NL POWER RANKINGS
The team with the most wins in the league last season finally got the leadoff man it needed in Denard Span. Stephen Strasburg = Optimus Prime.
Shin-Soo Choo at the top of this batting order? The Reds will score plenty of runs and have the arms to make a serious postseason run.
3. Los Angeles
The Dodgers are already holding their breath over Zack Greinke’s sore elbow in camp. Offense should be more productive.
Here come the Upton brothers. Kris Medlen is around for a full season. Jason Heyward and
Freddie Freeman have another year of experience. Watch
5. San Francisco
The defending champs have an outstanding starting rotation, but they don’t have power, don’t have Brian Wilson and don’t have Tim Lincecum’s long hair.
6. St. Louis
This team has some nice hitters and a talented bullpen. But the Cardinals took a blow with injuries to Chris Carpenter and Rafael Furcal.
The Phillies added a good, speedy center fielder in Ben Revere and still have top-line starters. But the team is showing its age … and needs to produce more runs.
Andrew McCutchen is one of the most entertaining players in the game, and his team is showing signs of … finishing over .500 for a change.
There will be plenty of shootouts in Miller Park this season because this team can hit. But will it be able to outhit its suspect pitching staff?
10. San Diego
The Padres finished the second half strongly, so some believe they can be a sleeper pick. Chase Headley is coming off a breakthrough season.
Parting ways with Justin Upton
and Chris Young might not be a bad thing. The rotation is solid if Brandon McCarthy stays healthy. The lineup needs Jason Kubel healthy.
The Cubs are in rebuilding mode. They added several starting pitchers, so the rotation should be functional. The lineup is a work in progress.
The offense was productive last season, even with Troy Tulowitzki injured. But no starter won more than six games, and the Rockies didn’t upgrade the rotation.
14. New York
Johan Santana isn’t happy. The roster is depleted. The Mets have some pieces in place for the future but will take their lumps this season.
Mike Redmond was named manager, then the roster was gutted. Red-Dog is going to have a tough time keeping spirits up in South Beach.
La Velle E. Neal III