Welcome to the 10th of 30 "2008 Team Previews
", where I'm - you guessed it! - offering up a little preview of the 2008 season for each of the teams. Nothing super fancy, (I'm not writing books here munecas), just a few notes on what major moves the teams made over the winter and a thought or two on their upcoming season. I'm going in reverse order of 2007 standings, so next up is....
2007 Record: .451 (73-89), 4th place in NL East
2006 Record: .438 (71-91), last place in NL East
Who’s Out: RFK (Stadium), Ryan Church (OF), Brian Schneider (C), Glenn Gibson (P)
Who’s In: Nationals Park (Stadium), Johnny Estrada (C), Tyler Clippard (P), Willie Harris (OF), Rob Mackowiak (OF), Paul Lo Duca (C), Lastings Milledge (OF), Elijah Dukes (OF), Aaron Boone (INF), Wily Mo Pena (OF)
Notes: If not for the Mets and the Philles, this team would actually have a shot. They made some terrific moves during the offseason and have an exciting young core with Milledge, Dukes, and Pena (plus, Pena has one of the coolest names EVER), and they have 2 perfectly capable first basemen in Nick Johnson and Dmitri Young, which will give them the flexibility to test them both out, choose which one is the best fit, and trade the other. Additionally, they'll be playing in their brand spankin' new stadium, which will be more conducive to hitting homers than a football stadium. Their main weakness is pitching, as the guys are all very young and thus inexperienced.
I'm not the only one that thinks they're going to have a good season - Bruce from 567 Miles From Hom
e agrees. As he says, "For the first time since the Nationals migrated south from Montreal the organization is finally starting to show some promise. Ryan Zimmerman (the Nat’s version of Derek Jeter) has already started to hit home runs in spring training games, and with the new Nationals Stadium's dimensions the relatively young but talented team should be able to increase its offensive production much more than they were able to in the cavernous RFK. One of the biggest questions for this years squad is who will play first base. Returning Nick Johnson, who missed all of 2007 with a broken leg, and Dmitri Young, who just signed a ten million dollar 2 year contract are fighting that out right now, but I think the smart bet is that the oft injured Johnson gets traded before the season starts. As far as pitching goes, the staff is young and untested so that could lead to some trouble, especially as the season progresses. Still, look for a plus .500 season with an outside chance of finishing 2nd in the NL east behind the Mets."*
*if you have a non-Yanks blog and want to chime in when it's your team's turn, let me know!
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Labels: 2008 team previews