Random thoughts heading into the start of the MLB regular season

This article is exactly what the title suggests.

  • The frickin’ Cubs are the favorites to win the World Series. This is reality.
  • This could finally be the year the Cleveland Indians put it all together. That rotation is miles better than any other team in the AL, in my opinion. Once Michael Brantley gets healthy, the offense should be good enough. If you recall, the Indians had a terrible start to last season and were very good in the second half. I think they can continue their second-half form in 2016. Bradley Zimmer and Clint Frazier could also help the outfield situation at some point. But it’s Cleveland sports, so something will go wrong.
  • This will not be the year that the Miami Marlins put it together. Sorry, I just don’t see it. There is just not enough depth on this team to compete right now. And if Stanton or Fernandez miss any time, this team instantly becomes one of the worst in the National League.
  • Jose Quintana is unbelievably consistent. He’s pitched 200 innings the last three seasons with almost identical ERAs with an ERA between 3.30 and 3.50. He also recorded just 9 wins in each of those seasons. I want the White Sox to be good solely so that Quintana can reach double-digit wins for the first time in his career.
  • Adrian Gonzalez has also been unbelievably consistent. Ever since he joined the Dodgers, he’s basically put up three seasons with identical triple-slash lines and over 155 games played. Other than a BABIP-induced uptick in batting average in 2013, he’s basically been the exact same player for three seasons. It’s spooky.
  • The Phillies‘ infield defense is going to be painful to watch. I know that shouldn’t be surprising for the worst team in baseball last season, but this infield will not be doing Aaron Nola or Vincent Velasquez any favors. Ryan Howard and Maikel Franco were both terrible defensively last season and probably won’t be any better. Franco has to move over to first once Howard’s contract is up, right? Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis are also pretty bad.
  • The baseball-viewing public needs to start a campaign for the Twins to call up Jose Berrios at some point this season. Preferably as soon as possible. The guy posted a 9.79 K/9 and a 2.62 ERA in AAA last year. Of the three big-time pitching prospects (Julio Urias, Lucas Giolito and Berrios) I am most excited to watch Berrios at the moment. Also, Giolito is on the Nationals and I’m going to be sick of watching how good he is very, very quickly.
  • The two teams I’ll be watching on MLB.TV for entertainment value will be the Baltimore Orioles and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Neither team projects to be much better than last season, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be exciting. The Orioles could legitimately challenge the major league record for most team homers in a season. The pitching is going to be terrible, but I expect a ton of 9-7 games and Chris Davis bombs. The Diamondbacks are just a fascinating team that decided to go all-in after building one of the best trios of in-house position players I can recall. Goldschmidt, Pollock and David Peralta are all very good, and the D-Backs did a great job in developing them. It’s too bad the rest of the lineup is iffy and they haven’t been able to develop a quality starter other than Patrick Corbin. But that’s why you overpay for Zack Greinke and make a stupid trade for Shelby Miller, I suppose. The Diamondbacks are going to be entertaining, even if they turn out to be mediocre or flat-out bad.
  • The Angels are wasting Mike Trout’s awesomeness and it is very sad. 25 percent of the Angels projected fWAR is contributed by a single player. That means at least 18 players are projected to be barely above replacement level. And it’s true. Other than Kole Calhoun, Garrett Richards, Albert Pujols, Huston Street and Andrelton Simmons’ defense, this team is not good. Daniel Nava is going to be a starting outfielder for this team. Jered Weaver can’t break 86 on his fastball. The farm system is the worst in baseball by far. And yet they might still contend in the AL West. Wow.
  • I can’t wait to watch Carlos Correa play. Now that I have MLB.TV, I will be trying to watch as many of his at-bats as possible. He’s soooooo good.
  • Will Didi Gregorius have over 3 WAR this season?
  • Will Adam Wainwright continue to be effective?
  • And of course, one point about my beloved New York Mets. I just really want to see a full season from Travis d’Arnaud. I don’t really know if he’s a good enough defensive catcher. I don’t know if his power potential is for real. Could he be a top-five catcher? Absolutely. But he needs to stay healthy, and that’s honestly all I want at this point.

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