Tuesday, January 19, 2010

NL East Season 10 Preview

Out: RF Dick Lightenberg
In: no notables
Impact Rookies: none
Payroll: $73MM
Lightenberg will be sorely missed; his replacement, rookie Ted Lombardi, is exactly the kind of player obsoleted by the end of the steroid era. So, a little more pressure on the NL's best pitching staff. Fortunately, they're up to the challenge.

SS Willie Camacho; C Henry Shuey; RP's Graham Brown, Matthew Crosby, and Homer Flanagan.
In: 1B Raymond Baker, 3B Justin Griffiths, CF Pat Decker, RP's Hector Mendoza and Vic Castillo.
Impact Rookies:
SP Les Walker (Sea 6 #30 overall - still in AAA)
Payroll: $70MM

D.C. also re-signed C Enrique Gonzalez and SP/LR Allen Sosa to relatively modest FA deals. Lotta movement...the net is the bullpen is a little shakier, they have 3 3B's, and they're still looking for a SS (Grffiths may get the nod there). They were only 6 back on the Mets last year...should be a tighter race this season.

Out: 3B Frank Bass, LF Alexander Myers, 1B Pedro Garrido
In: LF Orber Julio, SP Stuart Flynn
Impact Rookies: none
Payroll: $97MM

The very good staff (4th in ERA at 3.87 last year) is back intact, so it's all about the lineup in Philly. Orber Julio had his best season in years in Season 9; if he can repeat, it'll at least soften the loss of Garrido. 3rd-year men Johnnie Young (OF) and Felipe Oropesa (1B) will have to step up.

Out: LF Orber Julio, RF James Sherman, SP Orlando Guerrero
In: none
Impact Rookies: none
Payroll: $63MM

Pittsburgh shed 3 veterans to cut payroll and concentrate on rebuilding. They'll rely on a cadre of 2nd-year players to improve, although we could see AAA SP's Danys Lopex and Ozzie Jordan before the season's out.

Sizing Up the Race:
The Mets could possibly back up, but not much. The Nationals and Phillies could both press them, but I think D.C. has done more to improve. Tough to beat the Mets' pitching though...Mets over D.C. in a closer race than last year.

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