johnson nolasco

NL East Update: The one where the Marlins aren’t afraid of commitment

The Florida Marlins have extended starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco to a three-year, $26.5 million deal.

I love it when the Marlins open up the checkbook! The team has always had confidence in their homegrown players, and they have to since they rarely take part in the free agent market. I like this move, as it gives Florida a solid one-two punch at the top of their rotation with Josh Johnson and Nolasco. People don’t hear about Nolasco that often because he plays in front of 500 people a night in Florida and the team never has been on “the big stage” before. Keep an eye on these two because you never know when the Marlins will have another breakout championship year.

With the top four set in their rotation, what does this mean for the rest of the Phillies spending? 

The Phillies are in a special situation where they can make a run for a championship without having their young players be too much of a liability. Obviously, I don’t want to speak too soon because the season doesn’t start for another four months, but expect to see Domonic Brown and Antonio Bastardo get significant playing time.

How does the Atlanta Braves rotation stack up against the big four in Philadelphia?  

The Atlanta rotation will be overshadowed this year, but maybe that’s a good thing depending on how you look at it. Lets take a look at the Braves top four, Tim Hudson, Tommy Hanson, Jair Jurrjens, and Derek Lowe, not bad if I say so myself. Sure it doesn’t have two of the best pitchers on the planet but they can stack up against the Phillies any day.

Brooklyn Met Fan
sets the over/under for Mets wins at 84. What do you guys think?  

The articles predictions seem pretty accurate, but I’d have to go under somewhere around 80 wins. The Mets do have potential to make a surprise Wild Card run in 2011, but I’m just trying to be a realist, which I don’t always like to be. Like he always has, I think Carlos Beltran will be the X-factor for the team. Certainly there are countless amounts of other factors that go into a team’s success but being in the final year of his contract you’d have to think that he will be pushing for another big season.

Federal Baseball updates us on some storylines regarding the starting rotation.  

I think everyone is relieved to hear that Stephen Strasburg is on schedule and will start throwing again soon. As for Yunesky Maya’s rough start in the Dominican League, I look at it as just a bump in the road. He has performed well this winter and can’t be expected to perform up to his 0.69 ERA every game. Lets see how he handles the adversity in his next start.