A National League scout spoke with Sporting News’ Ryan Fagan about three of the NL East’s biggest questions:
Who’s the ace of the division: Roy Halladay, Johan Santana or Josh Johnson?
Scout says: "The ace of the division is Roy Halladay. He had another fantastic season for the Jays (in 2009), including a career-high 208 strikeouts. He’s escaped the A.L. East, but he landed in a more hitter-friendly home park. I still expect Cy Young-caliber performances from him, and his bids for individual and team hardware will be stronger as he’ll have an excellent chance at winning 20-plus games with a better team behind him in Philadelphia."
Which Met is more likely to bounce back after a disappointing 2009: David Wright or Oliver Perez?
Scout says: "Wright is more likely to bounce back. Wright has a good compact swing with strong, quick hands. (He) tried to do too much last season with several of their key guys on the disabled list, and he was expanding the strike zone. Perez has a high-maintenance delivery; he can get out of sync fast and continues to be off and on with command of his pitches."
Which Cole Hamels will show up this season?
Scout says: "Cole Hamels will be much better than he was in 2009, though it will be very hard to match his 2008 season. He began last year with some arm soreness, and his ERA went from 3.09 in 2008 to 4.32 in 2009. He needs to revive his curveball to get back to his 2008 form."
This story first appeared in the February 15, 2010 edition of Sporting News magazine. If you are not receiving the magazine, subscribe today, or pick up a copy, available at most Barnes & Noble, Borders and Hudson Retail outlets.