25 Man Roster Set

Just got the news that Mike Matheny has already set his roster for the season. I had thought it would be adjusted on Sunday, I guess not. There are no surprises:


Pitchers:

Kyle Lohse
Jaime Garcia
Adam Wainwright
Lance Lynn
Jake Westbrook
Jason Motte
Fernando Salas
Marc Rzepczynski
J.C. Romero
Mitchell Boggs
Scott Linebrink
Kyle McClellan

Catchers:

Yadier Molina
Tony Cruz

Infielders:

Lance Berkman
Tyler Greene
Daniel Descalso
Rafael Furcal
David Freese
Matt Carpenter

Outfielders:

Carlos Beltran
Matt Holliday
Jon Jay
Erik Komatsu
Shane Robinson

I guess with Allen Craig and Skip Schumaker out we will get to see more of Matt Carpenter and Shane Robinson. Nice move on the part of our new Manager. Keep your eye on Erik Komatsu. This kid will be fun to watch.
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NL West Predictions

NL West Predictions
1. Arizona Diamondbacks
2. San Francisco Giants
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
4. Colorado Rockies
5. San Diego Padres

I think there will be a battle for first place between the Diamondbacks and the Giants. I am giving the Diamondbacks an edge. With hitters like Overbay, Upton, and Kubel they should edge the Giants. Kirk Gibson is the main motivator for this club. I also believe that the Dodgers will have a better season now that it is now under new management. With pitchers like Kershaw, Lilly and Billingsley they will show good movement in their division. The main three Kemp, Either and Loney gives the team a strong foundation. The Dodgers will be fun to watch. With Dee Gordon in the line up we should see some speed in the line up. The Rockies will be mediocre and the poor Padres will stay under achievers.

Players to watch…
Dee Gordon….LA
A J Ellis…..LA
Angel Pagan…SF

NL Central Predictions

NL Central
1. St.Louis Cardinals
2. Cincinnati Reds
3. Milwaukee Brewers
4.Pittsburgh Pirates
5. Chicago Cubs
6. Houston Astros

I believe that the Central will have a fun battle between the Cardinals, Reds and Brewers. I give the Cardinals a slight edge due to their starting pitchers and their bullpen. I know that Carpenter will be out for a couple months but this Redbird team will have a strong pitching squad in 2012. The Astros will be this years Cubs while the Pirates will become a much stronger team.

Players to watch for……

Andrew McCutchen…Pitt
Drew Stubbs..Reds
Erik Komatsu….Stl

Dodgers Sold!

It has been three years of angst and frustration with the McCourts and Major League Baseball. With the bankruptcy and McCourts issues the team has finally been sold. I am glad to report that it was not sold to the St.Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke or Mark Cuban. It was………Magic Johnson!? Yep Magic and a group of others including Stan Kasten and the Guggenheim Partners. The Dodgers was bought for $2 Billion. Stan Kastan will run the team. It is also reported that McCourt and certain people involved with the purchasers would acquire the land around the stadium for $150 million. Sale still needs to be approved by bankruptcy court.

NL East Predictions

NL East
1. Atlanta Braves
2. Philadelphia Phillies
3. Miami Marlins
4. Washington Nationals
5. New York Mets

I am going out on a limb to put the Braves on top of the NL East. I am basing it on the teams strong foundation  with their strong pitching which includes Tim Hudson, Tommy Hansen, Jair Jurgens and Mike Minor. The hitting will also be strong with Freeman, Heyward, Uggla, McCann and lets not forget Chipper Jones. With Chipper retiring after 2012, I am sure he will go out with a bang. The Phillies will hang tough but they will be plagued with injuries this year. The Marlins will try to mesh together but will have a hard time with Zambrano and Buehrle trying to adapt to a new baseball stadium. This team will have flair with hitters like Morrison, Rameriz and Stanton. The Nationals will be a tad better than the Mets.

Players to Watch

Stephen Strasburg….Nats
Ryan Zimmerman…Nats
Freddie Freeman…Atl

2012 American League Predictions

AL West
1. Texas Rangers
2. California Angels
3. Oakland A’s
4. Seattle Mariners

Once again I a picking the Rangers to finish first. With most of last years team back in action plus Yu Darvish and Joe Nathan as new acquisitions, they will have the edge. Not even Pujol’s presence with the Angels won’t knock out the Ranger’s success in 2012. The A’s appear to be using the moneyball approach with Bartolo Colon, Smith and Crisp. If Cespedes makes the team I predict they could actually distance themselves away from the Seattle Bottom Dwellers. In order for the Mariners to be successful they need a big bat. The last time the Mariners where in the playoffs was back in 2001. They also had four players that hit over 20 home runs that season, Bret Boone (37), John Olerud (21), Mike Cameron (25), and Edgar Martinez (23). I wonder if this will happen again?

AL Central
1. Detroit Tigers
2. Cleveland Indians
3. Kansas City Royals
4. Minnesota Twins
5. Chicago Whitesox

I believe this is Jim Leylands year. The top five starting pitchers will be their strengths. The big boppers Fielder and Cabrera will keep this team alive and fun to watch. I also predict a tight race between the Royals and the Indians. Both team has young players with high potential. I really don’t see the Twins or Whitesox doing much.

AL East
1. Tampa Bay Rays
2. New York Yankees
3. Boston Redsox
4. Baltimore Orioles
5. Toronto Blue Jays

I see a three way log jam at top with the Rays-Yanks-Redsox fighting it out for tops of their division. I always hate to see the Orioles being buried towards the bottom. I think the Orioles have some fight in them, I think they will pull away from the bottom this year. Bluejays need a face lift to get themselves going again.

Top Five Players to keep your eyes on

Eric Hosmer…KC
Ricky Romero…Tor
Jeremy Hellickson…Tampa
Francisco Cervelli….Yanks
Yoenis Cespedes 

Carpenter Out

Just when I thought things where looking up for Carpenter, I just get word that he is experiencing discomfort with his arm, shoulder and neck on Monday. The weakness he feels follows the batting practice he threw on Sunday. This doesn’t look good. I was hoping to see him as our Opening Day Pitcher April.4. Carpenter is now back in St.Louis to see a nerve specialist for more tests. As of now Kyle Lohse will be the Opening Day Pitcher. So who will replace our Cy Young winning pitcher. Well Lance Lynn has been covering Carp’s spot in the rotation during spring training but who will be the set up man for closer Jason Motte. I imagine the Cardinals are now scrambling to figure out this dilemma. Management will not push for Carpenters return anytime soon. I think it is time for the Cardinals to give Roy Oswalt a call, that way Lance Lynn can go back to the bullpen.¬† I know Oswalt has been wanting to pitch for the Cardinals since going to the Phillies in 2010. Well we have two more weeks before the start of a new Cardinal Season. Hopefully we will see a strong rotation minus our work horse Chris Carpenter.