Updating All 30 MLB Team's Biggest Need as Spring Training Ends

Benjamin Klein@BenjaminJKleinContributor IIIMarch 25, 2013

Updating All 30 MLB Team's Biggest Need as Spring Training Ends

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    Spring training is nearly over and several teams have yet to address major needs before the regular season commences.

    Over the last month or so, clubs have had the opportunity to see what holes they have through practice, side sessions and spring training exhibition games. Front offices have been at work, trying to figure out ways to fill those voids, primarily through minor league talent or free agent pickups.

    It’s somewhat rare to see big names traded during spring training, but as we’ve seen recently, the New York Yankees are close to filling a hole in their outfield by acquiring Vernon Wells from the Los Angeles Angels, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. Other general managers should take note of what Brian Cashman is doing in order to give his team the best chance at starting the season in a positive manner.

    There’s still time for teams to figure out what they need to do to find short- and long-term solutions that their organization currently lacks, but not much.

    Opening Day is right around the corner.

    Here’s what each Major League Baseball teams’ biggest need is as spring training comes to a close.

    *All statistics were obtained via Baseball-Reference unless otherwise noted. All injury information was obtained through Baseball Prospectus. All contract information was obtained via Cot’s Contracts

Baltimore Orioles

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    Biggest Need: Designated Hitter

    The Baltimore Orioles opened camp with Wilson Betemit slated to be the primary designated hitter. Thus far, he’s been very underwhelming. Through 32 at-bats, Betemit has had just five spring hits for a poor line of .156/.222/.250.

    Some players take longer than others to get into the swing of things, but that type of production isn’t going to cut it.

    Betemit was very average with the Orioles last season as well. In 102 games, he hit .261/.322/.422 with 12 home runs and 40 RBI.

    Betemit is certainly more of a bench player than a starter, but the Orioles just don’t have many other options. In other words, Betemit is the best of a couple bad candidates at the designated hitter’s spot in the lineup. There are still several free agents available that Baltimore could sign to replace Betemit.

Boston Red Sox

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    Biggest Need: Infield Depth

    If everyone is healthy, the Boston Red Sox’s infield shouldn’t be bad at all. Dustin Pedroia is a star second baseman, Will Middlebrooks is a promising third baseman, Mike Napoli is a power hitter that will play first base regularly and Stephen Drew is your average shortstop.

    But injuries will be extremely detrimental to Boston’s chances at making the postseason. Drew is already suffering from a concussion and might miss the start of the season. That might force the Red Sox to start Jose Igelsias, who Boston didn’t feel confident about heading into the winter unless the club wouldn’t have signed Drew.

    Pedro Ciriaco is an average utility player, but he’s nothing special. If Middlebrooks goes down, the Red Sox don’t really have a backup. There isn’t that great of a solution if Napoli were to get injured either, and he’s the most injury-prone heading into 2013.

New York Yankees

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    Biggest Need: Healthy Bodies

    The biggest weakness for the New York Yankees is the inability to stay healthy.

    The disabled list is expected to be absolutely packed to start the season. The Bronx Bombers are lucky there isn’t a cap to how many players a team can have on it lest they’d be in trouble.

    But the Yankees are still in trouble.

    With Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez all projected to miss the start of the season, the New York lineup is laughable compared to who’s been in it in recent years. There’s a chance that Juan Rivera hits in the heart of the order, and that’s bad.

    New York needs to stay healthy unless there’s a very good chance it misses the postseason for the first time since 2008. As I mentioned in the introduction, New York is working to acquire healthy players to fill the voids, but even still, the future doesn’t look so bright.

Tampa Bay Rays

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    Biggest Need: Catcher

    Although it seems likely, the Tampa Bay Rays can’t start another season with Jose Molina as the starting catcher. He isn’t capable of being a starter, but the team doesn’t have many other options. Jose Lobaton is the other projected roster member, but he’s not worthy either.

    Of the 35 catchers that had at least 250 plate appearances last season, Molina ranked 27th in terms of WAR, according to FanGraphs. Molina is just 3-for-15 this spring with the Rays and went 0-for-3 in limited time playing for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.

    While Tampa Bay’s farm system is full of promising players that pitch, it severely lacks players that can catch. It appears that the Rays won’t have a notable catcher for quite some time unless they make a trade or eventually sign one in the offseason.

    Molina may have a good rapport with the staff, but his numbers don’t suggest he’s a starting catcher.

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Biggest Need: Starting Pitching Depth

    By adding R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle over the offseason through a pair of trades and already having Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow, the Toronto Blue Jays easily have one of the top starting rotations in baseball. But what if one of them gets hurt?

    The Blue Jays aren’t strangers to having starting pitchers on the disabled list. Toronto is expected to start the season with three starters sidelined: Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison and Dustin McGowan. No one that will likely make the team in the bullpen is a starter candidate either.

    Toronto should have J.A. Happ waiting in the minors in case something happens to one of the starting five, but he isn’t that great of a pitcher. At this point, though, he’ll have to do should a starter go down with an injury.

    If everyone stays healthy, though, watch out.

Chicago White Sox

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    Biggest Need: Starting Pitching

    Chris Sale is well on his way to becoming an ace—if he hasn’t established himself as one already—and Jake Peavy and Gavin Floyd are both good pitchers. But Jose Quintana and Dylan Axelrod aren’t very good, and they’re the obvious weaknesses for the Chicago White Sox.

    Quintana wasn’t horrible in his first year with the White Sox, but wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. He went 6-6 in 25 games, posting a 3.76 ERA in 136.1 innings of work.

    Axelrod was used as a starter and a reliever with Chicago last season, going 2-2 with a 5.47 ERA in 51 innings.

    The problem is that John Danks, a regular in the rotation, will likely miss the beginning of the season as he recovers from shoulder surgery. But even once he returns, Chicago has to hope that Quintana, who will probably stay in the rotation, flourishes in his second year.

Cleveland Indians

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    Biggest Need: Third Base

    Last season, Jack Hannahan manned third base for the Cleveland Indians the most and while he didn’t do that good of a job, he’s now gone. This spring, Cleveland has played a couple of players at the hot corner, but it appears that it’ll use a platoon at third to start the year.

    Lonnie Chisenhall and Mike Aviles are the two likely candidates that will see time at third, but neither is much to rave about. Chisenhall is a bad fielder that doesn’t hit too well either. Aviles’ primary position is shortstop and only has 61 games of major league experience there.

    The Indians signed Mark Reynolds over the offseason, but it looks like he’ll be the designated hitter. He could play a little third base if Cleveland needed him to, but he’s going to be the DH for a reason. If the Indians thought he could play third well, he’d be the starter and someone else would be the DH.

Detroit Tigers

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    Biggest Need: Middle Infield

    The top of the Detroit Tigers’ lineup is fierce, but the bottom is relatively underwhelming, mainly because Jhonny Peralta and Omar Infante, the team’s middle infielders, are slotted there. Neither is a bad option to have on the roster, but both are very average.

    The Tigers seem content with Peralta at short, according to George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press. Peralta, however, had a poor 2012 after an impressive 2011. In 150 games, he hit .239/.305/.384 with 13 home runs and 63 RBI while playing well defensively.

    Infante is very similar in that he’s a good fielder and a somewhat above-average hitter for a second baseman.

    Detroit doesn’t have any notable prospects ready to make their debuts soon at shortstop or second base. If Peralta and Infante don’t produce at the bottom of the lineup, that’ll be one of the big reasons why Detroit doesn’t make a deep playoff run in 2013.

Kansas City Royals

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    Biggest Need: Bench

    The projected starting lineup for the Kansas City Royals features a lot of promising young players, but the bench is the complete opposite.

    Miguel Tejada, who’s expected to be a backup infielder, makes the bench very old. At this point in his career, he probably won’t be making much noise either. The chances of the 38-year-old playing well this year are slim.

    George Kottaras will be the backup catcher, a fair option considering he started for the Oakland Athletics last season. He’s an above-average second-string guy. Sharing little time with Tejada will end up being Elliot Johnson, who isn’t good offensively or defensively.

    The fourth player likely to make the Royals’ bench is Jarrod Dyson, also the fourth outfielder. Dyson was alright last season, hitting .260/.328/.322 in 102 games, but he’s really only good for his speed. He doesn’t have much experience and likely won’t gain much in 2013.

Minnesota Twins

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    Biggest Need: Starting Pitching

    To be honest, the Minnesota Twins need a lot of work. But the starting rotation lacks talent and it’s the most glaring weakness.

    It isn’t like the No. 4 or No. 5 starter lacks talent, nearly each of the five projected to pitch every fifth day does—Vance Worley being the exception.

    But even still, Worley is not a No. 1 pitcher. On most teams, he’d be at the backend of the rotation. But this is Minnesota where the rotation hasn’t been good since Johan Santana left.

    The collection of Kevin Correia, Mike Pelfrey, Liam Hendriks and Cole De Vries is going to be some sight to watch this upcoming season.

    Correia has never won more than 12 games in a season. Pelfrey has a 4.36 career ERA. Hendriks went 1-8 in 16 starts last season. De Vries only has 17 games of big league experience. Put that all together—and add whatever Worley does in 2013—and you get a last place finish in the American League Central.

Houston Astros

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    Biggest Need: Left Side of Infield

    The Houston Astros are going to very, very bad in 2013.

    The entire team is a collection of players that probably wouldn’t be in the majors in other organizations. The offense will likely be worse than the pitching staff and within the lineup, the left side of the infield is by far the most concerning.

    While Jose Altuve and Brett Wallace are good options on the right side, Ronny Cedeno and Matt Dominguez aren’t on the left. Cedeno is not an offensive threat nor is he very sound defensively. In eight seasons, he’s totaled just a 1.8 WAR, according to FanGraphs.

    Dominguez is still a young player and hasn’t seen much time at all in the majors yet. He’s registered 48 games over the last two seasons, hitting a fair amount and playing decent defense. It’s a very small sample size, though, so it’s a bit of a toss up as to how he’ll play on a regular basis.

Los Angeles Angels

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    Biggest Need: Backup Catcher

    The Los Angeles Angels’ roster is well-constructed and doesn’t have many holes, but the team could surely use someone to back up Chris Iannetta behind the plate. In fact, the Angels could probably use someone other than Iannetta to start, but it seems unlikely they’d replace him now.

    As of now, the Angels have three potential backup catchers: Chris Snyder, Hank Conger and John Hester. Snyder, however, seems to have the job in his back pocket. While Snyder was once effective with the Arizona Diamondbacks, he hasn’t been noteworthy the last few seasons.

    Snyder has been bad this spring and was recently released by the Washington Nationals. In 12 games and 21 at-bats, he has just four hits for an abysmal line of .190/.261/.333. If Snyder hits this poorly once the season begins, he could easily lose his job to one of the other two aforementioned backstops. 

Oakland Athletics

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    Biggest Need: Designated Hitter

    Any time a team plans to use a platoon at a position it means that the club could doesn’t have a player that’s good enough to play full-time.

    This is the case with the Oakland Athletics, who will likely use Seth Smith and a variety of other players as the designated hitter in 2013.

    Smith isn’t the worst option in the world, but he isn’t the best either. He was once a relatively valuable player for the Colorado Rockies, but has been on the decline the last handful of seasons. Last season, he hit .240/.333/.420 and struck out 22 percent of the time.

    Other candidates to hit and not play the field include the four bench players Oakland will likely career and possibly Brandon Moss from time-to-time.

    If the A’s could get their hands on a full-time DH, though, that would be the preferable route heading into 2013.

Seattle Mariners

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    Biggest Need: Starting Pitching

    While Felix Hernandez is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, those expected to pitch behind him in the Seattle Mariners’ starting rotation this year won’t be nearly as good.

    The other four starters will likely be Joe Saunders, Hisashi Iwakuma, Erasmo Ramirez and Blake Beavan.

    The rest of the American League West is highly competitive and a strong starting rotation is essential to compete. The Mariners, unfortunately, don’t have that. Either out of their primes or inexperienced, those four pitchers will not help Seattle’s chances at making the postseason.

    Seattle really needs to add someone that can pitch behind King Felix and give the team a chance at winning.

    One interesting option could be Kyle Lohse, but the Mariners would have to give up a draft choice if they were going to sign him before the MLB draft.

Texas Rangers

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    Biggest Need: No. 5 Starter

    The Texas Rangers wouldn’t need a fifth starter if Martin Perez never would’ve gotten injured. But Perez did get injured and he will likely miss the first couple of months of 2013. Texas doesn’t have many backup options, hence the need to add or find one in the near future.

    It seems that Nicholas Tepesch will be the Rangers’ No. 5 guy once the season starts. He’s only pitched as high as Double-A and hasn’t looked too hot this spring. In 18 innings of work, he’s allowed 13 runs on 24 hits. He has a 6.50 ERA and opponents are hitting .329 off of him.

    If Texas is truly concerned, we’ll find out soon.

    As I just mentioned for the Seattle Mariners, Kyle Lohse is still out on the free-agent market. Lohse would be a smart signing for the Rangers, giving them a viable middle-of-the-rotation arm that would boost their chances at winning the American League West in 2013.

Atlanta Braves

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    Biggest Need: Third Base

    Whenever a longtime player who has a very good chance at eventually getting inducted to the Hall of Fame retires, it’s usually difficult to replace him. That’s what the Atlanta Braves have found out recently after Chipper Jones called it quits after the club was eliminated from last year’s playoffs.

    Juan Francisco had the best chance at taking over after Jones’ departure since he was one of the few third basemen on the team and showed promise. But when Atlanta acquired Justin Upton, the team also landed Chris Johnson, another third baseman.

    This spring, the Braves have been watching Francisco and Johnson closely to determine who will win the positional battle. The problem is that one hasn’t really outplayed the other and it’s likely that the Braves will open the season with a platoon at the hot corner. While this isn’t the worst scenario in the world, Atlanta would be better off with one full-time guy.

Miami Marlins

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    Biggest Need: Right Side of Infield

    Like many of the other struggling teams on this list, the Miami Marlins have a bunch of weak links on their roster. While some aspects of the Marlins’ projected club could turn some heads, the right side of their infield absolutely will not.

    Casey Kotchman is not a starting first baseman. Although he’s played in at least 140 games the last two seasons, he hasn’t produced enough to earn that type of role. Last year, he hit just .229/.280/.333 with 12 home runs and 55 RBI. But Miami doesn’t have any better options, so it appears that Kotchman will get the nod on Opening Day.

    Donovan Solano looks to be Miami’s everyday second baseman after playing in 93 games for the team last year. While his rookie season wasn’t bad, it wasn’t overly impressive either. Although he nearly hit .300, he rarely produced runs and struck out 18.4 percent of the time. There’s potential for him to improve, but not by much.

New York Mets

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    Biggest Need: Outfield

    The New York Mets’ outfield situation is in shambles.

    The Mets are projected to have several outfielders on the Opening Day roster, but outside of Lucas Duda, there’s a severe lack of talent. It appears that New York will be forced to play players that aren’t very good and are undeserving of the gig.

    Jordany Valdespin is more of an infielder than an outfielder, but he’ll likely be in center field to start the season. He’ll platoon with Collin Cowgill since neither hit very well against left- and right-handed pitching, respectively. Justin Turner will also be in the mix.

    In right field, Marlon Byrd will be New York’s starter. Byrd, who was suspended last season for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, hasn’t put together an impressive campaign since 2010. If Byrd doesn’t get it together to start the year, Mike Baxter could take over.

Philadelphia Phillies

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    Biggest Need: Left Field

    While the Philadelphia Phillies have center and right field figured out, left field still seems like a question mark or at least a point of weakness. With Darif Ruf not making the Opening Day roster, it appears that Laynce Nix and John Mayberry will platoon in left to start the 2013 season.

    Things could change once Delmon Young is healthy enough to play, but for now, Nix and Mayberry are the guys who will be roaming the outfield with Ben Revere and Domonic Brown. Nix is a good fielder, but a not-so-great hitter. In 70 games last season, he only scored 13 times and finished the year with a measly 16 RBI.

    Mayberry is a worse fielder, but a better hitter. In 149 games last season, he hit .245/.301/.395 with 14 home runs and 46 RBI. One issue with him, however, is that he strikes out a ton, doing so about 23 percent of the time in 2012.

    Philadelphia would be in much better shape with one guy who could hit and field well.

Washington Nationals

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    Biggest Need: None

    The Washington Nationals are in perfect shape to start the season.

    They have a very talented roster filled with promising players and are extremely healthy. While it could be argued that catcher is their one and only weakness, Wilson Ramos will be just fine once inserted into the everyday lineup.

    The offense looks to be spectacular, especially after bringing Denard Span in and Adam LaRoche back. Bryce Harper is back, looking to improve off of his 2012 National League Rookie of the Year award-winning campaign. Those hitting around Harper also seem poised for big years.

    The pitching staff is nearly as good as it gets.

    Stephen Strasburg won’t be held back this year and Gio Gonzalez nearly won the National League Cy Young Award last season. Jordan Zimmerman, Dan Haren and Ross Detwiler should all be good as well. The bullpen is one of the best in baseball, so there’s no need to worry about that either.

Chicago Cubs

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    Biggest Need: Bench

    The Chicago Cubs aren’t expected to make much noise in 2013 as they continue to try and build a team that can contend year after year. While the roster isn’t nearly ready for that yet, it’s a solid work in progress. One of the most apparent problems, however, is the lack of backup talent.

    The way it looks now, the Cubs will start the season with five players sitting on the bench.

    The only good player is Scott Hairston, who arguably should be starting. Dioner Navarro, Steve Clevenger, Brent Lillibridge and Dave Sappelt are the other four players expected to make the team as bench players.

    Those four players aren’t good options to have on the bench.

    Nearly all of them lack offensive skill and won’t be valuable in pinch-hitting situations. Playing well defensively could also turn into a circus should one of them have to play the field. Having more guys like Hairston would be much better for the Cubs.

Cincinnati Reds

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    Biggest Need: Catcher

    The Cincinnati Reds will enter the 2013 season with one of the top rosters in baseball, but unlike the Washington Nationals, I couldn’t give them credit for having a good catcher. Here, the Reds would be much better with an offensively- and defensively-skilled backstop.

    For now, the Reds only have a defensively-skilled one in Ryan Hannigan. While great calling games and blocking pitches in the dirt, Hannigan isn’t much of an offensive threat. Last season, he hit .274/.365/.338 with two home runs and 24 RBI in 112 games. Even though he hits at the bottom of the lineup, the Reds need more production from him.

    The Reds will likely carry Devin Mesoraco to come off the bench, who shows more offensive potential but has struggled in his time in the big leagues thus far. In 72 games over the last two years, he’s hit .205/.274/.353 while also not playing very well defensively. 

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Biggest Need: First Base

    The Milwaukee Brewers will be in a bit of a pickle once the season begins and they’re about to get thrown out at first base. Injuries have really put the Brewers in a tough position as they’ll likely to be forced to start Alex Gonzalez at first while a pair of stars recover for the first few months.

    Mat Gamel probably would’ve been the Opening Day starter if he hadn’t torn his ACL. Now, he’ll miss the entire season. It hasn’t been the best of starts to Gamel’s career to say the least.

    Gamel’s injury wouldn’t be that big of an issue if Corey Hart wasn’t injured as well, undergoing knee surgery in January.

    Gonzalez is well past his prime and should be an interesting watch over at first base. A middle infielder throughout his entire career, Gonzalez has never played an inning at first. Offensively, he isn’t going to make much noise and will likely hit toward the bottom of Milwaukee’s lineup.

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Biggest Need: Starting Pitching

    A.J. Burnett had a great season for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season, going 16-10 with a 3.51 ERA in 202.1 innings. While he could put together another good year in 2013, the rest of the starting rotation doesn’t look as promising.

    Wandy Rodriguez isn’t the pitcher he once was, but may see his numbers improve with a better club this year. He’s had an ERA in the 3.00-4.00 range for the last five seasons.

    James McDonald is a toss up because he usually walks a bunch of players and tends to allow a fair amount of runs each time he takes the mound.

    The final two spots will likely be comprised of Jeff Locke and Jonathan Sanchez. Locke doesn’t have much major league experience, but has allowed 33 runs in 51 career innings. Sanchez fell off the face of the earth in 15 starts last year, posting a stunning 8.07 ERA. 

St. Louis Cardinals

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    Biggest Need: Shortstop

    The St. Louis Cardinals have a strong roster, but injuries may hinder their postseason hopes in 2013.

    St. Louis will likely be missing two of their best players, Rafael Furcal and Chris Carpenter, for the entire season due to Tommy John surgery and nerve problems, respectively.

    While the starting rotation should be fine without Carpenter, losing Furcal is much worse.

    Pete Kozma, who we learned about last season, will take over as the everyday starter in Furcal’s absence. That could work out in the Cardinals’ favor or strongly against it.

    Kozma was pretty good during the regular season in limited time in 2012. In 26 games, he hit .333/.383/.569 with 11 runs and 14 RBI. In the postseason, although coming through with some timely hits, Kozma wasn’t very impressive at the plate. With much more playing time coming up, it’ll be interesting to see if Kozma can take advantage of this opportunity.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Biggest Need: Backup Catcher

    Even teams with top-notch catchers need to have solid backups for when injuries come up or that player just needs a day off.

    The Arizona Diamondbacks have a great starting catcher in Miguel Montero, but definitely lack someone that can relieve him of his duties from time to time. The way it looks now, the Diamondbacks have two options to choose from: Wil Nieves or Rod Barajas.

    Not very attractive options, right?

    Nieves is a career .229/.274/.301 hitter with just seven home runs in 314 games. He also isn’t that pretty to watch behind the plate. Barajas, while showing much more power and having a lot more experience, isn’t that much better. Barajas is a career .235/.284/.407 hitter than plays somewhat better defensively than neither.

    Regardless, neither are good bench options for Arizona and it would be advisable to trade for someone that’s a little more reliable. 

Colorado Rockies

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    Biggest Need: Starting Pitching

    The Colorado Rockies had the worst starting rotation last season in terms of ERA, allowing an average of 5.22 runs per nine innings. The second-highest ERA was 4.78, compiled by the Cleveland Indians.

    So how do you improve? You sign John Garland to a major league deal to be the No. 5 starter.

    Oh wait, that actually doesn’t solve anything.

    In fact, that may make Colorado’s rotation even worse. Garland hasn’t been notable since 2006 when he was still with the Chicago White Sox. He hasn’t played for a competitive team in a while and 2013 certainly won’t be the year he does.

    But with Jhoulys Chacin, Jorge De La Rosa, Juan Nicasio and Jeff Francis as the other four starters, how many games does Colorado actually think it’s going to win. I’ll tell you how many: very, very few.

    The rotation will likely still be baseball’s worst at the end of the season. 

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Biggest Need: Left Side of Infield

    The Los Angeles Dodgers have a lot of money to spend, but it seems unlikely that they spend anymore at the moment. It would be advisable, however, to find someone to play on the left side of the infield, Los Angeles’ largest weakness heading into the regular season.

    The Dodgers’ left side would’ve likely been fine, but Hanley Ramirez tearing a ligament in his thumb during the World Baseball Classic really changed things. Now, Luis Cruz looks to be the solution at shortstop and Nick Punto will see regular time at third base while Ramirez recovers.

    Cruz played just 24 games at shortstop for the Dodgers last year, playing third base more regularly. Punto struggles offensively and defensively, and Los Angeles really can’t allow him to play every day. It will severely damper the offense and should cause the Dodgers to lose games they should win.

San Diego Padres

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    Biggest Need: Catcher

    The San Diego Padres need some work, especially from behind the plate.

    The Padres’ projected starting catcher entering the offseason was Yasmani Grandal, but he was suspended 50 games for testosterone use. Now, the Padres are forced to start Nick Hundley.

    Hundley had a great season back in 2011, hitting .288/.347/.477 with nine home runs in 82 games. But the Padres backstop really struggled last season in 58 games, hitting .157/.219/.245 with just three long balls and 22 RBI. If he can’t play 50 games and produce more often than not, San Diego is in trouble.

    If Hundley can’t handle those first 50 games of the year, John Baker may have to step in. And that’s not a good thing. Baker really struggles defensively and isn’t much of an offensive threat either. He hasn’t hit a home run the last three seasons combined, granted he hasn’t played very often.

San Francisco Giants

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    Biggest Need: Infield Depth

    The San Francisco Giants look poised to make another run at a World Series title. But they’ll be in big trouble if one of their starting infielders goes down with an injury that will cause them to miss an extended period of time. San Francisco isn’t prepared for that type of scenario.

    The two infielders that are expected to come off the bench for the Giants this year are Tony Abreu and Joaquin Arias.

    Granted he’s only played in 168 games the last four seasons, Abreu isn’t the best option to have. He’s fair defensively, but doesn’t walk much or hit for power. Arias, who played in 112 games for the Giants last season, is much better than Abreu, but still isn’t the best bench player in the world. Although he hits relatively well, he is far from a good fielder and will certainly commit his fair share of errors.

    The main problem is that San Francisco would struggle to make the playoffs if either Abreu or Arias had to start for a big chunk of the year.