Hard to believe we are only a little more than a month away from the beginning of Spring Training. That’s right folks, the first pitchers and catchers report February 18th. There are obviously some key free-agents still available, and who knows what kind of moves will be made in the next month, but after looking at the moves made thus far, and the current rosters posted by all 30 MLB teams, here is a list of what I predict will be the 5 Worst Teams In Baseball in 2012.
You can’t ever count out a team that has Billy Beane moving around pieces, but after trading away their best pitcher in Gio Gonzalez, it may be that much more impossible to win one of the toughest divisions in baseball. And yes, after the Angels added Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, they made the AL West one of the toughest.
The A’s were 24th in the Majors in batting average last season (.244), and they will continue to struggle at the plate due to their youth. Their starting corner outfielders have only a combined 122 career at-bats between them.
Because they have great prospects who could possibly surge this year in Jemile Weeks, Brandon Allen and Chris Carter, not to mention they still have Dallas Braden and Brett Anderson tossing on the mound, I still expect the A’s to compete. Just don’t expect them to finish over .500.
4. New York Mets
Sure, they improved their bullpen, but that’s about the only positive that I can derive from this off-season by the Metropolitans. Oh ya, they still have David Wright! That’s two. But wait, even he hit .254 last year while playing banged up.
They traded away speed threat Angel Pagan and lost Jose Reyes to Miami, and still questionable is Johan Santana, who is trying to come back from shoulder surgery. Which means their number one starter could be Mike Pelfrey. We all know how well that scenario plays out.
3. San Diego Padres
The ‘Fathers,’ have clearly been in rebuilding mode since they lost Adrian Gonzalez, but after trading for Carlos Quentin, they have proven that they aren’t throwing in the towell completely.
Starting first baseman Jose Guzman is a stud, as he hit .312 with 44 RBI last year as a rookie in less than half a season. Because of Guzman they felt comfortable trading one of the top prospects in baseball, Anthony Rizzo, to the Cubbies in exchange for prospects.
They have some great young guys that are fun to watch in Jed Lowrie (we saw what he can do when he gets hot, after he raked early last season in Boston before getting hurt), Jose Altuve and Brian Bogusevic. But again, this is a team that will be incredibly young and that will have an Opening Day starter named Brett Myers (4.46 ERA).
Houston was 28th in MLB ERA last year (4.51).
1. Baltimore Orioles
I absolutely love Buck Showalter. I think he does a fantastic job at getting guys to play to their full potential. That being said, the O’s are not only young and a little inexperienced, but are in a brutal division.
It’s hard enough to win games in the AL East, but add to the mix that this team was dead last in MLB ERA last season (4.89) and your ‘ace’ is Jeremy Guthrie (4.33 ERA).
Too many question marks here. Nick Markakis will likely be out extended time with an injury to start the season, and they’re still not sure they have a true closer. Adam Jones is their best player, but even he can’t carry a team that can’t keep pitches to opposing teams in the ballpark.
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