“1st Thoughts-1st Week of MLB Season”
The 2017 season has started. What I think about each team…30-Teams-30-ideas.
Dodgers….Clayton Kershaw leads a talent laden team..biggest issues-long term health-how many starts LA gets out of Hyun Jin-Ryu, Brandon McCarthy-Kenta Maeda-Rich Hill…each has had health issues.
Giants…Strong off season upgrading batting order and bench…but can they solve the bullpen issue..Mark Melancon-it’s your turn….Matt Moore could be big addition to unsteady starting rotation?.
Arizona..New leadership atop and in dugout….Will it be a bounceback season for Zack Grienke-once dominant….Will Shelby Miller live up to expectations…does Fernando Rodney solve bullpen issue…does return of OF-AJ Pollock upgrade offense?.
Colorado..Bud Black takes over as manager…Ian Desmond’s bat joins really good lineup…Can young arms survive the trauma they will have at Coors…Can Greg Holland and Mike Dunne become key closers?
Padres..Dreadful starting rotation and not enough bats around Wil Myers and Yanger Solarte…much expected of Hunter Renfroe…a likely (60-102) record.
Cubs..Loaded with pitching…but Aroldis Chapman-Jason Hammel-Travis Wood-Trevor Cahill all departed as has Dexter Fowler…is Wade Davis a reliable closer?
Cardinals…Matt Holliday exits..Dexter Fowler enters…biggest issue will be strength in starting pitching around Adam Wainwright and Carlos Martinez.
Reds..Joey Votto against the world..total rebuild in Cincinnati.
Pirates…What becomes of Andrew McCutchen coming off substandard season..can Gerrit Cole stay healthy and do young guns, led by Greg Polanco have banner seasons?
Milwaukee…Ryan Braun and that’s all they have.
Mets..Tremendous array of power arms, but 4-of them have had health issues already-and now Steve Matz is out…but Matt Harvey is back…No David Wright with career threatening shoulder-neck issues…Lots of bats though.
Washington..Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer dominant…bullpen has been iffy….Bryce Harper bounce back season likely..will challenge Mets all year.
Miami…Loss of Jose Fernandez in boating accident devastating…added 3-starters, led by Edinson Volquez, and 2-relievers…Giancarlo Stanton-Christian Yelich to carry offense.
Phillies…Rebuilding off track last year due to health issue of P-Aaron Nola and Vincente Velasquez…
Braves…Watch growth of Dansby Swanson…leadership of Brandon Phillips, to help with Matt Kemp.
Houston…Went from 1st to 3rd last year…Key is return to health of lead arms Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh and Lance McCullers on mound..Added Brian McCann-Carlos Beltran-JJ Reddick to strong lineup.
Seattle…Push to playoffs with 6-new veterans led by Jean Segura..Drxew Smyly…Yovanni Gallardo…Cano-Cruz-help Kyle Seager.
Angels…Productive off season adding some offense-key to year is health of injured starting pitchers..Garrett Richards-Matt Shoemaker-Tyler Skaggs and closer Huston Street? Mike Scoscia playoff drought is on everyone’s mind.
Texas..Gone are Ian Desmond and Mitch Moreland. No longer playing Prince Fielder-Josh Hamilton. Yet to make it to the mound Tyson Ross-Andrew Cashner. Yes they have Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels and Rougned Odor, but there are issues there.
Oakland…Kid pitcher Sonny Gray and slugger Khris Davis and not much else…Moneyball idea-Billy Beane style-has never worked out.
Indians..Adding Edwin Encarnarcion…losing Mike Napoli-Coco Crisp…will chemistry be the same? But CoryKluber and Andrew Miller lead pitching staff.
Tigers..Old and experienced..but is there enough around Justin Verlander and Miggy Cabrera to survive a 162-game schedule.
White Sox…Traded for kids Yoan Moncada-Luca Giolito and Mike Kopoech…still have Todd Frazier and Jose Quintana and Jose Abreu…is it enough?
Twins…Brian Dozer and Joe Mauer and likely 100-loss season.
Royals..Staggered by death of Yordano Ventura and defection of pitchers. Mike Moustakas-Eric Hosmer-Alex Gordon all that’s left behind. It’s over.
Yankees…Add Matt Holliday and Aroldis Chapman…here come the kids Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Gley Torres. But biggest issue is the age and injury factor wrapped about Sabathial-Tanaka and Pineda on the mound.
Red Sox…No David Ortiz and an injured David Price and Drew Pomeranz…if healthy, packaged with Chris Sale and Ric Porcello it would be a special staff…Andrew Benentendi joins Mookie Betts in young lineup..fun summer at Fenway?
Orioles…Lots of bombers in that batting order…led by Machardo, Trumbo, Davis, Jones…do they have enough starters, and how quickly back is an ailing Chris Tillman?
Toronto..Tulowitzki-Donaldson-Bautista and stud pitching led by Aaron Sanchez-JA Happ-Marco Stroman…but I think they will miss Edwin Encarnarcion.
Tamp Bay..Alex Cobb and Evan Longoria and that’s it. Low budget, empty seats, and tough place to play because of ownership limitations.