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Homegrown talent: NL East

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  February 22, 2011 05:56 PM

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Told you we'd be back today with Episode 2 in our homegrown talent series. After considering what the AL East might look like in a transaction-free baseball universe earlier, let's now take a few wild hacks at the NL East.

Among the discoveries: A fearsome Cabrera/Gonzo combo with the Marlins, a Mets team that looks pretty much like what you'd expect a Mets team to look like, and -- no kidding -- a completely stacked Expos/Nationals roster . . .

wainwrightfinn.jpgATLANTA BRAVES
Lineup: SS Elvis Andrus/Rafael Furcal, 2B Martin Prado, C Brian McCann, RF Jason Heyward, 3B Chipper Jones, 1B Adam LaRoche, CF Andruw Jones, LF Mark DeRosa

Rotation: RHP Adam Wainwright, RHP Tommy Hanson, RHP Kevin Millwood, RHP Jason Marquis, LHP Bruce Chen

Bullpen: RHP Neftali Feliz, RHP Craig Kimbrel, LHP Jonny Venters, LHP Joey Devine, RHP Kris Medlen

Prospects, suspects, expatriates: C Max Ramirez, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C Brayan Pena, C Tyler Flowers, P Zach Miner, P Kyle Davies, P Jose Ascanio, P Matt Harrison, P Brandon Beachy, P Mike Minor, P Luis Atliano, P Charlie Morton, P Jeff Locke, P Matt Belisle, P Blaine Boyer, 3B Wes Helms, INF Wilson Betemit, SS Yunel Escobar, 1B Freddie Freeman, 2B Kelly Johnson, INF Luis Hernandez, INF Diory Hernandez, INF Brandon Hicks, OF Jordan Schafer, OF Matt Young, OF Gregor Blanco, OF Garret Jones, OF Jeff Francoeur, SS Brandon Hicks

Closing comments: The infield could be juggled around multiple ways . . . And we couldn't decide between the new (Andrus) and the established but often injured (Furcal) at shortstop . . . Andrus will probably end that argument this year . . . A bullpen with Feliz, Venters, and Kimbrel? How's that for electric? . . . Can't wait to see what Heyward might do in his sophomore year . . . Chipper Jones is a Hall of Fame lock, though I'm not sure he's recognized as such just yet . . . Saltalamacchia isn't a bad backup, and I have to admit, I'm coming around on the thought of him as the Red Sox' starter.

gonzalezadrianfinnn.jpgFLORIDA MARLINS
Lineup: 2B Luis Castillo, 3B Edgar Renteria, 1B Adrian Gonzalez, RF Miguel Cabrera, LF Josh Willingham, CF Mike Stanton, SS Alex Gonzalez, C Brett Hayes

Rotation: RHP Josh Johnson, RHP Josh Beckett, RHP Livan Hernandez, LHP Scott Olsen, RHP Chris Volstad.

Bullpen: RHP Ronald Belisario, RHP Jeff Fulchino, LHP Jason Vargas, RHP Chris Resop

Prospects, suspects, expatriates: OF-2B Chris Coghlan, OF Randy Winn, OF Logan Morrison, OF Mark Kotsay, OF Ross Gload, OF Scott Cousins, OF Bryan Peterson, P Jhan Marinez, P Alex Sanabia, 1B Gaby Sanchez, SS Robert Andino, SS Josh Wilson, INF Osvaldo Martinez, C Brad Davis, C Chris Hatcher, LHP Sean West, RHP Chris Leroux, LHP Aaron Thompson

Closing comments: Not a bad 3-4 there with Cabrera and Gonzalez, who were teammates in the low minors . . . Johnson is a true ace, but the pitching isn't as deep as I thought it would be beyond Beckett at No. 2 . . . The OF defense is pretty brutal with Willingham, Cabrera and Stanton, so it was tempting to put Coghlan in left . . . Renteria's spot in the lineup is a lifetime achievement award more than a reflection on his current ability . . . Sheesh, is that a lousy bullpen. Where's Robb Nen when you need him?

kazmirscottfinn.jpgNEW YORK METS
Lineup: CF Angel Pagan, SS Jose Reyes, 3B David Wright, RF Nelson Cruz, 1B Ike Davis, 2B Ty Wigginton, C Jesus Flores, LF Lastings Milledge

Rotation: RHP A.J. Burnett, LHP Scott Kazmir, RHP Mike Pelfrey, RHP Jon Niese, RHP Aaron Heilman

Bullpen: RHP Heath Bell, RHP Octavio Dotel, RHP Guillermo Mota, RHP Matt Lindstrom, RHP Bobby Parnell, LHP P Hisanori Takahashi

Prospects, suspects, expatriates: C Josh Thole, P Nelson Figueroa, P Ryota Igarashi, P Dillon Gee, P Jenrry Mejia, P Armando Rodriguez, P Josh Stinson, P Tobi Stoner, P Maikel Cleto, P Kevin Mulvey, 1B Daniel Murphy, INF Ruben Tejada, INF Zach Lutz, INF Jordany Valdespin, INF Nick Evans, INF Mike Carp, OF Jay Payton, OF Carlos Gomez, OF Ezequiel Carrera, OF Lucas Duda, OF Fernando Martinez

Closing comments: The rotation is headed by two of the most frustrating pitching talents in the game in Burnett and Kazmir, both of whom were traded by the Mets while they were still in Single A . . . The staff is rich with power arms, albeit mostly erratic ones . . . Milledge probably doesn't deserve a starting spot, but Fernando Martinez has been slow to make it and Carlos Gomez looks like a spare part at this point . . . Now that I look at it, this roster is like a best-case scenario from the Omar Minaya era . . . In case you were wondering, Tobi Stoner has never been teammates with Jung Bong.

rolenscottfinn.jpgPHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Lineup: SS Jimmy Rollins, 2B Chase Utley, 1B Ryan Howard, 3B Scott Rolen, RF Marlon Byrd, LF Pat Burrell, C Carlos Ruiz, CF Michael Bourn

Rotation: LHP Cole Hamels, RHP Gavin Floyd, LHP Randy Wolf, RHP Brett Myers, RHP Kyle Drabek

Bullpen: RHP Ryan Madson, RHP Kyle Kendrick, RHP Carlos Silva, RHP Brad Ziegler, LHP Antonio Bastardo, LHP J.A. Happ

Closing comments: The core of that lineup looks rather familiar, no? . . . Wish there were a better option in the outfield than Burrell, one of my least favorite players, but it's too soon for Domonic Brown, and Jason Michaels is Jason Michaels . . . It's not too soon for Drabek to crack the rotation, however . . . Tempting to put the speedy Bourn at the top of the order, but that .679 career OPS doesn't exactly work in his favor . . . Cole Hamels's most similar pitcher through age 26: John Smiley. I can see that.

Prospects, suspects, expatriates: OF Domonic Brown, OF Michael Taylor, OF Jason Michaels, OF Greg Golson, INF Nick Punto, INF Jason Donald P Taylor Buchholz, P Robinson Tejada, P Josh Outman, P Sergio Escalona, P Alfredo Simon, P Carlos Carrasco, P Scott Mathieson, P Vance Worley, P Mike Zagurski, P Brian Schlitter, P Matt Maloney, P Drew Carpenter, C Jason Jaramillo, C Lou Marson, INF Matt Rizzotti, INF Harold Garcia, INF Cesar Hernandez, INF Adrian Cardena, INF Freddy Galvis

sizemoregradyfinn.jpgTHE GHOST MONTREAL EXPOS
Lineup: CF Grady Sizemore, 2B Brandon Phillips, 3B Ryan Zimmerman, RF Vladimir Guerrero, LF Jason Bay, 1B Matt Stairs, SS Orlando Cabrera, C Brian Schneider

Rotation: LHP Cliff Lee, RHP Javier Vazquez, RHP Stephen Strasburg, RHP Jordan Zimmermann, LHP John Lannan

Bullpen: RHP Drew Storen, RHP Armando Galarraga, RHP Miguel Batista, RHP Collin Balester, RHP Craig Stammen, LHP Bill Bray

Prospects, suspects, expatriates: OF Bryce Harper, OF Justin Maxwell, OF Roger Bernadina, OF Milton Bradley, P Aaron Crow, P Adam Carr, P Ross Detwiler, P Yunesky Maya, P Darryl Thompson, P Juan Jaime, INF Jamey Carroll, INF Wilson Valdez, INF Ian Desmond, INF Geoff Blum, OF Chris Marrero, INF Danny Espinosa, INF Michael Martinez

Closing comments: Intriguing mix of ex-Expos and nascent Nationals makes for a heck of a roster. Who knew? . . . And how about that Bay-Sizemore-Guerrero outfield? Lots of injuries now, but imagine that trio in their prime . . . The starting rotation is loaded as well, presuming Strasburg and Zimmermann return close to what they were before they had scars on their elbows . . . Re: Sizemore, Lee, Phillips. That Bartolo Colon deal really didn't work out so well, did it? . . . Cabrera makes it over promising Ian Desmond because of 2004. Yup, we're biased like that . . . Three rules: Armando Galarraga makes any team we're putting together . . . So does brutally handsome Bangor, Maine resident Matt Stairs . . . And Milton Bradley does not.


About Touching All The Bases

Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.

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