- Outlook for 2005: It seems that winning division
titles never gets tired for the Braves organization.
It's been 13 years and counting, and just like
last season, the Braves made a great deal of
changes this year. They added Tim Hudson and
returned John Smoltz to the starting rotation.
Danny Kolb was brought in to close out games.
Can the Braves repeat? It's hard to say. Even
if Smoltz falters, there is still enough starting
pitching to get the job done. It seems like
every year the Braves look vulnerable, but every
year they pull out the division. The streak
could very well end in 2005.
Marlins - Outlook for 2005:
All things considered the 2004-05 off-season
has to be viewed as a good one for the Fish.
While they lost Carl Pavano and Armando Benitez,
the club added some veteran leadership in Al
Leiter, one of the premiere first basemen in
the game in Carlos Delgado, and turned the closers
job over to the hard throwing Guillermo Mota.
Offence shouldn't be a problem as Pierre and
Castillo could be the best one-two punch in
baseball. Delgado, Lowell and the immerging
Miguel Cabrera should provide a bunch of home
runs. Can Josh Beckett avoid the blister problems
that have thus far plagued his career? If the
pitching staff holds up, the Marlins should
push for the division title.
Tigers - Outlook for 2005:
It's hard to call a 90-loss season a success
but after a horrible 2003, the Tigers quest
for respectability will continue in 2005. The
Tigers landed the last big free agent on the
market in Magglio Ordonez and are hoping that
he can stay healthy like Pudge Rodriguez did
last season. The Tigers feature a pitching staff
short on name recognition, but long on potential.
Mike Maroth emerged as a mentally tough competitor
and Jeremy Bonderman should continue to develop.
The Tigers are a few impact players away from
contending but are moving in the right direction.
Mets - Outlook for 2005: No
team in baseball made the impact signings that
the Mets did. Did the Mets over pay for both
Carlos Beltran and Pedro Martinez? GM Omar Minaya
wanted to make a splash and steal some of the
limelight from the Yankees, and it worked. Dave
Wright looks legit, but he could have the sophomore
slump. Cliff Floyd, Jose Reyes and Mike Piazza
need to stay healthy, which all three have shown
trouble doing in the past. The strength of the
Mets is their starting rotation anchored by
Martinez and Tom Glavine. Benson, Trachsel and
Zambrano are all good back of the rotation pitchers.
Phillies - Outlook for 2005:
It's hard to classify an 86-win season as a
disappointment, but that's what it was in Philadelphia
where expectations were that the club would
make the post season. Kenny Lofton was brought
in to replace Marlon Byrd and ground ball pitcher
Jon Lieber will replace Eric Milton and the
45 homeruns that he gave up. At second base
Chase Utley will push Placido Polanco to the
bench. Will another year together push the Phillies
to the top of the division?
Nationals - Outlook for 2005:
To say it was an off-season of change could
be an understatement. The team moved from Montreal
and got a new GM. To his credit, new GM Jim
Bowden wasted little time trying to improve
his team. He brought in Cristian Guzman, and
Vinny Castilla to be the new left side of the
infield. Jose Guillen was added to the outfield,
and if Jose Vidro and Nick Johnson are fully
back from injury, the Nationals offence could
be decent. Esteban Loaiza needs to show that
his 2003 season wasn't a fluke, and Tony Armas
needs to stay healthy. The Nationals will finally
have a chance to be a 'normal' MLB team, and
we'll finally get to see what they have to offer.
Futures Lines on who will win the worldseries.
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by Ciaran Friday at 9:18am