The NL East division has been full of surprises so far this year, from the hot start of the New York Mets with 42 year old Bartolo Colon pitching, to the preseason favorite the Washington Nationals, who had a slow start and showed inability to hit. Recently however, as we approach the midway point in the NL East, things have begun to change.
New York Mets (22-16)
The Mets have cooled off from their hot start, partly due to the injury of David Wright whom still is yet to return. Pitcher Dylan Gee is also on the DL and is due to come off soon, although it is not certain when. Young catcher Travis D’Arnaud has also been out with injuries causing Kevin Plawecki to get more starts behind the plate.The Mets are due to get all of these starters back within the next week or two, but for Mets fans, its not soon enough.
Washington Nationals (22-17)
The Nationals and their crew of All-Stars have begun to mesh without Gold Glove winning 3B Anthony Rendon as he rehabs from a strained MCL. Pitcher Doug Fister was just placed on the 15-day DL the other day with right forearm tightness, and reliever Craig Stammen is out for the season as he is recovering from right forearm surgery. The team only trails the Mets in the NL East by 0.5 games, so the race is on for the Nationals to kick it into the next gear.
Atlanta Braves (18-19)
The Atlanta Braves made numerous preseason moves, all of them puzzling. At the start of the new season, the Braves shipped seemingly unstoppable closer Craig Kimbrel and CF Melvin Upton to the San Diego Padres for CF Cameron Maybin, LF Carlos Quentin, LF Jordan Paroubeck, and RHP Matt Wisler. Once again, the Braves have been struck with the injury bug as pitcher Mike Minor, who was yet to throw in 2015, will indeed miss the entire season as he recovers from shoulder surgery.
Miami Marlins (16-22)
Usually we don’t expect much from the Marlins, the team places fourth in the NL East, trailing by 6 games behind the Mets. After losing six of their last seven games, including losses to the Braves and Dodgers, the team can’t help but second guess what the problem could be. As of recently, the Marlins organization has chosen to part ways with general manager Mark Redmond, and have elected Dan Jennings to take his place. Will bringing in a new coach help the organization? You can only go up from here.
Philadelphia Phillies (16-23)
For the Philadelphia Phillies, who were expected to be the cellar dwellers in the NL East, they are 7 games under .500. The Phillies offense has been struggling mightily and the pitching hasn’t been much better. The core of this team (Utley, Papelbon, Hamels, Howard) are getting up there in age and are nowhere near as effective as they were back in the 2004-10 era. Time for rebuilding is upcoming up soon in the town of brotherly love and I’m not sure if the fans have much more to look forward to for the next 2-3 years to come.