Monday, August 22, 2011

Season 15 Previews: Washington D.C. Blue Coats

Since I have two weeks off from work, the previews are back! Traditionally, we start in the NL East so that's what we'll do.

Washington D.C. Blue Coats

Last season: 96-66 (1st in NL East, won World Series)
Offense: 5th in NL
Pitching: 3rd in NL

Key additions: None
Key losses: Alex Javier (FA- Scranton)

Analysis: Washington will start the season with pretty much the same squad that took home the title last season. They'll be led once again by breakout star 2B Andrew Clayton, who put up Hall of Fame numbers last season. He'll be supported by RF Matty Pena and last season's mid-season acquisition, INF Jack Hunt. 3B James Dixon is still a productive hitter, but his 59 point drop in average from the year before would have to concern the D.C. fans.

The starting pitching won't change. Former Cy Young winner Carter Leonard is the horse and had a nice bounce-back season, but John Balfour may have been even better. Albert Hendrickson and Adrian Shipley add depth to the rotation. The question around D.C. is around the loss of Javier, but they have enough quality arms in the bullpen to cover the loss- someone will probably step up. Norman Eckenstahler, Enos Swann, and Jorge Cruz could all get shots at the role.

Outlook: Can't exactly say they're an odds-on favorite to repeat, as there are a few small question marks and the NL appears to be deep this season, but when the Vegas lines come out they'll be at or near the top.

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