Division Preview: NL East

After the Johan Santana trade, the New York Mets became the top of the heap in the NL East, and possibly all of the National League. The NL East has some very good teams in the Mets and the Phillies, an average-to-good team in the Braves, then it drops off to some slightly mediocre teams in the Nationals and the Marlins. Other than Cameron Maybin and othters of the Marlins, Fernando Martinez of the Mets, and several Braves prospects, this division is not really loaded with as many prospects as the other divisions.

1. New York Mets (2007: 88-74, 2nd)

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Johan Santana

The Mets are easy choice for the NL East as they got obviously the best pitcher in baseball in Santana, and they also traded for a few other cogs like C Brian Schneider and OF Ryan Church from the Nationals. Church is a player who has always deserved a chance in the Nationals organization but never really got one for whatever dumb reason. He really could be the Mets’ breakout player. Their pitching, other than Santana, also has El Duque, Pedro Martinez, the average John Maine, and Oliver Perez. The bullpen is decent has Billy Wagner as closer and Joe Smith, with Matt Wise added. The offense, other than Schneider and Church, does not have many notable additions, but they should be quite good, with 3B David Wright, SS Jose Reyes, OF Carlos Beltran, 2B Luis Castillo, etc. The Mets look great.

Read more for the rest of the predictions.

2. Philadelphia Phillies (2007: 89-73, 1st)

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Ryan Howard’s new website for the Phillies

The team should be good again this year, with temp Ryan Howard leading the way after getting promoted in Season 3. His new plan is called “Philadelphia Phillie Infinity,” and they plan on making an interactive website complete with Phillie Phanatic bobbleheads and a team shop. His compatriots, 2B Chase Utley, OF Shane Victorino (who always celebrates Casual Friday with Hawaiian Shirts), SPs Cole Hamels Brett Myers, OF and resident pimp Pat Burrell, MVP SS Jimmy (Rick) Rollins should do well again this year. The Phillies also traded for closer Brad Lidge to help with lights out RP J.C. Romero. Players like C Carlos Ruiz did well too, and 1B/3B Greg Dobbs finally proved himself in regular playing time. A couple new faces are hanging out at the Philadelphia Phillies branch of Major League Baseball, including So Taguchi, who is Japanese and probably does not talk a lot, and Geoff “Brett Favre” Jenkins. The starting pitching is adequate with Myers, Hamels, Kyle Kendrick, old fart Jamie Moyer, and The Phillies will be the team to compete against in the NL East, and if everyone keeps beating each other in the NL West, it might be the Phillies that sneak with the Wild Card.

3. Atlanta Braves (2007: 84-78, 3rd)

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Matt Diaz

It seems like that the Atlanta Braves will probably hit close to .500, although they will compete early in the year. Believe it or not, I think OF Matt Diaz will be the MVP of this team and he will almost certainly be the Braves’ breakout player, and his ZIPS projection on Baseball Think Factory supports that. Even though they lost Andruw Jones, they have the immortal Chipper Jones, SP Tim Hudson, SP John Smoltz, new acquisition Tom Glavine, C Brian McCann, RF Jeff Francoeur, and 1B Mark Teixiera. They have some other great supporting players in 2B Kelly Johnson and UTIL Martin Prado, and their big question marks are in pitching, if Glavine will hold up, what their new SPs in Jair Jurrgens and Jo-Jo-Jo-Jo-Jo Reyes will do, and if new CF Josh Anderson will do anything. But if they do, they certainly can battle for the division lead, and who knows, if the Mets hit a bump, who knows what the Braves can do. I wonder what Javy Lopez will do in his comeback.

4. Washington Nationals (2007: 73-89, 4th)

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GM Jim Bowden on a Segway

The ex-Cincinnati Reds Washington Nationals seem like an average team in the large National Legaue’s middle class. Don’t forget that these guys are pimps. Along with diabetic all-star Dmitri Young, you got guys like OF Elijah Dukes, who impregnates women every other day, OF Lastings Milledge, who the Nationals fleeced from the Mets, Willie Harris, and 2B Ronnie Belliard. That is a group of thugs right there. They have an okay but unknown offense with 3B Ryan Zimmerman, RF Austin Kearns, among others. Their pitching other than closer Chad Cordero and SP John Patterson is bad. The Nationals have way too many question marks coming into the season. Though, I would like to see Bret Boone be successful. And I would like to see Jim Bowden ride his Segway in games and pitching changes.

5. Florida Marlins (2007: 71-91, 5th)

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Hanley Ramirez chewing gum (it’s usually tobacco)

When you have Jorge Cantu and Jose Castillo as your probable starting platoon 3rd basemen, you know you are in trouble, especially after the trade of two star players in Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. But they probably will not be as bad, with the best player in baseball in Hanley Ramirez. They have a decent core of talent in offense to go along with Hanley, with LF Josh Willingham, RF Jeremy Hermida, rookie CF Cameron Maybin, 4th OF Cody Ross, 1B Mike Jacobs, and 2B Dan Uggla. Their problem is the pitching, and although they have Andrew Miller, they really do not have anyone in that pitching staff, unless Anibal Sanchez comes back in 2008.

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2 Comments on “Division Preview: NL East”

  1. Finch Says:

    You know what phil I believe that you are wrong about the NL East. I think that the Braves are a bit better than average and I believe we talked about this at one point. I don’t care how good Santana is it will not help the Mets and I could stand losing to the Phillies if we had to but it’s not going to happen.

  2. Phil (ugueth urbina is burning) Says:

    The offense is there for the Braves with Tex, Chipper, Matt Diaz, Francoeur and others, and so is the bullpen, but the question is starting pitching. Hudson is a great ace (even if he fell apart in the second half) but Smoltz, even though he finished 6th in the Cy Youngs, can implode in any minute because he’s aging. Then again he’s an ageless wonder. No one knows what Tom Glavine will do as the #3 starter as he is also up there in age. You also have Hampton who is out, Chuck James, who is coming off of a partial tear in his rotator cuff. The number 4 and 5 starters would possibly be Jair Jurrjens, who has impressed a lot of people in camp, and Buddy Carlyle, who is pretty much a quadruple-A pitcher. I think the Braves will be above-average.. and of course they have depth in Jeff Bennett, Jo-Jo Reyes, etc.


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