|Mid-Season Thoughts: National League West 2003||| Print |||Send|
Written by Jonathan Leshanski (Contact & Archive) on August 06, 2003
The Wild-Wild NL West
Back in the spring we made some fairly bold predictions about where these teams were going to finish and why. A lot has changed since then and our predictions have not been quite accurate - here’s why and what we might expect the rest of the way through.
What we predicted:
1) Diamondbacks - provided Johnson and/or Schilling’s arm did not fall off
Where they are:
Arizona Diamondbacks: Well it happened - both Johnson and Schilling had their arms fall off. Not literally of course, but both have missed significant time this season with injuries which neither seem completely recovered from as their recent pitching has been inconsistent and less than dazzling. Without those two big guns the Diamondback irregulars, consisting mostly of lesser known players, rookies and prospects have kept them in the Wild Card hunt. If Schilling and Johnson continue to recover and get better as they go, everyone else in the NL better root for the Phillies to get red hot and win the Wild Card.
Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers have fallen on some hard times with their fragile pitching staff having to carry the burden of the team. Barely above .500 currently, there is no question that with a less anemic offense the Dodgers would be in second, but the pitching staff has been all that has kept them going. The loss of Darren Dreifort, a number of minor injuries, and the less than spectacular performance of some players that the Dodgers counted on has been their undoing so far. They are not out of the Wild Card hunt, but it is time for their offense to chip in if they are going to do anything more than run in place.
Colorado Rockies: Though their record is really just a flirtation with .500, it’s not that bad when you consider they are not really out of the playoff hunt yet. It’s not a realistic expectation, but the Rockies have had a good season and have built something that they can continue to improve on for the future. All they need to do is stay away from the control pitchers.
San Diego Padres: It has been a disappointing season to be a Padres fan - but the fans of the Padres team are used to that. The loss of both Nevin and Hoffman provided twin blows which probably cost this team at least 10-12 wins and their shot at .500. All in all they have shown improvement in a lot of ways though their young pitchers have not shown the growth that the Padres had hoped for. Well, better luck next year.