NL East Preview
DANBURY, CT- As we get ready to come near the beginning of the season, we take a look at the National League
East. The East is full of people wanting to win the division. However most of those people aren’t qualified to do so.
They do not have the power, speed, and pitching needed to succeed.
The first team we will look at will be the New York Mets. After the Braves held reign
over the National League East for 13 consecutive years, the Mets took reign over the East in 2007. The Mets made it to the
NLCS but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals. This year they look to make it to the World Series. Last year the Mets hit 200 home
runs. Now with Moises Alou added to the lineup as well that should be up to at least 230. However pitching will be what will
make the Mets lose this year. With Pedro Martinez out until at least July they will be scrambling for good starting pitching
outings. It will be hard for the Mets to find good starting pitching outings this year so the bull pen will really have to
step it up.
The next team I will talk about is the Philadelphia Phillies. Ryan Howard won the Home
Run Derby just beating David Wright. He also won the MVP award. For speed they have Jimmy Rollins. In the outfield they have
Shane Victorino, Pat Burrell, and Aaron Rowand. Rowand last year was out a while after colliding with the wall at Citizens
Bank Park. Pat Burrell is a good power hitter but his power is depleting. Victorino filled in for Rowand last year and played
so well he stayed up in the majors. They do not have a good bullpen this year however. Their set up man has not pitched since
Next are the Atlanta Braves. Last year they had a bad year as their 13 year reign over
the NL East came to an end. Larry “Chipper” Jones was injured most of the year. Their problem was also pitching
because Leo Mazzone, former Braves pitching coach, was gone. They had 38 saves in 67 chances. They hoped to fix their pitching
problems over the offseason. They got Rafael Soriano from the Mariners, signed Tanyon Sturtze, and received Mike Gonzalez
in exchange for Adam Laroche. In the starting rotation are John Smoltz, Tim Hudson, Mike Hampton, Chuck James, and Kyle Davies.
Now stepping to the plate are the Florida Marlins. They only have two players that
have proven that they are good, Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera. Hanley Ramirez won the NL Rookie of the Year award in
2006. However, like the Braves, their bullpen was weak. They blew 25 saves last year and still have a bad bullpen.
Rounding up the lineup are the Washington Nationals. In 2006 they did not have a good
year only winning 71 games. Also now they lost Frank Robinson as a manager. His replacement will be Manny Acta, who hasn’t
managed before. Alfonso Soriano also left during the offseason. This is going to have a big effect on the Nationals. The Nationals
didn’t even have an owner until May 2006.
The Sports Net would like to thank tyler614 for his report on the National League East!