NL West Report: What We Know After Week One

The Giants got off to a screaming start this season, while the Dodgers looked like a pre-humidor era Rockies team on the road.  This has to mean something, right?  

NL West Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
San Francisco 5 1 .833 0 Won 1
Arizona 4 2 .666 1 Won 1
Colorado 3 3 .500 2 Won 1
San Diego 2 4 .333 3 Lost 1
Los Angeles 2 4 .333 3 Lost 2

(updated 4.12.2010 at 8:46 AM MDT)

Some quirky notes on the division thus far:

  • The NL West has the "best" win percentage of any division from both the top team (tied with three divisions) and of the bottom team (tied with AL Central)
  • The collective win percentage of the division is one game behind the NL East's pace for best in the majors.
  • The NL West is the only division with four teams who sport a positive run differential.  Sample sizes are fun.

So what does it all mean?  It means everything!  Check the division standings after a week last season:

 

NL West Standings (April 12, 2009)

W L PCT GB STRK
San Diego 5 2 .714 0 Won 4
Los Angeles 4 3 .571 1.0 Won 2
Colorado 3 3 .500 1.5 Lost 2
Arizona 2 4 .333 2.5 Lost 2
San Francisco 2 4 .333 2.5 Lost 3

Okay...so...not a single team finished the season in the slot they entered Week 2.  In some bizarre world where this is a flawless predictor, we can deduce the Giants have no chance of winning the division this year, while the bold predictions that San Diego would climb out of the cellar again are on the money.  Right.

We just finished the equivalent of three NBA or NHL games and one half of one football game.  Nothing about the first week gives me any analytical latitude, and there weren't any stories to run with.  So I fill the space with what I can.  There's a long road to go, and the Rockies are in good shape.  I mean, at least we know that Edgar Renteria can't sustain his .577 wOBA and 264 wRC+.  And as good as Lincecum is, the Giants won't have a 2.79 ERA this year either.

Team capsules after the jump.  (SPOILER: There's something "juice"-y, if you know what I mean).

NL West Report

Arizona (4-2)

Last Week: 4-2. 2-1 vs. San Diego.  2-1 vs. Pittsburgh.

This Week:  3 game road series @ Dodgers.  3 game road series @ Padres.

News:  Arizona had a solid week, but losing catcher Miguel Montero to a knee injury could be a big blow.

DBacksSkins tells me he thinks Chris Young is back.  Sure, he hit a grand slam among three hits in a game over the weekend.  Sure, his wOBA is well over .400.  But he has always been below average in OPS+ and wRC+, and his career high in OBP was at the level of Clint Barmes in 2009.  Not surprisingly, Young has yet to draw a walk yet this season.

Chris Young

#24 / Center Field / Arizona Diamondbacks

6-2

200

R

R

Sep 05, 1983

In related news, Mike Axisa at MLBTradeRumors calls Chris Young's 5-year $28 million contract is one of baseball's "most regrettable" contracts.  He signed the deal two years ago last week, following a year where he hit 32 HR yet had just a .295 OBP, a league average wOBA and only 0.9 WAR.

Arizona had a record day yesterday in front of only 21,000 fans in Phoenix, scoring 13 runs in the fourth inning.  The ridiculous inning included eight hits and four walks, highlighted by two hits from pitcher Edwin Jackson, one a home run.  Chris Young and Kelly Johnson also hit back-to-back home runs in the inning.

Yahoo's Tim Brown says Arizona is a finalist for Jarrod Washburn's services.  That partnership makes too much sense for both parties.  At least, I know I would rather play in Arizona than Cleveland

Transactions:  Recalled C John Hester.

Injuries:  Miguel Montero was placed on the 15-day DL yesterday with a torn meniscus in his knee.  It goes without saying that he will need surgery.

Arizona Diamondbacks Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Brandon Webb shoulder 03/26/2010

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Miguel Montero knee 04/11/2010

Star-divide

Los Angeles (2-4, t-4th, L1, 3 GB)

Last Week: 2-4. 1-2 @ Pirates, 1-2 @ Marlins

This Week:  3 game home series vs. Diamondbacks.  3 game home series vs. Giants.

News:  The Dodgers had a very frustrating week.  A large reason is the absence of Andre Ethier, who turned his ankle Wednesday in Los Angeles' second game, pushing him out of the starting lineup for the remainder of the week.  It didn't stop him from pulling off a mini-Kirk Gibson-like clutch HR Saturday.  Joe Torre recently stated his hopes to have Ethier return to the starting lineup tomorrow.

Andre Ethier

#16 / Right Field / Los Angeles Dodgers

6-2

210

L

L

Apr 10, 1982

The first link above also touches on the struggles of George Sherrill.  The plump lefty allowed just two runs in Dodger blue last season, 13 for the whole year.  Yet last week, Sherrill served up five earned runs total 
- the same total as the entire Rockies' bullpen - for a 22.50 ERA.  This after posting a 7.50 ERA in Tucson this spring.  I suddenly feel incredibly foolish for drafting him in my fantasy league.

The bullpen is definitely a source of concern for Los Angeles after the way Joe Torre treated Jonathan Broxton, Ronald Belisario and Ramon Troncoso last season.  Eric Stephen from True Blue LA points out something incredibly sad/funny about the bullpen in the first week.

Transactions:  Called up C  A.J. Ellis.

Injuries:  Placed catcher Brad Ausmus on 15-day DL with pinched nerve (4/9).  Placed P Cory Wade on 15-day DL (shoulder).  The widget below is completely wrong - Ramirez, Martin and Ethier are not out for the season.  I don't know why it says that, but it's pretty funny.  Ethier DID turn his ankle Wednesday and hasn't started since.

Los Angeles Dodgers Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Brad Ausmus back 04/09/2010
Hong-Chih Kuo elbow 03/26/2010
Cory Wade shoulder 03/26/2010

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Manny Ramirez other-excused 04/11/2010
Russell Martin other-excused 04/11/2010
Andre Ethier ankle 04/11/2010

Star-divide

San Diego (2-4, t-4th, L1, 3 GB)

Last Week: 2-4.  1-2 @ Diamondbacks.  1-2 @ Rockies.  The week went as expected.  Teams projected to finish in the cellar don't typically win road series against better team.  

This Week:  3 game home series vs. Braves.  3 game home series vs. Diamondbacks.

News:  There isn't that much as for news in Padres camp.  Most of it has to do with who Jed Hoyer will trade away.  Of course, it's old news that Heath Bell, Adrian Gonzalez and Chris Young are trade chips.

Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports tweeted last Friday that with Young healthy, he would be a strong trade chip.  Of course, planning on Chris Young to be healthy is a bad proposition.  He couldn't even make it two starts before shoulder tightness set it in this season.  That combined with the $6.25million makes me wonder why anyone would consider trading for him.

Chris Young

#32 / Pitcher / San Diego Padres

6-10

280

R

R

May 25, 1979

As for Adrian Gonzalez?  Don't count on it.  Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says it looks very unlikely that Boston will take a run at A-Gone.  He opines that Young and Bell are more likely to be traded.  We have covered Young, but Bell makes sense to flip.  Contending teams could always use an elite reliever with closing experience.

Minor league third base prospect Logan Forsythe will start this season playing second base.

Transactions:  The New York Yankees claimed minor league OF Chad Huffman off waivers last Wednesday.

Injuries:  Chris Young is injured.  What's new?  Young felt tightness in his shoulder after his last start and his spot in the rotation will be skipped in the Braves series.  He is not on the 60-day DL.

San Diego Padres Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Joe Thatcher shoulder 03/26/2010

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Chris Young shoulder 04/09/2010

Star-divide

San Francisco (5-1, 1st, W1)

Last Week: 5-1.  3-0 @ Astros. 2-1 vs Braves.  San Francisco never had better than a 5-1 week in 2009, so they are setting the bar high.  .

This Week:  3 game home series vs. Pirates.  3 game road series @ Dodgers.

News:  Is the Giants start sustainable?  I would propose that nothing is sustainable when Edgar Renteria is the star.

Buster Posey had a ridiculous series in AAA, leading Giants beat writer Andrew Baggarly to question how long the Giants can afford to leave Posey in the minors.

MLBTradeRumors held a discussion about a potential contract extension for Pablo Sandoval.  

Long-time Giant Rich Aurilia announced his retirement yesterday.  People forget how much of a weapon Aurilia was for San Francisco, posting a .395 wOBA and 37 HR in 2001.  

Rich Aurilia

#35 / First Base / San Francisco Giants

6-1

200

R

R

Sep 02, 1971

Chris Haft of mlb.com correctly points out that the Giants lack clout on the bench from the right side.  In fact, their Opening Day lineup had exactly zero right-handed PH options.   That will be helped when Freddy Sanchez finally returns from the disabled list - if he ever does.  

Career Giant Marvin Benard joins the short list of admitted steroid abusers.  He claims he used it only in 2002, a season in which he was in only 65 games and was left off the playoff roster.  Thus, this story isn't really a story due to Benard.  Rather, it is first confirmation that steroids were present in the clubhouse of the 2002 NL Pennant winning team....oh...and Barry Bonds is proud of Mark McGwire.  Bizarre.

Transactions:   None.  

Injuries:  Fred Lewis started a minor league rehab assignment from a strained left intercostal this weekend and is eligible to return today, but he will likely stay in the minors a bit more.

sideSan Francisco Giants Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Freddy Sanchez shoulder 03/26/2010
Fred Lewis other-excused 03/27/2010
Emmanuel Burriss foot 03/26/2010
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