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Season 19 NL West preview

The World Champion Anaheim Anteaters are still loaded for the season 19 campaign. In season 18 they were number one in ERA and fielding percentage and 6th in runs scored. Set up man Julian Furcal was lost to free agency, who will replace his 117 IP? Expect to see AAA starter Al Lima in the rotation with Mitch Johnson going to the pen. 3B Julio Martin left via free agency. Will Al Cedeno replace him or will Paul Feng move from 2B to free up a roster spot for Anthony Clinton. How much longer can Sid Watson be an elite closer? Will the loss of Groucho Lesher as fielding coach cost a few wins?

The Seattle Picards had 100 wins in Season 18, second in the NL in runs scored and ERA. Che Hasegawa arrived via trade, is he ready from prime time? Is the promotion of bench coach Fred Huckaby an improvement over the departed Wilfredo Martin? Paul Dong tested the free agent waters and was re-signed. Expect AAA phenom Aramis Granados to find a spot in the ML roster.

The Vancouver Maintaineers made it to the NLCS for the first time in franchise history. They have a relatively young team, will it continue to mature? Jamie Bradley served notice that he is an elite pitcher with three post season wins. Jimmie Franco and Rod Perkins plated 145 runners from the catcher’s position. Can Ricardo Seanez step up and be more productive than last year’s anemic left field? Is Jose Alou ready to step up to the big league and claim the 5th starter position? Will the addition of an over-paid Groucho Lesher at fielding coach result in a few more wins?

Have the St. Louis Archers improved enough to get out of the cellar of the most competitive division in the NL? Not on paper. Jarred Harvey looked like a professional hitter in AAA, can he be a ROY candidate?

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