I’ve gone through and projected Opening Day lineups, benches, rotations and bullpens for each team over at Rotoworld. I’m including the Diamondbacks writeup after the jump, but if you want to go right to the articles themselves, just click the links below.
American League projected rosters
National League projected rosters
LF Conor Jackson
SS Stephen Drew
RF Justin Upton
1B Adam LaRoche
3B Mark Reynolds
C Miguel Montero
CF Chris Young
2B Kelly Johnson
OF Gerardo Parra
C Chris Snyder
INF-OF Ryan Roberts
INF Tony Abreu
INF Augie Ojeda
Chad Qualls (closer)
SP Brandon Webb
The Diamondbacks haven’t decided yet whether to go Jackson-Drew or Drew-Jackson at the top of the order, but the group as a whole seems pretty well set. One has to think big things are in store for LaRoche if he can stay in the cleanup spot all season. … Ojeda could be traded by Opening Day. Abreu has showed that he can serve as a backup shortstop, and he has far more offensive upside than Augie. If Ojeda goes, then Rusty Ryal will probably make the team. … It’d be quite a disappointment if the Diamondbacks opened the season with both Lopez and Buckner in the rotation. Lopez figures to be there, but Buckner has been terrible and there should be some upgrades available this week.
Matt Williams was voted the National League Manager of the Year on November 11, 2014, receiving 18 of 30 first-place votes from Baseball Writers Association of America members.
Today the Nationals fired him following a season full of disappointment, reports of clubhouse discontent, and Jonathan Papelbon choking Bryce Harper in the dugout.
Williams went 179-145 (.552) in two seasons in Washington, which is an excellent winning percentage, but when you take over a stacked team the expectations are extremely high and there was seemingly nothing anyone could point to about his actual managing that suggested he was doing a good job.
His in-game tactics and particularly his rigid bullpen usage patterns infuriated fans. His dealings with the local media became increasingly antagonistic. And even setting aside two players literally fighting in the dugout there’s ample evidence that Williams lost the clubhouse a long time ago.
Williams was far from the only thing wrong with the Nationals this season and he’s hardly the primary person to blame for their disappointing record, but it’s also hard to make a strong case for his sticking around–meaningless, beat writer-voted award or not–and general manager Mike Rizzo predictably acted quickly to move on.
Now we’ll see who gets to take the next crack at managing the Nationals to play up to expectations.
Dan Haren, who said two months ago that he was leaning toward retiring after the season, reiterated those plans following the Cubs’ regular season finale Sunday.
At age 34 he started 32 games for the Marlins and Cubs with a 3.60 ERA and 132/38 K/BB ratio in 187 innings, so Haren would have no problem finding work and a solid paycheck for 2016.
However, he’s not expected to part of the Cubs’ playoff roster and told Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago:
That was it for me. If I have to pitch in the postseason, I’ll be ready for sure. Happy the way the last few starts have gone. Being able to contribute to this amazing team. I’m just thankful to be a part of it. If I don’t pitch in the postseason, that’s it. It’s been fun. Hopefully there’s a lot more games to go. … If my name is called, I’ll be ready.
Injuries has lessened Haren’s overall effectiveness in recent years, but he’s remained a solid mid-rotation starter and has pitched 13 seasons in the big leagues with a 3.75 ERA in 2,419 innings. He made three All-Star teams and earned more than $80 million.