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Blog Entry

N.L. East Division Crown Once Again

Posted on: March 22, 2010 8:08 am
 

While the Philadelphia Phillies are a strong favorite to win a fourth straight NL East division crown in 2010, another repeat won’t be an easy task. The Florida Marlins and Atlanta Braves each won at least 86 games a year ago. In addition, the New York Mets are expected to be much better this season (it isn't hard to improve, because they can't get worse than they were last year).

Phillies
Philly rolled to a second consecutive NL pennant in 2009 behind the top offense in the NL. With Ryan Howard and Chase Utley leading the way, the Phils will be an elite offense again in 2010. The arrival of Roy Halladay from the Toronto Blue Jays gives the Phils a dominant number one to build around at the top of the rotation. The Phillies are hoping that former ace Cole Hamels will be able to rebound from a shaky postseason in 2010; he is off to a great start this offseason, so we shall see...The team will also need a bounce back campaign from closer Brad Lidge (0-8, 7.21 E.R.A. in 2009) this year. Bet the Phillies to win the N.L. east again...it's a lock.

Braves
Since winning 14 straight division titles from 1991-2005, the Braves haven’t finished higher than third in the NL East. Still, there is plenty of optimism in the team’s camp this spring after an 86-76 campaign a year ago. Despite the loss of right-hander Javier Vazquez, the club’s rotation is one of the best in the senior circuit. The offense has some question marks. The Braves are hoping that franchise player Chipper Jones will rebound from a down year in 2009. Rookie outfielder Jason Heyward is generating plenty of hype in Atlanta’s camp as a potential breakout performer this season.

Marlins
Despite having one of the lowest payrolls all of baseball, Florida (87-75 in 2009) was a playoff contender last year. With a new ballpark set to open in 2012 and an increased payroll this season, the young Marlins aren’t going away. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez continues to emerge as one of the top stars in the game. On the mound, number one starter Josh Johnson is an elite arm. Some issues at the back of the rotation and in the bullpen could leave Florida a little short again in 2010.

Mets
The 2009 campaign (70-92) was a season to forget for the Mets. Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran combined to miss 207 games last season. Reyes is ready to go this spring while Beltran should be back in the lineup in May. The addition of free agent slugger Jason Bay should also help the Mets rebound. While Johan Santana and Francisco Rodriguez lead the pitching staff, there are some concerns beyond New York’s top starter and closer.

Nationals
After two straight 59-win seasons, Washington could be ready for a respectable season in 2010. Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn pace an offense that is looking for more consistency. On the mound, Jason Marquis is on board to lead the rotation after helping Colorado to reach the postseason in 2009 with 15 wins. Former Pirates hurler Matt Capps has been added as the club’s new closer.

Comments

Since: Apr 29, 2007
Posted on: March 23, 2010 9:03 pm
 

N.L. East Division Crown Once Again

Atlanta's rotation is pretty tough, but if Hamels comes back around this season the Phillies are going to have a hell of a 1-2 and be tough to beat.  The Marlins are once again a talented young team with one of the best players in baseball in the lineup.  The Mets should be healthier this year, but they have to show me they can win before I put them in the race.  Washington just isn't there yet, but I love Zimmerman and Strasburg should be with the club by the summer, so at least the fans will have a reason to come out and watch them. 
I have to go with the Phillies to win the East, that lineup is just too good.  There are no breaks until you get to Ruiz, and he's decent with the bat.  Utley is one of those players who will do anything to win, I think he can take the Phillies to the top of the division with his will and guts alone. 



Since: Feb 24, 2010
Posted on: March 23, 2010 8:27 pm
 

N.L. East Division Crown Once Again

My NL East Predictions
Phillies 93-69 It won't be as easy of a road, but when you look on paper, their the best team in the NL East.Braves 87-75 It's gonna be pretty close, but I think the Phillies have a better rotation and lineup. They'll be in the Wild Card hunt. Marlins 83-79 The Marlins are gonna be solid once again, good for 3rd place in the division. They have an average lineup and rotation.Mets 78-84 The Mets are gonna be close, but not quite a .500 team. They're starting pitching is some of the worst in the league.Nationals 0-162 Hey, it has to happen one day.



Since: Dec 14, 2006
Posted on: March 23, 2010 6:02 pm
 

N.L. East Division Crown Once Again

The original poster kept calling him Derek. His name is Jason.



Since: Mar 5, 2007
Posted on: March 23, 2010 11:35 am
 

N.L. East Division Crown Once Again

Buster Posey.  Wait, why are we naming random prospects?



Since: Dec 14, 2006
Posted on: March 22, 2010 7:21 pm
 

N.L. East Division Crown Once Again

Jason Heyward



Since: Dec 14, 2008
Posted on: March 22, 2010 2:56 pm
 

N.L. East Division Crown Once Again

While The Phillies are a 'lock' to win the N.L. East again in 2010, don't count out the Atlanta Braves.  Sure they haven't been to the postseason since 2005, but they have a lot to prove to themselves and for Outgoing manager Bobby Cox.

The Outfield could be set with Derek Hayward, Nate McLouth, and Matt Diaz.  The Outfield lacked stability last season with struggling OFs Jordan Schaffer and Jeff Francoeur.  Threre should be none of those problems this season nor there is not that problem with having Johnny Damon in the outfield (who signed with the Tigers) who would have been a rent a player (a.la Mark Kotsay in 2008.

I think Chipper Jones and Troy Glaus have a lot to prove to themselves after some less than stellar seasons by their own standards.  IF either one of those corner infielders go on a tear this season ,the Braves will help themselves in the chase for the Wild Card.

Derek Hayward will have to live up to all the Spring Training Hype his bat has spoken going into the season.  He appears to have all the tools to succeed where Jordan Schafer failed.



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