On August 6, Donnie Collins pondered what an entirely homegrown New York Yankees team would look like. It was an endlessly intriguing exercise, to say the least, which predictably led to an infinite amount of second-guessing and back-patting. Was there a lesson to be learned? That Brian Cashman is a genius? That the Yankees can't draft? That prospects are undervalued? I'm not quite sure. The clearest lesson, assuming it even is a lesson at all, is that the Yankees wouldn't be very good if they were entirely homegrown ... although, they likely would not be much worse than they are right now. But I digress. This article also, of course, led to a discussion regarding what other teams would look like under the same conditions. Are the Rays really that great at drafting? Have the Pirates and Marlins really traded away an All-Star team's worth of talent? And, from there, it led to one of the most repetitive bits of research I have ever constructed in preparing any non-legal bit of writing, in my quest to answer these questions ... by constructing entirely homegrown rosters for the other twenty-nine teams in Major League Baseball.
For the purposes of this piece, I attempted to use only those players that are currently on a Major League roster. However, I was forced to use a few players that have made a career of riding the shuttle from the Majors to the minors, as well as some prospects that are currently in the upper minors. It was, believe or not, difficult to construct these teams, as the development of talent in the game has not been close to equitable (credit xiavien). There are some interesting names missing here, as some teams have simply developed too much talent to fit onto a 25-man roster. And there are many names that are unknown to even the most hardcore of baseball fans.
So, without further ado, here is my attempt at constructing the All-Homegrown MLB.
Baltimore Orioles Starting Pitchers • Erik Bedard • Zach Britton • Dylan Bundy • Wei-Yin Chen • Kevin Gausman Bullpen • Jake Arrieta • Pedro Beato • Jason Berken • David Hernandez • Jim Johnson • Brian Matusz • Koji Uehara Catchers • Eli Whiteside • Matt Wieters Infielders • Pedro Florimon • Mike Fontenot • Jerry Hairston, Jr. • Manny Machado • Brian Roberts • Brandon Snyder Outfielders • L. J. Hoes • Nick Markakis • Nolan Reimold • Henry Urrutia • Jayson Werth
The Orioles would maintain two of their four core pieces, in Wieters and Machado, yet they are completely devastated by the loss of Adam Jones and Chris Davis. Werth is a very solid addition, but, at this point in his career, he is not durable or consistent enough to make up for such a loss. Surprisingly, the pitching staff does not take too much of a hit, as it is roughly the same as the real Orioles prior to this season's trade deadline.
Boston Red Sox Starting Pitchers • Clay Buchholz • Felix Doubront • Jon Lester • Justin Masterson • Anibal Sanchez Bullpen • Daniel Bard • Rafael Betancourt • Michael Bowden • Hideki Okajima • Jonathan Papelbon • Junichi Tazawa • Brandon Workman Catchers • Ryan Lavarnway • Kelly Shoppach Infielders • Jose Iglesias • Jed Lowrie • Dustin Pedroia • Hanley Ramirez • Anthony Rizzo Outfielders • Jacoby Ellsbury • Ryan Kalish • David Murphy • Daniel Nava • Josh Reddick Designated Hitter • Brandon Moss
For as long as I can remember, the Red Sox have been both praised for their ability to develop talent and maligned for their attempts to "buy" championships. This group, however, suggests that the former is a bit more accurate. Sure - the Red Sox have dealt away some sterling talent (particularly Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez) ... and yet the core to their successes in the last decade or so remains intact.
Tampa Bay Rays Starting Pitchers • Alex Cobb • Jeremy Hellickson • Matt Moore • David Price • James Shields Bullpen • Alex Colome • Wade Davis • Chad Gaudin • Jason Hammel • Jake McGee • Jeff Niemann • Jose Veras Catchers • John Jaso • Stephen Vogt Infielders • Leslie Anderson • Tim Beckham • Reid Brignac • Derek Dietrich • Elliot Johnson • Evan Longoria Outfielders • Carl Crawford • Josh Hamilton • Desmond Jennings • B.J. Upton Designated Hitter • Jonny Gomes
As strong as the Red Sox appear in this project, the Rays may be even better. The starting rotation takes the best parts of the past two seasons, the bullpen is as stout as ever, and the outfield is simply oozing talent - even with Hamilton and Upton seeing their performances crater this season. With the exception of Longoria, the infield is a bit impotent with the bat (albeit strong defensively) ... but I am sure Jonny Gomes can be taught first base.
Toronto Blue Jays Starting Pitchers • Henderson Alvarez • Roy Halladay • Drew Hutchison • Shaun Marcum • Ricky Romero Bullpen • Brett Cecil • Tim Collins • Danny Farquhar • Casey Janssen • Aaron Loup • Brandon League • Marc Rzepczynski Catchers • J.P. Arencibia • Yan Gomes Infielders • Adeiny Hechavarria • Aaron Hill • Cesar Izturis • Adam Lind • Ryan Roberts • Michael Young Outfielders • Reed Johnson • Jake Marisnick • Alex Rios • Travis Snider • Vernon Wells
Developing starting pitching has long been a bugaboo for the Blue Jays, and this roster puts that into perspective. Halladay was, of course, one of the best starters of the 2000s (and may have something left in the tank for whomever gambles on him this offseason) ... and that's it. The outfield is kind of a nightmare, although there is some potential with Marisnick, and the infield is essentially the status quo from two seasons ago.
Chicago White Sox Starting Pitchers • Mark Buehrle • Gio Gonzalez • Daniel Hudson • Brandon McCarthy • Chris Sale Bullpen • Matt Guerrier • Nate Jones • Boone Logan • Addison Reed • Andre Rienzo • Brian Omogrosso • Hector Santiago Catchers • Josh Phegley • Chris Stewart Infielders • Brandon Allen • Gordon Beckham • Chris Getz • Brent Morel • Mike Morse • Alexei Ramirez Outfielders • Chris Carter • Jordan Danks • Ryan Sweeney • Dayan Viciedo • Chris Young
It is difficult to imagine another team having a stronger group of pitching from the top of the rotation to the bottom of the bullpen. Even with Buehrle's regression, any team would be very happy to have him as their fifth starter, which is the role he is filling for these White Sox. And these White Sox need that stellar pitching to survive, as the offense is full of raw power and not much else.
Cleveland Indians Starting Pitchers • Chris Archer • Bartolo Colon • Jeremy Guthrie • Roberto Hernandez (f/k/a Fausto Carmona) • CC Sabathia Bullpen • Cody Allen • Jeanmar Gomez • C.C. Lee • Edward Mujica • Vidal Nuno • Vinnie Pestano • Tony Sipp Catchers • Chris Gimenez • Victor Martinez Infielders • Lonnie Chisenhall • Jason Kipnis • John McDonald • Jhonny Peralta • Cord Phelps • Marco Scutaro Outfielders • Jose Constanza • Trevor Crowe • Ben Francisco • Manny Ramirez Designated Hitter • Luke Scott
Like their AL Central brethren, the Indians have a very strong pitching staff - although it is a bit on the older side. The team is strong behind the plate and in the infield, with upside in Chisenhall and Kipnis and steady veteran play in Peralta, Scutaro, and the miscast Martinez catching. The outfield, however, is almost laughably bad. It's somewhat difficult to imagine an actual team sporting such a horrendous group, though the Mets have come close at times this season.
Detroit Tigers Starting Pitchers • Casey Crosby • Andy Oliver • Rick Porcello • Jacob Turner • Justin Verlander Bullpen • Casey Fien • Jason Frasor • Charlie Furbush • Andrew Miller • Fernando Rodney • Bruce Rondon • Drew Smyly Catchers • Alex Avila • Rob Brantly Infielders • Jack Hannahan • Omar Infante • Brandon Inge • Ryan Raburn • Ramon Santiago Outfielders • Brennan Boesch • Andy Dirks • Curtis Granderson • Matt Joyce • Cameron Maybin • Cody Ross
Detroit, like Boston and Tampa, would remain an excellent team. The rotation would certainly mourn the losses of Doug Fister and Anibal Sanchez, but this group is very young, and has a great deal of upside. The infield might be a problem, particularly if Inge or Raburn is slotted in at first - but I imagine Boesch could slide in there, and make the team look a bit more formidable, without hurting the outfield's terrific depth.
Kansas City Royals Starting Pitchers • Danny Duffy • Chris Dwyer • Zack Greinke • Luke Hochevar • Yordano Ventura Bullpen • Jeremy Affeldt • Louis Coleman • Aaron Crow • Kelvin Herrera • Greg Holland • J.P. Howell • Everett Teaford Catchers • Wil Myers • Salvador Perez Infielders • Mike Aviles • Mark Ellis • Johnny Giavotella • Eric Hosmer • Mike Moustakas Outfielders • Carlos Beltran • David DeJesus • Jarrod Dyson • Alex Gordon • David Lough Designated Hitter • Billy Butler
This Royals team shows the mixed dividends that the "greatest farm system ever" has paid. On the one hand, this is very much the team that folks were expecting a couple of years ago - with Greinke and Beltran in tow. On the other hand, several of these players have not panned out as planned, and the rotation is held together with duct tape. The offense would definitely be exciting, and a one through nine of Gordon, Beltran, Hosmer, Myers (if he's in the outfield), Butler, Moustakas, Perez, Aviles, and Ellis would be tough to top.
Minnesota Twins Starting Pitchers • Nick Blackburn • Matt Garza • Kyle Gibson • Liam Hendriks • Kevin Slowey Bullpen • Grant Balfour • Jesse Crain • Brian Duensing • LaTroy Hawkins • Jose Mijares • Pat Neshek • Glen Perkins Catchers • Joe Mauer • A.J. Pierzynski Infielders • Brian Dozier • Trevor Plouffe • Justin Morneau • Matt Tolbert • Danny Valencia Outfielders • Oswaldo Arcia • Michael Cuddyer • Aaron Hicks • Torii Hunter • Denard Span Designated Hitter • Jason Kubel
Has there ever been a more formidable catching duo than Mauer and Pierzynski? Or a less intimidating starting rotation? I am not sure, but I would be fairly shocked if the answer to both questions was anything other than 'no.' I quite like this team, and far more so than I felt I would when I first began constructing the roster. The rotation fits the 'pitch to contact' mold the Twins utilized in the post-Johan Santana era (who is not eligible for this team), but I feel that the offense could more than make up for that. And the outfield defense would be fantastic.
Houston Astros Starting Pitchers • Jordan Lyles • Bud Norris • Roy Oswalt • Felipe Paulino • Wandy Rodriguez Bullpen • Fernando Abad • Matt Albers • Jose Cisnero • Dallas Keuchel • Chia-Jen Lo • Troy Patton • Chad Qualls Catchers • John Buck • Jason Castro Infielders • Jose Altuve • Lance Berkman • Chris Johnson • Tommy Manzella • Drew Sutton • Ben Zobrist Outfielders • Brandon Barnes • Brian Bogusevic • Hunter Pence • J.B. Shuck • George Springer
It was difficult to leave Johan Santana off of this team, as it is a nice bit of trivia, but the Astros staff is fairly strong without him - and he has only thrown 117 IP since the end of the 2010 season, but who's counting? Adding Zobrist is a boon for this team, as he can slot in at shortstop or left field (two areas where the team is weak). Bringing back Berkman and Pence makes the offense good-not-great, and fairly top heavy.
Los Angeles Angels Starting Pitchers • Tyler Chatwood • Patrick Corbin • John Lackey • Ervin Santana • Jered Weaver Bullpen • Kevin Jepsen • Michael Kohn • Nick Maronde • Darren O’Day • Garrett Richards • Francisco Rodriguez • Jordan Walden Catchers • Hank Conger • Jeff Mathis Infielders • Erick Aybar • Alberto Callaspo • Howie Kendrick • Mike Napoli • Sean Rodriguez • Jean Segura Outfielders • Alexi Amarista • Peter Bourjos • Mike Trout • Mark Trumbo Designated Hitter • Kendrys Morales
Having Lackey and Santana in this rotation looks a great deal better now than it would have if this list was made a year ago, giving the team a potent rotation. On the offensive side of the ball, the offense is both deep and talented ... and not all that different from the current Angels lineup, given Albert Pujols' injury and DL stint. Having Aybar to serve as a utility man is almost an embarrassment of riches, to boot.
Oakland A’s Starting Pitchers • Trevor Cahill • A.J. Griffin • Tim Hudson • Dan Straily • Barry Zito Bullpen • Andrew Bailey • Jared Burton • Santiago Casilla • Sean Doolittle • Joel Peralta • Huston Street • Ryan Webb Catchers • Gerald Laird • Kurt Suzuki Infielders • Eric Chavez • Grant Green • Cliff Pennington • Omar Quintanilla • Nick Swisher • Jemile Weeks Outfielders • Yoenis Cespedes • Michael Choice • Andre Ethier • Ryan Ludwick Designated Hitter • Jason Giambi
The A's are yet another team with a terrific outfield, trotting out Swisher, Cespedes, and a platoon of Ludwick and Ethier. And, utilized properly, I am sure the group's offensive output would make up for its questionable defense. The rotation is not as strong as most would suspect for an A's team, but it is more than serviceable (particularly in that ballpark). Constructing this team served as a fine reminder that a great deal of the A's young talent tends to come from other teams - Brett Anderson (Diamondbacks), Gio Gonzalez (White Sox and Phillies), and Carlos Gonzalez (Diamondbacks) all got their start elsewhere.
Seattle Mariners Starting Pitchers • Doug Fister • Felix Hernandez • Hisashi Iwakuma • Brandon Morrow • Chris Tillman Bullpen • Carter Capps • Shawn Kelley • Yoervis Medina • Eric O’Flaherty • J.J. Putz • Rafael Soriano • Matt Thornton Catchers • Rene Rivera • Mike Zunino Infielders • Dustin Ackley • Willie Bloomquist • Asdrubal Cabrera • Nick Franklin • Brad Miller • Kyle Seager Outfielders • Shin-Soo Choo • Raul Ibanez • Adam Jones • Ichiro Suzuki Designated Hitter • David Ortiz
Raise your hand if you remembered that Ortiz's first professional organization was the Mariners. Anyone? I know I didn't. With Ortiz, Choo, and Jones around, this offense looks fantastic. If Ortiz can fake first, allowing Ibanez to DH, it looks even more potent. Bringing back the new-and-improved Fister gives the Mariners a fantastic one-two-three punch with Hernandez and Iwakuma, and Morrow and Tillman have long shown flashes of brilliance. And, as has been the case with most every team, the bullpen is deep and strong.
Texas Rangers Starting Pitchers • Yu Darvish • R.A. Dickey • Derek Holland • Martin Perez • C.J. Wilson Bullpen • Joaquin Benoit • Scott Feldman • Tommy Hunter • Darren Oliver • Joe Ortiz • Robbie Ross • Tanner Scheppers Catchers • Mike Nickeas • Taylor Teagarden Infielders • Edwin Encarnacion • Leury Garcia • Ian Kinsler • Mike Olt • Jurickson Profar • Mark Teixeira Outfielders • Julio Borbon • Chris Davis • Graig Gentry • Leonys Martin • John Mayberry
This infield is simply unfair - even with Encarnacion's struggles at third base - and having Encarnacion, Teixeira, and Davis batting in the heart of the order is enviable. The outfield is not as strong as most would expect, particularly with the Rangers' history of player development, but it is not bad, and it should be strong defensively. Bringing Dickey and Wilson helps the Rangers maintain their strong rotation, although it does not improve it as the names may suggest.
Atlanta Braves Starting Pitchers • Brandon Beachy • Matt Harrison • Mike Minor • Julio Teheran • Adam Wainwright Bullpen • Luis Avilan • Matt Belisle • Bruce Chen • Neftali Feliz • J.J. Hoover • Craig Kimbrel • Kris Medlen Catchers • Brian McCann • Jarrod Saltalamacchia Infielders • Elvis Andrus • Freddie Freeman • Kelly Johnson • Martin Prado • Andrelton Simmons Outfielders • Gregor Blanco • Jeff Francoeur • Evan Gattis • Jason Heyward • Jordan Schafer • Joey Terdoslavich
Adding Messrs Harrison and Wainwright to an already strong rotation is a boon for these Braves, and the bullpen becomes even better by adding Medlen as a swingman and Feliz and Hoover as the bridge to Kimbrel. The outfield is a weakness, as Heyward is likely the only everyday player out there, but the offense the team will have on an everyday basis behind the plate should make up for that. Defensively, this could be the best middle infield ever, with Simmons playing short and Andrus shifting over to second - and I don't believe that that's hyperbole.
Miami Marlins Starting Pitchers • Josh Beckett • Jose Fernandez • Josh Johnson • Alex Sanabia • Jason Vargas Bullpen • Ronald Belisario • Steve Cishek • Dan Jennings • Chris Leroux • Edgar Olmos • A.J. Ramos • Chris Resop Catchers • Brett Hayes • Kyle Skipworth Infielders • Robert Andino • Miguel Cabrera • Matt Dominguez • Adrian Gonzalez • Gaby Sanchez • Josh Wilson Outfielders • Logan Morrison • Marcell Ozuna • Giancarlo Stanton • Josh Willingham • Christian Yelich
Is Cabrera-Gonzalez-Stanton that best 3-4-5 tandem thus far? Definitely. Would it be the best in the current MLB? Probably. Does this prove that the Marlins really do sell off everything? Most likely - although, Adrian Gonzalez did not truly become Adrian Gonzalez until after the Marlins and Rangers let him walk. In terms of pitching, this team is strong (although injury prone), and having 1-2-3 of Fernandez, Beckett, and Johnson would be a great time for fans of raw stuff and velocity.
New York Mets Starting Pitchers • A.J. Burnett • Dillon Gee • Matt Harvey • Scott Kazmir • Jonathon Niese Bullpen • Heath Bell • Josh Edgin • Jeurys Familia • Matt Lindstrom • Jenrry Mejia • Bobby Parnell • Joe Smith Catchers • Francisco Pena • Josh Thole Infielders • Mike Carp • Ike Davis • Daniel Murphy • Jose Reyes • Ty Wigginton • David Wright Outfielders • Endy Chavez • Nelson Cruz • Lucas Duda • Carlos Gomez • Angel Pagan
The Mets outfield has been in shambles for what seems like an eternity, and it appears as though some of that was their own doing. Is it fair to blame the Mets, then? I do not believe so, as Cruz was passed around like a hot potato for years prior to busting out with the Rangers, and Gomez did help them reel in Johan Santana (and, like Cruz, did take awhile to break out). That being said, hindsight is bliss in this exercise, and the Mets have lost out on one of the best all-around teams thus far.
Philadelphia Phillies Starting Pitchers • Jarred Cosart • Cole Hamels • J.A. Happ • Kyle Kendrick • Vance Worley Bullpen • Antonio Bastardo • Jake Diekman • Brett Myers • Josh Outman • Joe Savery • Alfredo Simon • Brad Ziegler Catchers • Carlos Ruiz • Sebastian Valle Infielders • Cody Asche • Freddy Galvis • Ryan Howard • Nick Punto • Jimmy Rollins • Chase Utley Outfielders • Michael Bourn • Domonic Brown • Marlon Byrd • Darin Ruf • Michael Taylor
The Phillies current roster is mostly homegrown, which is somewhat to their detriment as Howard, Rollins, and Utley battle the hazards of age. The outfield is fairly strong, and it could be fun as a poor excuse to revive the 'Killer B's' nickname, and the offense as a whole is more good than bad. On the mound, however, the Philles do not look much better than passable. Having Cosart does give them a (potentially) dangerous duo at the front of the rotation.
Washington Nationals Starting Pitchers • Ross Detwiler • Tommy Milone • Cliff Lee • Stephen Strasburg • Jordan Zimmermann Bullpen • Drew Storen • Marco Estrada • Jim Henderson • John Lannan • Yunesky Maya • Brad Peacock • Craig Stammen Catchers • Derek Norris • Jhonathan Solano Infielders • Ian Desmond • Danny Espinosa • Tyler Moore • Brandon Phillips • Anthony Rendon • Ryan Zimmerman Outfielders • Jason Bay • Roger Bernadina • Bryce Harper • Justin Maxwell • Grady Sizemore
Cliff Lee, Stephen Strasburg, and Jordan Zimmermann. Wow. An infield of Zimmerman at first, Phillips, Rendon, and Desmond would be young and very good, and the outfield still has Harper (and not much else, barring a minor miracle with Sizemore). I don't know if the offense would be more than average, but I don't think it would need to be in order to win a lot of games.
Chicago Cubs Starting Pitchers • Andrew Cashner • Jon Garland • Kyle Lohse • Ricky Nolasco • Jeff Samardzija Bullpen • Al Alburquerque • Jerry Blevins • Scott Downs • Rich Hill • Carlos Marmol • Sean Marshall • James Russell Catchers • Jose Molina • Geovany Soto Infielders • Darwin Barney • Starlin Castro • Ronny Cedeno • Josh Donaldson • Hak-Ju Lee • Josh Vitters Outfielders • Tony Campana • Tyler Colvin • Sam Fuld • Brett Jackson • Junior Lake
Now this is a bad team. There's some young talent in Cashner and Castro (and, possibly, Vitters, Jackson, and Lake) ... but these Cubs would be in the running for the first pick of the draft, with its average rotation appearing to be its greatest strength. This makes Theo Epstein's slash-and-burn rebuild seem all the more necessary.
Cincinnati Reds Starting Pitchers • Homer Bailey • Tony Cingrani • Johnny Cueto • Mike Leake • Travis Wood Bullpen • Brad Boxberger • Aroldis Chapman • Jeremy Horst • Sam LeCure • Logan Ondrusek • Josh Roenicke • Pedro Villarreal Catchers • Yasmani Grandal • Devin Mesoraco Infielders • Zack Cozart • Juan Francisco • Todd Frazier • Didi Gregorius • Adam Rosales • Joey Votto Outfielders • Jay Bruce • Chris Denorfia • Adam Dunn • Chris Heisey • Drew Stubbs
These Reds might be the most true to life group in this exercise, which is a testament to their underrated player development. Having Dunn back in left is a fun mental image, and his defense might give back more than his offense creates at this point in his career - but platooning him with a lefty-masher like Stubbs would mitigate his weaknesses significantly. The rotation is very young and very good, and the bullpen could still be a strength.
Milwaukee Brewers Starting Pitchers • Hiram Burgos • Mike Fiers • Yovani Gallardo • Jake Odorizzi • Wily Peralta Bullpen • Mike Adams • Craig Breslow • Tim Dillard • Manny Parra • Joe Thatcher • Tyler Thornburg • Tom Wilhelmsen Catchers • Eric Fryer • Jonathan Lucroy Infielders • Alcides Escobar • Prince Fielder • J.J. Hardy • Brett Lawrie • Rickie Weeks Outfielders • Norichika Aoki • Michael Brantley • Ryan Braun • Lorenzo Cain • Caleb Gindl • Corey Hart
The Brewers are essentially the team we watched a couple of years ago, with a very strong offense and very little pitching. The bullpen would be stronger than ever, though, and bringing back Odorizzi injects a bit of upside into the rotation.
Pittsburgh Pirates Starting Pitchers • Bronson Arroyo • Gerrit Cole • Brandon Cumpton • Paul Maholm • Jameson Taillon Bullpen • Vic Black • Mike Gonzalez • Tom Gorzelanny • Jared Hughes • Brad Lincoln • Tony Watson • Duke Welker Catchers • Ryan Doumit • Tony Sanchez Infielders • Pedro Alvarez • Jeff Keppinger • Jordy Mercer • Steve Pearce • Aramis Ramirez • Neil Walker Outfielders • Jose Bautista • Rajai Davis • Starling Marte • Andrew McCutchen • Nate McLouth
If the NL had a DH, the Pirates offense would be the best in all of baseball - Bautista at third, Alvarez at first, Ramirez at DH, and a strict platoon of Davis and McLouth in right would be stellar. As it stands, it is merely excellent, with McCutchen, Marte, and Bautista leading the way from the outfield. The rotation is headlined by potential studs in Cole and Taillon, with Arroyo and Maholm (and possibly Gorzelanny) eating innings behind them.
St. Louis Cardinals Starting Pitchers • Jaime Garcia • Dan Haren • Lance Lynn • Shelby Miller • Michael Wacha Bullpen • Luke Gregerson • Joe Kelly • Seth Maness • Jason Motte • Chris Perez • Trevor Rosenthal • Kevin Siegrist Catchers • Tony Cruz • Yadier Molina Infielders • Matt Adams • Matt Carpenter • Daniel Descalso • Albert Pujols • Brendan Ryan • Skip Schumaker Outfielders • Allen Craig • Coco Crisp • Jon Jay • Colby Rasmus • Shane Robinson
As was the case with the Reds, the current Cardinals are very much a homegrown team. Bringing back Pujols and the resurgent Rasmus adds more power into the fold, and the gloves of Crisp and Rasmus would help make up for Craig's mediocre defense in the outfield. The rotation is not as strong as I imagined it would be, though Rosenthal could always be shifted into the rotation at Haren's expense.
Arizona Diamondbacks Starting Pitchers • Brett Anderson • Jorge De La Rosa • Wade Miley • Jarrod Parker • Max Scherzer Bullpen • Josh Collmenter • Ryan Cook • Eury De La Rosa • Tommy Layne • Javier Lopez • Ross Ohlendorf • Bryan Shaw Catchers • Miguel Montero • Chris Snyder Infielders • Stephen Drew • Jake Elmore • Paul Goldschmidt • Lyle Overbay • Mark Reynolds • Dan Uggla Outfielders • Carlos Gonzalez • Scott Hairston • Gerardo Parra • Carlos Quentin • Justin Upton
Has every team lost out on a fantastic outfield? It certainly looks that way. The infield would be fun to watch, for comedic value, with Drew, Reynolds, and Uggla all ranging between "awful" and "well below-average" at their respective positions. Even so, this team has a ton of raw power, and a young rotation headlined by a Cy Young candidate in Scherzer. It also has Matt Davidson and Chris Owings waiting in the wings should Reynolds and Drew not be up to snuff.
Colorado Rockies Starting Pitchers • Jhoulys Chacin • Jeff Francis • Ubaldo Jimenez • Juan Nicasio • Jake Westbrook Bullpen • Luis Ayala • Rex Brothers • Matt Reynolds • Esmil Rogers • Rob Scahill • Pedro Strop • Jamey Wright Catchers • Chris Iannetta • Wil Rosario Infielders • Nolan Arenado • Clint Barmes • Everth Cabrera • Todd Helton • Troy Tulowitzki • Juan Uribe Outfielders • Dexter Fowler • Matt Holliday • Juan Pierre • Seth Smith • Eric Young, Jr.
Even with Helton being a shell of his former self, this is a sneaky good offense, with Cabrera causing havoc on the basebaths and Holliday returning to the heart of the order. As is the norm with Colorado, the rotation is shaky - though, Westbrook's worm burning ways would help out quite a bit, particularly with a strong defense behind him.
Los Angeles Dodgers Starting Pitchers • Nathan Eovaldi • Edwin Jackson • Clayton Kershaw • Hiroki Kuroda • Hyun-Jin Ryu Bullpen • Jonathan Broxton • Joel Hanrahan • Kenley Jansen • Bryan Morris • Paco Rodriguez • Joakim Soria • Chris Withrow Catchers • Russell Martin • Carlos Santana Infielders • Adrian Beltre • Ivan DeJesus • Blake DeWitt • Dee Gordon • Paul Konerko • Scott Van Slyke Outfielders • Alejandro De Aza • Franklin Gutierrez • Matt Kemp • Yasiel Puig • Shane Victorino
The Dodgers are absolutely stacked in the bullpen, behind the plate, and in the outfield. That is not to say that the rotation is not up to snuff - far from it, in fact, as Kershaw, Kuroda, Ryu, Jackson, and Eovaldi all have quite a bit to offer. Rather, it is simply insane that the team has three or four relievers capable of closing, either Martin or Santana backing up at catcher, and a De Aza/Gutierrez combo backing up in the outfield.
San Diego Padres Starting Pitchers • Corey Kluber • Mat Latos • Cory Luebke • Jake Peavy • Burch Smith Bullpen • Steve Delabar • Ernesto Frieri • Brandon Kintzler • Oliver Perez • Cesar Ramos • Dale Thayer • Nick Vincent Catchers • Nick Hundley • George Kottaras Infielders • Kyle Blanks • Logan Forsythe • David Freese • Jedd Gyorko • Andy Parrino • Eric Sogard Outfielders • Mike Baxter • Jaff Decker • Chase Headley • Blake Tekotte • Will Venable
Offense would still be hard to come by for this Padres team, with the only real additions being Freese and Kottaras. Luckily, the rotation becomes better, with Latos and Peavy capable of performing at an above-average rate in any ballpark, and the bullpen remains strong.
San Francisco Giants Starting Pitchers • Madison Bumgarner • Matt Cain • Tim Lincecum • Francisco Liriano • Zack Wheeler Bullpen • David Aardsma • Jake Dunning • Jason Grilli • Joe Nathan • Sergio Romo • Carlos Villanueva • Brian Wilson Catchers • Buster Posey • Yorvit Torrealba Infielders • Brandon Crawford • Kevin Frandsen • Travis Ishikawa • Brett Pill • Cody Ransom • Pablo Sandoval Outfielders • Brandon Belt • Roger Kieschnick • Thomas Neal • Francisco Peguero • Nate Schierholtz
The Giants outfield very nearly matched the Indians in futility, and having Belt in that unit is only a superficial improvement to the team, as first base is relegate to an Ishikawa/Pill platoon. This offense is not very good, though Posey, Sandoval, Belt, and Schierholtz (at least this year's version) give the Giants some legitimate hitters for the top of the order. And, as is the Giants way, the pitching is a tremendous strength - even with a declining Lincecum and a shaky Cain.