It’s very important to wait until as late in March as possible to make these predictions because you have to wait for all of the ligaments to pop. Off we go with our 2014 predictions and with a question for each team.
Arizona Diamondbacks - Take ‘Zona for example. They traded prospects for Mark Trumbo, to boost a middling 2013 offense, and for closer Addison Read, to de-Zieglerify the 9th inning. Then, in search of depth in rotation, they signed Bronson Arroyo, who has been gimpy. Today we learn staff ace Patrick Corbin may be out indefinitely due to elbow ligament damage. That really, really hurts. Probably not enough here to outpace division. Can Paul Goldschmidt match last year’s massive campaign?
Colorado Rockies - Jorge de la Rosa had a wonderful 2013 for Rockies, who finished last despite being 2nd in NL in runs scored. (The difference between last and second in this division was seven wins.) But after de la Rosa and Jhoulys Chacin Rocks’ rotation was an abomination. Can anybody at the back end, maybe new Rockie Brett Anderson, keep them in a few more ballgames? Truth be told Blog has no idea. Neither do you, for that matter. But we both doubt it. We really do.
L.A. Dodgers - It’s really hard to look at this team, loaded at every spot on depth chart, and at this division — not so loaded — and not see the Dodgers walking away with it. There aren’t even injuries to really worry about. There are a lot of prima-donnas and kooks though. Will they fumble around before taking over like they did last year? Not if Donnie Baseball can help it.
San Diego Padres - A revamped rotation with Andrew Cashner at the helm and Josh Johnson, Tyson Ross and Ian Kennedy behind – with more potential depth in wings – makes Padres a hopeful team for 2014. You do wonder where offense comes from. Can 2012 version of Chase Headley perhaps power them into playoff hunt? Maybe. They seem to have enough pitching depth to find another bat if need be.
San Francisco Giants - They’ve taken a chance on Mike Morse, hoping for a little more power, and they’ve subbed in Tim Hudson for Barry Zito — presumably a marginal upgrade. Can Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain rediscover their greatness? Can Morse not be a giant black hole from which no out can escape? Maybe they also get an offensive boost from a slimmer Pablo Sandoval, who is playing in a contract year. Blog sees ‘em in mix for wild card berth but also thinks Padres are just a little bit better.
Predicted order of finish:
* wild card hunt