Friday, June 17, 2011

NL West Preview

Arizona Diamondbacks

Key Additions (ML) - Don Takada (C from Oak)-will provide a much needed big bat even though his defense isn't the greatest. Was an All-star last year. May play 1B for me this year.

Key Losses (ML) - Tony Torres (OF). His proj/ratings show him to be a career minor leaguer, but all he's done is crush ML pitching. I may regret letting TT go.
Willie Park (1B) - hasn't lived up to the hype.. Coming off major injury last year and headed to arbitration = needed to go..

Key Additions (prospects) - Carlos Gandarillas (SP-from LA). Should be in my ML rotation in Season 5. Very happy to add another quality young pitcher to my team.

Key Losses (prospects) - Ivan Roque (#5 overall pick from Season 1 part of Gandarillas trade). Was looking at a ML promotion this year. Has had success in the minors, but as you predicted when he was drafted he's likely only a LF and not a 2B due to his sub-par glove. LF are easy to find SP aren't. That was my thinking.

Season 4 Outlook - The D-backs improved 17 gms from Season 2 to Season 3. Lost too many games early on from a terrible bullpen and a very young SP rotation. Promoted closer Orber Soriano probably a year early to try and keep from hitting the losses limit and just win some games and it paid immediate results. He was one of the best closers in the NL in the 2nd half. The team had an 11-gm and an 8-gm wins streak in the 2nd half so I fee like the D-backs could be a playoff contender in Season 4 if we stay healthy. We dramatically addressed our defensive issues from Seasons 1&2 with free agent signings of Mac Nakamura and Ramon Jang. Both are getting up in age, but their defense was stellar and Jang had an All-star year while winning the Silver Slugger award for SS in the NL.. With young CF Bob Price and proven vet Adam Long at 2B my team was at the top of the defensive stats in the NL and should continue to be that way.

Franchise Outlook - Probably aren't a serious contender this year, but the future looks very bright. I have several highly rated prospects who should arrive in Season 5. A future rotation of Daryle Duffy, Justin Jacquez, Lorenzo Mercado,and Carlos Gandarillas looks very promising though Jacquez and Mercado will never be big inning eaters so my bullpen needs more depth. Orber Soriano and Yamil Calvo makes for a dynamic 8th and 9th inning "closers",
My offensive prospects are just as solid as Murray Dawley, Jacob Munoz,and Yeico Lee should all have great ML careers when they arrive..

- I will have $30m to spend on INT prospects along with the #13 pick in the Amateur draft so expect to see me add 2-5 top rated prospects in Season 4.

Coaching - I budgeted 15m for coaches and currently have the Top 10 bench, hitting and pitching coaches as well as several top coaches in the minors. Gonna overspend on what above average fielding coaches are left, but certainly wish I had a better one already signed.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Key Player Added: RP Cole Simmons

Key Player Lost: RP Frank Fujiwara

Key Transaction: SP Carlos Gandarillas for IF/OF Ivan Roque, RP Jumbo Ramirez and C Damian Lowery

Rookies: SP Stump Stokes and C Ian Dorsey

Outlook for the upcoming season: Looking to improve by at least 10 games. Team defense and pitching have been upgraded from weak points to modest team strengths.

San Diego Padres

The Padres traded for Maverick Rivera to bring some much needed pop to last season's lackluster offense. In a surprising move, they dealt away the Cy Young Award runner up, Stu Morgan, for a minor league pitcher. To compensate for the loss of Morgan, San Diego signed type A free agent Milt Duncan. Only time will tell if that was a smart move.

Look for top prospects Jesus Rodriguez and Phillip French to make an impact on this club, although both are expected to start the year in the minors.

The Padres made it to the NLCS last season and are expecting to represent the NL in the World Series this year. The pitching and defense are top notch and if the hitters can step up the Series is there for the Padres to take.

San Francisco Giants

Not much happening out in the Bay Area. Our only addition of note was the trade for Eli Soto .

We didn't lose anyone of note this season (although Reid Gold coming back to the NL does NOT make me happy). Key Rookie is Catcher Corey Carter , who should add a little offensive punch to the lineup.

As far as season outlook is concerned, SF is in limbo. The team is still competitive enough for the division, but the takeover of LA by santafe, plus San Diego's continued progression will make any success in the NL West hard earned.

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