Thursday, December 28, 2006

NL East

More baseball previews:

Braves: Over this past offseason, the Braves have dramatically improved their biggest weakness (the bullpen). The only departures they've had were dead weight. Their young pitchers (James, Davies) get another year to mature. Sure they could use another bat and they need a full season out of both of the Jones boys, but they're my pick for the AL East crown.

Mets What, no Zito? Their rotation is only above average without Pedro. They've got a good, young offensive core, but they need a better supporting cast. They'll still win the NL Wild Card, though.

Marlins If the team only had a payroll... Probably the best rotation in baseball. Cabrera/Uggla/Hanley Ramirez is the equal to the Mets' young core. They have holes at LF, CF, and catcher, and their defense is seriously flawed. Their bullpen is held together by duck tape, so they're nothing more than an "also-ran." If they only spent some coin, this would be the most dangerous team in the NL.

Phillies: If the young pitcher really step up, they could be a contender, but they're just going to be too inconsistent. Plus, you can't rely on the old guys (Moyer and Gordon) to bail them out. They're busy registering for their AARP cards. The offense has a few great players, but there's just not enough depth. Who's going to protect Ryan Howard in that lineup?

Nats Still collecting dividends from that trade with the Reds. Losing Soriano is going to hurt. Their defense, except for Schneider, Zim, and Church (wherever they stick him) is horrible. Iron glovers everywhere you look. They've got a future, but they'll lose a lot of games this year.

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