Friday, February 10, 2006

Part 2: NL West

I thought it would be important to group my series in a geographical nature. Judging by my title, the NL West is next.

San Diego: The chances that this team will win the division with a .500 record are nill. Eaton and Otsuka are lost to the Rangers. They did sign the sometime productive, often injured Piazza and the NL nomad Estes. Estes could be a decent addition to this starting rotation, to give Peavy some support. Peavy, should again, have a productive 15 win season. They also acquired the "all or nothing" Mike Cameron for Xavier Nady and added Mark Belhorn at 2nd base. In looking at these offseason moves, I don't think they gained a whole lot. This team could be another .500 team, but will not finish first.

LA Dodgers: I think the Dodgers get an "A" for their offseason moves. Adding some power and defense with Furcal, Garciaparra, Lofton and strengenthing the bullpen with Baez, Carter, Seo, and Hamulack to go along with Gange (assuming he recovers well from surgery). As it stands now, the Dodgers are my pick for first. A starting rotation of Lowe, Brad Penny and Odalis Perez, and now Tomko should fair well. Tomko will be the weakest link of the starting rotation. Furcal and Kent are both coming off of surgery, but both should be ready to go before or during spring training.

Giants: If Bonds comes back and stay healthy, they could easily take second place in the West. They lost a mediocre pitcher in Tomko to the rival Dodgers, but acquired Finley from the Angels. Besides these two moves, and losing Snow to the Red Sox, the Giants remained fairly silent during the Hot Stove league. With Jason Schmidt achoring the starting rotation again, they should do fairly well. Their offense has not changed a whole lot, but they did not keep up with the Dodgers in the off season.

D-Backs: Being a team in one of the larger Hot Stove moves trading Vasqueze to the White Sox for 3 players. One of those players is the young, hot prospect named Chris Young. You should see him either start in CF or be moved up from AAA sometime around June. The other two players, Orlando Hernadez and Luis Vizcaino, could help the D-back pitching, as long as Orlando can stay off the DL. Being an AL pitcher for his career and from a fantasy perspective, I would stay away from Orlando for at least a few starts in the NL, Vizcaino should help out in the bullpen nicely. Brad Helsey was a nice surprise last season for the starting rotation. They also picked up gold glover Orlando Hudson at second base. The D-back should give the Padres some competition for third...maybe even second.

Rockies: Nothing really looks that great for this team. Todd Helton had minor elbow surgery which could be the only positive thing to happen to the Rockies. Helton had a season that we have not seen from him since 1998. Let’s hope his elbow was the culprit. Not seeing a whole lot of activity on the offense front from the Rockies, so therefore, they are receiving my vote of "last". I think Forrest Gump said it best..."And thats all I have to say about that."

Giants (tie)
D-Backs (tie)

Look for the "central" divisions to be parts 3 and 4 in upcoming days/weeks.

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