What is the greatest area of concern this year for your team?
Starting Pitching…There are a ton of concerns but this is the number one. Will Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson have a second half as good as the first? When/if will Webb return—not just to the mound—to a CY Young caliber pitcher? Is Ian Kennedy a good pitcher who struggled in the lights of New York, or is he a great Triple-A pitcher that can’t handle the majors? Is Bill Buckner the pitcher of 2010 spring training or is he a middle reliever posing as a starter?
--Doug Franz, Sports 620 KTAR radio
The bullpen is a question mark following Huston Street's injury. Can he return by May 1 and will he be effective? And Rafael Betancourt has dealt with shoulder problems. If Franklin Morales can close, they should be fine. If he can't, it will get dicey..
--Troy Renck, Denver Post
Los Angeles Dodgers
The starting rotation. The starting pitching has the potential to be the best in the NL West, one through four. It also is capable of being quite mediocre. (Interestingly, this looks to be the case for every team in the division.) Kershaw figures to be the most consistent going in to April, while Billingsley’s topsy-turvy season (3.38 ERA before All-Star Break, 5.20 after) cause many to wonder which version 2010 will bring. Hiroki Kuroda can be a solid No. 3, though it wouldn’t surprise a single peanut vendor if he found himself on the DL for most of the season. Was Vicente for real? Padilla posted a 3.20 ERA in 39.1 innings down the stretch for L.A. last year, well below his career ERA of 4.33. We all know that pennants are won and lost on pitching. The Dodgers are capable of falling on either side of that fence.
--Robert Timm, Dodger Dugout
San Diego Padres
The young players. It’s unrealistic to think all of these young guys will produce, and Petco won’t help them the first part of the year. If these young guys get off to slow starts this will be a very long season for Padres fans.
--Steve Adler, The Friarhood
Extra Baggs says Matt Cain's new contract means no change for 2010, but a raise to $8M in 2011, and then the big jump to $15M in 2012.
Take a look at the spreadsheet on Cot's Contracts Giants page. The 2010 payroll is just over $90M. In 2011, the Giants will spend $77M for 8 guys (Zito, Lincecum, Rowand, Cain, Wilson, DeRosa, FSanchez, Affeldt). In 2012, Lincecum is eligible for arbitration. Zito, Cain, Rowand, and Wilson will cost $56M. I hope we win the whole thing by then because the world comes to an end that December.