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NL West

By Times Staff
Published April 3, 2005


San Diego Padres

2004: 87-75, 3rd.

MANAGER: Bruce Bochy.

PAYROLL: $65-million.

KEY ADDITIONS: RHP Woody Williams, CF Dave Roberts, LHP Chris Hammond, OF-INF Eric Young, RHP Rudy Seanez, LHP Dennys Reyes, OF Mark Sweeney, RHP Steve Sparks, INF Geoff Blum, 2B-SS Damian Jackson, 2B-SS Jesse Garcia, LHP Darrell May.

KEY LOSSES: LHP David Wells, OF Jay Payton, OF Terrence Long, RHP Antonio Osuna, SS Rich Aurilia, RHP Jay Witasick, RHP Ricky Stone, OF Kerry Robinson.

PROJECTED LINEUP:

CF Dave Roberts

2B Mark Loretta

RF Brian Giles

1B Phil Nevin

LF Ryan Klesko

SS Khalil Greene

C Ramon Hernandez

3B Sean Burroughs

ROTATION: RHP Woody Williams, RHP Adam Eaton, RHP Jake Peavy, RHP Brian Lawrence, LHP Darrell May.

CLOSER: RHP Trevor Hoffman.

BOTTOM LINE: Roberts will provide a needed spark on the basepaths, if he stays healthy. ... Klesko and Burroughs disappointed last season combining for 11 homers. ... Williams takes the workhorse role from David Wells. ... A solid rotation, good bullpen and some depth give the Padres the edge in a weak division.

Los Angeles Dodgers

2004: 93-69, 1st.

MANAGER: Jim Tracy.

PAYROLL: $94-million.

KEY ADDITIONS: OF J.D. Drew, 2B Jeff Kent, RHP Derek Lowe, 3B Jose Valentin, 3B Norihiro Nakamura, OF Ricky Ledee, C Paul Bako, RHP Scott Erickson, C Jason Phillips.

KEY LOSSES: 3B Adrian Beltre, 1B-RF Shawn Green, CF Steve Finley, RHP Jose Lima, 2B Alex Cora, INF Jose Hernandez, RHP Hideo Nomo, LHP Kazuhisa Ishii, 3B-1B Robin Ventura, C Brent Mayne.

PROJECTED LINEUP:

SS Cesar Izturis

LF Jayson Werth

RF J.D. Drew

2B Jeff Kent

CF Milton Bradley

3B Jose Valentin

1B Hee-Seop Choi

C Jason Phillips

ROTATION: RHP Derek Lowe, RHP Brad Penny, LHP Odalis Perez, RHP Jeff Weaver, LHP Wilson Alvarez.

CLOSER: RHP Eric Gagne.

BOTTOM LINE: The rotation has health concerns, the offense has production concerns (especially after cutting loose Adrian Beltre, Shawn Green and Steve Finley), Gagne has a bum knee and Bradley may come unhinged. ... Too many variables make for a disappointing season.

San Francisco Giants

2004: 91-71, 2nd.

MANAGER: Felipe Alou.

PAYROLL: $81-million.

KEY ADDITIONS: RF Moises Alou, RHP Armando Benitez, SS Omar Vizquel, C Mike Matheny, LHP Jeff Fassero.

KEY LOSSES: C A.J. Pierzynski, OF Dustan Mohr, RHP Dustin Hermanson, INF Cody Ransom.

PROJECTED LINEUP:

2B Ray Durham

SS Omar Vizquel

1B J.T. Snow

LF Pedro Feliz

RF Moises Alou

3B Edgardo Alfonzo

CF Marquis Grissom

C Mike Matheny

ROTATION: RHP Jason Schmidt, LHP Kirk Rueter, RHP Brett Tomko, LHP Noah Lowry, RHP Jerome Williams.

CLOSER: RHP Armando Benitez.

BOTTOM LINE: Whether Barry Bonds is done for half a season or for good, we finally get to see what the Giants are really made of. ... The inconsistent Benitez could be the most crucial piece, as not having a legitimate closer last season (28 blown saves) cost them the division. ... Will baseball's oldest team wilt down the stretch? Yes. ... If Bonds is out all season, this ranking is even worse.

Arizona Diamondbacks

2004: 51-111, 5th.

MANAGER: Bob Melvin.

PAYROLL: $70-million.

KEY ADDITIONS: RF Shawn Green, 3B Troy Glaus, RHP Russ Ortiz, RHP Javier Vazquez, LHP Shawn Estes, 2B Craig Counsell, OF Jose Cruz Jr., SS Royce Clayton, 1B Tony Clark, LHP Brad Halsey.

KEY LOSSES: LHP Randy Johnson, 1B Richie Sexson, 1B-3B Shea Hillenbrand, RHP Matt Mantei, RHP Steve Sparks, OF Danny Bautista, LHP Casey Fossum, LHP Stephen Randolph, INF Carlos Baerga.

PROJECTED LINEUP:

2B Craig Counsell

SS Royce Clayton

LF Luis Gonzalez

3B Troy Glaus

RF Shawn Green

CF Jose Cruz

1B Chad Tracy

C Koyie Hill or Chris Snyder

ROTATION: RHP Javier Vazquez, RHP Russ Ortiz, RHP Brandon Webb, LHP Shawn Estes, LHP Brad Halsey or LHP Mike Gosling.

CLOSER: RHP Greg Aquino.

BOTTOM LINE: A pretty impressive heart of the order with Gonzalez, Glaus and Green expected to provide big power numbers. ... But hold on: Gonzalez is coming off reconstructive elbow surgery and Glaus off shoulder surgery. ... Ortiz instead of Randy Johnson. ... A revamp that was needed after one of the worst seasons in major-league history may push this team to .500.

Colorado Rockies

2004: 68-94, 4th.

MANAGER: Clint Hurdle.

PAYROLL: $65-million.

KEY ADDITIONS: OF Dustan Mohr, INF Desi Relaford, INF-OF Greg Norton, INF Alfredo Amezaga, RHP Tim Drew, RHP Aaron Taylor.

KEY LOSSES: 3B Vinny Castilla, OF Jeromy Burnitz, SS Royce Clayton, LHP Shawn Estes, RHP Steve Reed, RHP Tim Harikkala, OF Mark Sweeney.

PROJECTED LINEUP:

2B Aaron Miles

SS Clint Barmes

1B Todd Helton

CF Preston Wilson

LF Matt Holliday

RF Brad Hawpe

3B Garrett Atkins

C J.D. Closser

ROTATION: LHP Joe Kennedy, RHP Jason Jennings, RHP Shawn Chacon, RHP Jamey Wright, LHP Jeff Francis.

CLOSER: RHP Brian Fuentes.

BOTTOM LINE: After Helton, there is little reason to follow this team. ... Wilson has power but is oft-injured. ... The team is rebuilding, again, with youth. ... Baseball's most inconsequential team bottoms out.#