Pretty much every blog in the universe remotely related to baseball has been making its predictions for what will happen in the majors in 2010. Some have done it division by division, and some have done it in one big shot.
I’ll be subscribing to a combination of both as I go league by league.
I will not be including records because, well, I’m just not that smart.
I see 2010 as a season that will have more than just a few surprises. Sure, teams such as the Phillies and Yankees will be right there until the end, but there are other squads that I think possess much intrigue because of their offseason moves and the emergence of their younger players.
More than likely this is an effort in futility, but it sure is fun.
Today I will break down the National League. Tomorrow the American League. Tuesday I’ll put out my playoff predictions.
Phillies Nobody’s better in the NL. They would be better with Cliff Lee AND Roy Halladay, but they are pretty darn strong as they stand.
Braves I like their mix of youth and experience. Their pitching will be a strength for them, especially if Tim Hudson can turn in a strong season.
Marlins How can you pick against them? Nobody knows how they do it, but they win every year. Ricky Nolasco is back and Josh Johnson is solid.
Mets How can you pick FOR them? The addition of Jason Bay would seem to bode well for the offense, but the recent injury to Daniel Murphy won’t help. Neither will the fact that they seem to have given up on their pitching.
Nationals I don’t want to pile on. They are not a good team. But their offseason moves and slow dedication to a youth movement points them in the right direction.
Cardinals Makes me sick to say it, but they are darn good. Their offense will more than make up for any pitching deficiencies. They have the potential for closer problems this year, though.
Cubs I love this team, but it seems no matter how much talent they get on the squad they do not win. Sure, they won the division for three straight years, but that was about it. Last year was an abomination. Marlon Byrd, and a healthy Aramis Ramirez, will really help the offense.
Reds They could be the surprise of the division in 2010. I like their staff (and the addition of Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, even though he is in the minors now) and their bats. Might sound crazy, but I think these guys could push for a playoff spot this year.
Astros Sure Lance Berkman is hurt, but this team has some talent. They are getting older at some positions (Carlos Lee, Berkman, Oswalt) and injuries could derail their season.
Brewers Their pitching is horrendous. Yovani Gallardo can’t stay healthy and one of their starters, Jeff Suppan, is already out. Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun are not enough.
Pirates Andrew McCutcheon will be fun for the entire league to watch and will more than likely represent the Bucs in the All-Star Game. That’s about it.
Giants As fans of the Tampa Bay Rays know, pitching wins. And there are few staffs (provided Barry Zito is actually good this year) as strong as the Giants’. “Kung Fu Panda” Pablo Sandoval will really shine this year.
Dodgers Why won’t they win the division? Health. I just think that they are going to have some big injuries this year and that Manny will do all he can to distract the team from winning baseball games. I like their young starting pitching, but it won’t gel enough this year.
Rockies Coors Field seems like a great place to watch a baseball game. Its offensive stats seem to have calmed down a bit. The rise of Ubaldo Jimenez and his ability to induce ground balls will help this team have a solid season.
Padres I love their youth. Everth Cabrera, Mat Latos, Chase Headley. I like ’em. This will be a big surprise if they don’t finish in the basement of the division again. I think they have some surprises in them.
Diamondbacks It will be a surprise if these guys DO finish in the basement. I like Dan Haren and their emerging catcher, Miguel Montero (he’s on my fantasy team!). But I don’t see a lot to get excited about in the desert.
Well, that was fun. No doubt, some of my picks might be debatable.
And, if they are debatable, feel free to tear me apart.
Let’s play some baseball!
The injury bug has hit a few of the players in this year’s All-Star Game.
For the AL, Torii Hunter has been forced to miss the game with an abductor strain (whatever that is), allowing one of my favorite players to make the game: Nelson Cruz. One of the top sluggers in the AL right now (who is somehow being platooned by Rangers Manager Ron Washington) with 20 homers and 50 RBIs, I found it very surprising that he was left off the roster the first time around.
What is especially cool about Cruz’s move to the roster is that he has said he will participate in the Home Run Derby. It is going to be lots of fun seeing him park balls over the fence in St. Louis.
I am still hoping that something happens so that Carlos Pena will be able to slide into the game. The chances are getting slimmer, though. And you have to feel doubly bad now for Ian Kinsler, a guy who should have made the team, then should have won the final vote, and then should have been put on the squad after Hunter’s injury. Poor guy.
What really bugs me, though, is how Jayson Werth was able to secure a spot on the roster in place of the injured Carlos Beltran. Don’t we have enough Phillies outfielders on the team!?
It is surprising to see Werth get the nod, although he has fine enough stats, when you consider that a perfectly acceptable outfielder was up for the final vote and did not get in: Matt Kemp. I would certainly rather see Kemp on the team than Werth. I would like to know the reasoning behind that selection, Charlie Manuel.
On a side note, the no hitter last night by Johnathan Sanchez was just classic. He missed a perfect game because of an error by his third baseman late in the game, but his no hitter was saved by an amazing play by Aaron Rowand on a huge drive to center field. I’m sure A Diatribe from a Journalism Student would be thrilled to find that one of her fave players helped to save a no hitter by playing the fearless defense he is known for. She is right about how hard-nosed that guy is. Well done Aaron Rowand.
But what makes this whole night perfect is the fact that Sanchez’s dad was in the stands to see him pitch for the first time. Seeing the father and son hug after the game was a little <sniff, sniff> touching.
I’m not crying. There is something in my eye. DOES SOMEBODY HAVE A TISSUE!?