18 March 2011
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Today’s Focus: Arizona Diamondbacks
2010 Record: 65-97
The Diamondbacks offense was literally hit or miss last year. They were 3rd in the NL in home runs but also broke the MLB all-time strikeout record. Some of this can be blamed on Mark Reynolds but the team still strikes out way too much. The players who stuck out at least 23% of the time with a minimum of 200 PA are; Kelly Johnson (25.3%), Chris Young (24.8%), Adam LaRoche (30.7%), Mark Reynolds (42.3%), Justin Upton (30.7%), Miguel Montero (23.9%), Chris Snyder (31.3%), Rusty Ryal (32.4%) and Tony Abreu (24.4%). Justin Upton is a bounce back candidate and I think Chris Young is a lock for 25/25. I’m not sure how well Russell Branyan plays in an NL lineup and Melvin Mora is showing his age.
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16 February 2011
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Today’s Focus: Detroit Tigers
The additions of Victor Martinez and Joaquin Benoit are huge. They also have a guy named Miguel Cabrera who will see more strikes with VMart hitting behind him. Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer will be the best 1-2 starters in the A.L. Central. Their bullpen is a strength with Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit, Daniel Schlereth, Joel Zumaya and Brad Thomas. Is this enough for the Tigers to compete in 2011?
Brad Penny is a good add for the back-end of the rotation. The only dilemma I see is Brad Penny and Rick Porcello are both ground ball pitchers. This will have a negative affect on the Tigers leaky infield defense. Carlos Guillen has lost his range and Jhonny Peralta never had any. Miguel has never been a great defender.
As for the lineup, you have about five guys who should be penciled in at DH and most of team is right-handed. What happens when the injury-prone Brandon Inge goes down? Do you move the injury-prone Carlos Guillen to 3rd? Carlos Guillen may not be back until May. Scott Sizemore and Will Rhymes will platoon at 2B until he returns.
Notable Losses: Armando Galarraga, Johnny Damon, Gerald Laird, Jeremy Bonderman
Notable Pick Ups: Brad Penny, Victor Martinez, Joaquin Benoit
This team seems to have too many aging veterans and injury concerns for my liking. Expect them to finish 3rd in the Central again finishing behind the White Sox and Twins.