2014 NL West Preview And Predictions

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Sep 17, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; San Diego Padres third baseman Chase Headley (7) fields a ground ball against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the ninth inning at PNC Park. The Padres won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

4) San Diego Padres: 78-84

1- Why will this team exceed expectations?

Daryll Dorman from Friars On Base: The Padres will exceed expectations because of the strongest starting pitching rotation they have had in years. With Josh Johnson rebounding, Kennedy continuing his Petco turnaround, and Cashner building on a strong 2013 with an All-Star 2014, there is much excitement.

With Headley having a strong year in a walk year, to a full season from Grandal and Alonso, Bud Black will mix and match the lineup to challenge the Dodgers in the NL West.

2- Why will this team fall short of expectations?

This team will fall short of expectations because Josh Johnson will get injured after 1 month of pitching, Venable will slump and Headley will be more 2013 Headley than 2012 2nd half.

3- Look for the team to make (this trade)

Look for this team to trade Headley midseason if he is under-performing to load up on some other prospects who might make a difference in the future for the Padres.

4- Watch out for the emergence of (prospect)

Watch out for the emergence of Casey Kelley.  Though he had Tommy John Surgery and missed all of 2013, the kid has stuff, as he was the centerpiece in the Adrian Gonzalez trade with the Red Sox a few years ago. Now healthy, look for him to get called up in July after a starter falters or is hurt and be strong down the stretch run.