NL West Roundup

Preview Of The NL West

February 10, 2018

@USAToday

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As we get set for pitchers and catchers to report next week, let’s take a look at what is going on in the National League West.

 

Arizona Diamondbacks: Missing Martinez?

 

J.D. Martinez will not be wearing a Diamondbacks jersey this season. Or will he? Despite many issues the free agent is facing, all signs point to him not returning to the desert, which leaves a huge void in the Diamondbacks lineup. The Answer? Yasmany Tomas, although he has battled injuries in his early career. 

 

Despite not having Martinez however, the Diamondbacks are still feeling optimistic about their roster as the majority of their 2017 Wild Card winning team is coming back. Shortstop has the most depth as Nick Ahmed, Chris Owning and Ketel Marte, who played in their absence, are all coming back next year. Add that to an already explosive lineup led by face of the franchise Paul Goldschmidt, center fielder A.J. Pollack and third baseman Jake Lamb, the Diamondbacks should be a force in the NL West. Their closer situation is bleak, but recently acquired and former Padre, Brad Boxberger looks to be the Diamondbacks answer in 2018.

 

Colorado Rockies: Big Money Pen

 

From a team with question marks in their bullpen, to another that broke the bank this offseason on theirs. The Colorado Rockies were big spenders this offseason as they re-shaped their already solid bullpen from last season (2nd best in Wins Above Replacement in 2017). The most notable move for the Rockies was acquiring former Royals and Cubs closer Wade Davis. They were also able to acquire former Cleveland setup man Bryan Shaw as well as re-signing Jake McGee. They are joined by long reliever Chris Rusin, slider specialist Adam Ottavino, 100mph thrower Scott Oberg, as well as Mike Dunn and power arm Carlos Estevez. Although they let Greg Holland and Pat Neshek walk, the bullpen has been seriously upgraded and ready for 2018.

 

Los Angeles Dodgers: One More Step

 

The Los Angeles Dodgers were one game away last season from ending a 29-year World Series victory drought, until they lost Game 7 to Houston in the fall classic. The 2018 Dodgers will be trying the tackle that final step of being World Series Champions that has eluded them for the last couple years. The Dodgers biggest move this offseason? Cutting payroll. Los Angeles sent fan favorite Adrian Gonzalez, pitchers Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy, and utility man Charlie Culberson, along with $4.5 million, to Atlanta for former Dodger Matt Kemp. All signs point to the Dodgers not hanging on to Kemp, making this a salary dump trade for LA. This dump allowed the Dodgers to free up enough payroll to go under the luxury-tax for 2018 and to cut their 2019 tax to only 20 percent. That gives them more money to spend in the heavily loaded 2019 free agent crop.

The 2018 Dodgers roster is loaded once again. The starting rotation of LHP Clayton Kershaw, LHP Rich Hill, LHP Alex Wood, RHP Kenta Maeda and LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu looks to be lights out. The outfield is a huge problem…when it comes to playing time due to the unbelievable depth. Chris Taylor and Yasiel Puig have center and right field locked down. That leaves Joc Pederson, Andrew Toles, Kike Hernandez, Trayce Thompson, Alex Verdugo and maybe even Kemp battling for left field. That is going to be a great position battle to watch this spring training. 

 

San Francisco Giants: No More 25

 

This past Tuesday the San Francisco Giants announced they were retiring Barry Bonds number 25 this August. The number will be retired on August 11, 2018 when the Pittsburgh Pirates (Bonds spent seven years as a Pirate) visit AT& T Park. According to ESPN, Bonds said "I'm both honored and humbled that the Giants are going to retire my number this season. As I've always said, the Giants and Giants fans, are a part of my family. Growing up, Candlestick Park was my home away from home, and it is where my dad [Bobby Bonds] and godfather Willie [Mays] played.”

 

There is a lot of controversy when it comes to Barry Bonds baseball career as the second half of it was tainted by steroid use. Barry Bonds was a seven-time National League MVP, and a 14-time All-Star selection finished his career with an MLB-record 762 home runs. He is the sixth San Francisco Giant to get his number retired joining Mays (24), Orlando Cepeda (30), Juan Marichal (27), Willie McCovey (44) and Gaylord Perry (36).