Spring training has arrived in Florida and Arizona, and I have questions about every one of the 15 National League teams.
Here they are:
St. Louis: Can the Cardinals, who won 100 games last year despite key injuries, be able to get rebound seasons from pitcher Adam Wainwright, catcher Yadier Molina, first baseman Matt Adams and outfielder Matt Holliday?
Los Angeles: How much will the Dodgers miss Zack Greinke, who signed a free agent contract with the Diamondbacks and broke up the best one-two rotation punch in baseball? The Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw. They signed lefty Scott Kazmir and Kenta Maeda for their rotation. Hyun-Jin Ryu, who missed last season with a shoulder injury, is expected to be ready opening day.
New York: Will Yoenis Cespedes, who hit .287 with 17 home runs to carry the Mets to the NL East title last season, be able to put the Mets offense on his back again this season? Cespedes will also move from left field to center field, which is not his best defensive position. Also, David Wright will be limited to 130 games to keep him fresh.
Pittsburgh: Will the Pirates be able to keep pace in the NL Central given their rotation questions? Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano should be fine at the top, but after that, it is Jeff Locke, Ryan Vogelsong and Jon Niese in addition to prospects.
Chicago: How pumped are the Cubs fans after beating the rival Cardinals in the 2015 postseason and then signing two of the Cardinals' best players, pitcher John Lackey and outfielder Jason Heyward?
San Francisco: Will former Nationals centerfielder Denard Span's hip be healthy? Span has a career .352 on-base percentage as a leadoff hitter. His range is elite, he's a basestealing threat and if he's healthy, the Giants are strong defensively up the middle with second baseman Joe Panik, shortstop Brandon Crawford and catcher Buster Posey.
Washington: How much more contact-oriented and balanced will the Nationals lineup be after adding lefty bats Ben Revere and Daniel Murphy? Neither strikes out much. The Nationals could have 350 fewer strikeouts with those guys in the lineup, Michael A. Taylor playing part-time and shortstop Ian Desmond gone.
Arizona: Do the Diamondbacks, the second-best run-producing team in the NL last season, have enough pitching after signing free-agent Zack Greinke and trading for Shelby Miller to lead their rotation? After Greinke and Miller, Arizona's rotation includes Patrick Corbin, Rubby De La Rosa and Robbie Ray, all talented but unproven.
San Diego: How big of a drop-off will it be to have 38-year-old Fernando Rodney as the closer, taking over for All-Star Craig Kimbrel? Rodney saved 16 of 23 chances last season combined for the Mariners and Cubs.
Milwaukee: First baseman Adam Lind is gone, so how many home runs will his replacement, Chris Carter, acquired from the Astros, hit in his first season with the Brewers? Carter will likely be the cleanup hitter. He hit 90 home runs in three seasons for the Astros.
Colorado: Is outfielder Charlie Blackmon the best-kept secret in the NL? Consider that last season, he hit .287 with 17 home runs and 43 stolen bases. He's playing in the shadow of Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado.
Miami: Can outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, 26, stay healthy and break the team's single-season home run record, held by Gary Sheffield with 42 since 1996? Stanton hit 27 home runs in 74 games last season. His season was cut short by a broken hamate bone.
Atlanta: How will center fielder Ender Inciarte, 25, acquired in the Shelby Miller trade from Arizona, do as the leadoff batter for the Braves? He had a .338 on-base percentage with 21 steals for the Diamondbacks last season.
Cincinnati: Will lefty Brandon Finnegan, acquired from Kansas City, develop into the Reds rotation ace? He's got all the tools and needs experience. Last year, Anthony DeScalfani, who had a 4.05 ERA in 31 starts, was the Reds' most reliable starter.
Philadelphia: Will first baseman Ryan Howard, 36, have a rebound season and hit well enough for the Phillies to trade him to a contender? Howard is in the last season of his contract. He hit .229 with 23 home runs last season.
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