After looking at the #5 Starter competition, I have concluded that anything is possible. I believe that the favorites to win that position are as follows (in the order I think it most likely along with questions):
- Eric Stults (his time?)
- Charlie Haegar (was last year a fluke or a peek?)
- James McDonald (he’s determined to win the spot, but can he?)
- Jeff Weaver (can he return to being a solid-pitchers every 5 days?)
- Scott Elbert (is his arm ready for this?)
- Carlos Monasterios (can he jump that far?)
These six pitchers all have a shot and deserve consideration. One will step-up. Maybe two or three? I can see only three of those pitchers making the team, maybe just two. There will be some tough battles this Spring. What do you think?
What other teams in the NL do you think will be in the playoffs? I have already stated that I think the Rockies will not make the playoffs and I am now picking the Cardinals to be the best team in the league (behind the Dodgers, of course). I hate to say it, but Brad Penny could win 20 under Dave Duncan (he has always had million-dollar talent to go with a 10 cent brain), and Kyle Lohse could also win 15-16 games. If Wainright and Carpenter stay healthy, this could be an excellent rotation. Dave Duncan is the master!
Around the WEB:
- Steve Dilbeck writes about Chad Billingsley’s Mental Toughness (or lack thereof)
- Ken Gurnick says that Cory Wade is in great shape and eager to re-gain his spot in the pen. I found this part especially interesting:
“Wade brushed off the suggestion that middle relievers get abused and are particularly vulnerable to injuries of overuse.
“It really is an honor when a Hall of Fame manager has confidence to give the ball to a rookie,” he said. “It’s my own fault I ended up breaking down. I wasn’t as strong as I should have been. I wasn’t really prepared for the role.
“I did what I could do. As a first-year guy, you think you can handle it. I’d be happy with the role again. I’d do anything to help the club win. Last year was a big-time learning experience for me.”‘
- About a week ago, I wrote that I had heard James Loney had been working out and bulking up. It turns out I was partially right. Dylan Hernandez confirms that he is slimmer and stronger. That bodes well for the Dodgers.
- It seems to me that the Dodger Kids are becoming grown men and they are determined to make their mark. They are more mentally tough and they are prepared and planning for big years.
- Again, I don’t think that Russ Martin will continue his decline. His character won’t allow it, and he’s not old. Look for a big rebound.
- As much as it worries me, Rafael Furcal is a big key to 2010. If he stays healthy and can put up good on-base numbers, the offense should be very good. It all starts at the top. It will be interesting who bats #2. I vote for Kemp, due to his speed.
- If it comes down to Jeff Weaver or Charlie Haeger for the “swingman” role. I’d keep Haegar – he’s much younger with a bigger upside. Of course, theres’a lot of time between now and then. Too many scenarios to play out.
- Tony Jackson talks about Belli’s Belly and other issues at 2B.
- Jon Weisman thinks Xavier Paul could make the team if Giles and Mientkiewicz health issues keep up (and both have major issues)
- Jon Weisman opines what could happen with Ronald Belisario.
- MSTI discusses that Having a Good Team With No Ace is Better Than The Inverse- Good read
- Memories of Kevin Malone (hereafter “MKM”) profiles Chris Withrow.