2013 Season Preview – National League East

1. Division Champions – Washington Nationals


Last year: 98-64 (NL East Champions)

Projected lineup:

1. CF: Denard Span
2. RF: Jayson Werth
3. LF: Bryce Harper
4. 3B: Ryan Zimmerman
5. 1B: Adam LaRoche
6. SS: Ian Desmond
7. 2B: Danny Espinosa
8. C: Wilson Ramos
9. Pitcher’s spot

Projected rotation:

1. Stephen Strasburg
2. Gio Gonzalez
3. Jordan Zimmerman
4. Dan Haren
5. Ross Detwiler

Baseball’s best team in 2012 will be baseball’s best team in 2013. The Washington Nationals return every key component from last year’s roster, and then some. They addressed the leadoff spot – which was their lone weakness – by signing Denard Span in the offseason. Stephen Strasburg returns as the club’s ace, and this year there are no innings limitations. He is joined by Gio Gonzalez, who led all of baseball with 21 wins last season. The team added Dan Haren to the staff in the offseason to round out the pitching staff, and if he can rebound from a substandard the sky is the limit for this rotation. Ryan Zimmerman is healthy again for the first time in a long time, and 20-year-old phenom Bryce Harper has a full major league season under his belt to grow on. Washington is a scary team on paper, and if 2012 is any indication will be absolutely terrifying on the field this season.

SAD’s prediction: 97-65 (NL East champions)

2. Atlanta Braves

Last season: 94-68 (Wild Card berth)

Projected lineup:

1. SS: Andrelton Simmons
2. RF: Jason Heyward
3. LF: Justin Upton
4. 1B: Freddie Freeman
5. CF: B.J. Upton
6. 2B: Dan Uggla
7. 3B: Chris Johnson
8. C: Gerald Laird
9. Pitcher’s spot

Projected rotation:

1. Tim Hudson
2. Kris Medlen
3. Mike Minor
4. Paul Maholm
5. Julio Teheran

Atlanta has built one of the most intriguing teams in the MLB with its offseason acquisition of brothers B.J. and Justin Upton. Both B.J. and Justin have speed and pop, giving the manager Freddie Gonzalez incredible flexibility in how he works his lineup. The outfield of the brothers Upton and Jason Heyward is arguably the best defensive outfield in the game, and first baseman Freddie Freeman is expected by many to have a breakout season in 2013. Speaking of bests in the game, Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel is widely considered to hold those honors among baseball’s closers. So long as the Braves are able to hand the ball off to the back end of their bullpen with a lead, wins should be fairly easy to come by. Starter Tim Hudson is a grizzled veteran at this point, and Paul Maholm has been a pleasant surprised for the Braves club. Kris Medlen was lights out through 12 starts last year, but his statistics are based on a relatively small sample size. If he can maintain last year’s level of performance, expect to see Atlanta in the postseason yet again.

SAD’s prediction: 94-68 (Wild Card berth)

3. Philadelphia Phillies

Last  year: 81-81 (missed playoffs)

Projected lineup:

1. CF: Ben Revere
2. SS: Jimmy Rollins
3. 2B: Chase Utley
4. 1B: Ryan Howard
5. 3B: Michael Young
6. LF: Dominic Brown
7. RF: John Mayberry
8. C: Erik Kratz
9. Pitcher’s spot

Projected rotation:

1. Cole Hamels
2. Roy Halladay
3. Cliff Lee
4. Kyle Kendrick
5. John Lannan

Everyone seems to be fading the Philadelphia Phillies this year, but not us. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are healthy again, and we fully expect them to put up the kind of numbers generally found on the back of their respective baseball cards. The Phillies brought in long-time Ranger Michael Young in the offseason, who adds a big and consistent bat to the middle of the order and has shown can still handle third base defensively. Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee have been two of the best left-handed pitchers in the league, and there is no indication the same will not be true in 2013. The big question mark for Philadelphia, surprisingly, is Roy Halladay. In 2012, Halladay, now 35, posted his worst ERA (4.49) since 2000 and struck out the fewest batters (132) than he has in any other season in which he has started at least 25 games. Halladay has also struggled mightily this spring, leading some to believe that the once-dominant right hander’s career may be sunsetting. Seeds All Day is not yet ready to give up on Doc, and if Halladay resurges the Phillies will find themselves back in the postseason again.

SAD’s prediction: 89-73 (Wild Card berth)

4. New York Mets

Last year: 74-88 (missed playoffs

Projected lineup:

1. CF: Collin Cowgill
2. 2B: Daniel Murphy
3. 3B: David Wright
4. 1B: Ike Davis
5. RF: Marlon Byrd
6. LF: Lucas Duda
7. C: John Buck
8. SS: Ruben Tejada
9. Pitcher’s spot

Projected rotation:

1. Jonathon Niese
2. Dillon Gee
3. Matt Harvey
4. Jeremy Hefner
5. Shaun Marcum

2013 will be a season of growth for the N.Y. Mets, but it won’t be a season where the team from Queens is in the mix for the NL East. The Mets suffered a big blow during spring when they lost starter Johan Santana to season-ending shoulder surgery. It’s likely that the 37-year-old pitcher’s career is over, and New York will have to turn the page and look toward the future. Jonathon Niese got the Opening Day start, but most consider Matt Harvey to be the starter with the most live arm and some have compared his competitiveness to that of Roger Clemens. David Wright was named only the third captain in Mets history, a well-deserved accolade. New York hopes his leadership will help mold young players like Ike Davis, Lucas Duda and Collin Cowgill into high-level major leaguers.

SAD’s prediction: 71-91 (no playoff berth)

5. Miami Marlins

Last year: 69-93 (missed playoffs)

Projected lineup:

1. LF: Juan Pierre
2. 2B: Donovan Solano
3. RF: Giancarlo Stanton
4. 3B: Placido Polanco
5. C: Rob Brantly
6. CF: Justin Ruggiano
7. 1B: Casey Kotchman
8. SS: Adeiny Hechavarria
9. Pitcher’s spot

Projected rotation:

1. Ricky Nolasco
2. Wade  LeBlanc
3. Kevin Slowey
4. Alex Sanabia
5. Jose Fernandez

It’s hard to have a point of reference to make a prediction as to how the Miami Marlins will perform in 2013. The roster looks completely different than it did at the beginning of the 2012 season, after the front office shipped off all of its high-profile players – save Giancarlo Stanton – in an effort to rebuild its farm system. Most of the names in the roster have never opened a season on a major league roster, and we think that will show as the season progresses. Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez will return to the rotation at some point this season, but those returns will have little impact. The Marlins’ staff is going to give up runs, and the lineup as built is simply incapable of outscoring opponents.

SAD’s prediction: 57-105 (no playoff berth)


About Matthew George

Matthew George graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2008 with a bachelor of science in journalism. He spent three years writing sports for the Kentucky Kernel, the university's daily paper, and served as assistant sports editor. After undergrad, Matthew attended Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University where he earned his juris doctorate. He is now admitted to practice law in Kentucky and Indiana.

4 thoughts on “2013 Season Preview – National League East

  1. ANYTHING about Johnson, much less Montero going anywhere. Citing surcoes is well and good, but not when you’re falsely attributing speculation to a big name in an attempt to lend some credibility to your own musings.That being said, while I don’t think Johnson is very likely, I can’t think of another name that would lead to all this clandestine dealing. Losing Montero would hurt a lot, especially for a pitcher with only one good season under his belt. I’m still not entirely sold on Josh Johnson going forward which I realize puts me in the minority and I would be hesitant to give up what the Marlins would be asking. 0 0

  2. Interesting … Interesting viewpoint. I guess in a sense, your absolutely correct. But who is fit to run that one world government? ONE KING OF THE EARTH? no, there has to be delegates that are appropriately qualified to do so. Honestly I’d prefer the opposite.. no government anywhere. But people are too evil for that to work. Was this answer helpful?

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