S18 record: 99-63
Finish: Second place, NL West
2010 final payroll: $ million
Estimated 2011 opening day payroll: $ million
Long-time Starter and more recently bullpen stud Kiki Soto abandons ship and moves to Seattle. At 40 he still seems to be going strong, but his control issues are becoming more apparent.
Leadoff Man Chris Durbin isn't as fast as he once was, but the guy still can motor and steal on the league's best. Count him good for 30-40 bags this season. His bigger challenge will be fending off 2nd year man Eddie Slusarski who hits and has better speed, but doesn't have Durbin's savvy on the bases. C Edgardo Lima at 34 is still good for 36hr a season. 2B Travis Stokes has the sweet swing and should be the guy the Marmots build around for the future. The future might also be with newly anointed 3B Ed Bailey who should rank as one of the more powerful bats in the league when he gets it heated up. With last year's starter Joey Forrester breathing down his neck, don't expect too much room for error. Both Tony Hartzell and Don Li are defense only specialist
Eduardo Feliz is the team ace. He coming off one of his worst seasons, but it was more likely a fluke than a sign of his decline. Feliz should show a big bounce back this season. Phil Morgan enters his 3rd full season after being almost unhittable in season 18. The Marmot has to hope he follows the same thread this season. If he does he could be in Cy Young Contention. David Estrada has struggled the last 3 seasons and has failed to live up to expectations. A fly ball pitcher who leans heavily on his defense, Estrada might need a change of scenery to live up to his potential. Jimmie Sullivan has put up his 1st winning season last year, but still struggled at time with his control and finding his pitches. Too often is the hitter dictating the count with him, resulting in him getting rocked.
Closer Matt O'Malley was a monster in season 18. O'Malley has shown time and again that he is an elite closer in this league. His setup corps. Is equally as effective with Howard Leon, Rodrigo Blanco and Babe Allen returning and providing sub 3.50 ERA support. Newcomer Derek Waters will be the wildcard, after spending 8 seasons in the minors he finally gets his ML chance this season.
Summing it up with a quote:
"I am Cheyenne, and dem bitches turned their back on me, What? Enjoy watching me on TV!" Former all-star Kiki Soto