Posts Tagged ‘Martin Prado’

Starting Nine: National League East

January 14, 2010

Isn’t it funny how a couple of minutes could change an entire post? As I started writing this post last night, I found out the news that New York Mets’ center fielder, Carlos Beltran will be out of commission for three to four months.

Within five minutes, the Mets went from having a very good lineup to a lineup with a lot of holes in it. So now that Beltran is out for a couple of months, where does the Mets’ lineup stack-up against the rest of the National League East?

Let’s take a look at each lineup in the National League East as presently constructed today. Since the pitcher will hit ninth, I just inserted the team’s top pitcher in the nine-hole.

Philadelphia Phillies

1. Jimmy Rollins, SS

2. Placido Polanco, 3B

3. Chase Utley, 2B

4. Ryan Howard, 1B

5. Jayson Werth, RF

6. Raul Ibanez, LF

7. Shane Victorino, CF

8. Carlos Ruiz, C

9. Roy Halladay, P

Quick Take – One through eight, this is the best lineup in the National League. This lineup has speed and power throughout. This lineup will be hard to shutdown in 2010.

Atlanta Braves

1. Nate McLouth, CF

2. Martin Prado, 2B

3. Chipper Jones, 3B

4. Brian McCann, C

5. Troy Glaus, 1B

6. Yunel Escobar, SS

7. Matt Diaz, RF

8. Melky Cabrera, LF

9. Derek Lowe, P

Quick Take – This lineup will only go as far as Glaus takes them. If he can come back healthy, then the Braves will have a very good lineup in 2010. It could be made even better when super stud prospect Jason Heyward makes his debut.

New York Mets

1. Jose Reyes, SS

2. Luis Castillo, 2B

3. David Wright, 3B

4. Jason Bay, LF

5. Jeff Francouer, RF

6. Daniel Murphy, 1B

7. Omir Santos, C

8. Angel Pagan, CF

9. Johan Santana, P

Quick Take – Not having Beltran will kill this lineup. The Mets could make up for the loss of Beltran by signing Bengie Molina and/or Carlos Delgado. The Mets have been rumored to be interested in both.

Florida Marlins

1. Cameron Maybin, CF

2. Chris Coghlan, LF

3. Hanley Ramirez, SS

4. Jorge Cantu, 3B

5. Dan Uggla, 2B

6. Cody Ross, RF

7. Gabby Sanchez, 1B

8. John Baker, C

9. Josh Johnson, P

Quick Take – If Uggla and Cantu stay, then this lineup becomes a lot better than most people think. This is a big year for Maybin. I think he really needs to show something this year.

Washington Nationals

1. Nyjer Morgan, CF

2. Christian Guzman, 2B

3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

4. Adam Dunn, 1B

5. Josh Willingham, LF

6. Elijah Dukes, RF

7. Ivan Rodriguez, C

8. Ian Desmond, SS

9. Jason Marquis, P

Quick Take – This lineup is certainly getting better. I like the one through five, especially Zimmerman. The Nationals are talking to Orlando Hudson, but if he doesn’t sign with them, I don’t mind Desmond as their Opening Day shortstop. I think he can be good.

Tomorrow, we will take a look at the National League Central.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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Kelly Johnson A Diamond(back) In The Rough

December 30, 2009

I really like it when teams make smart and sound acquisitions. The latest example of this–the Arizona Diamonbacks’ signing of free agent Kelly Johnson.

According to SI.com’ Jon Heyman, via Twitter, the Diamondbacks have signed 2B to a one-year, $2 million contract. Johnson will undergo a physical today.

Johnson is headed to the valley of the sun

There are two ways you can look at Johnson.

The first way is to look at the player, whose OPS has declined three straight years and lost his job to Martin Prado last season. There are some Diamondback fans that are probably wondering why the Diamondbacks would sign a guy who spent the majority of the 2009 season in Bobby Cox’s doghouse?

It’s a good question and I could see why a fan would ask it.

However, there is a second way to look at Johnson–the way I look at him.

I am probably a bigger fan of Johnson than most people. Here is what I wrote about Johnson in my Free Agent Primer:

“Non-Tender Candidate Sleeper: Kelly Johnson. On December 12th, hundreds of players will not be tendered contracts. The sleeper out of this bunch–Kelly Johnson.”

Johnson was put in Bobby Cox’s doghouse in Atlanta in 2009, but in 2007 he had an OPS of .831 and in 2007 he had an OPS of .795. He is a classic change of scenery guy.”

I really believe Johnson just needs a change of scenery. Just because a player was in a manager’s clubhouse doesn’t mean he can’t play. Adam Kennedy was in Tony LaRussa’s doghouse and he did quite well with Oakland last season.

I fully expect Johnson to have a year that rivals what he did in 2007 and 2008. .280 with 10+ home runs and an OPS around .800 is not out of the question for Johnson in 2010.

For the Diamondbacks, they get a second baseman to replace Felipe Lopez, who was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers last season. While Ryan Roberts and his 300 tattoo’s were productive in 2009 (.276/.367/.416 in 110 games), I am guessing the Diamondbacks view him more as a utility player rather than a full-time starting second baseman.

Johnson will be 28-years-old next year and has a career .264 average and a .777 OPS in four seasons with the Atlanta Braves.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg