '05.

Boston Red Sox - Manny Ramirez.  Entering a contract year, maybe we'll see Manny bounce back to the 35-100 level.

Chicago White Sox - Paul Konerko.  Seems to be slipping; turns 32 in March. Are his 100 RBI days behind him?

Cleveland Indians - Victor Martinez.  A bounceback year for Travis Hafner might give Martinez extra opportunities, but it'd be hard to top his 114 RBIs of '07.

Detroit Tigers - Magglio Ordonez.  Can he beat last year's 139 RBIs?  Between Gary Sheffield and Miguel Cabrera in the lineup, anything's possible.

Kansas City Royals - Jose Guillen.  Guillen knocked in 99 in '07 hitting mostly as Seattle's #3 batter.  Now he'll be between Mark Teahen and Billy Butler, which isn't any worse than Jose Vidro and Raul Ibanez.  The Royals paid Guillen $36MM to drive in runs.

Minnesota Twins - Justin Morneau.  He might be batting behind Delmon Young instead of Joe Mauer, which means fewer opportunities.  Will he knock in 110 again?

New York Yankees  - Alex Rodriguez.  He'll hit between Bobby Abreu and Hideki Matsui again, nothing new here.

Los Angeles Angels - Garret Anderson.  He'll still be behind Vlad, even if Torii Hunter replaces Casey Kotchman as the #5.

Oakland Athletics - Jack Cust, Eric Chavez.  It's a new-look lineup, without Nick Swisher, Shannon Stewart, or Mike PiazzaMike Sweeney could supplant Dan Johnson, and Kurt Suzuki replaces Jason Kendall for the entire year.  Cust drove in 82 in 395 ABs in '07, so he could be the RBI man once again.

Seattle Mariners - Adrian Beltre.  At least according to Mariners beat writer Jim StreetRaul Ibanez is another candidate.

Tampa Bay Rays - B.J. Upton, Carlos Pena.  They should bat #3 and #4, whatever the order.  Upton could be very interesting with 550 ABs.

Texas Rangers - Milton Bradley.  At least until he's hurt.  Maybe then Josh Hamilton gets a look.

Toronto Blue Jays - Frank Thomas.  A bounceback from Vernon Wells would help the Big Hurt.

Comments?  Any corrections to these?


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