Is it April yet? It's so close, but yet so far for baseball fans. Bleacher Report shoves the MLB tab to the back of the line on the front page while MLB teams are making strategic moves to enhance their chances at success. Here's 100 brief points to preview the 2010 season.
Seattle Mariners (3)
- Is there a better duo than Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee?
- At this pace, in five more seasons, Ichiro will be at 3,000 hits.
- Ken Griffey Jr. needs to be "ripped" or there will be a power outage at Safeco.
Los Angeles Angels (6)
- No more Lackey, but this rotation is still scary.
- Can Torii Hunter and Bobby Abreu repeat their fantastic 2009 years?
- Kendry Morales is the best player you've never heard of.
Texas Rangers (8)
- Rich Harden and Vladimir Guerrero are risky but scary-good additions.
- Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton's health will determine the Rangers' success.
- Will Chris Davis get to 200 strikeouts?
Oakland Athletics (11)
- Ben Sheets could be a division crown-altering factor.
- Andrew Bailey watches tape of Mariano Rivera—is he the next best closer?
- Coco Crisp and Rajai Davis are a scary fast duo.
Minnesota Twins (5)
- No punch is better than Mauer-Morneau-Kubel.
- The Twins have a gem in Orlando Hudson.
- Will we ever see the old Francisco Liriano again?
Chicago White Sox (7)
- Jake Peavy makes this deep rotation even deeper.
- Can Carlos Quentin and Alex Rios return to days past?
- Gordon Beckham will be the determiner of South Side success.
Detroit Tigers (9)
- Will Magglio Ordonez refind his power stroke?
- Brandon Inge needs to stay healthy and Miguel Cabrera needs to keep his baggage at home.
- Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello make this rotation top-heavy.
Kansas City Royals (12)
- Billy Butler will be an All-Star in 2010.
- Questionable offseason moves (Rick Ankiel, Scott Podsednik, and Jason Kendall) will rightly be questioned.
- Can Greinke repeat as Cy Young to give Royals fans a reason to watch?
Cleveland Indians (14)
- Two words: rebuilding year.
- Can Grady Sizemore rebound? Can Travis Hafner stay healthy?
- Watch for Shin-soo Choo to have a breakout year.
New York Yankees (1)
- Is there a better set of infielders (offensively) in the league?
- Don't expect this to be Mo's year to slow down.
- Javier Vazquez and Nick Johnson will have interesting second stints with the Yankees.
Tampa Bay Rays (2)
- Carl Crawford won't be traded because the Rays will be good.
- Rafael Soriano will prevent bullpen meltdowns that doomed the 2009 Rays.
- Can they expect the production they paid for out of the DH spot from Pat Burrell?
Boston Red Sox (4)
- How much will Jason Bay's absence negatively affect this offense?
- There might not be a better defensive team in baseball.
- The Red Sox clearly have the deepest rotation in the league.
Baltimore Orioles (10)
- Matt Wieters is the next great catcher in baseball.
- Will Nick Markakis finally get the All-Star bid he's been deserving of many a time?
- The pitching staff can only improve with Kevin Millwood and Mike Gonzalez.
Toronto Blue Jays (13)
- Aaron Hill and Adam Lind are absolute studs.
- The loss of a Blue Jays legend (Roy Halladay) left a hole...but will Ricky Romero fill it?
- Vernon Wells' numbers can't get any worse.
2010 American League Awards
- Most Valuable Player: Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay Rays)
- Cy Young: Justin Verlander (Detroit Tigers)
- Coach of the Year: Don Wakamatsu (Seattle Mariners)
- American League Pennant: New York Yankees
Colorado Rockies (3)
- Troy Tulowitzki is one of the most talented players in baseball.
- Will Todd Helton ever stop being productive?
- Ubaldo Jimenez is the most underrated starter in baseball.
Los Angeles Dodgers (4)
- Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Manny Ramirez form the scariest outfield.
- What happened to Chad Billingsley the second half of last year, and can he regain form?
- James Loney has breakout star potential written all over him.
San Francisco Giants (7)
- Is Aubrey Huff really the Giants' solution for a power bat?
- Everybody wants to see more Kung Fu Panda.
- Three consecutive Cy Youngs is a strong possibility for Tim Lincecum.
Arizona Diamondbacks (9)
- Dan Haren, Brandon Webb, and Edwin Jackson—the new best 1-2-3 punch?
- The bats of Justin Upton and Mark Reynolds will determine the Dbacks success.
- Conor Jackson and Chris Young have got to get out of Mendoza Line territory.
San Diego Padres (16)
- Jon Garland was a great pickup for the Friars.
- Kyle Blanks has power. And lots of it.
- Will Adrian Gonzalez be traded (and before or during the season)?
St. Louis Cardinals (2)
- What's a scarier duo: Pujols/Holliday or Carpenter/Wainwright?
- No catcher plays better defense than Yadier Molina.
- A healthy Ryan Ludwick is a good Ryan Ludwick.
Milwaukee Brewers (8)
- Ryan Braun's learning patience, which can only be a good thing.
- Randy Wolf will stabilize this rotation that has been completely in shambles.
- Can Prince Fielder finally snag an MVP award from Albert Pujols?
Chicago Cubs (10)
- The poison apple (Milton Bradley) is gone; it's Alfonso Soriano's time to play well.
- Will Carlos Marmol be an effective closer?
- Derek Lee and Aramis Ramirez still form one of the best duos in baseball.
Cincinnati Reds (12)
- Why does nobody talk about how great Joey Votto is?
- The Reds have the most inconsistent rotation in baseball.
- New great DP combo: Brandon Phillips and Orlando Cabrera.
Houston Astros (13)
- J.R. Towles + Tommy Manzella = rebuilding.
- How far will Wandy Rodriguez fly under the radar in 2010?
- Hunter Pence is a future Gold Glover and Silver Slugger.
Pittsburgh Pirates (15)
- Andrew McCutchen will be a 2010 All-Star.
- Octavio Dotel is a step-up from Matt Capps at the closer role.
- Zach Duke is filled with talent; can he return to 2005 form?
Philadelphia Phillies (1)
- The Phillies have the most talented pitcher in baseball in Roy Halladay.
- Chase Utley is arguably the most all-around talented player in baseball.
- Which Cole Hamels and Brad Lidge will we see in 2010?
Atlanta Braves (5)
- They lost Javier Vazquez and this rotation is still scarily deep.
- Chipper Jones' batting average dipped 100 points. Is this the finish line?
- Billy Wagner substituting for Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez could go either way.
Florida Marlins (6)
- What can't Hanley Ramirez do?
- Josh Johnson is awesome, but seriously needs the other staters to step up.
- If you haven't noticed already, Chris Coghlan is pretty damn good.
New York Mets (11)
- Hey-hey, Jose Reyes is back. And Jason Bay will substantially help.
- Will the Mets still be in it by the time Carlos Beltran returns?
- This rotation is pretty awful outside of Johan Santana.
Washington Nationals (14)
- Ryan Zimmerman is the best third baseman in the National League.
- Adam Dunn batting .267 is a good thing. Don't expect it again.
- Will we see some Stephen Strasburg in 2010?
2010 National League Awards
- Most Valuable Player: Prince Fielder (Milwaukee Brewers)
- Cy Young: Roy Halladay (Philadelphia Phillies)
- Coach of the Year: Bobby Cox (Atlanta Braves)
- National League Pennant: St. Louis Cardinals
2010 World Series: St. Louis Cardinals over New York Yankees in six games.
100th Point: 53 more days until opening day