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Around the Division

  • Nate Silver points out the disaster that has befallen the Cardinals outfield. He says the unsayable: the Cardinals could lose 90 games this year. I like that line of thinking. I especially like his title: Skepticism and Despair (as opposed to "Hope and Faith"). What really bugs me (especially about fans of other teams) this time of year is the boundless optimism. All of the sudden Russ Ortiz is a quality #3 starter and Sammy Sosa is going to hit 30 home runs. Yeah, right. I feel like a jerk to throw cold water on optimism like that in March, but let's at least be a little bit realistic here.

  • Did you know that Kerry Wood and Mark Prior are injury prone? Turns out that they're both having problems. Cub fans are finally becoming a little bit realistic about this, but you still don't have to look very hard to find somebody who thinks Prior is going to win the Cy Young this year and Kerry Wood will be the best closer in the league.

  • Finally, Alay Soler, the Cuban defector who pitched briefly for the Mets last year and was released this week, is likely to sign with the Pirates. He probably won't be much of a factor (like the Pirates, incidentally), but it does give Pittsburgh some much needed pitching depth.