Tag Archives: Projected Line-ups

MLB 2012 Season Preview: NL Central

MLB 2012 Season Preview: NL Central



*NL & AL East coming March 31st, 2012




Milwaukee Brewers


2011 Record: W 96 - L 66, 1st place


Guru 2012 Projected Record: W 88 - L 74, 1st place


Key Player Losses: Prince Fielder


Key Player Additions: Aramis Ramirez, Alex Gonzalez and Norichika Aoki.


2012 Season Outlook: The big question centers on the player who will step in for Fielder at first base. Mat Gamel had a fine season for Class-AAA Nashville, hitting .310/.372/.540 with 28 homers and 96 RBI. But he hasn’t be able to achieve that level of performance thus far in the big leagues, where he’s seen very little action over the past two seasons. If Gamel poses no threat at the plate, opposing teams might pitch around Ramirez and reigning National League MVP Ryan Braun frequently. Zack Greinke pitched well last year, but comes into this season fully healthy and is working for a new contract. Along with Yovani Gallardo and Shaun Marcum, the Brewers have the best top three starting pitchers in the division. That will ultimately give them the edge in what looks to be a close NL Central race.


2012 Projected Line-up:

1. Rickie Weeks 2B
2. Nyjer Morgan CF
3. Ryan Braun LF
4. Aramis Ramirez 3B
5. Carlos Gomez RF
6. Mat Gamel 1B
7. Alex Gonzalez SS
8. Jonathan Lucroy C



2012 Projected Rotation:

1. Yovani Gallardo RH
2. Zack Greinke RH
3. Randy Wolf LH
4. Shaun Marcum RH
5. Chris Narveson LH
Closer John Axford RH





Cincinnati Reds


2011 Record: W 79 -L 83, 3rd place


Gurus 2012 Projected Record: W 86 - L 76, 2nd place


Key Player Losses: Edison Volquez, Edgar Renteria, Ramon Hernandez, Jeremy Hermida, and Francisco Cordero.


Key Player Additions:  Ryan Ludwick, Ryan Madson, Sean Marshall, and Mat Latos.


2012 Season Outlook: Joey Votto is an MVP candidate at first base. Along with Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips, the Reds score more runs than you’d think possible, looking at their lineup. They’ll have to maintain that level of offensive production to help out the pitching staff. (Will Bronson Arroyo give up 46 home runs again?) But getting some reinforcements in the outfield would really help. Ryan Ludwick wasn’t exactly the upgrade they needed.

The Reds might have the resources to get that help, too. Homer Bailey is fighting for the fifth spot in the rotation. But if he loses out to Aroldis Chapman, could he find himself dealt for that much-needed outfielder?


Projected 2012 Line-up:

1. Brandon Phillips 2B
2. Zack Cozart SS
3. Joey Votto 1B
4. Jay Bruce RF
5. Scott Rolen 3B
6. Chris Heisey LF
7. Drew Stubbs CF
8. Ryan Hanigan C


Projected 2012 Rotation:


1. Johnny Cueto RH
2. Mat Latos RH
3. Mike Leake RH
4. Bronson Arroyo RH
5. Homer Bailey RH
Closer Sean Marshall LH





St. Louis Cardinals


2011 Record: W 90 – L 72, 2nd place WC


Gurus 2012 Projected Record: W 82 – L 80, 3rd place


Key Player Losses: Albert Pujols, Tony La Russa, and Dave Duncan


Key Player Additions: Carlos Beltran, Adam Wainwright and J.C. Romero.


2012 Season Outlook: St. Louis enters the season as the champions of the baseball universe. But they will have a distinctly different look this year without the two main reasons – Albert Pujols and Tony LaRussa – why that was possible. It’s the end of a fabulous era. Replacing the legend is Carlos Beltran and his hamstrings that are never quite 100%. Worse than that, he offers daily updates on the percentages of said hamstrings. Gonna be a long season in St. Louis.


Projected 2012 Line-up:

1. Rafael Furcal SS
2. Jon Jay CF
3. Matt Holliday LF
4. Lance Berkman 1B
5. Carlos Beltran RF
6. David Freese 3B
7. Yadier Molina C
8. Tyler Greene 2B



Projected 2012 Rotation:


1. Adam Wainwright RH
2. Jaime Garcia LH
3. Kyle Lohse RH
4. Jake Westbrook RH
5. Lance Lynn RH
Closer Jason Motte RH






Pittsburgh Pirates


2011 Record: W 72 - L 90, 4th place


Gurus 2012 Projected Record: W 77 - L 85, 4th place


Key Player Losses:  There the Pirates, enough said.


Key Player Addtions: AJ Burnett, Erik Bedard, Clint Barmes.


2012 Season Outlook: It is generally considered a down year when a team wins 72 games. But not in Pittsburgh, where the bar is set so low that “only” losing 90 games is cause for celebration and a positive outlook heading into the next year. The main cause for excitement is uber-talented Andrew McCutchen and the rest of the maturing Pirates lineup. Neil Walker looks like a player and Garrett Jones has a big bat. But Pittsburgh needs a lot more consistency and a couple more high-end bats if they want to compete with the veteran lineups in St. Louis, Milwaukee and Cincinnati.


Projected 2012 Line-up:

1. Jose Tabata RF
2. Alex Presley LF
3. Andrew McCutchen CF
4. Neil Walker 2B
5. Garrett Jones 1B
6. Pedro Alvarez 3B
7. Clint Barmes SS
8. Rod Barajas C


Projected 2012 Rotation:

1. Erik Bedard LH
2. Charlie Morton RH
3. James McDonald RH
4. Jeff Karstens RH
5. Kevin Correia RH
Closer Joel Hanrahan RH







Cicago Cubs


2011 Record: W 71 –  L  91, 5th place


Gurus 2012 Projected Record: W 75 - L 87, 5th place


Key Player Losses: Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Pena, Koyie Hill, Sean Marshall, and Carlos Zambrano.


Key Player Additions: Theo Epstein, Ian Stewart, Travis Wood, Chris Volstad, Paul Maholm, and David DeJesus.


2012 Season Outlook: The lineup is a work in progress. They scuttled former anchor Aramis Ramiriez – who is now with division-rival Milwaukee – and now the Cubs are severely lacking pop. Alfonso Soriano is the only guy on the team with a season of 30 or more home runs. But the last time he achieved that feat was 2007 and the 36-year-old is really just the shell of himself. The rest of the team is mad up of castoffs and retreads around the young core of Starlin Castro (who is awesome) and Darwin Barney (who I’m not at all sold on).


Chicago better hope the wind is blowing out a lot this year because they won’t be able to score runs consistently. And they don’t have good enough pitching to overcome it. This is a transition year. But Chicago is going to be a bad baseball team for some stretches while they start to work things out.



Projected 2012 Line-up:

1. David DeJesus RF
2. Starlin Castro SS
3. Marlon Byrd CF
4. Bryan LaHair 1B
5. Alfonso Soriano LF
6. Geovany Soto C
7. Ian Stewart 3B
8. Darwin Barney 2B



Projected 2012 Rotation:

1. Matt Garza RH
2. Ryan Dempster RH
3. Paul Maholm LH
4. Randy Wells RH
5. Jeff Samardzija RH
Closer Carlos Marmol RH





Houston Astros


2011 Record: W 56 - L 106, Last place


Gurus Projected 2012 Record: W 60 - L 102, Last place again


Key Player Losses: Their Pride…


Key Player Additions: New owner Jim Crane


2012 Season Outlook:  I am going to keep this short and sweet: this Astros team lost 106 games last season and they are probably even worse this year. That is not an exaggeration. This team is absolutely pathetic and shows no signs of being remotely competitive this season.


2012 Projected Line-up:

1. Jordan Schafer CF
2. Jose Altuve 2B
3. J.D. Martinez LF
4. Carlos Lee 1B
5. Brian Bogusevic RF
6. Jed Lowrie SS
7. Chris Johnson 3B
8. Chris Snyder C


2012 Projected Rotation:


1. Wandy Rodriguez LH
2. Bud Norris RH
3. J.A. Happ LH
4. Livan Hernandez RH
5. Jordan Lyles RH
Closer Brett Myers RH