A team-by-team preview of the NL East division.

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1 | Washington Nationals

He’s here: RHP Rafael Soriano, RHP Dan Haren, CF Denard Span.

He’s outta here: OF-1B Michael Morse, RHP Edwin Jackson, LHP Sean Burnett, LHP Mike Gonzalez, LHP John Lannan, C Jesus Flores, INF Mark DeRosa, RHP Chien-Ming Wang.

Written in Stone: This is a team with the pieces to not only make the postseason, but do some damage. And this time, they hope to have Stephen Strasburg, controversially shut down last year in early September despite having no arm problems. The Nats will turn Strasburg loose this year, and he’s got the ability to dominate even more than he has. Speaking of dominant ability, that’s Bryce Harper, who is ready to assume the superduperstardom that has always been regarded as his birthright. The Nationals don’t have many weaknesses, and they addressed one of them by signing Rafael Soriano to close. Another signee, Dan Haren, will bolster an already strong rotation, while trade acquisition Denard Span greatly improves the outfield defense. Catcher Wilson Ramos appears to have made a complete recovery from his torn ACL.

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Players Avg HR RBI
CF Denard Span .285 4 41
RF J. Werth .300 5 31
LF Bryce Harper .270 22 59
3B R. Zimmerman .282 25 95
1B Adam LaRoche .271 33 100
SS Ian Desmond .292 25 73
2B D. Espinosa .247 17 56
C Wilson Ramos .265 3 10
Starters W-L ERA SO
RH S. Strasburg 15-6 3.16 197
LH Gio Gonzalez 21-8 2.89 207
RH J. Zimmrmnn 12-8 2.94 153
RH Dan Haren 12-13 4.33 142
LH Ross Detwiler 10-8 3.40 105
Closer ERA SV BS
RH R. Soriano 2.26 42 4

2 | Atlanta Braves

He’s here: CF B.J. Upton, LF Justin Upton, 3B Chris Johnson, C Gerald Laird, RHP Jordan Walden.

He’s outta here: 3B Chipper Jones, CF Michael Bourn, INF-OF Martin Prado, RHP Tommy Hanson, C David Ross, RHP Randall Delgado, RHP Jair Jurrjens, RHP Chad Durbin, 1B-OF Eric Hinske, OF Matt Diaz, 1B Lyle Overbay.

Written in Stone: Last year was the end of an era for the Braves, as Chipper Jones retired after a 19-year career. But it doesn’t look like the Braves will stop competing for postseason berths. The addition of brothers Justin and B.J. Upton to join Jason Heyward gives them the NL’s most dynamic outfield. Midseason callup Andrelton Simmons looks like a budding star at shortstop. Julio Teheran has long been regarded as a can’t-miss pitching prospect, and he finally looks ready to show why. Don’t forget about Kris Medlen, who went 10-1 with a 1.57 ERA in 12 starts after joining the rotation on July 31. Much of the concern is around a couple of veterans: second baseman Dan Uggla, who hit just .222 last year, and catcher Brian McCann, who is still recovering from shoulder surgery.


Players Avg HR RBI
SS A. Simmons .289 3 19
RF J. Heyward .269 27 82
LF Justin Upton .280 17 67
1B F. Freeman .259 23 93
CF B.J. Upton .246 28 78
2B Dan Uggla .222 19 79
3B Juan Francisco .234 9 32
C Gerald Laird .282 2 11
Starters W-L ERA SO
RH Tim Hudson 16-7 3.62 102
LH Paul Maholm 13-11 3.67 140
RH Kris Medlen 10-1 1.57 120
LH Mike Minor 11-10 4.12 145
RH J. Teheran* 7-9 5.08 97
Closer ERA SV BS
RH C. Kimbrel 1.01 42 3

*Minor-league stats.

3 | Philadelphia Phillies

He’s here: 3B Michael Young, CF Ben Revere, RF Delmon Young, LHP John Lannan, RHP Mike Adams. He’s outta here: RHP Vance Worley, 3B Placido Polanco, INF Ty Wigginton, OF Juan Pierre, C Brian Schneider, OF Nate Schierholtz.

Written in Stone: Remember when the Phillies were supposed to be on the verge of a dynasty after acquiring four would-be aces? It hasn’t worked out that way, and now it’s a steep decline that they appear to be on the verge of. One of those aces, Roy Oswalt, is long gone, while Cliff Lee won just six games last year and Roy Halladay is showing very alarming signs of wear and tear. The Phillies still believe Halladay can overcome those issues and remain a frontline pitcher. He’d better, because the Phillies’ once-feared offense is a shadow of its former self. The Phils scored 684 runs last year — down more than 100 from their World Series-winning 2008 season. Much of that fall is due to injuries that have slowed Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Both are back this year but need to show they still can be a semblance of their old selves. Michael Young fills the “veteran leadership” void left by the departure of Placido Polanco.


Players Avg HR RBI
SS Jimmy Rollins .250 23 68
3B Michael Young .275 8 67
2B Chase Utley .256 11 45
1B Ryan Howard .219 14 56
RF D. Brown .235 5 26
LF J. Mayberry .245 14 46
C Erik Kratz .248 9 26
CF Ben Revere .294 0 32
Starters W-L ERA SO
LH Cole Hamels 17-6 3.09 216
RH Roy Halladay 11-8 4.49 132
LH Cliff Lee 6-9 3.16 207
RH Kyle Kendrick 11-12 3.90 116
LH John Lannan 4-1 4.13 17
Closer ERA SV BS
RH J. Papelbon 2.44 38 4

4 | New York Mets

He’s here: RHP Shaun Marcum, C John Buck, C Travis d’Arnaud, OF Marlon Byrd, OF Collin Cowgill.

He’s outta here: RHP R.A. Dickey, OF Scott Hairston, OF Jason Bay, C Josh Thole, C Kelly Shoppach, OF Andres Torres, RHP Mike Pelfrey, RHP Chris Young, RHP Ramon Ramirez, RHP Jon Rauch, INF Ronny Cedeno.

Written in Stone: If the Mets were counting on Johan Santana to lead them from the darkness, well, not so fast. Santana will probably never throw another pitch for the Mets (or maybe anyone else) after Thursday’s news that he likely needs another major shoulder operation. That doesn’t bode well for a rotation that was already a mess with the departure of Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey. For Dickey, the Mets got their catcher of the present (John Buck) and future (Travis D’Arnaud). But their present isn’t very promising based on an uninspiring lineup, spotty rotation and mediocre bullpen. Just about the only solace is that they might not be the worst team in the division (thanks to the Marlins) or the city (courtesy of the declining Yankees).


Players Avg HR RBI
CF Collin Cowgill .269 1 9
RF Marlon Byrd .210 1 9
3B David Wright .306 21 93
1B Ike Davis .227 32 90
LF Lucas Duda .239 15 57
2B D. Murphy .291 6 65
C John Buck .192 12 41
SS Ruben Tejada .289 1 25
Starters W-L ERA SO
LH Jon Niese 13-9 3.40 155
RH S. Marcum 7-4 3.70 109
RH Matt Harvey 3-5 2.73 70
RH Dillon Gee 6-7 4.10 97
RH J. Hefner 4-7 5.09 62
Closer ERA SV BS
RH F. Francisco 5.53 23 3

*Minor-league stats.

5 | Miami Marlins

He’s here: OF Juan Pierre, SS Adeiny Hechavarria, 3B Placido Polanco, 1B Casey Kotchman, RHP Henderson Alvarez, RHP Kevin Slowey, RHP Jon Rauch, RH Chad Qualls.

He’s outta here: Manager Ozzie Guillen, SS Jose Reyes, RHP Josh Johnson, LHP Mark Buehrle, RHP Heath Bell, RHP Carlos Zambrano, 1B Carlos Lee, C John Buck, INF Emilio Bonifacio, LHP Randy Choate, RHP Chad Gaudin.

Written in Stone: By now, the Marlins’ latest talent purge has been well-chronicled. But this one has proved to be the most galling of all, considering it came after the first season in a taxpayer-funded stadium. The level of anger toward Marlins management by fans (those few remaining) is high voltage, and ensures a tense season in Miami. Much of the intrigue will surround the future of Giancarlo Stanton, the 23-year-old budding superstar who would be the logical next shoe to drop if ownership decides that his impending arbitration eligibility makes him too costly for their blood. And if that’s the case, there are 29 teams who will be lining up to make their best offer.


Players Avg HR RBI
LF Juan Pierre .307 1 25
3B P. Polanco .257 2 19
RF G. Stanton .290 37 86
C Rob Brantley .290 3 8
CF J. Ruggiano .313 13 36
1B C. Kotchman .229 12 55
2B. D. Solano .295 2 28
SS A. Hechavarria .254 2 15
Starters W-L ERA SO
RH R. Nolasco 12-13 4.48 125
RH N. Eovaldi 3-7 4.43 78
LH W. LeBlanc 2-5 3.67 43
RH H. Alvarez 9-14 4.85 79
RH K. Slowey* 0-8 6.67 34
Closer ERA SV BS
RH Steve Cishek 2.69 15 4

*2011 stats.

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