In an article that appeared last week on ESPN.com, Peter Gammons provided a list of 20 players whom respondants to an informal straw poll described as candidates for a breakout season. The list, derived from a survey of major league executives, included a mix of pitchers and hitters, five-tool talents and makeup guys, united only in their ability to tease hibernating fantasy leaguers into dreams of greener days ahead.
If one needs any reminder that lists like these are little more than a grownup’s version of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, it’s worth reviewing a similar list that Gammons produced last year.
The 17th installment of Joe Sheehan’s excellent newsletter appeared in my inbox last night, and it featured analysis of the big, weird Rockies-Marlins-Braves deal that was hinted at last week and finally agreed upon–pending approval from the commissioner’s office–this weekend. In analyzing the deal, Joe puts the Rockies in the winner’s column and gives the Marlins a goose egg.
There are some obvious storylines specific to the Arizona/St. Louis matchup, as derived from the generic list above. Let’s lay those out, and address them one by one:
The Diamondbacks would really prefer to have a healthy Luis Gonzalez.
The Diamondbacks are backing into the playoffs.
The Cardinals are peaking at exactly the right time.