Win-now mode previewing the nl east after the phillies signed harper – talking chop elektricity club


There is a natural ebb and flow in professional sports that gas city indiana post office allows some teams with grim prospects for the season to take a step back for a year or so in hopes of taking a step forward in the future. On the other side, there are teams that look around and decide that this is their window of opportunity to win a championship, so they pounce. Mash on the accelerator. Go for the gusto. We’ll call this “win-now mode.” Rarely, though, do you see a division in which 4 out of 5 teams are in win-now mode. But that is exactly the case for the 2019 NL East.

It’s not all about winning the offseason, as Alex Anthopoulos has said this offseason. To an extent, he’s right – the best teams on paper don’t always pan out. But if there is a grain of truth to the idea that spending has a positive correlation with winning, then the NL East is the most improved division in baseball and could be the toughest division in the league this year.

First of all, the good news for the Braves: in 2018, Atlanta won 90 games and won the NL East by eight games, largely on the backs of young, exciting players like Ronald Acuña, Jr., the 2018 NL Rookie of the Year. And even with Acuña graduating last year and no longer being accounted for in farm system rankings, the Braves still have the #3 farm system in all of baseball, per MLB Pipeline.

Thanks to infield coach Ron Washington and some top-notch positioning, the Braves had one of the top defenses in 2018. The Braves ranked fourth in MLB in DRS and UZR in 2018. Adding Josh Donaldson, an above-average fielder when healthy, and allowing versatile athlete Johan Camargo to the superutility role would seem to boost the Braves’ defense further la gas prices 2016 in 2019.

Additionally, the Braves have no shortage of talented starting pitchers. In addition to the likely rotation of Mike Foltynewicz, Sean Newcomb, Kevin Gausman, Julio Teheran, and Touki Toussaint (the oldest of whom is 28 years old), the Braves have Mike Soroka, Max Fried, Kyle Wright, and Luiz Gohara, who seem ready (or close to ready) to contribute in the majors. A competition for limited spot among these talented hurlers could bring out the best in them.

While the Braves have a plethora of young talented starters, the rotation has several question marks. Foltynewicz had a breakout All-Star season in 2018 but is battling bone spurs in his elbow that will delay his first start of the season. Anibal Sanchez, who was statistically the Braves’ second-best starter in 2018, is gone. Newcomb took a step forward in 2018 but faded towards the end of the year. Julio Teheran has struggled the last past two season and was only used out of the bullpen in one game while losing in the 2018 NLDS. Gausman pitched very well after being traded midseason, but one has to wonder if he can sustain such success or will regress to the numbers he produced while in Baltimore (even when gas x strips review accounting for a better defense behind him). In addition to Foltynewicz, starters Gausman and Soroka have also reported injuries during Spring Training.

While the Braves have young talented pitchers waiting in the wings, a lack of proven front-of-rotation starters does not usually bode well for the postseason. The Braves are banking on the young pitchers to step up again this year, which certainly could happen. However, acquiring established “quality over quantity” for the rotation was a goal that has not come to fruition yet this offseason.

The Braves’ bullpen left room for improvement in 2018, and the Braves have done little to address it over the offseason. (However, there is still an outside chance that they could sign Craig Kimbrel.) The bullpen gave gas jobs crna up the most BB/9 at 4.41 and ranked 17 th in ERA and FIP in 2018. While the overall performance was just below average, the walk rate, which can lead to high pitch counts and wear over the course of a season, is worrisome. Some young pitchers like Chad Sobotka, Max Fried, Patrick Weigel, and Luiz Gohara, and veteran Darren O’Day might be able to improve the bullpen in 2019. However, the back end of the bullpen is a concern, as Arodys Vizcaino and AJ Minter have struggled to stay healthy.

In addition to the acquisitions this offseason, Philadelphia inked a 4-year, $45 million extension of its ace, Aaron Nola. The 25-year-old righty is coming off a tremendous 2018 where he finished third in Cy Young voting. In 2018, Nola posted a 2.37 ERA. 0.97 WHIP, 175 ERA+, and struck out 224 over 212.1 innings. It’s no wonder the Phils rushed to extend him. The Phillies now have a homegrown bonafide ace to anchor their staff through 2023.

Philadelphia finished dead last in Defensive Runs Saved in 2018 with -147 (for reference, no other team had worse than -100). The acquisitions made will allow for a defensive improvement at SS and for Hoskins to move from left field to first base. However, Harper is coming off an atrocious electricity font generator year defensively where he ranked 57 out of 58 in DRS among qualified outfielders. We will see whether this nets an improvement defensively, but even if it does, the Phillies have a long way to go to just be average defensively.

Additionally, the rotation behind Nola is suspect. Jake Arrieta failed to live up to expectations in 2018, posting a 3.96 ERA, 4.06 xFIP, and a significantly reduced strikeout rate. Going into his age 33 season, Arrieta’s best days pitching might be behind him. After Arrieta and Nola, no starter was able to overcome the Phillies’ poor defense and produce an ERA+ above 95 in 2018.

In Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin, the Nationals have arguably the best front end of the rotation in all of baseball. Each of these hurlers would be the #1 starter on many major-league clubs. And the Nationals did not stop there. Although Gio Gonazalez and Tanner Roark have departed, the Nationals boosted the backend of their rotation, as well, by signing Anibal Sanchez, the Braves’ starter in Game 2 of the 2018 NLDS.

Like the Braves, the Nationals have young talent that will be playing in their first full season as professionals. Juan Soto was edged out for Rookie of the Year by Ronald Acuña, Jr. after a very impressive season in which he posted a slash line of .292/.406/.517 and wRC+ of 146 over 116 games at age 19. Additionally, outfielder Victor k electric jobs 2015 Robles, who was sidelined by injury for much of 2018, is MLB Pipeline’s #4 prospect in baseball and should make positive contributions to the team in 2019. These two young outfielders ought to lessen the impact of losing Harper.

The Nationals’ bullpen finished 25 th in FIP and had the second-highest homeruns allowed per nine innings in 2018. Trevor Rosenthal could help boost the bullpen in 2019, but relying on Rosenthal, who missed all of 2018 recovering from Tommy John surgery, as the team’s second-best reliever behind Sean Doolittle is questionable for a team trying to contend. But with reports that the Nationals are in on Craig Kimbrel, there is still time for them to improve here.

To put it nicely, the Nationals have historically had trouble living up to their potential. On the one hand, the Nationals have won the NL East 4 of the last 7 seasons and have had an MVP in Harper and 2-time Cy Young winner in Scherzer. However, as many Braves fans like to point out, they physics c electricity and magnetism have never won a playoff series. While Washington has typically fared well in the regular season, they were projected to win the NL East handily in 2018 but ended up losing out to the Braves by 8 games. With a good bit of turnover this year, it will be interesting to see if the Nationals can get the monkey off their back by not just making the playoffs but winning a playoff series when they’re projected to win the division again (see below).

The emoji gas station Mets’ offense ranked 23 rd in runs scored and wOBA, and 18 th in wRC+ in 2018. While the acquisitions of Cano and Ramos will help those numbers, the offense clearly has room for improvement. Undoubtedly, there are good major-league hitters in the lineup, but the Mets’ lineup top-to-bottom does not strike fear in pitchers like other lineups within the division.

If you’re wondering why the Marlins aren’t discussed much here, it’s because I think they will be the piñata of the NL East this year. They are in full rebuild mode after trading away JT Realmuto (on top of already trading away Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcel Ozuna, and Dee Gordon in recent memory). While they did land a solid return for Realmuto, particularly in high-ceiling pitcher Sixto Sanchez, they are years away from being able to compete. The Marlins finishing any better than last in the division in 2019 would require a horrible collapse from one of the other teams. But hey, they did upgrade their logo!