30 Teams in 30 Days – Colorado Rockies

Ahhh the 2007 Rockies’ season. Who would’ve thunk it? The no-names of the league went on a championship run. The team that no one gave a chance proved themselves to be champions of the NL. The Rockies had a more than abysmal 2011 however finishing 4th in the West with a meager 73 wins. Can the Rockies rebound in 2012? Will there be a repeat of 2007′s “Rocktober”? And can the Rockies make another Cinderella run? These are the questions that should be at the back of everyone’s minds as we look forward to the 2012 season.
2011 Season
Record: 73-89

Finish: 4th in NL West
Playoffs: None
Top Pitcher: Jhoulys Chacin (Don’t worry I have absolutely no idea how to pronounce this name either) 11-14, 3.62 ERA, 150 SO
Top Hitter: Troy Tulowitzki (Believe it or not but I can pronounce this name!) .302 AVG, 30 HR, 105 RBI
Manager: Jim Tracy
Important Offseason Acquisitions: Jeremy Guthrie RHP, Casey Blake 3B, Chad Tracy 1B, Jamie Moyer LHP (How is he still alive, let alone playing professional baseball), Marco Scutaro SS, Michael Cuddyer RF, Ramon Hernandez C, Tyler Chatwood RHP
Important Offseason Losses: Huston Street SD, Chris Iannetta LAA, Mark Ellis LAD, Kevin Millwood SEA, JC Romero STL, Kevin Kouzmanoff KC, Ty Wigginton PHI, Ryan Spilborghs CLE, Clayton Mortenson BOS, Matt Lindstrom BAL

Now the 2012 Rockies are a new look team from 2011. But unfortunately this is not necessarily a good thing (nor is it a bad thing), along with gaining a ton through a front office gone wild, the Rockies also lost a lot. I would say all that they gained exactly equaled what they lost, which is surprising, usually a team improved from the season before or got worse. Now I won’t keep you guys for a while because we all know what article is up next aka the moment you’ve all been waiting for (I’ll give you a hint it rhymes with Ain’t Trouis Ardinals) but in all honesty I’m not sure how the Rockies will do in 2012. I mean one can assume that their record will be almost identical to lasts, but 2011 was disappointing for the Rockies so I doubt you’ll see them doing worse. They had some key acquisitions that added depth to both their hitting and pitching, but by the same token lost some depth to both their hitting and pitching. Knowing that there aren’t many Rockies fans out there (sorry to the few that exist!) I’m going to have to cut this article short so we can get to our grand finale. Rockies fans look forward to a… well unpredictable 2012. P.S. this might be the last year we see Todd Helton.. that would be a big loss to the league losing both Helton and Chipper.

Prediction
Record: 76-86

Finish: 4th in West
Playoffs: None
Top Pitcher: Jeremy Guthrie 15-14, 4.01 ERA, 177 SO
Top Hitter: Todd Helton (just because it’s probably his last season) .289 AVG, 29 HR, 107 RBI
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-Simple Jack

30 Teams In 30 Days-Houston Astros

Soooooo Astros’ fans… How’s it going? Now I want you all to leave your dark pits of despair and look out at the sun. It’s a new day Astros’ fans, the sun is shinning, the birds are chirping and were less then a week away from the baseball season starting. This gives you all time to stock up on non perishable foods, so that you can survive another long year in your “despair pits”. Let’s recap on your abysmal season.
Houston Astros
Record: 56-106
Finish: Last NL Central
Playoffs: Let’s not taunt them
Top Hitter: Carlos Lee, 18 HR, 94 RBI, .275 AVG
Top Pitcher: Wandy Rodriguez, 11-11, 3.49 ERA, 166 SO
Important Offseason Acquisitions: Jed Lowrie, Jack Cust, Chris Snyder, Kyle Weiland
Important Offseason Losses: Mark Melancon, Clint Barmes 

The Astros had a terrible season last year and I mean terrible. To make matters worse, they hardly added anything during the offseason, granted they didn’t lose all that much either. The Astros will have a better record this season, but that really isn’t saying much. Looking into the Astros’ future they at least have the #1 pick in this coming draft. The Astros’ will be moving to AL West next year, which in a sense can be even more bad news for them. By going to the AL West their gonna have to play in the same division with the Rangers (whom have lost in the world series, two years in a row) and the Los Angeles Angels who recently acquired a certain first basemen named Albert Pujols, that same Pujols who hit 37 HRs and 99 RBI’s as well became the third player in MLB history to hit 3 HRs in a  single playoff game. Now enough about teams with future Hall of Famers and winning records. The Astros’ won’t make the playoffs and they won’t be good. They won’t even be decent, but there’s a solid chance they won’t the worst team this season. I mean there still is the Orioles. So Astros’ fans, as you prepare for your long alcohol and fast food induced coma, think of the finer things in your life, like how YOUR Houston Texans, whom made the playoffs for the first time in their horrid 9 year history. With that I bid you adieu and remember vegetables and fruits can be your friends.
Prediction
Record: 66-96 (Could be worse)
Finish: Last NL Central (The last time you can ever be last in the NL Central)
Playoffs: Maybe in 2017?
Top Hitter: Carlos Lee 22 HR, 97 RBI, .279 AVG
Top Pitcher: Wandy Rodriguez, 13-11, 3.45 ERA, 173 SO
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-McFultz

30 Teams In 30 Days-Arizona Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks  had quite the season last year, making it to the NLDS, only to lose the Milwaukee Brewers. Now, the Diamondbacks are back in action and looking to reclaim their NL West crown. But before we get to the present, let’s look back at last season.
Arizona Diamondbacks
Record: 94-68
Finish: 1st NL West
Playoff: Eliminated in NLDS
Top Hitter: Miguel Montero, 18 HR, 86 RBI, .282 AVG
Top Pitcher: Ian Kennedy, 21-4, 3.49 ERA, 198 SO
Important Offseason Acquisitions:  Trevor Cahill, Takashi Saito, Jason Kubel  Important Offseason Losses: Jarrod Parker, Jason Marquis, Xavier Nady, Zach Duke 

The Diamondbacks haven’t missed a step since last season. I have high hopes for this season and will have to retract my sentiments on the Dodgers Season this year. http://criticsfromthecouch.com/?p=390. The Diamondbacks have to be the favourite for the NL West, they’ve haven’t lost anyone pivotal pieces and have added to their rotation. The Diamondbacks also added Josan Kubel to their outfield. A great trade for the Diamondbacks was Jarrod Parker for Trevor Cahill, Parker was to try out for the starting rotation this year but with the acquisition of Cahill, they now have a legitimate starter. Diamondback fans should be excited this season with an infield that played great last season along with a good starting rotation they have to be the #1 favourite in the NL West.

Prediction
Record: 96-66
Finish: 1st NL West
Playoffs: Eliminated in NLCS
Top Pitcher: Ian Kennedy, 18-9, 3.45 ERA, 200 SO
Top Hitter: Miguel Montero, 20 HR, 90 RBI, .279 AVG
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-McFultz

30 Teams in 30 Days – Miami Marlins

Looks like the Major Leagues have a new bad boy on the block. It seems like roughly every six or so years the Miami Marlins (formally Florida Marlins) spend 2 years building an awesome, championship contending team to find themselves winning the World Series! However, the Marlins always crumble the following offseason, losing well 80% of their team. This has become a trend for the Marlins, and it looks like they’re going through the rebuilding phase again! Snagging some big name free agent acquisitions.. before we see my prediction for the Marlins in 2012 let’s see how they stacked up in 2011.

Miami Marlins
Record: 72-90
Finish: 5th in NL East
Playoffs: None
Top Pitcher: Javier Vazquez 13-11, 3.69 ERA, 162 SO
Top Hitter: Giancarlo (formally Mike) Stanton 0.262 AVG, 34 HR, 87 RBI
Important Offseason Acquisitions: Carlos Zambrano SP,  Austin Kearns LF, Heath Bell RHP, Jose Reyes SS, Mark Buehrle SP,  Aaron Rowand CF,
Important Offseason Losses: Javier Vazquez (retired), Jose Lopez CLE

Ok along with the Angels, the Marlins were the talk of the town during the offseason acquiring several big names and going after several more (Many sources reported they were within a hair of acquiring Albert Pujols). Well the Marlins are locked and ready to go in 2012; acquiring Jose Reyes AND holding on to Hanley (who is going to have to make the move to 3B! EGAD! The world is ending.. at least in the eyes of Hanley). And I know all you guys are saying “SimpleJack are you stupid or something? Hanley Ramirez sucks!” And I know he had an abysmal 2011 but look for Senor Ramirez to bounce back during the 2012 campaign. Well, onto Reyes! The Marlins acquired arguably the only good Met from the 2011 season, but considering the Mets’ performance that isn’t saying much… But we all know Reyes is a great player, a perennial allstar, and a guy who will guarantee to accumulate you a .300 AVG and 40 SB on a early basis as long as he stays injury free. The Marlins will surely have no problem with their lineup. They’re bringing backed Mike.. ahem sorry I mean Giancarlo Stanton who had a stellar 2011 and I only see him improving upon that especially with the addition of Reyes. I foresee Giancarlo becoming a RBI machine in 2012. They also added ex-Phillie and Giant, Aaron Rowand and Austin Kearns who should both add considerable depth, whilst retaining most of their core which includes Greg Dobbs, Omar Infante, and Gaby Sanchez. Now for the Miami Marlins, the pitching is where its going to be at. Despite losing their 2011 ace Javier Vazquez to retirement the Marlins managed to add the always feisty and hard-headed Carlos Zambrano (who the Cubs finally released was causing too many problems in Chicago) who, despite his temperament, is a very good, solid starter and MARK BUEHRLE! My boy! Along with these new fellas the Miami Marlins retain Josh Johnson and Anibal Sanchez (who don’t forget, threw a no-hitter!) They also added considerably to the bullpen by signing closer Heath Bell. Anyway, along with a change in name, the Marlins are going to see a drastic change in their team in 2012 and will most likely find themselves in the playoff hunt as August draws to a close and may even manage to fight their way into the play-in game.

Prediction
Record: 88-74
Finish: 3rd in East
Playoffs: Lose in Play-in game
Top Hitter: Jose Reyes .322 AVG, 12 HR, 68 RBI, 51 SB
Top Pitcher: Mark Buehrle 14-7, 3.67 ERA, 173 SO
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-Simple Jack

 

30 Teams in 30 Days – Cincinnati Reds

After a great year in 2010, which landed the Reds their first NL Central title since 1995, the Reds disappointed a lot of people last year. Despite having 2010 NL MVP, Joey Votto (who just so happened to attend my high school back in his youth), they couldn’t even reach the .500 plateau. Let’s recap.
Cincinnati Reds
Record: 79-83
Finish: 3rd in NL Central
Playoffs: N/A
Top Pitcher: Johnny Cueto 9-5, 2.31 ERA, 104 SO
Top Hitter: .309 AVG, 29 HR, 103 RBI
Manager: Dusty Baker
Important Offseason Acquisitions: Mat Latos, Sean Marshall, Ron Mahay, Dioner Navarro, Ryan Madson, Wilson Valdez, Willie Harris, Ryan Ludwick, Jeff Francis
Important Offseason Losses: Francisco Cordero TOR, Ramon Hernandez COL, Edgar Renteria FA, Dontrelle Willis, Edinison Volquez, Yonder Alonso SD,  Travis Wood CHC

There were high hopes for the Reds in 2011 after a great 2010, but with the amazing years the Brewers and the Cardinals put up, the Reds didn’t have a chance. Joey Votto (CANADIAN)! got some heat last year, which I didn’t quite understand, I know he had a drop-off from 2010, but he still hit over .300, he had 29 Jacks and over 100 RBI’s. The real problem lied in their pitching, they finished exactly 20th in the league in ERA, WHIP and SO. It was mostly their Starters, besides Cueto and Leake, their Starting Pitching was horrendous, I mean, just look at the stats, of their 5 pitchers with 13 starts or more (not including Leake and Cueto), their Starting Pitching finished with an ERA of 5.00 on the dot. That is unacceptable. They had a decent Bullpen and a decent offensive attack, but their Starting Pitching lost them a lot of ball games. The Reds certainly went after improving that in the offseason, with the addition of young stud, Mat Latos. The 24 year old right-hander has shown great promise, posting an ERA of 3.37 in his first 72 big league starts. They also added veteran lefty, Jeff Francis (also CANADIAN!), who once had great potential, being selected 9th overall in the 2002 Draft, but was never able to live up to expectations, posting a career 4.78 ERA as a starter, the Reds may try to use him in a relief role this year, seeing as he’s already made 3 relief appearances for them in the Spring. So, I believe their Starting 5 should be greatly improved this year, with the hope of continued success from Cueto, Leake and Latos, and then if they can get improved years from Bailey and Arroyo (who had two successful campaigns before struggling last year), they could even be considered a somewhat dangerous starting rotation at times. Their bullpen should be improved a bit with the additions of Marshall and Mahay, but with them parting ways with Cordero, they brought on Madson to take over the closer role, unfortunately it was just announced that he will miss the whole year due to Tommy John surgery, so they’re going to have trouble finding saves from time to time, having established closer. Their offense has lost a little fire power in Alonso, Hernandez and Renteria, but it should still be a very dangerous offensive group. Ultimately I think the Reds will fall short of the Cardinals and the Brewers once again (despite their losses of Prince and Pujols). I just don’t see this team being able to compete with them. However, they are still young (28.0 yr old average) and I believe that they’ll be a threat in this division for years to come.

Prediction
Record: 82-80
Finish: 3rd in NL Central
Playoffs: N/A
Top Pitcher: Mat Latos 14-9, 3.06 ERA, 197 SO
Top Hitter: Joey Votto .311 AVG, 31 HR, 108 RBI
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-Vernon Smells

30 Teams in 30 Days – San Fransisco Giants

All that needs to be said about the 2012 San Fransisco Giants is that the 2010 World Series Champs will be back with a vengeance, and ready for another title run! Here is there 2011 season review:
Record: 86- 76
Finish: 2nd NL West
Playoffs: None
Best Hitter: Pablo Sandoval, .315 AVG, 23 HR, 70 RBI
Best Pitcher: Tim Lincecum, 13- 14, 2.74 ERA, 220 SO
Manager: Bruce Bochy
Important Offseason Aquisitions: Melky Cabrera, Javier Lopez, Jeremy Affeldt, Ryan Theriot, Angel Pagan, Guillermo Mota
Important Offseason Losses: Carlos Beltran, Cody Ross, Jeff Keppinger, Orlando Cabrera, Pat Burrell

The 2012 season should be truly exciting for the San Fransisco Giants and their fans alike. The team had a down year last year due to an anemic offense, that scored the near worst amount of runs in the league. This year, things are looking quite a bit brighter in the bay, due to the return of a familiar face as well as some new ones. Back from injury this season will be rookie superstar catcher Buster Posey. In his rookie season Posey hit 18 home runs, and 67 RBI with a .305 clip. New to the club this year are outfielders Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera. Last season with the Mets, Pagan hit only 7 home runs, and 56 RBI while batting .262. This may seem disapointing, however, the outfielder is only one season removed from an 11 home run season,   to go along with 69 RBI and a .290 clip. That type of production could be very useful in the Giants lineup. Cabrera on the other hand, had a career season with Royals last year. He hit 18 HR, and 87 RBI while batting and impressive .305. These two additions, along with the return of Posey will surely help an offense that relied on the departed Carlos Beltran and third-baseman Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval is the Giants best hitter and was quite literally their only consistant source of offense. With an improving offensive core, the Giants boast one of the best pitching groups in the league. Led by all-star Matt Cain, the Giants rotation is in the leagues top 5 along with Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Washington and the LA Angels. Following Cain is two time CY-Young award winner Tim Lincecum, who never fails to pitch a jem. All-star Ryan Vogelsong comes next, followed by Madison Bumgarner. If the starting 5 isn’t tantilizing enough, the Giants bring out Sergio Romo (one of the best relief pitchers in the league) in the eighth, followed by “the beard” Brian Wilson. With arguably, the best complete pitching staff and an improved offense, the sky is the limit for the 2012 San Fransisco Giants, and if all goes correctly, the bay area could see the return of an all to familiar trophy.

Predictions:
Record: 93-67
Finish: 1st NL West
Playoffs: World Series
Best Hitter: Pablo Sandoval, 27 HR, 86 RBI, .312 AVG
Best Pitcher: Tim Lincecum, 18-6, 2.68 ERA, 240 SO
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-Zookeeper

 

 

30 Teams In 30 Days- San Diego Padres

My dear San Dieagons, San Diegites, San Diegans (Anchorman reference) or whatever you call yourselves, I can’t say I bring good news. Last season your Padres finished last in the NL West, and I don’t expect much improvement. So let’s see how your Padres finished last season.
San Diego Padres
Record: 71-91
Finish: Last in AL West
Playoffs: N/A
Top Pitcher: Aaron Hang, 14-9, 3.64 ERA, 124 SO
Top Hitter: Camerin Maybin, 9 HR, 44 RBI, .264 AVG, 40 SB
Manager: Bud Black
Offseason Acquisitions: Houston Street, John Baker, Ryan Kelly, Cory Burns
Offseason Losses: Aaron Hang, Ryan Ludwick (Both of their top players),  Pedro Hernandez, Wade LeBlanc, Nick Schmidt

Los Padres are not looking too shabby this season. They finished last in their division last season, and I can’t see them improving beyond that. With the Giants, Diamondbacks and Dodgers all either improving, or relatively staying the same, the Padres don’t have a great chance. Their pitching and batting is still sub par and I can’t see their record improving.  The Padres are in a division that is filled with teams that are all going to be competing for a playoff spot. The NL West may easily become the most competitive division in the MLB. With this all being said the Padres are not looking like they stand a chance. This once was a team that was a late season collapse away from making the playoffs. For the people of San Diego, at least you have the Chargers…. HA! I feel as if I should send you all my condolences, first Manning to Denver and now your stuck in one of the best divisions in the NL.

Prediction
Record: 69-93
Finish: Last in AL West
Playoff:N/A
Top Hitter: Carlos Quentin .249 AVG, 29 HR, 91 RBI
Top Pitcher: Cory Luebke 10-11, 3.23 ERA, 184 SO
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-McFultz