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NL East Update: The one where the Marlins lose their ace

What looked to be a Cy Young season for Josh Johnson will have to end prematurely.

No argument here. There is no reason why Johnson should pitch again this season, especially given the Marlins place in the standings. If Johnson can come back at full strength for next season without any setbacks, who knows, maybe the Marlins can be a pretty good team and give the Phillies and Braves a run for their money. Philadelphia’s window is closing and the jury is still out on the Braves, there is no reason why Florida cant be competitive. It seems as though the only time the Marlins are ever competitive is when you least expect it, and they do things like win championships.

The Marlins are not the only ones who lost their ace, Johan Santana recently underwent successful season ending surgery to repair his left shoulder.

At this point, you have to wonder what type of pitcher he will be for the remainder of his career. Lets be honest, his best days are behind him, but that doesn’t mean he is finished. Johan is a competitor and arguably New York’s best pitcher, so Mets fans should be happy that they are getting the surgery over and done with now rather then dragging it into the off-season. I still think Johan has the ability to win 13 to 15 games a year, but in order for that to happen, a lot of pieces would have to fall into place. Realistically, I have to expect 11 to 12 from here on out.

Braves Blast looks at where Jason Heyward stands for the NL Rookie of the Year.

In the first half of the year it seemed like Heyward was going to be a unanimous choice for the award, but now he has some serious competition. Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants and Jaime Garcia of the St. Louis Cardinals have burst onto the scene with the numbers to prove it. This will be one of the tightest races we have seen in a while and although there is still a month of significant baseball games for all three “hopefuls”, my gut feeling tells me Posey will come out on top. The guy is a hitting machine and had a 21-game hit streak in July. That being said it would probably be easier to just have co-winners for the award, as Posey and Heyward are very deserving.

With such a stacked starting rotation, most people forget that the Philadelphia Phillies have another quality starter in Joe Blanton.

Being the fourth starter behind Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels naturally sets the bar high for Blanton. If the Phillies earn the best record in the NL then it is likely we will see Blanton come out of the bullpen becoming a long reliever. That is not a punishment to Blanton but a strategy for the Phillies. It is hard for a team to come out on top in October without a valuable long reliever that can keep your team in the game while saving the true bullpen arms.

The never-ending story between the Washington Nationals and Adam Dunn continues.

Obviously, no move is going to be made until the season ends, meaning Adam Dunn, amid all of the speculation earlier this season, will remain a National for the next three weeks. Now that we got that out of the way, lets get down to what could happen in the off-season. I truly believe Dunn and Washington will get a deal done, keeping him in DC for at least the next five years. GM Mike Rizzo knows how important Dunn is to this teams success and how his presence in the lineup helps all of those around him. Where else are they going to find a guy who can give you 35 home runs and 100 RBI every year?

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