Re: Make your pick - Which MLB team(s) will be the biggest flops & biggest surprises
I'd feel a lot better about the Rockies if they went out and got a real centerfielder in the offseason. Cory Sullivan? That's terrible. I also think Luis Gonzalez, while he's been better than advertised, should continue to be the utility man rather than being counted on to hold down 2B full time. He's a pretty poor fielder, and his offensive numbers don't look quite as good after factoring in Coors Field. I agree on Shealy though. If he can make the transition to the outfield, it would help the Rockies offense a lot. He can mash. In the end, I think the Rockies just don't have the offense to compete. Too many holes in the lineup.
I've been a big fan of all of Schuerholz's offseasons until this year. I've always been extremely impressed with his ability to lose key players and retool by thinking outside the box. However, I have a bad feeling about the Braves this year. Giles is great, but they're going to really miss Furcal as an instigator at lead-off. LaRoche can't play against lefties, and they didn't replace Franco's platoon bat there (I'm wondering if they should play Betemit at 3B against lefties and move Chipper over to 1B on those days). Most importantly, their bullpen isn't just missing a reliable closer, they're also missing the rest of the pen as well. The Braves usually have a few question marks going into the season, but they also normally have intriguing and talented answers to those questions. I'm not sure that's the case this season. I think the Braves are going to disappoint. Luckily they still have plenty of young talent, so they should be back again next year if they address their weaknesses.
I also think the Giants are too old, the Cards are weaker and the Phillies got worse instead of better. The Nats will struggle to score runs. The Mets offense is going to be dynamic. And the Brewers are a very frisky team. I'll be watching them often this season.
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