Matthew Pouliot

Strike Zone

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NL Projected Rosters

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

St. Louis

2B Skip Schumaker
SS Brendan Ryan
1B Albert Pujols
LF Matt Holliday
RF Ryan Ludwick
CF Colby Rasmus
C Yadier Molina
3B David Freese

INF Felipe Lopez
INF Julio Lugo
C Jason LaRue
OF Allen Craig
OF Nick Stavinoha

Chris Carpenter
Adam Wainwright
Brad Penny
Kyle Lohse
Jaime Garcia

Ryan Franklin (closer)
Jason Motte
Kyle McClellan
Dennys Reyes
Trever Miller
Blake Hawksworth
Mitchell Boggs

With Rasmus showing ample plate discipline this spring after lacking in that area as a rookie, I'd like to see him hit second against righties. However, it looks like Ryan will fill that spot most of the time initially. Of course, we all know Tony La Russa likes to toy with his lineups as much as any manager in the game. … The last two spots on the St. Louis bench remain up for the grabs, and a late acquisition could be a possibility. Ideally, the team would find a right-handed-hitting backup center fielder to complement Rasmus. Both Craig and Stavinoha are limited to the corners.

San Diego

CF Tony Gwynn Jr.
2B David Eckstein
RF Will Venable
1B Adrian Gonzalez
LF Kyle Blanks
3B Chase Headley
C Nick Hundley
SS Everth Cabrera

OF Scott Hairston
INF Jerry Hairston Jr.
C Yorvit Torrealba
INF-OF Oscar Salazar
1B-OF Matt Stairs

Jon Garland
Chris Young
Kevin Correia
Clayton Richard
Mat Latos

Heath Bell (closer)
Mike Adams
Luke Gregerson
Edward Mujica
Tim Stauffer
Sean Gallagher
Adam Russell

Joe Thatcher

It's so odd that a team that's set to rank dead last in payroll among the 30 teams will have one of the game's best benches and bullpens. Of course, if it were my team, I'd probably have both Hairstons starting and the bench wouldn't look nearly so impressive in that case. … The Padres are expected to go with potential over experience and make Latos their fifth starter, even though both Stauffer and Gallagher have impressed this spring. Those two are out of options, so they'll be in the pen. A trade involving Stauffer might be a possibility, but I doubt the Padres would just give him away. … Russell would seem to be the most likely candidate to replace Thatcher, who figures to miss the first week or two with a shoulder problem.

San Francisco

CF Aaron Rowand
SS Edgar Renteria
3B Pablo Sandoval
1B Aubrey Huff
LF Mark DeRosa
C Bengie Molina
2B Juan Uribe
RF Nate Schierholtz

1B-OF John Bowker
OF Andres Torres
2B-OF Eugenio Velez
C Eli Whiteside
1B Travis Ishikawa

Tim Lincecum
Barry Zito
Matt Cain
Jonathan Sanchez
Todd Wellemeyer

Brian Wilson (closer)
Jeremy Affeldt
Sergio Romo
Guillermo Mota
Dan Runzler
Brandon Medders
Kevin Pucetas

2B Freddy Sanchez
OF Fred Lewis
INF Emmanuel Burriss

Bowker, who was initially ruled out as a regular after Huff was signed, has played his way into the right-field mix, but the Giants would give up a lot of defense if they used him there over Schierholtz. The two could split time initially. Bowker hasn't looked too bad in the outfield this spring, but AT&T Park has one of the game's most difficult right fields. … The Giants still might surprise and carry Buster Posey as a part-timer, but I don't think it's likely at all. Unless they let him start over Molina about half the time, they'd be holding him back by keeping him in the majors.


CF Nyjer Morgan
RF Willie Harris
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam Dunn
LF Josh Willingham
SS Ian Desmond
C Ivan Rodriguez
2B Adam Kennedy

INF Cristian Guzman
INF-OF Mike Morse
C Wil Nieves
OF Roger Bernadina
INF Alberto Gonzalez

John Lannan
Jason Marquis
Craig Stammen
Garrett Mock
Livan Hernandez

Matt Capps (closer)
Brian Bruney
Tyler Clippard
Sean Burnett
Jason Bergmann
Miguel Batista
Jesse English

C Jesus Flores

Saving the best for last, of course. … The lineup is only a guess at the Opening Day arrangement. I assume Desmond will hit second most of the time, but Harris is expected to play against Roy Halladay. Morse, Bernadina and Willy Taveras are also in the mix for playing time in right field. Morse looks like the best early-season sleeper of the group, but Harris should provide a little value in NL-only leagues all season long. … The rotation is a bit more certain, though Mock's poor outing Tuesday couldn't have added to the team's confidence in him. The Nats could yet grab a starter and push either Stammen or Mock to the bullpen. English would likely lose his spot in that event.

Matthew Pouliot is the Executive Editor of and has been doing the site's baseball projections for the last 10 years. Follow him on Twitter @matthewpouliot.
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