MLB Preview: NL East

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MLB Preview: NL East
(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Note: The lineups and rotation order are done by my discretion. The projected lineups are done the way I would have them if I was the team's manager.

ATLANTA BRAVES

LINEUP

1. Kelly Johnson 2B .287 12 HR 69 RBI

2. Yunel Escobar SS .288 10 HR 60 RBI

3. Chipper Jones 3B .364 22 HR 75 RBI

4. Brian McCann C .301 23 HR 87 RBI

5. Casey Kotchman 1B .272 14 HR 74 RBI

6. Garret Anderson LF .293 15 HR 84 RBI

7. Jeff Francoeur RF .239 11 HR 71 RBI

8. Gregor Blanco CF .251 1 HR 38 RBI

9. PITCHER

PITCHING STAFF

1. Derek Lowe 14-11 3.24 ERA 147 K 1.13 WHIP

2. Jair Jurrjens 13-10 3.68 ERA 139 K 1.37 WHIP

3. Javier Vazquez 12-16 4.67 ERA 200 K 1.32 WHIP

4. Kenshin Kawakami

5. Tom Glavine 2-4 5.54 ERA 37 K 1.64 WHIP

CL Mike Gonzalez 14 SV 4.28 ERA 44 K 1.19 WHIP

KEY BENCH PLAYERS

Matt Diaz .244 2 HR 14 RBI

Omar Infante .293 3 HR 40 RBI

I like what the Braves have done this offseason. They are going back to their successful ways in having quality pitching. Their lineup is balanced; however, they lack a dependable, power hitter. If Chipper can stay healthy for the majority of the year, I would expect the 2009 Atlanta Braves to be competitive.

OVERALL GRADE: B-

 

FLORIDA MARLINS

LINEUP

1. Cameron Maybin CF .500 0 HR 2 RBI

2. John Baker C .299 5 HR 32 RBI

3. Hanley Ramirez SS .301 33 HR 67 RBI

4. Jorge Cantu 1B .277 29 HR 95 RBI

5. Jeremy Hermida LF .249 17 HR 61 RBI

6. Dan Uggla 2B .260 32 HR 92 RBI

7. Cody Ross RF .260 22 HR 73 RBI

8. Emilio Bonifacio 3B .243 0 HR 14 RBI

9. PITCHER

PITCHING STAFF

1. Ricky Nolasco 15-8 3.52 ERA 186 K 1.10 WHIP

2. Josh Johnson 7-1 3.61 ERA 77 K 1.35 WHIP

3. Chris Volstad 6-4 2.88 ERA 52 K 1.33 WHIP

4. Anibal Sanchez 2-5 5.57 ERA 50 K 1.57 WHIP

5. Andrew Miller 6-10 5.87 ERA 89 K 1.64 WHIP

CL Matt Lindstrom 14 H 3.14 ERA 43 K 1.45 WHIP

KEY BENCH PLAYERS

Wes Helms .243 5 HR 31 RBI

Alfredo Amezega .264 3 HR 32 RBI

Another young squad from the Florida Marlins. The only thing that differentiates the Marlins from other young teams is the productive stats they receive from their young guns. I will be excited to see this young team throughout the season; I expect they will play a big role as a spoiler.

OVERALL GRADE: C

NEW YORK METS

LINEUP

1. Jose Reyes SS .297 16 HR 68 RBI

2. Daniel Murphy LF .313 2 HR 17 RBI

3. Carlos Beltran CF .284 27 HR 112 RBI

4. David Wright 3B .302 33 HR 124 RBI

5. Carlos Delgado 1B .271 38 HR 115 RBI

6. Ryan Church RF .276 12 HR 49 RBI

7. Luis Castillo 2B .245 3 HR 28 RBI

8. Brian Scheider C .257 9 HR 38 RBI

9. PITCHER

PITCHING STAFF

1. Johan Santana 16-7 2.53 ERA 206 K 1.15 WHIP

2. Mike Pelfrey 13-11 3.72 ERA 110 K 1.36 WHIP

3. Oliver Perez 10-7 4.22 ERA 180 K 1.40 WHIP

4. John Maine 10-8 4.18 ERA 122 K 1.35 WHIP

5. Livan Hernandez 13-11 6.05 ERA 67 K 1.67 WHIP

CL Francisco Rodriguez 62 SV 2.24 ERA 77 K 1.29 WHIP

KEY BENCH PLAYERS

Fernando Tatis .297 11 HR 47 RBI

Alex Cora .270 0 HR 9 RBI

The Mets have been the fan favorite to win the NL East for the past two seasons now, and in both seasons, they blew their chances of making the playoffs. One of the problems with last year's club was the bullpen. With the offseason additions of K-Rod and J.J. Putz, the Mets have bolstered up the bullpen. The Mets are looking good heading into the 2009 season with almost no hole on their team. I am concerned with the depth of the team, but it seems if everyone stays relatively healthy they will be just fine.

OVERALL GRADE: B+

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

LINEUP

1. Shane Victorino CF .293 14 HR 58 RBI

2. Jimmy Rollins SS .277 11 HR 59 RBI

3. Chase Utley 2B .292 33 HR 104 RBI

4. Ryan Howard 1B .251 48 HR 146 RBI

5. Jayson Werth RF .273 24 HR 67 RBI

6. Raul Ibanez LF .293 23 HR 110 RBI

7. Pedro Feliz 3B.249 14 HR 58 RBI

8. Carlos Ruiz C .219 4 HR 31 RBI

9. PITCHER

PITCHING STAFF

1. Cole Hamels 14-10 3.09 ERA 196 K 1.08 WHIP

2. Brett Myers 10-13 4.55 ERA 163 K 1.38 WHIP

3. Joe Blanton 9-12 4.69 ERA 111 K 1.40 WHIP

4. Jamie Moyer 16-7 3.71 ERA 123 K 1.33 WHIP

5. Chan Ho Park 4-4 3.40 ERA 79 K 1.40 WHIP

CL Brad Lidge 41 SV 1.95 ERA 92 K 1.23 WHIP

KEY BENCH PLAYERS

Eric Bruntlett .217 2 HR 15 RBI

Matt Stairs .252 13 HR 49 RBI

The 2008 World Series Champion Phillies bring back the bulk of their championship team. There are a lot of things I like about the Phils. The lineup is very good considering Citizens Bank Park, and the depth is pretty good and has a chance to get better if they decide to add Sheffield. The one thing that worked for the Phillies last year was the pitching.

Somehow, someway, a Phillies pitcher stepped up down the stretch. When you look at the rotation, it is not good; you have a quality ace and then four mediocre pitchers behind him. If Moyer pitches as well as he did last season and if Myers and Blanton pitch to their capabilities, the Phils should be fine in 2009.

OVERALL GRADE: B+

WASHINGTON NATIONALS

LINEUP

1. Lastings Milledge CF .268 14HR 61 RBI

2. Christian Guzman SS .316 9 HR 55 RBI

3. Nick Johnson 1B .220 5 HR 20 RBI

4. Ryan Zimmerman 3B .283 14 HR 51 RBI

5. Adam Dunn LF .236 40 HR 100 RBI

6. Elijah Dukes RF .264 13 HR 44 RBI

7. Anderson Hernandez 2B .333 0 HR 17 RBI

8. Jesus Flores C .256 8 HR 59 RBI

9. PITCHER

PITCHING STAFF

1. John Lannan 9-15 3.91 ERA 117 K 1.34 WHIP

2. Scott Olsen 8-11 4.20 ERA 113 K 1.31 WHIP

3. Daniel Cabrera 8-10 5.25 ERA 95 K 1.61 WHIP

4. Jordan Zimmerman

5. Shairon Martis 1-3 5.66 ERA 23 K 1.45 WHIP

CL Joel Hanrahan 9 SV 3.95 ERA 93 K 1.36 WHIP

KEY BENCH PLAYERS

Ronnie Belliard .287 11 HR 46 RBI

Josh Willingham .254 15 HR 51 RBI

Austin Kearns .217 7 HR 32 RBI

Well, there is not much to say about the Nats other than to say that they have young, undeveloped players on their roster. The good thing about the Nationals is they have a lot of young depth that can be intermingled into the lineup on any given day. They have a young, inexperienced pitching staff and an average at best bullpen.

Most likely, Nick Johnson will be exiting Washington before the deadline, which will make room for the outfielders to play (Dunn would move to 1st permanently). Nonetheless, pitching has always been an important key for success and the Nats just don't have it.

OVERALL GRADE: D+

The NL East is going to come down to another crazy two weeks between the Mets and Phils. I cannot go against the World Champs until the Mets prove to me that they can play well down the stretch. As for the rest of the teams, here are my standings.

1. Philadelphia Phillies (93-69)

2. New York Mets (91-71)

3. Atlanta Braves (84-78)

4. Florida Marlins (75-87)

5. Washington Nationals (64-98)

 

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