Thursday, February 05, 2009

The NL West Is Like a Box of...Cereal

CONTENTS MAY SETTLE DURING SHIPPING. Less than two weeks until spring training and the NL West is like an unshipped box of cereal. Here's a look at one of the quieter divisions this off-season, with teams listed in order of stability. (Hint: Whoever signs Manny becomes the favorite.)

team comments
Giants Deepest starting rotation in the division (Lincecum, Johnson, Cain, Zito, Sanchez/Lowry). Only team in the division currently improved from 2008 (despite McCourt's claims). Last in the majors with 94 total home runs, which can be addressed by "stealing" Manny from the Dodgers—then letting him take a crack at Bonds' walk record.
Diamondbacks Despite being an Arizona afterthought, this is nearly the same team that finished only two games out of first place last season. Like the Dodgers, they have a young core that should improve each year. Johnson has been replaced by Garland and Hudson will be lost to free agency, but the Diamondbacks gain by default if the Dodgers get worse, i.e., fail to sign Manny.
Dodgers Lost a ton of production in departing players. Hoping to compensate with a young core entering its third full year together. Pitching staff is crippled—lacking a Lincecum/Webb/Peavy-type ace, no available free agent (or even two) will drastically improve it. If the Dodgers sign Manny, they'll hope to outscore their way to the top (!); the Manny-less alternative is bleak indeed.
Rockies A 74-88 team that trades Matt Holliday and lets Brian Fuentes sign elsewhere is waving the white flag before spring training even begins. More bad news: The season of former ace Francis is in jeopardy. And it's hard to believe Helton still has at least three more years on his contract.
Padres Good news: The sale of the team is complete, so Padres fans can return their attention to the field. Keeping Peavy—no sure thing—gives the Padres a fighting chance to stay out of the cellar, but being in sale mode has caused too much turnover at other positions. If Peavy is traded, last year's mark of 99 losses will be threatened.

photo from Mind Your Decisions

3 comments:

Hong Like a Chih Kuo said...

Sheets is having elbow surgury, so there goes the "sign 4 players for the price of Manny" plan. Lock up Manny and Wolf in the next two weeks and we have ourselves a darn tootin' good offseason.

Reading McCovey Chronicles is just like a cross section of what its like to deal with people in San Francisco (I know, I ised to live there). They're smug and a little cocky about themselves, but there's this tint of self-loathing that's hard to miss. Its got to be tough as a Giants fan with nothing to fall back on when times are tough. At least we have history and tradition in LA and the lingering memory of a World Championship. I guess its good to "know your enemy", as Zach likes to say.

Orel said...

Wouldn't Giants fans describe us in the same way?

Neeebs said...

I always thought that San Francisco had a superiority complex with its relationship to Angelenos, and San Diego had an inferiority complex.