View From The Bleachers

October 9, 2008

Fool me once…

Filed under: General — Rob Bukowski @ 10:02 am

I will be writing a longer post about off season plans for next year in about an hour. However, I want to throw out a few questions  to get things started this morning. Is this team still, even with the potential losses of Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood and others, the best team by far in the National League Central? Which of the other teams can compete? As you look at things are the Astros, Brewers, Cardinals, and Reds on the way up, down, or stagnant? And what are we?

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  • dave l

    I think that it is too hard to say right now.

    If we are assuming Dempster and Wood leave, are we also assuming that Sheets and Sabathia leave?

    If those two leave the Brewers, the Cubs will be better. The two teams that scare me in the Central, as of now, are the Cardinals (because they are always good, and they have Albert Pujols), and the Reds.

  • Matt Jacobs

    I think the Brewers are in trouble. They put all their marbles into this year. They’ll likely lose Sabathia and Sheets, which will spell disaster for that bullpen.

    I just don’t see the Reds competeing. At least not for the Division. I believe they’ll be better, but they’re still led by Dusty.

    St. Louis will once again probably be in the race for most of the year. I would love to figure out how LaRussa managed to get his teams to consistently play above their potential. If they can stay healthy and add pitching, they’ll be trouble.

    Astros, I’m unsure of. I fear their offense, but even with the addition of Randy Wolf the pitching didn’t scare me, per se. I do think that they’ll probably be more of a problem for the Cubs than any of the other teams.

    The Central is still the Cubs Division, which is why I don’t think they need to do a whole lot of improvement. Just tweaking.

  • dave l

    Oh… didn’t fully answer your question:

    Up or Down?
    Astros – stagnant
    Brewers – down
    Cardinals – stagnant
    Reds – up
    Pirates – stagnant

    Cubs – down, without Wood/Dempster

    But again, it is too early to say. The Cubs will make moves to make this team better.

  • dave l

    I believe they’ll be better, but they’re still led by Dusty.

    Well, Dusty has a pretty good record of teams that play good baseball, both with the Giants and the Cubs.

    but even with the addition of Randy Wolf the pitching didn’t scare me, per se

    Wolf is a free agent.

  • Kevin

    I agree the Cubs will still be the class of the Central. Milwaukee has plenty of prospects besides the guy they sent to Cleveland, and along with Gallardo I suspect they will add a starter (Cain?) this winter. But the bullpen is going to be hard to address, and the defense still isn’t very strong. The Cardinals might be in for a fall because a lot of offensive things went real right for them. They can attract a couple solid free agents, though. Reds have a pretty good offensive nucleus, but unless they can buy or trade two or three solid pitchers they are likely stagnant if not dropping. I keep waiting for the Astros’ mismanagemnt to catch up with them and 2009 might be that year. The Pirates are just pretty much going to stay where they are. I like a few of their players but they are just a plain bad team and personally I’m not convinced that the young guys they got in trade in July are going to pan out to anything good.

    Let’s hope they concentrate less on the division and more on getting farther in October!

  • Matt Jacobs

    Wolf is a free agent.

    I had read he was planning on staying. Although that can change once $$$ signs are seen.

  • T

    I don’t think the Reds are ready yet, but they do have some talented young players.

    I think the Astros will be better. They played real well in the second half and a lot of it was without Carlos Lee.

    The Cardinals have seemed to be reluctant to spend which is puzzling with their new stadium. Who knows what’s going to happen with their pitching. However, LaRussa and Duncan seem to get the best out of their team.

    The Brewers don’t really scare me. Their defense is terrible, they’re not well balanced, their bullpen is not good and they’re going to lose two quality starters. They do have power hitters and I’m sure whoever they hire as manager will be better than Yost.

    I think the Cubs are still the team to beat in the Central.

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