National League West Preview Capsules
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Capsules of National League West teams, listed in order of finish last year:
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
2022: 111-51, first place, lost to San Diego in Division Series.
Manager: Dave Roberts (eighth season).
Opening Day: March 30 vs. Arizona.
He’s Here: RHP Noah Syndergaard, OF/DH J.D. Martinez, INF Yonny Hernandez, OF Jason Heyward, RHP Shelby Miller, RHP J.P. Feyereisen.
He’s Outta Here: SS Trea Turner, 3B Justin Turner, OF Cody Bellinger, LHP Tyler Anderson, OF Joey Gallo, INF Edwin Rios, OF Kevin Pillar, RHP Trevor Bauer, LHP Andrew Heaney, RHP Tommy Kahnle, RHP Craig Kimbrel, RHP Chris Martin, LHP David Price.
Top Hitters: 1B Freddie Freeman (.325, 21 HRs, 100 RBIs, .918 OPS, 117 runs, 47 doubles, 199 hits), OF Mookie Betts (.269, 35, 82, .873 OPS, 117 runs, 40 doubles), C Will Smith (.260, 24, 87, .808 OPS), INF Max Muncy (.196, 21, 69, .713 OPS).
Projected Rotation: LH Julio Urías (17-7, 2.16 ERA, 166 Ks), LH Clayton Kershaw (12-3, 2.28), RH Noah Syndergaard (10-10, 3.94 with Angels and Phillies), RH Dustin May (2-3, 4.50 in 6 starts), RH Ryan Pepiot (3-0, 3.47 in 9 games, 7 starts).
Key Relievers: LH Alex Vesia (5-0, 2.15 ERA, 1 save, 79Ks), RH Evan Phillips (7-3, 1.14, 2 saves, 77 Ks), RH Brusdar Graterol (2-4, 3.26, 4 saves), RH Shelby Miller (0-1, 6.43, 14 Ks, 7 innings in 4 games with Giants).
Outlook: After winning a franchise-record 111 games and then losing in the Division Series, the Dodgers are eager to bounce back with a deep postseason run. However, they’ll start the season with injuries to some key players, mostly in the pitching ranks. SS Gavin Lux (torn right ACL) is out for the year. All-Star RHP Tony Gonsolin (16-1, 2.14 ERA, 199 Ks, all career bests) is on the 15-day injured list with a sprained left ankle. RHP Blake Treinen is on the 60-day IL recovering from right shoulder surgery. RHP Daniel Hudson (torn left ACL) is making progress. All-Star RHP Walker Buehler (Tommy John surgery) could possibly return late in the season. The team lost a big bat in All-Star Trea Turner, who went to Philadelphia. Also gone are stalwarts Justin Turner and Bellinger. The Dodgers were more restrained in the offseason free-agent market than is their reputation and it could signal they are saving money to go after some big names next offseason.
SAN DIEGO PADRES
2022: 89-73, second place, lost to Philadelphia in NL Championship Series.
Manager: Bob Melvin (second season).
Opening Day: March 30 vs. Colorado.
He’s Here: SS Xander Bogaerts, RHP MIchael Wacha, RHP Seth Lugo, INF Matt Carpenter, DH Nelson Cruz.
He’s Outta Here: LF Jurickson Profar, LHP Sean Manaea, INF Brandon Drury, 1B Josh Bell, RHP Mike Clevinger, RF Wil Myers, RHP Pierce Johnson.
Top Hitters: 3B Manny Machado (.298, 32 HRs, 102 RBIs, .898 OPS), SS Xander Bogaerts (.307, 15, 73 with Boston), LF Juan Soto (.242, 27, 62 with Nationals and Padres), RF Fernando Tatis Jr. (.282, NL-high 42, 97, 25 SBs, .965 OPS in 2021; sat out last season due to injuries and suspension), 1B Jake Cronenworth (.239, 17, 88).
Projected Rotation: RH Yu Darvish (16-8, 3.10 ERA), RH Joe Musgrove (10-7, 2.93), LH Blake Snell (8-10, 3.38), RH Michael Wacha (11-2, 3.32 with Boston), RH Nick Martinez (4-4, 3.47, 8 saves), RH Seth Lugo (3-2, 3.60 in 62 relief appearances with Mets).
Key Relievers: LH Josh Hader (2-5, 5.22 ERA, 36 saves with Brewers and Padres), RH Robert Suarez (5-1, 2.27), RH Luis Garcia (4-6, 3.39), LH Tim Hill (3-0, 3.56).
Outlook: The Padres have World Series expectations after a stirring run to the NLCS and an offseason in which owner Peter Seidler has been unafraid to spend big money. The team added Bogaerts on a $280 million, 11-year contract to a lineup that already included Machado and Soto. Tatis can return April 20 when he finishes serving an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Tatis, an All-Star at shortstop in 2021, will move to right field and Soto to left. Besides adding Bogaerts, the Padres signed Machado to a new $350 million, 11-year contract and Darvish to a new $108 million, six-year deal.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
2022: 81-81, third place.
Manager: Gabe Kapler (fourth season).
Opening Day: March 30 at New York Yankees.
He’s Here: LHP Sean Manaea, OF Mitch Haniger, OF Michael Conforto, RHP Ross Stripling, LHP Taylor Rogers, OF Stephen Piscotty, C Blake Sabol, RHP Luke Jackson.
He’s Outta Here: LHP Carlos Rodon, 1B Brandon Belt, RHP Shelby Miller, 3B Evan Longoria, INF Tommy La Stella, LHP Jose Alvarez.
Top Hitters: OF Joc Pederson (.274, 23 HRs, 70 RBIs), OF Mitch Haniger (.246, 11, 34 with Mariners), OF Mike Yastrzemski (.214, 17, 57), OF Michael Conforto (.232, 14, 55 in 2021 for Mets), SS Brandon Crawford (.231, 9, 52).
Projected Rotation: RH Logan Webb (15-9, 2.90 ERA), RH Alex Cobb (7-8, 3.73), LH Sean Manaea (8-9, 4.96 with Padres), RH Ross Stripling (10-4, 3.01 with Blue Jays), LH Alex Wood (8-12, 5.10).
Key Relievers: RH Camilo Doval (6-6, 2.53 ERA, 27/30 saves), LH Taylor Rogers (4-8, 4.76, 31/41 saves with Padres and Brewers), RH Tyler Rogers (3-4, 3.57).
Outlook: The Giants dropped by 26 wins from their surprising 2021 season and missed the playoffs last year. After making a run at Aaron Judge in free agency and agreeing to a deal with Carlos Correa that fell through when he failed a physical, San Francisco didn’t make many big impact moves this offseason. But the Giants are hoping that smaller additions like Haniger, Conforto, Manaea, Stripling and Taylor Rogers can get them back into playoff position in the tough NL West.
2022: 74-88, fourth place.
Manager: Torey Lovullo (seventh season).
Opening Day: March 30 at Los Angeles Dodgers.
He’s Here: C Gabriel Moreno, 3B Evan Longoria, OF Kyle Lewis, OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr., RHP Miguel Castro, RHP Scott McGough, LHP Andrew Chafin, RHP Jeurys Familia, RHP Cole Sulser.
He’s Outta Here: C/OF Daulton Varsho, OF Jordan Luplow, C/OF Cooper Hummel, LHP Caleb Smith, RHP Ian Kennedy.
Top Hitters: 1B Christian Walker (.242, 36 HRs, 94 RBIs, Gold Glove), 2B Ketel Marte (.240, 12, 52, 42 doubles), OF Corbin Carroll (.260, 4, 14 in 104 ABs), OF Jake McCarthy (.283, 8, 43, 23 SBs), INF Josh Rojas (.269, 9, 56, 23 SBs).
Projected Rotation: RH Zac Gallen (12-4, 2.54 ERA), RH Merrill Kelly (13-8, 3.37), LH Madison Bumgarner (7-15, 4.88), RH Zach Davies (2-5, 4.09), RH Drey Jameson (3-0, 1.48 in 4 starts).
Key Relievers: RH Mark Melancon (3-10, 4.66 ERA, 18 saves), RH Scott McGough (2-2, 2.35 in Japan), LH Joe Mantiply (2-5, 2.85, All-Star), RH Miguel Castro (5-0, 4.03 with Yankees), RH Cole Sulser (1-4, 5.29 with Marlins), LH Andrew Chafin (2-3, 2.83 with Tigers).
Outlook: The Diamondbacks appear to be headed in the right direction with a speedy, young outfield of Carroll, McCarthy and Alek Thomas and a solid top of the rotation that includes Gallen and Kelly. Carroll is among the favorites to win the NL Rookie of the Year award after a stellar 32-game cameo in 2022. Depth is still an issue, particularly in the bullpen. Arizona is hoping to push for the playoffs for the first time since 2017, but it’s an uphill battle in a division that includes the free-spending Dodgers and Padres.
2022: 68-94, fifth place.
Manager: Bud Black (seventh season).
Opening Day: March 30 at San Diego.
He’s Here: OF/INF Jurickson Profar, RHP Pierce Johnson, LHP Brad Hand, LHP Brent Suter, RHP Connor Seabold, INF Mike Moustakas.
He’s Outta Here: INF/OF Garrett Hampson, OF/INF Connor Joe, RHP Scott Oberg, SS Jose Iglesias, RHP Chad Kuhl, RHP Carlos Estévez, RHP Alex Colomé, OF Sam Hilliard.
Top Hitters: 1B C.J. Cron (.257, 29 HRs, 102 RBIs), DH Charlie Blackmon (.264, 16, 78), 2B Ryan McMahon (.246, 20, 67), OF Kris Bryant (.306, 5, 14 in 42 games), OF Randal Grichuk (.259, 19, 73).
Projected Rotation: RH Germán Márquez (9-13, 4.95 ERA, 150 Ks), LH Kyle Freeland (9-11, 4.53, 131 Ks), RH José Ureña (3-8, 5.14), LH Austin Gomber (5-7, 5.56, 124 2/3 innings), RH Ryan Feltner (4-9, 5.83) or RH Connor Seabold (0-4, 11.29 with Boston).
Key Relievers: RH Daniel Bard (6-4, 1.79 ERA, 34/37 saves), RH Pierce Johnson (1-2, 5.02 with Padres), RH Dinelson Lamet (1-2, 6.12 with Padres and Rockies), LH Brent Suter (5-3, 3.78 with Milwaukee), RH Justin Lawrence (3-1, 5.70), LH Brad Hand (3-2, 2.80, 5 saves with Philadelphia).
Outlook: The Rockies are looking to avoid their first 100-loss season. Their projection is 64 1/2 wins, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Colorado has been dealing with injury after injury this spring. Second baseman Brendan Rodgers is expected to miss the bulk of the season after sustaining a shoulder injury diving for a grounder in a game. Colorado outfielder Sean Bouchard also will miss significant time due to a biceps rupture. Relief pitcher Lucas Gilbreath underwent Tommy John surgery and will miss the season. Colorado is counting on a return to form from Bryant, who didn’t hit a homer at Coors Field in an injury-marred season. Bryant is likely to switch from left to right field with the arrival of Profar from San Diego. Grichuk has been sidelined since undergoing surgery for a sports hernia in mid-February. Márquez and Freeland anchor the rotation. Bard was dependable in the closer’s role last year.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports