FriarBall: Early predictions for the NL West

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Early predictions for the NL West

First things first: I apologize this did not get up on Monday as promised. As most of you probably know, life has a funny way of shifting priorities. But enough excuses.

As Jan. winds down, it's time for anyone and everyone to start making predictions. So starting today, here are my breakdowns of the NL West and the Padres. Today's prediction is the order in which the teams will finish in the division with a short reason why. (Disclaimer: Since it is Jan., I reserve the right to change my predictions based on potential injuries during Spring Training. You didn't seriously think I would allow myself to be held completely to these did you?)

1. Diamondbacks: It would be easy to go with the homer pick here but AZ really surprised everyone last year, especially those who said '08 would be their year. Well, it's now '08 and they have added Dan Haren to the rotation. This team will be tough to beat again and probably has the best shot at winning the division.

2. Padres: You didn't think I'd pick them to finish any lower did you? In midseason they were the best team in the NL but they faded fast and eventually lost game 163 to Colorado. Mark Prior and Randy Wolf are interesting additions to the rotation and along with Jim Edmonds and Tadahito Iguchi this team has made some changes in hopes of playing a little longer in '08. These moves should work.

3. Rockies: They needed to win 21 of their last 22 to make the playoffs and then swept through the NL before being swept out by the Red Sox. Kip Wells is not the answer to replace the "Dragon Slayer" Josh Fogg though and no one will be caught off guard this time. However, Matt Holliday is really good, even if he never touched the plate.

4. Dodgers: Call this a hater pick if you want but Joe Torre does not equal playoffs for the boys in blue. This team still has a lot of work to do and will need more than one year for Torre to work his magic.

5. Giants: This organization is currently a mess and we will definitely need a scorecard to tell who the players are, but they are finally escaping the loooooong shadow of Barry Bonds. But they are still a couple of years away from actually turning this thing around and they should safely be entrenched in the basement by the end of April.

There you have it. Agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments.

1 comment:

Corey said...

Good call on the predictions. I have to think the Rockies come back to Earth a little, don't you think? The Dodgers, to me, looked so dead and uninspired last season, which might have had something to do with their place in the West. Still, I just didn't see much fire there. The D-Backs scare me a little, but I have to think they were over their heads a little as well.

Corey, www.padres.com