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  1. hmm… maybe there is an anti-NL bias? Yes the Rox have had pitching problems “in the past” and the contact that Helton signed “in the past” was awful… but aren’t we looking forward? Plus winning in the NL west means reaching .500 … the Rox are (by default) in contention to make the play-offs, and as we saw 2 years ago, that gives you an shot at the Series. How the Rox are worse off then the O’s is beyond me (unless one stud catcher is worth 25 wins.)

    Comment by Russell — March 12, 2009 @ 4:29 pm

  2. O’s have worse ownership, no doubt. But they do have Adam Jones, Chris Tillman and a few other better, younger pieces than the Rox.

    Comment by Walter Jones — March 12, 2009 @ 4:51 pm

  3. The O’s are loaded with talented young players, they have a GM who’s pulled off some pretty impressive trades (including one that drove me to alcoholism). They’re hosed in the AL East, of course, but they appear to be on their way to respectability.

    And while I doubt how true it is, it appears that Angelos has backed off a little and let MacPhail do his thing.

    Comment by Teej — March 12, 2009 @ 4:53 pm

  4. Dave, I’m surprised that there was no mention of Ianetta he’s got to be one of the young players they build around,no?

    Comment by Ophidian — March 12, 2009 @ 4:57 pm

  5. Let’s be honest, Teej. You were an alcoholic before the Bedard trade. ;)

    Hey, Dave! I see you were quick to throw in the WSJ bit. Good job.

    Comment by Sentinel — March 12, 2009 @ 5:21 pm

  6. I’m glad to see you’ve taken San Francisco out of the cellar. They’re loaded with talent and setting themselves up to win for a long time, despite the Zito contract.

    Comment by bikozu — March 12, 2009 @ 5:29 pm

  7. They’ve made some great signings this offseason. Especially picking up RJ on the cheap.

    Comment by Sentinel — March 12, 2009 @ 5:39 pm

  8. Someone mentioned the O’s and not Wieters?

    Comment by EnglishMariner — March 12, 2009 @ 6:01 pm

  9. Dave,
    Would you or the fangraphs web gurus consider starting a “Organizational Rankings” lookup category? Not they are difficult to find, but reading them in sequence would be a bit faster.

    Comment by Joe — March 12, 2009 @ 6:13 pm

  10. Or Markakis?

    Comment by Will — March 12, 2009 @ 7:07 pm

  11. I guess it depends on how you look at it. The AL is still a superior league by a decent margin… but that gives mediocre NL teams better prospects for success.

    Comment by don — March 12, 2009 @ 7:07 pm

  12. Its going to take more than .500 to contend in the west. The Dodgers and D-backs have some pretty good teams and should push 90 wins. Then, I don’t even see the Rockies all that close to the .500 mark. Last I saw Pecota had them at 75 wins…

    And Dave don’t you think Street could more or less replace Fuentes? Fuentes was great last year, but Fuentes wasn’t going replicate that. However, Street could more or less equal anything we could expect from Fuentes in 09.

    Comment by Wally — March 12, 2009 @ 7:08 pm

  13. .500 is 81 wins, so “pushing 90” doesn’t equal out of reach. And they’re only pushing 90 wins if they stay healthy. That said I don’t expect much from the Rox, I just think that there are AL teams — mostly in Baltimore — that are worse off.

    I don’t think you can evaluate a franchise and ignore the league and division they play in. The Twinkies have a great shot in the AL central, but in the East they’d be an also-ran. Being the 4th or 5th team in your division every year is a really bad thing, and that is all the O’s can realistically hope for.

    Comment by Russell — March 12, 2009 @ 7:30 pm

  14. Also, what about Carlos Gonzalez? Doesn’t he figure into the plan somehow? Oh ya, and I know this is the new and improved NL West, but I still think it’s wild and that anything could and should happen. It’ll probably take a high 80’s/low 90’s team to win the division, and I don’t really see the Rox doing that, but stranger things have happened.

    Comment by Matt — March 12, 2009 @ 10:10 pm

  15. I’m going to disagree about Ubaldo Jimenez and say that I think he could be one of the best pitchers in the majors if he weren’t in Colorado. “Could” is the operative word here: we really don’t know what he would do and what he would learn if he regularly pitced in a normal atmosphere.

    His road FIP is 3.4. He struck out 9.4/IP and gave up just 3 home runs in 95 IP of road games. He also walked an astounding 5.6/IP. His home numbers, of course, look like those of a totally different pitcher; he has a 4.0 FIP at home, with 6.3 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9. The guy has great GB stuff; he gave up just 8 HR in Coors last year (103.3 IP)

    Comment by Fresh Hops — March 13, 2009 @ 12:35 am

  16. “Rockies need to figure out how to use that to their advantage, and they haven’t been able to do so as of yet. ”

    It seems to me the Rockies have forgotten one of the bigest lessons they did learn in their early existence – good veterean players can and sometimes do have huge years in Colorado. From 1995-2001, the Rockies were basically a .500 team, hugely entertaining (scoring 900+ runs per year)…Bichette, Galarraga, Castilla, Burks… aside form the truly elite hitters (Walker, Helton), they always had a strong supporting cast to help out. Last year, they scored 747 runs.

    The Humidor experiment started in 2002, and since then, with tthe exception of one magical late season run, they have been thoroughly mediocre. They were only slightly better before that, but way more fun. I say throw away the humidor and embrace the fun.

    I also suspect that players are unusually reticent to sign with the Rockies – pitchers are scared, and elite hitters wouldn’t want the giant thin air asterisk on their numbers (even if Texas and Arizona are almost as bad these days, a lot of people don’t realize that).

    Comment by aweb — March 13, 2009 @ 9:50 am

  17. Here’s to hoping a O’Dowd makes a slick trade involving Atkins and the Rockies move up a tier in 2010…

    Comment by Paul — March 13, 2009 @ 10:40 am

  18. Russell, the 87-89 wins might not be that far from 81 wins, but it is already a stretch that they make 81 wins. Maybe not by a lot. But the over under has to be closer to 75 than 81…Meaning they need to add ~11 wins stead of ~7. That’s a huge difference.

    And remember by “pushing 90” that also means they, particularly the Dodgers, could go over 90, which is WAY out of reach. That projection I saw that had the Dodgers at 89 win was before they signed Manny as well. The Rockies are out of it this year, unless something terribly fluky happens three times. Both the D-back and Dodgers get unlucky (Dodger would need more bad luck than the D-backs) and the Rockies get lucky.

    Comment by Wally — March 13, 2009 @ 11:33 am

  19. I could not disagree with you more, Dave. Quite honestly, I don’t know how this team ranks so low. Just from your list of teams so far, you seem to have a large bias towards teams that have recently performed bad.

    Moving on to the Rockies, how could fail to mention three young but enormous talents in the Rockies organization: Ian Stewart, Chris Ianetta and Carlos Gonzalez. Put them with Troy Tulowitzki and Dexter Fowler and you have yourself five potential all-stars who could carry this team for years to come.

    As soon as Franklin Morales puts it all together and Jhoulys Chacin makes his way to the majors, those two with Ubaldo Jimenez could make up a pitching staff that would hang with any team in the NL West.

    Comment by Bic — March 13, 2009 @ 2:05 pm

  20. Perhaps 23 seems a bit low now that we have seen what Tulo can do healthy and with the emergence of CarGo? Ubaldo will regress, but he’s still a legit ace. Who really believes that there are 22 teams at this point witha better chance to win a WS tan these guys?

    Comment by Hindsight Twenytweny — December 3, 2010 @ 3:48 am

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