National League West

Baltimore Sun

NL WEST DodgersStarting point: 95-67, 1st (beat Cardinals in first round, lost to Phillies in NLCS).

Project manager: Ned Colletti .

General contractor: Joe Torre.

New materials: OF Reed Johnson, 2B Jamey Carroll, OF Brian Giles, RHP Ramon Ortiz.

In the dumpster: Playoff No. 1 starter Randy Wolf, RHP Jon Garland, 2B Orlando Hudson, OF Juan Pierre, INF Mark Loretta, 1B Jim Thome, injured starter Jason Schmidt.

Job description: Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley, who somehow won only 20 of 62 starts last season, must be molded into 1-2 starters with stamina. Otherwise business as usual.

Unknowns: Can Manny Ramirez be the weapon he was before the PED suspension last year? Where will his head be in the last year of his contract? Can Purdue's Josh Lindblom bring an impact arm to an already deep bullpen?

Final inspection: Health is essential as it doesn't appear Colletti has the usual flexibility to improve on the fly.

RockiesStarting point: 92-70, 2nd, wild card (lost to Phillies in first round).

Project manager: Dan O'Dowd.

General contractor: Jim Tracy.

New materials: C Miguel Olivo, 3B-OF Melvin Mora, C Paul LoDuca.

In the dumpster: C Yorvit Torrealba, RHP Jason Marquis, RHP Jose Contreras, 3B Garrett Atkins, OF Matt Murton.

Job description: Replacing 15 wins and a career-high 216 innings from Marquis is the primary task for a team that is otherwise set. That shouldn't be difficult if former ace Jeff Francis is fully recovered from the shoulder surgery that sidelined him in 2009. Lefty prospect Christian Friedrich, a Chicago native, isn't far away.

Unknowns: Can twice-traded center fielder Carlos Gonzalez pick up where he left off in October, when he played like a perennial All-Star? Does Jorge de la Rosa still have his rabbit's foot?

Final inspection: In Troy Tulowitzki, Brad Hawpe and second-year center fielder Dexter Fowler, the Rockies have a solid core.

GiantsStarting point: 88-74, 3rd.

Project manager: Brian Sabean.

General contractor: Bruce Bochy.

New materials: LF-3B Mark DeRosa, 1B-OF Aubrey Huff.

In the dumpster: OF Randy Winn, RHP Brad Penny, LHP Randy Johnson, RHP Bob Howry, 1B Ryan Garko, utilityman Rich Aurilia.

Job description: The challenge is producing more runs to support a pitching staff that allowed only 611 last year, matching the Dodgers for fewest in the majors.

Unknowns: Can Pablo Sandoval improve his fielding at third base and take another step forward, becoming an All-Star? Will the re-signing of catcher/cleanup man Bengie Molina slow the development of Buster Posey? Is DeRosa recovered from the wrist injury that limited him in St. Louis?

Final inspection: With two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Barry Zito, Jonathan Sanchez and top prospect Madison Bumgarner (27-5, 1.69 ERA in 49 games), it won't be a surprise if the Giants win 90-plus games.

PadresStarting point: 75-87, 4th.

Project manager: Jed Hoyer.

General contractor: Bud Black.

New materials: RHP Jon Garland, C Yorvit Torrealba, LF Scott Hairston, utilityman Jerry Hairston Jr., OF Aaron Cunningham, OF Matt Stairs.

In the dumpster: 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff, LF Brian Giles, C Henry Blanco.

Job description: Improving the lineup around All-Star Adrian Gonzalez is the primary challenge, although the rebuilding of the rotation isn't far behind.

Unknowns: What can the Padres expect from oft-injured Chris Young? Will a move back to third base help Chase Headley?

Final inspection: Few teams in the majors seem less hopeful. The next big Padres headline is likely to involve a trade of Gonzalez, one of their last real assets.

DiamondbacksStarting point: 70-92, 5th.

Project manager: Josh Byrnes.

General contractor: A.J. Hinch.

New materials: RHP Edwin Jackson, RHP Ian Kennedy, 1B Adam LaRoche, RHP Aaron Heilman, RHP Bob Howry, 2B Kelly Johnson.

In the dumpster: LHP Max Scherzer, LHP Doug Davis, LHP Daniel Schlereth, LHP Scott Schoeneweis, OF Eric Byrnes.

Job description: With ace Brandon Webb's availability and effectiveness a question after shoulder surgery, the Diamondbacks are rebuilding their staff without two guys with the best arms, Scherzer and Schlereth.

Unknowns: Can Kennedy thrive outside New York? Why did the Tigers opt to trade Jackson after a strong season? Can center fielder Chris Young join Mark Reynolds as a consistent run producer despite high strikeout totals?

Final inspection: Webb's well-being will go a long way toward determining if the Diamondbacks can bounce back with a winning season.

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