2010 MLB Preview: NL West

In order to help get you ready for the MLB season, we’re doing division-by-division rankings with quick overviews on how each club could fair in 2010. Next to each team, you’ll also find a corresponding number written in parenthesis, which indicates where we believe that club falls in a league-wide power ranking. Be sure to check back throughout the next two weeks leading up to the season, as we will be updating our content daily. Enjoy.

All 2010 MLB Preview Content | AL East Preview | AL Central Preview | AL West Preview | NL East | NL Central | NL West

Last up is the NL West.

1. Colorado Rockies (7)
Before I wax poetically about the youthful Rockies, I have an axe to grind about the television broadcasting crew of Drew Goodman, Jeff Huson and George Frazier. Those three form one of the most biased, nonobjective broadcasting teams in baseball history. I’m not kidding. The Rockies never get the same calls as their opponents do. The Rockies never get the national recognition like everyone else does. The Rockies are the greatest team to ever walk the planet and if they played a roster compiled of Jesus, Moses, God and the 12 apostles, Colorado should win 5-4 in extras nine times out of 10. If not, the Rockies beat themselves, because there’s no way Jesus and the gang were better. Don’t believe me? Just ask Goodman, Huson and Frazier. All right, now that that’s out of the way – the Rockies are a damn fine club and should leapfrog the Dodgers in the division this year. Their core – Troy Tulowitzki, Ian Stewart, Chris Iannetta, Dexter Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez – are all 27 years old or younger and that doesn’t include 26-year-old stud Ubaldo Jimenez, who is absolutely filthy when he’s on. Throw in key veterans like Todd Helton (a perennial .300 hitter) and Jeff Francis (who could win 15-plus games filling in for the departed Jason Marquis), and Colorado has the tools to make a deep run. The question is whether or not starters Francis and Jorge De La Rosa will keep their ERAs below 5.00 and the young offensive players can move forward in their development and not backwards. But outside of the ultra-annoying broadcast team, I love the Rockies from top to bottom this year and believe they can do some damage in 2010.

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Padres to call up top prospect Kyle Blanks

According to a report by Baseball America, the Padres have promoted top hitting prospect Kyle Blanks to the big leagues and should join the club soon. The 22-year old was hitting .283 in Triple-A Portland in the Pacific Coast league with 12 dingers, nine doubles and 38 RBIs.

While he’s not considered a Grade-A prospect, Blanks can hit and the Padres wouldn’t be calling to ride the pine. San Diego is desperate for offense, even more so now that top pitchers Jake Peavy and Chris Young are on the disabled list and the club expected to be trailing in most ballgames.

There’s also a good chance that this call could just be temporary. San Diego is set to host Oakland for a three game series and the A’s are expected to throw three left-handers (Josh Outman, Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden), so maybe the Pads look at this weekend has a great chance to see what Blanks has while giving Adrian Gonzalez a day or two off at first base. Not that Gonzo can’t hit left-handed pitching, but if San Diego wanted to give him a breather, now would be the time.

Another possibility is that the Padres could be set to make a move soon. It’s quite possible that San Diego is getting ready to deal one of its outfielders (Chase Headley?) and will employ Blanks in left field. Or, if the Padres feel confident enough that Blanks can play third base, maybe the club has a deal in place to trade Kevin Kouzmanoff.

If I’m thinking too out of the box in terms of trades, maybe Blanks will help in the outfield until Scott Hairston comes off the DL and then subsequently be sent back down to Triple-A.

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