Thursday, March 3, 2011

Beast or Least of the East?

The NL East is supposed to be written in stone for 2011. The Phillies DO have 4 Aces leading off their rotation, not to mention: Howard, Utley, Victorino and Rollins. However when I look at a team as a total package it's not the Phillies I necessarily come up with as the leaders in the NL East. Don't get too excited... it's not the Mets either.

Hitting - B+
Fielding - B
Starting Pitching - A+
Bullpen - C
Overall - B+

Discussion: The Phillies rotation for 2011 embodies what an A+ rotation would look like. 4 Aces and a solid contributor. So my comparisons start there. HOWEVER, the Phillies lineup isn't exactly: Ellsbury, Pedroia, Crawford, Gonzalez, Ortiz, Youkilis, Drew, Saltalamacchia, Scutaro. (Note, I'd also rank Texas as an A+ and the Yankees as an A) Add to this a so-so bullpen and the cracks in their armor start to show.

Hitting - B+
Fielding - A-
Starting Pitching - B+
Bullpen - A-
Overall - A-

Discussion: Look at that. Won't Zak Carter be so proud of me for picking his Braves to win the division. Here's why: If I look at the Braves hitting and compare it to the Mets and Phillies it comes out even. Add that I see only one glaring hole in their defense (Dan Uggla) and that they probably have the deepest pen in the division and their well-rounded-ness makes them a cut above the rest.

Hitting - B
Fielding - B-
Starting Pitching - B
Bullpen - B
Overall - B

Discussion: The Marlins are a team that can win this division if things break right. Anytime you are throwing out young talent like Ramirez, Sanchez, Morrison, Coghlan and Stanton you can do big things. The issue is, without Uggla their offense (on paper) isn't on par with the Phils, Mets and Braves and While Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco are good, they lack the depth in the rotation to match Atlanta again. This team is only a few clicks behind Philly so keep an eye out.

Hitting - B
Fielding - A-
Starting Pitching - D+
Bullpen - B+
Overall - B-

Discussion: Lets not focus on the doom and gloom and simply face the fact that if rotations were essays in High School. The Phillies would get and A+ and the Mets would not pass by much. The Mets fielding and bullpen keep them in the running and their hitting is ranked below Philly and Atlanta only because I feel confident that Beltran will not play a full season. The Mets rotation COULD be much better than a D+... they just aren't on paper.

Hitting - C+
Fielding - B+
Starting Pitching - C
Bullpen - B
Overall - B-

Discussion: Imagine that Stephen Strasburg were healthy and that Bryce Harper were ready. Well... they aren't. That means the pitching staff is only about league-average and that the hitting is the worst in their division. Add to this that their SS is not exactly Ozzie Smith and that Adam LaRoche's bat usually takes a nap through the end of May and the Nationals still rank last in the NL East.

Ranking Them:
1. Atlanta Braves - Well Rounded and Wholesome
2. Philadelphia Phillies - God's Rotation
3. Florida Marlins - In Youth We Trust
4. New York Mets - Maybes and Ifs
5. Washington Nationals - Just Wait Til Next Year

No comments: