2020 NL East Preview

Next up on my division by division preview is the NL East.   Yes, I continue to be either optimistic enough or delusional enough to think a season will happen.  As always, I address the teams in the order I expect them to finish.

Atlanta Braves.  Assuming Cole Hamels is fully healthy by the time the season starts, he’s an upgrade from Julio Teheran.  Marcel Ozuna and Adeiny Hechavarria together do not equal the loss of Josh Donaldson.  Other newcomers include Félix Hernández, X-Ray Travis d’Arnaud, and Chris Martin.  Overall, I’d say this year’s Braves are slightly weaker than last year’s division winner, but so are the winners of last year’s World Series.

Washington Nationals.  Losing Anthony Rendon hurts.  Signing Starlin Castro, Eric Thames, and Will Harris does not make up for it.  On the plus side, a shorter season means less wear/tear on Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer.  Gerardo Parra signed with the NPB; his departure won’t affect the team much, but some fans might miss “Baby Shark.”

Phlidelphia Phillies.  One can argue they’re a little stronger with the addition of Zack Wheeler, but not enough to overtake the top two. They also welcome a new manager in Joe Girardi.  Back from injury will be Andrew McCutcheon, Tommy Hunter, and Victor Arano.

New York Mets.  They will get Yoenis Cespedes back from injury, assuming he doesn’t get hurt again; how productive he will be is an open question.  They lost Zack Wheeler to the Phils.  Noah Syndergaard is gone for the year due to TJS. They also have a new manager in Luis Rojas, one of the Alou family.  Other new additions include Dellin Betances, Rick Porcello, Michael Wacha, and Brad Brach…with a significant amount of wishes by them of a return to health and productivity. They could easily sink to 5th.

Miami Marlins.  They have improved, but it’s a deep pit out of which they’re trying to climb.  They picked up Jonathan Villar, Corey Dickerson, Brandon Kintzler, Francisco Cervelli, Jesus Aguilar, and Matt Joyce.  “Improved” is just based on the first three names… Joyce and Cervelli are not the players they once were, and Aguilar was below replacement level with the Yankees.  The future is looking up for them in that ESPN rates their farm system as top third in MLB,  For this year at least Billy the Marlin’s head shouldn’t be blowing off a skydiver’s head and winding up on the FL Turnpike.

 

 

 

 

17 thoughts on “2020 NL East Preview

  1. Nothing to do with the current team, but it’s still a cool tidbit: Hank Aaron finished his major league career with 3771 hits (he has over 4000 professional hits)…this, if one subtracts every one of his 755 home runs, he still would have over 3000 hits.

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    1. That’s a cool stat. Sort of like my favourite NHL record stat:

      Wayne Gretzky holds the top spot for most career points (2857) and most career goals (894). If he’d never scored a single goal in his career, he’d still hold the top spot for most career points — 42 more than second place Jaromir Jagr.

      This is even more remarkable when you realize that Gretzky only played 20 seasons, where everyone else in the top 5 points list played at least 3 seasons more (#2, Jagr played 24 seasons, #3 Mark Messier played 25, #4 Gordie Howe played 26 and #5 Ron Francis played 23).

      Sorry for injecting hockey into a baseball blog… what can I say… I’m Canadian.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Gator, apparently hockey is one of those sports that is not considered an essential service in Flori-DUH, unlike WWE…

          Happy, I too was very bad at hockey, so in our shinny games, I usually was the goalie, as it required the least skating skill.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. @nbjays: One of the most popular forms of indoor exercise during self-quarantine down here is cringing visibly at some of the things our beloved governor says. Apparently it’s very good for the muscles around the jaw, neck and forehead. He was doing fine for a few weeks and then, suddenly, about ten days ago he seemed to go full stupid. Party like it’s 1347!

          By the way, is baby fur seal bashing still an essential service up your way?

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        3. Gator— Hockey is a game played in a gigantic refrigerator in order to occupy the time of snowbirds who schizophrenically miss the ice they’ve left behind during their annual migration.

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        4. I like it when they doze orf and awaken with their feet frozen in the ice, and then the snapping turtles bite them orf just before it melts…..

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      1. Oh boy, is that a nasty little story. When Beep Beep became chief of baseball operations, having spectacularly overpaid for the franchise (which has actually lost over one half billion dollars of value since he bought into it), he immediately fired, unceremoniously, all of Scrooge McLoria’s special assistants, including Niner and Andre Dawson. The popular response down here was so overwhelmingly disgusted that Jeter offered Niner his job back at about a third the salary Loria had paid him, and Conine politely told him to go get a proctoscopy. Eventually Niner made his uneasy peace with Sherman and Beep Beep and still does Feesh fan events “when he’s got some free time,” but Andre Dawson never did, and has implied he will not even attend Jeter’s HOF induction, which would be an unprecedented slap in the face.

        Of course, who the hell knows if there’ll even be one on schedule this year?

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        1. That’s not surprising. Jeter seems to have gone out of his way to out-Loria his predecessor, and also seems to have succeeded spectacularly.

          I have never been a Beep Beep fan, as I thought his so-called defense was way overrated, but I did see him as a first round Hall of Famer.

          That said, the only thing that gave me more pleasure than Jeter missing out on unanimous induction was Larry Walker finally getting the call.

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        2. Ditto on Walker. Another unrequited great in the tradition of Ernie Banks. I saw an interview with him once at Joeprodolsharklifedolrock Stadium when the Feesh were still playing there. The woman who was interviewing him pointed to an “X” sign someone had hung over the rail on the third deck waaaaayyyy out in right center field, where Mark McGwire in his heyday had crushed a pitch. Walker just stared silently at it for a minute and shook his head. “Sick,” is all he said.

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