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Special Edition: NL West

The X Factors: Pablo Sandoval(Giants), Ubaldo Jimenez(Rockies), Mat Latos(Padres), Rafael Furcal(Dodgers)
1. San Francisco Giants Key Additions: SS Miguel Tejada
The former World-champs are back at it again thanks to the return of key players like Brian Wilson(48 saves), Aubrey Huff, Tim Lincecum and Cody Ross, who had a huge World Series. The pitching for San Francisco is fantastic thanks to Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez, Matt Cain and developing Madison Bumgarner. Though, the Giants need key players to return to form or in Buster Posey's case, keep it up. Posey, the second-year catcher hit .305 in his rookie year. Pablo Sandoval struggled last year and spent time in the minors but is thinner and more talented. Along with Wilson, Sergio Romo heads the bullpen.
2. Colorado Rockies Key Additions: IF Ty Wiggington, IF Jose Lopez
Colorado has a strong core in pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez. Jimenez was on fire heading into the all-star break but went cold in the playoff push, which ended up being one of the reasons the Rockies were didn't make October. He still went 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA. Todd Helton may be past his prime but he's a great leader and has a head for the game. Excluding Jimenez the rest of the Rockies rotation isn't much. Jorge De La Rosa provides some stability by being a southpaw and Jason Hammel is an end of the rotation, consistent pitcher. At the end of games Huston Street won't get a lot of oppurtunities to make saves because of the Rockies offense but he'll still be a good option.
3. San Diego Padres Key Additions: 2B Orlando Hudson, SS Jason Bartlett, SP Aaron Harang
Sure, Adrian Gonzalez is gone but the Padres aren't dead. They brought in loud Orlando Hudson who loves the game and is a good fielder. Jason Bartlett isn't a good fielder but he's an upgrade at the shortstop position. Aaron Harang can strikeout batters but his record has never been great. He'll likely be a 2 or 3 guy while Mat Latos(14-10, 2.92 ERA) takes over as the top pitcher in the staff. Ryan Ludwick has had two tough years after the career year he had in 2009 but he'll get more chances with San Diego. New Cameron Maybin hasn't reached his potential yet which means he could be a breakout player in '11 and Will Venable will be the leadoff man and has decent speed(29 steals). Heath Bell has replaced Trevor Hoffman, exactly how the Padres had hoped recording two straight 40 save seasons, including 47 in 2010.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers Key Additions: 2B Juan Uribe, C Dioner Navarro, SP Jon Garland
In the City of Angels, it just doesn't feel good to be called the Dodgers. The Dodgers have fell off lately going from a playoff team to be a possible cellar dweller. They have a strong outfield led by Matt Kemp and Andre Either but the rest of the offense doesn't have quite the talent. Juan Uribe and Rafeal Furcal are aging in the middle of the infield but remember Furcal still hit .300 at the leadoff slot. The pitching has moved Clayton Kershaw to the number one position thanks to a stiffling ERA at 2.91 and Chad Billingsley has talent. Jon Garland hasn't been effective in the NL as he was with the White Sox but he'll still record 10-15 wins. Jonathan Broxton is a talented reliever but might not fit at the closer spot.
5. Arizona Diamondbacks Key Additions: RP J.J. Putz, SP Armando Galarraga, 3B Melvin Mora, 1B Russell Branyan
The D'Backs made a lot of moves but it's highly likely that they won't make Arizona a contender. They have tons of talent extending from rightfielder Justin Upton, SS Stephen Drew and centerfielder Chris Young. Smasher Russell Branyan is a journeyman but he'll start at first. Melvin Mora is ready to make plays but I don't think he's an upgrade from Mark Reynolds. The staff has an improven number one in Ian Kennedy and Joe Saunders is either on or off. Armando Galarraga was one bad call from a perfect game but other than that he had a horrible 2010. He'll hope to get back on track down in Arizona. The Diamondbacks spent a lot of money hoping to get a top-of-the-line closer in J.J. Putz.

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