By: Joe “Cartright” Cardoso
Part II of my MLB 2016 questions.
A few weeks ago, I asked questions about some of the teams that we all thought would be great last season, and were anything but. As we get closer to the start of the new season and the first spring training games coming down the pike, I, for one, am cleaning off the grill and pulling out the fantasy baseball draft guide. So without further ado, let’s get to the next 6 questions:
- Los Angeles Dodgers: Where do we begin? Another playoff bust. Zack Greinke and Don Mattingly GONE; Greinke to the Diamondbacks and Mattingly to the Marlins. Now Dave Roberts steps in as manager. My questions for this team start and end with, will Yasiel Puigg step up and grow up? At only 25 years old can he stay healthy and productive? He went from all-world to trading block seemingly overnight. Kershaw will be Kershaw. His true test comes again in the post season. The Dodgers are the only team with 2 prospects in the all-important Baseball America Prospectus. Julio Urias from Mexico should be solid and Corey Seager has rookie-of-the-year talent. Remember those names.
- Houston Astros: Was it all a fluke? I love shortstop Carlos Correa! Only two players in the projected opening day lineup are over 30 years old. The bullpen gets help from Doug Fister and Ken Giles. Jose Altuve will be Mr. Hustle as always. Could the 15 year streak since the last division title be coming to an end? The Rangers are still top dog… or are they? This will be a fun race.
- Pittsburgh Pirates: Pittsburgh has a loaded farm system just like the Red Sox and Rangers. They just have to get past the NLDS, don’t they? Second baseman and rookie Alen Hanson will get a crack at the starting job from day one. Andrew McCutchen and Starling Martin must get help from the kids. This is a team built off its strong farm system, and they will need it again this season. For the Buc’s, it’s get past the opening round or bust.
- Texas Rangers: Will Prince Fielder and Shin Soo Choo have another banner year? They both came back with a vengeance last season. A full season of Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish has Texas fans talking deep playoff run. Don’t forget, this team was beat down last year and STILL made the playoffs. What can they do with everyone healthy and a little luck? With a farm system most teams would kill for, this team has the potential to improve as the season goes on.
- Toronto Blue Jays: In my humble opinion, when everyone is healthy, they are the best offense in baseball. The David Price “rental” is over, so now what? JA Happ, along with Drew Storen and Jesse Chavez, needs to help a suspect bullpen. Pitchers need to be game managers, not lose the game. This a top 3 club hands down.
- Baltimore Orioles: Yankee-like spending has gotten nothing in return. This team flipped fast didn’t they? Man on the hot seat, Manny Machado, got to stay on the field. Only 23 and his defense has Baltimore fans comparing him to a certain Hall Of Famer named Brook Robinson… Still no leadoff hitter and a so-so rotation. Where will they finish this year?
So what questions do you have for your team? Let me know. Also follow me on Twitter @Cright for great one liners… oh yeah, and sports!