2014 Previews: National League West

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2014 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League West.

Can anyone beat the Dodgers? Besides themselves, I mean? The Diamomdbacks have grit and stuff, but wouldn’t having Patrick Corbin be better? Do the Giants have another run in them? It is an even-numbered year, after all. People thought the Padres would be surprising last year, does that hold for this year? The Rockies didn’t really do anything in the offseason. Will they do anything once the games start?

Below are our team-by-team previews for the NL West as well as our HBT Extra feature on the division:

Los Angeles Dodgers
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres
Colorado Rockies

Fernando Rodney gives up walk-off homer to Gary Sanchez

AP Photo
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The Fernando Rodney Experience hasn’t been a good one for the Twins thus far. The veteran closer served up three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to the Yankees on Thursday afternoon, erasing a 4-1 lead and blowing his third save in five opportunities.

In the ninth, Didi Gregorius reached on a throwing error by Miguel Sano. Giancarlo Stanton then singled, and Gary Sanchez followed up with a walk-off three-run home run.

Rodney, 41, now sports a 6.75 ERA on the year. He inked a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the Twins back in December. The club has an option for next year worth $4.25 million. If things keep going the way they’re going, the Twins aren’t going to want to pick up that option.

The Twins may even want to think about moving Ryan Pressly or Addison Reed into the closer’s role, even if just temporarily. Pressly has been terrific, tossing 13 scoreless innings with 18 strikeouts. Reed has a 2.25 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings.