Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Philadelphia is still best in the east

Atlanta Braves

2009: 86-76 third place

Key Players

3B Chipper Jones .264 avg., 18 HR, 71 RBI, .388 OBP

CF Nate McClouth .256 avg., 20 HR, 70 RBI, 19 SB

C Brian McCann .281 avg., 21 HR, 94 RBI, 137 runs

Key Additions

LF Melky Cabrera

RP Takashi Saito

RP Billy Wagner

Cabrera bolsters a talented outfield for the Braves, which already includes McClouth and Matt Diaz. Eric Hinske was also brought in to spell those three. Both Saito and Wagner can close and gives Atlanta some options late in games.

Key Subtractions

OF Garret Anderson

OF Ryan Church

SP Tom Glavine

1B Adam LaRoche

SP Javier Vazquez

RP Rafael Soriano

Anderson and Glavine were past their prime last season, so no harm there. With the additions in the outfield and veteran Troy Glaus, the Braves won’t miss Church or LaRoche

Stats breakdown

Pitching 3

Offense 3

Defense 3

Overall 9

The Braves were a winning team last year and they should be again in 2010. They are, however, a far cry from division rival Philadelphia. Atlanta could surprise some people if their young talent learns from the experienced veterans.

Florida Marlins

2009: 87-75 2nd place

Key Players

SS Hanley Ramirez .342 avg., 24 HR, 106 RBI, 27 SB

2B Dan Uggla .243 avg., 31 HR, 90 RBI, 92 BB

3B Jorge Cantu .289 avg., 16 HR 100 RBI, 42 2B

SP Josh Johnson 209 IP, 3.23 ERA, 2 CG, 191 Ks

Key Additions

RP Hunter Jones

The Marlins retained several of their core players and haven’t made much noise on the free agent front. They traded Jeremy Hermida for reliever Hunter Jones.

Key Subtractions

1B Ross Gload

OF Jeremy Hermida

1B Nick Johnson

The Marlins shouldn’t worry too much about the guys who have gone. Their core of infielders and young pitching have produced the last few seasons and should continue to do so this year.

Stats breakdown

Pitching 3

Offense 4

Defense 3

Overall 10

Around the horn - with Cantu, Ramirez and Uggla – Florida is tough. All-star Josh Johnson leads a young pitching staff that only has room to grow. Outfielders Chris Coughlan and Cody Ross seem to fit the mold of young talented players coming up in the Marlin’s system.

New York Mets

2009: 70-92 4th place

Key Players

3B David Wright .307 avg., 10 HR, 72 RBI, 27 SB

SS Jose Reyes .279 avg., 147 AB (injured)

2B Luis Castillo .302 avg., 40 RBI, 77 runs

CF Carlos Beltran .325 avg., 100 hits, 48 RBI

SP Johan Santana 3.13 ERA,166.2 IP, 146 Ks

Key Additions

OF Jason Bay

OF Gary Mathews Jr.

P Kelvim Escoba

P Josh Fogg

The Mets wrote some checks to bring in the big names listed above. But, history has shown us that just because a pay roll is increased, doesn’t mean the win column will increase.

Key Subtractions

1b Carlos Delgado

RP JJ Putz

OF Gary Sheffield

RP Brian Stokes

If there is such a thing as addition by subtraction, the Mets may have found it. Sheffield and Delgado are old and Putz isn’t needed when Francisco Rodriguez is in the bullpen.

Stats breakdown

Pitching 3

Offense 3

Defense 2

Overall 8

Recently, the Mets have fallen below expectations. The big-name signings feel a little desperate. New York has found a way to lose lately, and something in the air says the Mets will fall flat again in 2010.

Philadelphia Phillies

2009: 93-69 1st place

Key Players

P Cole Hamels 4.32 ERA, 193.2 IP, 168 Ks

P Joe Blanton 4.05 ERA, 195.1 IP, 163 Ks

P Brad Lidge 61 Ks, 31-of-42 Saves

CF Shane Victorino .292 avg., 102 runs, 62 RBI, 25 SB

2B Chase Utley .282 avg., 31 HR, 93 RBI, 112 runs

SS Jimmy Rollins .250 avg., 21 HR, 77 RBI, 31 SB

1B Ryan Howard .279 avg., 45 HR, 141 RBI, .360 OBP

Key Additions

SP Roy Halladay

P Jose Contreras

IF Placido Polanco

RP Danys Baez

The biggest player move of the offseason was Halladay coming to Philly. He will bolster an already stellar starting rotation that features Hamels, Blanton, JA Happ and Jamie Moyer. Polanco will start at third, but his ability to fill the utility-man role gives Philadelphia injury insurance.

Key Subtractions

SS Miguel Cairo

SP Cliff Lee

SP Brett Myers

Cliff Lee was a big part of the Phillies’ post-season run, but Philadelphia had to give him up to secure Halladay. Philadelphia still came out ahead.

Stats breakdown

Pitching 5

Offense 5

Defense 4

Overall 14

After a pair of World Series appearance, it comes as no surprise the Phillies are the team to beat in the east, and maybe even the NL. Starting and relief pitching are stacked and Howard, Utley, Rollins, Werth and Victorino are studs at the plate.

Washington Nationals

2009: 59-113 5th place

Key Players

1B Adam Dunn .267 avg., 38 HR, 105 RBI

3B Ryan Zimmerman .292 avg., 33 HR, 106 RBI

CF Nyger Morgan .307 avg., 144 hits, 7 3Bs, 43 SB

Key Additions

SP Jason Marquis

RP Matt Capps

2B Adam Kennedy

C Ivan Rodriguez

The Nationals made some noise this offseason, with their biggest signing being Marquis. The right-hander got off to a great start with Colorado last year. It will be much easier to pitch in Washington. Speaking of pitchers, the Nationals also drafted highly-touted and crazy-talented Stephen Strasburg with the No. 1 overall draft pick. If he develops the way scouts think he can, look out.

Key Subtractions

C Josh Bard

OF Austin Kearns

P Livan Hernandez

Bard only batted .230 last season. With Pudge Rodriguez behind the plate, offering veteran leadership, Bard won’t be missed.

Stats breakdown

Pitching 2

Offense 3

Defense 3

Overall 8

The Nationals are certainly improved, but hold off the celebratory parade in D.C. until it can be seen how the many new faces will gel with the guys in clubhouse. All in all, a lot of upside for the Nats.

Final NL East breakdown

Champion: Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies are the best team in the NL East. That’s why they’ve won the division the last three years running and gone to consecutive World Series. Florida (because of youth) and Washington (because of free agent signings) are on the rise though. The Mets signed plenty of big names, but will probably remain about a .500 team. Atlanta is treading water in the middle of the pack.

1 comment:

  1. Roy Halladay will be the Cy Young in the National League, and the Phillies will crush all in their path.


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