Blog’s back! with a question for every team. Spring training is in full swing. Ligaments are fraying, rosters are evolving and bloggers are bolging. The balance of power is shifting in this division! It’s a tough one to handicap.
Arizona Diamondbacks - Moved their putative ace, Wade Miley, to Boston and appear to view the trade as a full-employment ticket with Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster filling in a troublesome rotation. Can they get a full season out of their exciting center fielder A.J. Pollock and a bounce-back year from Mark Trumbo? That will decide if they can crawl out of the basement behind what could be a dynamic offense. In other news they’ll be selling a massive desert (dessert? you pick) Churro Dog for Snakes fans needing to augment calorie intakes after consuming the behemoth, bacon-armored corn dog that debuted in 2014.
Colorado Rockies - One thing Blog of Team values in making pre-season predictions is a team’s continuity. The Rocks have this in both the starting rotation and at most positions. That’s a good thing. Can the Rockies challenge in this division? If they stay healthy — and, with respect to Tulo and CarGo, get healthy — then the answer is yes. In fact Blog is kind of penciling them in as one of 2015′s “surprise” teams but also is using jarring scare quotes to indicate this is a qualified consideration given the injuries and the fact that they play home games in outer space.
Los Angeles Dodgers - Last year the Dodgers were built for a World Series run. And they fell victim to the Medusa-gaze of October. This year Blog sees them as being marginally weaker overall and sees the division (San Diego and Colorado especially) as having closed the gap. It’s difficult, for example, to imagine middle infielders Jimmy Rollins and Howie Kendrick matching the production of the departed Hanley Ramirez and Dee Gordon. Then again a couple more calm veterans might be good for the club’s notoriously unpredictable chemistry. They’ll need to find some magic at closer, from a spare-parts bullpen, if they want to stay on top. Will young Joc Pederson seize stardom in center field this summer at Chavez? ¡Vamos a ver!
San Diego Padres - The rotation, which had been in rebuild mode in 2014, now appears ripe to compete with the addition of James Shields at the top. They’ve gapped up their offensive potential by adding Derrek Norris, Matt Kemp and Justin Upton. And young Wil Myers gets the keys in center field. Does Blog like what Blog sees here? Yes. Yes Blog does. Blog sees starter Andrew Cashner’s performance as being particularly important to their playoff hopes.
San Francisco Giants - Right now World Series Champs’ website has Yusmeiro Petit at 7th on the rotation depth chart. Don’t believe it. He’s the best thing they’ve got going this spring next to Madison Bumgarner, who famously logged huge innings totals last year. This is going to be a down year in San Fran, and not just because its an odd-number year. Not that 88 wins during last year’s regular season campaign was anything spectacular. In fact Blog sees them as being an injury or two away from last place. Will we ever see 2006/2012-vintage Matt Cain again? He and his brutal contract seem to have joined Tim Lincecum in the perma-zone of overpaid mediocrity. Garlic fries though. Garlic fries!
Predicted Order of Finish
* wild card hunt