What the rest of the 2019 NL West looks like for Opening Day
The National League West has proven to be one of the toughest divisions in baseball year after year.
In each of the past two seasons, the NL West has produced at least two postseason teams and the winner of the NL pennant.
With Opening Day right around the corner, the opposition for the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West has become pretty clear.
Here’s a quick glimpse at how the D-backs’ division rivals look heading into Opening Day:
The San Diego Padres stole the spotlight this winter when they shocked the baseball world by signing four-time All-Star Manny Machado to a 10-year, $300 million deal. Along with Machado, the Padres also are expected to call up MLB Pipeline’s No. 2 prospect shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. come Opening Day to fill out the left side of the infield.
As for their pitching, the Padres have no clear ace and finished last season 20th in earned run average with a team average of 4.40. Now, even with the Machado signing, the Padres are not built to contend in 2019, but they do own one of the league’s best farm systems and may only be a year or two away.
Key Additions: 3B/SS Manny Machado, 2B Ian Kinsler, RP Adam Warren, RP Aaron Loup, SP Garrett Richards
Key Subtractions: SP Clayton Richard, SS Freddy Galvis, INF Cory Spangenberg, C A.J. Ellis
After reaching the World Series for the second consecutive year, the Los Angeles Dodgers head into 2019 as the favorite to win the division for the seventh straight time. This offseason, the Dodgers added depth to their outfield in A.J. Pollock, strengthened their bullpen with Joe Kelly and awaited the return of All-Star shortstop Corey Seager.
Last season, the Dodgers rode their league-leading pitching all the way to the pennant. In 2018, the Dodgers lead the National League in ERA (3.38) and runs allowed (610). The 2018 National League champions will look to ride that same rotation back to the World Series.
Key Additions: OF A.J. Pollock, RP Joe Kelly, C Russell Martin
Key Subtractions: SS/3B Manny Machado, 2B Brian Dozier, 2B Chase Utley, OF Matt Kemp, OF Yasiel Puig, C Yasmani Grandal, SP Alex Wood, RP Josh Fields
The San Francisco Giants are coming off two rough years in which they finished fourth and fifth in the division. After losing the Chicago Cubs in the NLDS in 2016, the Giants suffered many injuries to key players such as Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey and Johnny Cueto. The Giants added depth to their aging roster this offseason by acquiring veterans that can eat up innings of play. The Giants are sort of in a awkward position with aging veterans and a weak farm system, but in manager Bruce Bochy’s last season, the team will look to rebound from the past couple seasons and give it one last go.
Key Additions: SP Drew Pomeranz, C Erik Kratz, OF Michael Reed, OF Gerardo Parra, INF Yangervis Solarte
Key Subtractions: OF Hunter Pence, OF Gorkys Hernandez, C Nick Hundley, SP Chris Stratton
In 2018, it took a tiebreaker game to end the Colorado Rockies’ hopes of winning a division title for the first time in franchise history. Over the offseason, the Rockies improved their already outstanding offense with the acquisitions of second baseman Daniel Murphy and first baseman Mark Reynolds. The team also locked up its superstar third baseman this offseason, signing Nolan Arenado to an eight-year, $260 million extension.
Last year, the team’s surprising starting rotation kept it in the division race and provided the needed balance to its offense that it hadn’t seen in years. The one thing to be worried about with this Rockies team is the bullpen. The Rockies bullpen finished tied for third worst in all of baseball in blown saves last season (27), as well as finishing fourth worst in the National League in average runs allowed a game (4.57).
Key Additions: 2B Daniel Murphy, 1B Mark Reynolds,
Key Subtractions: OF Carlos Gonzalez, INF D.J. LeMahieu, OF Gerardo Parra, RP Adam Ottavino