If there’s one thing we know, its that Chipper can hit, but coming off knee surgery and the fact that he’s not getting younger, I expect to see him hit around .250-.260 this year, playing in about 100 games. I was surprised when he announced that he would be playing this year, especially since Bobby Cox has retired, but it will be nice to see him out there for at least one more season.
I think the Mets will play it safe and start Carlos Beltran in center field, with Pagan in right. I have a feeling Beltran would have a tough time adjusting to a corner outfield spot after having played center his entire career. Mets fans shouldn’t worry about “having two centerfielders out there at the same time”, even though Beltran has become more fragile, he is still one of the top gloves in the league.
Its clear that Vazquez never felt comfortable in New York, which is why I think he will redeem himself this season with the Marlins. Being close to home and having a strong relationship with your manager are all recipes for success. Vazquez has been around long enough that he won’t let one bad season carry over into the next, I expect 12-13 wins by him in 2011.
Wilson Valdez will be looking to add another position to his repertoire.
Valdez has all the tools that would facilitate a transition to the outfield. The Phillies will need Valdez to step up this year more than ever, as he will be logging time in the infield and outfield. I think he will do a fine job making the transition and will be a valuable asset to the team.
There is still a lot of work to do for Strasburg. Nationals fans will be holding their breath all season hoping he has a healthy recovery, as progress updates will be given on the regular. Whether they are in contention or not, the Nats should not consider rushing Strasburg back, the cons heavily outweigh the positives.