June 20, 2006

Why do you tease me so?

In Rob Neyer's chat today:

David, CT: Do you see Dotel and Pavano making a positive impact on the Yankee's pitching staff this year? If both come back and are effective I think it would put the Yanks in the driver seat in the AL East.

SportsNation Rob Neyer: I agree. I also think the Cubs could get right back in the WC race if Prior and Wood are perfectly healthy from tonight through the end of the season.

I'm feeling pretty pessimistic about this - clearly Prior and Wood aren't, well, Prior and Wood this year. It may be that I'm wrong and their poor velocity and control are due to the fact that they had no Spring Training to build up arm strength, but I have a feeling that their injuries have something do with it (especially in Wood's case).

Then again, they're not really worse than most of the other rotation plug-ins we've been using (see Rusch, Hill, Guzman, Marmol, Ryu). We still have Derrek Lee coming back, though things are still looking kind of dicey on his wrist injury. Similarly, the jury's still out on Wade Miller.

Here's the current NL central standings

StL 42-26 --
Cin 38-32 5.0
Hou 36-34 7.0
Mil 35-36 8.5
ChC 27-42 15.5
Pit 26-25 17.5

And, as Neyer mentioned, here's the even more scary looking wild card race
Cin 38-32 --
SaD 36-33 1.5
LAD 36-33 1.5
Ari 36-34 2.0
Hou 36-34 2.0
Phi 35-35 3.0
Col 35-35 3.0
SFo 35-35 3.0
Mil 35-36 3.5
Fla 29-37 7.0
Was 32-40 7.0
Atl 30-40 8.0
ChC 27-42 10.5
Pit 26-45 12.5

10 and a half games is far more surmountable than 15 and a half...but still there are 12 teams in front of the Cubbies.