Nationals, Braves Numbers 1 and 2 in SI Offseason Power Rankings, Phillies 16th

Nationals, Braves Numbers 1 and 2 in SI Offseason Power Rankings, Phillies 16th
February 8, 2013, 11:02 am
Share This Post

One of the big arguments we keep hearing as to why the
Phillies have been such a disappointment this offseason is, “Look how much
better the rest of the NL East got,” specifically the Washington Nationals and
Atlanta Braves. Sports Illustrated clearly believes there’s something to that.

According to SI’s offseason power rankings, the Nationals
and Braves are the two top teams in Major League Baseball this
winter.

1.      
Washington
Nationals


Additions:
CF Denard Span, RP Rafael Soriano, SP Dan Haren, RP Bill Bray, RP Zack Duke

Subtractions: SP Edwin Jackson, 1B/OF Michael Morse, RP Sean
Burnett, SP John Lannan, RP Tom Gorzelanny, Util. Mark DeRosa, RP Mike Gonzalez

Last year's major league leader in
wins, with 98, ought to be even better a year later. The addition of Span gives
Washington the true centerfielder and leadoff hitter it has craved, while Haren
reasonably can be expected to pick up where Jackson left off and Soriano
deepens an already strong bullpen. The core players are mostly young with the
potential for growth (especially Bryce Harper) and remember that three of that
number -- ace Stephen Strasburg, reliever Drew Storen and catcher Wilson Ramos
-- missed time last year either with injuries or the fear thereof.

2.      
Atlanta
Braves


Additions:
OF Justin Upton, OF B.J. Upton, RP Jordan Walden, 3B Chris Johnson, C Gerald
Laird

Subtractions: 3B/OF Martin Prado, SP Tommy Hanson, SP Randall
Delgado, C David Ross, OF Eric Hinske, OF Michael Bourn*, 3B Chipper Jones*

Atlanta's production from its
righthanded hitters (49 HRs and a .671 OPS) was the worst in the NL. That's a
huge reason the Braves gave B.J. Upton the largest free-agent contract in team
history (five years, $75.25 million) and traded five players for his brother,
Justin. Jones retired but manager Fredi Gonzalez believes Justin Upton can be
the same middle-of-the-order presence for this young team on the rise. Atlanta
did, after all, win the same number of regular-season games as the champion
Giants (94) and did so with a slightly better staff ERA (3.42 for Atlanta, 3.68
for SF).

I’m still on the fence about just how “improved” Atlanta
really is. Sure, they will get more production from righthanders, but there is
plenty of overall production there to replace. I wouldn’t describe them as
being a vastly better team, and certainly not the runner-up for best team in baseball after the completion of this offseason,
but that’s me.

Hard to argue with the Nationals in the top spot though,
strengthening a core that won 98 games last season.

As for the Phillies…

16.  
Philadelphia
Phillies


Additions:
3B Michael Young, RP Mike Adams, OF Ben Revere, SP John Lannan, OF Delmon Young

Subtractions: SP Vance Worley, 3B Placido Polanco, RP David
Herndon, Util Ty Wigginton, RP Josh Lindblom

The rotation is still headlined by
Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay -- though not in that order -- and
that's an encouraging start to any team, but Philadelphia's offensive
production (both total runs scored and league rank) has dipped three straight
seasons. On Opening Day the Phillies' four infielders and catcher will all be 33
or older, and the only player in that group who hasn't shown signs of decline
-- catcher Carlos Ruiz -- is suspended the first 25 games of the season for a
failed PED test. Adams and Jonathan Papelbon form a dominant back end of the
bullpen, which had been missing in Philadelphia.

First of all, 16th is hardly the disaster the Phils’
offseason has often been made out to be. As I wrote last week, the Phillies
didn’t necessarily need to make tremendous improvements seeing as they won 102
in 2011, and posted a .587 winning percentage in the second half last season
once they got healthy. True, they are relying on aging core, but they still appear
to be much better off in the bullpen (what about Chad Durbin, bro?) and at
third base at least.

In fact, some might argue this ranking is a little low.

We’ll see soon enough though, because baseball is right
around the corner. Pitchers and catchers report next week, and it won’t be long
after that before things start to get interesting.

>> Nationals, Braves lead NL quartet atop offseason Power Rankings [SI]


DefSemiHidden="true" DefQFormat="false" DefPriority="99"
LatentStyleCount="267">
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Normal"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="heading 1"/>


















UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Title"/>

UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtitle"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Strong"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Emphasis"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Table Grid"/>

UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="No Spacing"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 1"/>

UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="List Paragraph"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Quote"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Quote"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 1"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 2"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 3"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 4"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 5"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/>
UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/>



/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

Latest News