Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Season 15 Previews: Vancouver Grizzlies

Last season the Grizzlies pulled off the nearly impossible-they finished in last place despite having a winning record. So although they missed the playoffs and were looking up at every one else in the division, there's still reason for hope. Can they leapfrog the other tenants in the division and compete for a division title?

Vancouver Grizzlies

Last season: 82-80 (4th in NL North, missed playoffs)
Offense: 10th in NL
Pitching: 5th in NL

Key additions: None
Key losses: SS Gustavo Contreras (FA-Oakland), LF Fernando Ibanez (FA)

Analysis: This is going to be an interesting season for the Grizzlies. Slugger LF Heath Christiansen and speedster RF Ricky Carpenter need help. Will talented CF Geraldo Santayana step up, or will it come from the minor leaguers that the Grizzlies have stockpiled? They have three or four AAA players who could end up playing a significant role this season.

As for the pitching staff, they're a little more settled. They'll return Willie Pineda and Luis Tejera, who won 30 games between the two of them. And while Ozzie Acker maybe isn't as good as his 26-6 Cy Young season in Season 13, he's definitely not as bad as last year's 9-19 debacle. Heath Rollins was solid as the closer last season.

Outlook: It's hard to say. If they call up some of their AAA guys and those guys can make an immediate impact, I'd give them a puncher's chance at the playoffs. But if they can't or if the Vancouver brass decides that calling these guys up would hamper their long-term growth, then I don't see where the offense comes from.

No comments: