Breaking Down the N.L. West

5 Feb

NLWEST.jpgEarlier this week I told you what I thought about the N.L. Central, so today let’s look at the N.L. West.  I know that you’re hoping that I’m going to say something terrible about the San Francisco Giants, but I’m not.  They’re going to win this Division, and I think they will pretty easily.

The Winner…

The Giants will prevail again in the National League West. Their starting rotation is very strong, and Zito is only one there I question after being left off their Postseason roster. I’m not huge on Jonathan Sanchez either,  he’s got so much upside but can’t string together multiple wins. The only addition they made was Miguel Tejada which tells you they are feeling pretty comfortable with their team.  They picked up a lot of discarded players last season from other clubs which is OK, but I wonder how that will play out in 2011.  Is Pat Burrell really going to be their starting left fielder?  Mark DaRosa was out the majority of the season for them last year, so if he plays well I can see someone getting released. Other than the Dodgers, I can’t see anyone seriously competing with the Giants (In the West).  

The Dodgers were VERY busy in the off-season after a very disappointing season where they finished 4th after back-to-back trips to the NLCS where the lost to the Phillies. Their biggest change took place on the last day of the season when Joe Torre retired and passed the reigns to Don Mattingly. The Dodgers also inked Davey Lopes (sigh) They managed to convince Ted Lilly to hang around for 3 more years, and they also signed John Garland giving them a pretty good looking rotation.  They’ll be better then last year, but still just not good enough to dethrone the Giants. 

The Rockies apparently don’t want Michael Young, and I don’t know why.  He might actually be the difference between a shot at the N.L. Wild Card and third place.  They have a pretty good squad.  Ubaldo is obviously a legit #1, and Tulo just got an extension that’s as sweet as his mullet.  10 years?1? Sheesh. I think that if they added one more bat to their line-up that along with Carlos Gonzales they would be pretty strong.  Todd Helton is almost 38 so I think he’s on the way out. 

The Diamondbacks will likely come in 4th place in the West, but they are getting better. They are a pretty young team now with a few veterans that will hopefully bring some wins back to the desert for a dwindling fan base.  They lost Mark Reynolds and his pop from their line-up so I don’t think they’re about to contend any time soon.  They’ve got a new GM that is going to make a big difference. 

At the bottom it’s gotta be the Padres. Can you say “Firesale?”  Wow the list of their off-season discards is pretty long.  Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Hairston, Miguel Tejada, Chris Young, Kevin Correia, Jon Garland, David Eckstein, Tony Gwynn Jr., Jerry Hairston Jr., Yorvit Torrealba, Cesar Ramos, Adam Russell, and Ryan Webb.  WOW.  I would like to think that they are trying to get younger, but they aren’t.  On paper they actually have a nice looking team, but with all the changes I can’t see them being able to do what they did in 2010, especially since the rest of their Division got better. Their bullpen is still pretty damn good looking though, so if they don’t have early results I wouldn’t be surprised to see Heath Bell dangled at the trade deadline.

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