Monday, July 25, 2011

NL South

NL South Preview
The NL South is a very even division, and unless someone make a big move this race should go down to the wire with all 4 teams having a shot.

  1. Florida 85-77
  2. Atlanta 83-79
  3. Houston 81-81
  4. St. Louis 79-83

drichar138 says:
I was more active on the free agent market this season than usual. After losing 90 games in season one and 96 in season two, I want to end the trend toward a 100 loss season. I return my core star players in CF Don Ramirez and LF Merv Dorsey in the field with Daryl Woods and Blake Titan leading the pitching staff. I brought in Edwin Henderson as a free agent to help bring stability to the rotation and added Khiry Banks and Maicer Tavarez to hopefully boost my offense. I was also pleased to land Ian Malone in the rule 5 draft and he will get a lot of AB's against LH pitching. Overall, I think the moves will go along way toward making this team more competitive. I am hoping to finish much closer to .500.
hurricane384’s take:
Although Houston lost a lot of players to free agency, one can argue that it is a good thing to clean it out when you’ve lost 96 games in the previous season. Houston boasts a solid team with some very good players on it. I look for their moves to have helped them out and drichar will not have to worry about moving towards 100 losses as this team should be within 5 games of .500.

kilgore says:
The Braves look to be a contender in the competitively balanced NL South. With a core of solid young players, the goal is to be a contender for the next few seasons. Led by CF Alex Cheng offensively, the Braves also added a legitimate power bat in 1B Alex Reynoso during the off season. The defense is solid at every position. While the Braves lack a dominant starter, all five are quality arms. The pen, while not quite as strong as last season, is again expected to be a strength, with Harold Dailey assuming the closer role. Look for the Braves to win between 83 and 88 games, which should put them in the mix for a tight NL South race.
hurricane384’s take:
One of 3 teams to finish with a .500 or better record, Atlanta made some moves and boasts a solid pitching staff to go along with a decent offense. I look for another winning season out of this team as their pitching carries their offense. The addition of Reynoso should make for an exciting season in Atlanta.

St. Louis
dwboyce says:
S2 came as a complete surprise to us. Mid-way thru last season we made a trade for Johnny Rose at the deadline to make a solid run at the playoffs and it worked out. Rose was that rare player that fit our system. As S3 started, our goal was to upgrade our catcher and acquire a solid closer. Cambridge was a great signing, but we lost the cash for our closer bid when Bonilla declined his option and wouldn't sign. We made every attempt to bring him back but failed. We signed Derrick Taylor as a plan B, but we're stung by his loss. We also lost out on our closers, so we made a trade for Kwon late which filled our other hole temporarily. We will call up Andy Montague and Ariel Mateo after 20 minor league games - Mateo will start at 1B, Montague in right. That should add more punch to our line up and we'll rely less on the run this year, which helps given Bonilla is gone. Our starting five are all signed for multi year deals, and Rose was offered a long contract in the offseason and he accepted, so he'll be a Cardinal until retirement. Hopefully opponents will hate facing Mateo and Rose in the heart of the order. We upgraded the pitching slightly in the bullpen with Kwon, and we upgraded catcher, 1st base and RF. We're hoping to put pressure on Atlanta and Houston, who will bounce back I'm sure.
hurricane384’s take:
The offense is not deep and has some one-dimensional players on it. The pitching staff is strong, but the question is did dwboyce do enough to upgrade his offense to keep pace with the guys in his division? I’m not so sure he did as I see a drop-off this season to around .500.

mtorabdaddy says:
Rather than exploring the FA market this offseason, I decided to fill my holes at 2B and CF with guys from my system. Walters and Fossum, while not spectacular, should be serviceable players down the line. With my pitching, I should be right in the thick of things in my division.
hurricane384’s take:
Florida made some moves, but they do boast the best offense in the division. Their pitching staff is good as well. Hoping their moves put them on top, they decided to fill their openings from within. It remains seen as to whether this was a good idea or not.

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