Category Archives: Team Preview

National League Central Previews: Brewers

Today’s Focus: Milwaukee Brewers

2010 Record 77-85, 3rd Place NL Central

The Brew Crew are looking to follow fellow cheese heads, the Green Bay Packers, into a world championship this season.  The Brewers made major moves in the off season to strengthen what was already a good team.  The biggest move was the trade with the Royals to bring in former CY Young Award winner Zack Greinke.  Greinke had a down season last year but you have to like his chances playing in the National League, on team that’s actually capable of winning games.  The addition to of Shaun Marcum to a rotation that already includes Yovani Gallardo makes much improvement to last season’s weak pitching staff.  The Brewers lost all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman, but new closer Jon Axford played well in the role last year when Hoffman floundered.
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National League Central Previews: Cardinals

Today’s Focus: St. Louis Cardinals

2010 Record: 86-76, 2nd Place NL Central

This will more than likely be the Cardinals last season without the best player in baseball, Albert Pujols. After the 2011 season, his 11th as a cardinal, Mr. Pujols will be a free agent and is apparently seeking a $300 million dollar, 10 year deal.  The Cards were not able to work out a deal before spring training, so all negotiations will be off until the season ends.  If Pujols leaves, so will the Cards chances of competing in this division in the years to come.
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National League Centeral Previews: Reds

Today’s Focus: Cincinnati Reds

2010 Record 91-71, 1st Place NL Central. Lost to Phillies in NLDS

The same Cincinnati Reds that brought you the NL Central Championship last year are back with no major changes to its core of talented players.  The pitching staff is anchored by the 1-2-3 punch Bronson Arroyo, Johnny Cueto, and Edison Volquez.  Former 1st round pick, Homer Bailey, finally showed some consistency last year and will get a chance to win one of the final spots in the rotation this spring.  The bullpen took a hit with Arthur Rhodes departure, but hard throwing uber prospect Aroldis Chapman will likely take his take his spot, and could wind up as the team’s closer

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National League East Previews: Nationals

Today’s focus: Washington Nationals


2010 Record: 69-93, 5th Place NL East (14th in NL)

The Nationals have been on quite a roller coaster ride the past 21 months.  From the highs of drafting Stephen Strasburg, the most hyped pitching prospect in recent memory – to almost not being able to sign him.  Finishing last again, to drafting Bryce Harper, the most hyped high school position player in recent memory.  The excitement of Strasburg’s dominating debut to the crushing blow of losing him to Tommy John surgery.  The Nationals decided to make a big splash this off season by signing one of the biggest name free agents in Jason Werth.  They over paid him by $10’s of millions but such is the plight of a franchise that has finished no higher than 4th since 2002.

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National League East Previews: Mets

Today’s focus: New York Mets


2010 Record: 79-83, 4th Place NL East (10th in NL)

The Mets off-season made news for all the wrong reasons as the headlines have been filled, not with big name free agent signings, but with talk of Madoff, lawsuits, massive debt, plans to sell off team shares, and loans from MLB. This all coming on the heals of fun news items like closer Francisco Rodriguez’s assault arrest that also led to season ending surgery on his thumb and ace Johan Santana’s sexual assault charges and season ending rotator cuff surgery that will keep him out until June at the earliest. All-Star Centerfielder Carlos Beltran has combined for only 145 games the past two years on his surgically repaired knees and has just told the team that he needs to move to Rightfield to reduce wear and tear. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of health going into 2011.

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National League East Previews: Marlins

Today’s focus: Florida Marlins


2010 Record: 80-82, 3rd Place NL East (tied for 8th in NL)

The Marlins have now played 8 seasons since winning the second of their two world championships and in their 18 seasons overall, they still have never won their division.  In contrast, the Phillies have played 128 and won the same number of titles.  All this is to say, the Marlins are very good at catching lightning in a bottle and also very good at letting it walk out the door the next year to remain within their modest payroll.  The Marlins have been stringing more and more keys to their kite the past few years with the emergence of Josh Johnson, Chris Coghlan, Mike Stanton, and Logan Morrison to add to the star power of Hanley Ramirez.

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2011 National League East Previews: Braves

Today’s focus: Atlanta Braves

2010 Record 91-71 2nd Place NL East, Wild Card.  Lost to Giants in NLDS

The Braves will look to build on their 2010 Wild Card season as they enter 2011 with hopes of unseating the Phillies from the top of the NL East.  Their biggest change from last season is new skipper Fredi Gonzalez who takes over for the legendary Bobby Cox.  Gonzalez has a knack for getting the most from a young lineup and he has a good mix of young talent and proven veterans at his disposal.

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2011 National League East Previews: Phillies

Today’s focus: Philadelphia Phillies


2010 Record 97-65 1st Place NL East, Best Record in MLB.  Lost to Giants in NLCS
The Phillies off season can be summed up with two words: CLIFF LEERuben Amaro Jr and the Phillies shocked the baseball universe when they emerged as the “Mystery Team” swooping in to sign Lee for fewer years and dollars than the Yankees and Rangers were reported to have offered.  The Phils have assembled easily the best pitching rotation in baseball, and on paper, the best in the past 20 years.

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2011 American League West Previews: Mariners

Today’s Focus: SEATTLE MARINERS


2010 Record: 61-101 (Last in Division; Last in AL)

2010 saw 24 fewer wins than in 2009 and 2009 saw 24 more wins than in 2008. So what gives? Well, Cliff Lee only pitched 13 games for them, Erik Bedard was a no-show, the ever-consistent Jose Lopez had his worst season, Milton Bradley played terrible WHEN he played, newcomer Chone Figgins stole some bases but little else, and Casey Kotchman was dreadful. Oh, and the M’s were just 17-40 vs. the AL West. But 2010 wasn’t all that bad in Seattle – Felix Hernandez won the Cy and the Mariners avoided having the worst record in baseball! (Go Pirates!)

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2011 American League West Previews: Angels

Today’s Focus: LOS ANGELES ANGELS of ANAHEIM


2010 Record: 80-82 (3rd in Division; 10th Best Record in AL)

Since 2004, the Halos have won the American League West 5 times. 2010 was not one of those years. After registering 97 wins in 2009, they failed to break .500 for the first time since 2003. After Kendry “Gramatica” Morales went down like Frazier, the team lost all focus scoring 202 fewer runs than they did in 2009. They were hoping Dan Haren could save their season, but the Rangers proved to be for real…as did the A’s since they finished ahead of them as well. The Rally Monkey of 2002 seems like a distant memory, so perhaps 2011 is their year?

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