Last season, the National League West went from one of the worst divisions in baseball to arguably one of the best.
The San Diego Padres came out of nowhere, only to crumble down the stretch. They then fell to the eventual World Series Champion San Francisco Giants who finished at 92-70. Still, the Padres finished 2010 at 90-72.
Even the Rockies, who finished third in the West, were 83-79—giving the NL West three teams over .500.
2011 may be a different story for the NL West. On paper, the division is much worse than it was last season.
The Padres lost Adrian Gonzalez and Miguel Tejada—two big bats at the center of their lineup who helped fuel the Padres to the NL West lead for the majority of last season.
The Dodgers lost manager Joe Torre, but still have the young nucleus of James Loney, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp. They also got Juan Uribe from the Giants. In the big picture, though, it seems that the Dodgers lost more by losing Torre than the they gained in Uribe.
The Rockies stood fairly still in the off-season, but it is last year's road worries that still haunt them. However, a healthy Troy Tulowitski and another year for Carlos Gonzalez should fix that.
The Diamondbacks did nothing to fix a disappointing 2010 season. They're hoping some young prospects could fuel their team this year.
As mentioned, the Giants won the World Series in 2010. Close to nothing has changed with their timely offense and nucleus of pitching.
The good thing about the NL West is that every year it is something new.
Expect the NL West to be represented well.