Pitching is the name of the game, especially in the American League East

Harris Rubentstein / WEBN-TV
Harris Rubentstein / WEBN-TV

Harris Rubentstein / WEBN-TV

By Jennifer Currier 3/10/16
Teams like the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees have spent the offseason stacking their bullpens with some of the best pitchers in the game. The transactions are ones other teams in the division cannot afford to ignore.

“One thing you can count on in this division, you know teams that don’t sit around [because] their fan bases don’t allow them,” Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said before Wednesday’s game. “You can always count on them doing something. It’s a really good division.”

The Boston Red Sox are at the front of the pitchers’ movement. They acquired both David Price and Craig Kimbrel. The Baltimore Orioles followed suit shortly after and picked up Yovani Gallardo.

These moves highlight a larger trend across major teams where teams are ensuring their relievers and closers are as nearly as strong as their starters in an effort to wear down opponents’ batting rotations quickly and efficiently.

Still, with so many pitching-related transactions and the high stakes — including price tags — that came with them, the AL East stands out from the rest.

Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe said the team is using spring training to eliminate as many uncertainties about facing some of the best pitchers in the majors.

“I’m hoping we can get a look at most of these guys before we take off into the regular season,” he said. “There’s not gonna be a guy we don’t know. Somebody’s seen them or somebody’s faced them and kind of has an idea of how to approach certain guys.”

The Rays’ strategy is to be as informed as possible, especially when taking on division rivals, and not get intimidated by the big names.

“It’s great pitching in the AL East,” Forsythe continued. “I just think we have to stay with our approach and see what happens.”