To take a break from Yankee news, I think that one of the more interesting questions in baseball heading into Spring Training is: which team is strongest in the NL West?
Standing from last year:
- Los Angeles Dodgers: 84 wins
- Arizona Diamondbacks: 82 wins
- Colorado Rockies: 74 wins
- San Francisco Giants: 72 wins.
- San Diego Padres: 63 wins.
Important additions / losses during the winter:
- Los Angeles Dodgers:
- Lost Derek Lowe, Greg Maddux, Brad Penny, Takashi Saito, Jeff Kent, Andruw Jones, Nomar Garciaparra Angel Berroa, maybe Manny Ramirez.
- Added: None
The Dodgers are in tough shape. They have losses all around. Derek Lowe’s vacant spot will cause the Dodgers trouble all year, which will leave them praying that Clayton Kershaw can pitch a full workload. A full season of Manny Ramirez could help, but they’ll still be struggling to fill innings. And no, he’s not going to bat .396 again.
- Arizona Diamondbacks:
- Lost: Adam Dunn, Orlando Hudson, Juan Cruz, Brandon Lyon.
- Added: Jon Garland, Tony Clark.
Arizona’s year will be defined by young players breaking out or not breaking out. Everyone is waiting for Chris Young to be a useful player, Max Scherzer threatens to be an ace, and Justin Upton could always have a Griffey-like breakout. They have a solid team, but have holes at the back end of their rotation and in parts of their lineup. Still, they finished only 2 games behind the Dodgers last year, and none of their significant losses saw a full season of playing time.
- San Francisco Giants:
- Lost: Rich Aurillia, Omar Vizquel.
- Added: Randy Johnson, Edgar Renteria, Jeremy Affeldt, Bob Howry, possibly Joe Crede.
There is a good chance that the Giants have the best starting rotation in the National League. If Barry Zito remembers how to pitch, and Randy Johnson holds up, the Giants should have a pretty good pitching staff. Their lineup would benefit immensely from the addition of Joe Crede, but they have filled their biggest hole (shortstop) from last season with the capable Edgar Renteria, and improved their bullpen.
- Colorado Rockies:
- Lost: Matt Holliday, Luis Vizcaino, Willy Tavarez.
- Added: Huston Street, Jason Marquis, Alan Embree, Carlos Gonzalez, Greg Smith, Matt Murton.
The Rockies lost their best bat and glove. That said, they don’t look that much worse off this season. Losing Tavarez is as positive a loss as Holliday is a negative. Dextor Foller will take Holliday’s vacated spot, and Carlos Gonzalez should be a very good center fielder. The Rockies pitching staff seems to offer a lot of room for improvement, especially if Jeff Francis can get himself on track.
I’m not going to bother with the San Diego Padres.
Who do you pick as the winner? I think that the division is a true dice roll. The Diamondbacks seem like early favorites to me – its entirely plausible to expect several of their hitters to get better in 2009. They’ll benefit from Garland’s innings. Still, they are far from a sure bet. I think that the Rockies are an intriguing dark horse in this race. Expectations are low, but this is still largely the same team that went to the World Series two years ago.
While the Dodgers need Manny Ramirez to be even compete, it seems like the Giants would benefit the most by signing him. If they can afford it, Manny would make the Giants my favorite to win the division right away.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- Brand bc on Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- http://2804lasela.wordpress.com/ on TYA Predictions: Bold predictions for 2012
- the tao of badass pdf on What about Austin Romine?
- Joey Parkhill on Dante Bichette Jr’s Swing
- lululemon factory outlet on Contact Us
- Cary on Will R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball Succeed In A Domed Stadium?
- Brenna on Links: Prospects, Support for A-Rod, Mariano is Love and Who’s in Center?
- Louis Vuitton Outlet Sale Singapore on The Monthly Prospector: April Edition
- Authentic Louis Vuitton Outlet Store on The Monthly Prospector: June Edition
- Louis Vuitton Outlet San Diego on Banuelos to Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Yankees Prospectors to Undergo Grief Counseling
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees