Thursday, December 19, 2013

NL East


LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The Mets were busy in the off-season. They had a terrific Rule V (defense up the middle, is it extra?), starting pitching for the back of the rotation (to go with a good front of the rotation). On offense it’s going to be mix and match for the Mets. I wish I could say that they were going to contend and be a force to be reckoned with, but this isn’t the year. They need run scorers and don’t have them yet.

OUT: The old guys
IN: The Young Guns

When I’m wrong, I’m wrong. I predicted the Mets would win 77, and instead they won 86 game just missing the playoffs in the tough NL. I was correct that the Mets would struggle to score runs (only 716 runs), but their pitching was FANtastic. Things are getting interesting in Spring Training for the Mets.
“the young reinforcements are arriving in waves now,” Stated an enthustiastic blanch. “This year, their #1 picks from Seasons 21 and 22 start the year on the ML roster (SP Danny Thompson - Sea 21 #9 overall, and RF Alex Walden - Sea 22 #2 overall), while prize IFA J.P. Guerrero (C) is poised to move up in 20 games.”
This is suddenly the most scary team in the NL East, if not the entire NL. Blanch added “The Mets may have over-performed a bit last season, but the team is really taking shape now - fewer 35 year-old, 1-year stopgaps and more guys who will be around for 10+ years. I see them winning 89 this year and making the playoffs.” I would have to agree with the veteran owner, but he is selling them short. They will do way more harm than even he thinks.
PREDICTION: 94-68, 1st Place

Philadelphia Phillies (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: My heart literally breaks for the Phillies. Rebuilding is a nasty process, but sometimes it’s. Like any breakup, there aren’t any losers or winners. Time to move on, no hard feelings. If they finish out of the cellar it will be purely a miracle.
OUT: Brian Masato, Steve Cecil
IN: Norm Fowler, Jerome Kennedy, Jumbo Troncoso. FELIX BRANDT

I could not have been more wrong about the Phillies last season. It was a MIRACLE. A team I had pegged to win only 60 games, won 89 and earned a wild card birth. They had a great and deep draft, which means that this could be the start of a dynasty. Dan Newson was picked up, and Felix Brandt will FINALLY get full time in the majors.
While Dillon is confident, he is still a realist “The NL East should be a tough division with the emergence of the Mets, improved Nats, and always tough Pirates,” stated the miracle man “the offense will improve some, but we won’t have enough reliable pitching.”
I went against the Phillies once. Not again.
PREDICTION: 89-73, 2nd Place

Washington D.C.
Washington D.C. Nationals (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The Nationals didn’t do too horribly last year, and beat the projection by 7 wins (or about 70 runs). Teams win when they get the most from their players, and the Nats did just that. Expect them to somehow play over their heads, because that is what Rigby’s teams do.
OUT: no one important
IN: Perry Adams

I over-projected for the Nationals, but they really are better than 70 wins. The pitching carried the offense, but Rigby didn’t make any moves to improve one of the weaker offenses in the NL. Brogna and Cortez can’t do this alone.
PREDICTION: 70-92, Last Place

Pittsburgh Pirates (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The Pirates had the best pitching during the season outside of Florida, but in crunch time the Pirates outshined their counterparts in teal taking that series two to one, and then hanging on to take down Montreal. One of the biggest acquisitions at the end of last year was Vic Gonzales from Tampa Bay. The others were Wade Dunn, PT Fischbach, and Brad Carlson (now gone to Fla). But those players led the way all the way to the title. New this year is the rule V crew, a few relievers, and the world famous ADRIAN RAMSAY. Is it time to Raise the Jolly Roger, again for the Moonlight Graham GM of the Year?
OUT: Theo Baily, Edgard Nunez
IN: Adam Strange

Rookie30000 has given way to Chadrader, a solid owner and great pickup for Kinsella. In his 33 seasons he has 14 division titles, 18 playoffs, and a world series title. Kinsella is a big step up, but it looks like Chad is up for the challenge. Known as “trader Chad” expect more than a few moves from the new ownership as I immediately found out when a trade offer for Theo Bailey popped up and I jumped all over it.
To anchor the offense Vic Gonzales was brought back. PT Fischback, Adrian Ramsey, and Wade Dunn are also back and should contribute many runs to a dangerous Pirates team.
The pitching staff was solid and should remain so. The Buccos will be in a dogfight with the Phillies and especially the Mets. This will be the division to watch.

PREDICTION: 90-72, Wild Card

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