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2011: 56-106, 6th place.

Manager: Brad Mills (3rd season).

He’s Here: OF Jack Cust, INF Jed Lowrie, RHP Kyle Weiland, C Chris Snyder, RHP Livan Hernandez, LHP Zach Duke.

He’s Outta There: RHP Mark Melancon, SS Clint Barmes, LF Jason Michaels.

Projected Lineup: CF Jordan Schafer (.242, 2, 13, 22 SB in 82 games with Atlanta and Houston), SS Jed Lowrie(.252, 6, 36 in 88 games with Boston), RF Brian Bogusevic (.287, 4, 15 in 87 games), C Jason Castro (missed entire 2011 season with injury; .205, 2, 8 in 67 games in 2010), 2B Jose Altuve (.276, 2, 12 in 57 games), 1B Carlos Lee (.275, 18, 94), 3B Jimmy Paredes (.286, 2, 18 in 46 games), LF J.D. Martinez (.274, 6, 35 in 53 games).

Rotation: LH Wandy Rodriguez (11-11, 3.49), RH Bud Norris (6-11, 3.77), LH J.A. Happ (6-15, 5.35), RH Kyle Weiland (0-3, 7.66 in five starts for Boston), RH Livan Hernandez (8-13, 4.47 for Washington) or RH Jordan Lyles (2-8, 5.36 ERA in 15 starts).

Key Relievers: RH Brett Myers (7-14, 4.46 as a starter), RH Wilton Lopez (2-6, 2.79 in 73 games), RH Enerio Del Rosario (0-3, 4.58), LH Sergio Escalona (2-1, 2.93).

Hot Spots: The Astros are taking a chance by moving Myers, last year’s staff ace, from the rotation into the closer’s role. The team needed someone to take the place of Melancon, who was traded to the Red Sox in the offseason. They believe Myers’ experience in closing for the Phillies in 2007 will allow him to move back into the role easily. Rodriguez leads the rotation now, but behind him are a group of mostly unproven young players. Hernandez is vying for one of the last spots in the rotation and the 37-year-old’s experience could be a help to this young group.

NL WEST

Arizona Diamondbacks

2011: 94-68, 1st place (lost to Milwaukee in division series).

Manager: Kirk Gibson (2nd season)

He’s Here: LF Jason Kubel, RHP Trevor Cahill, LHP Craig Breslow, RHP Takashi Saito.

He’s Outta There: RHP Micah Owings, OF Colin Cowgill, RHP Jarrod Parker.

Projected Lineup: SS Willie Bloomquist (.266, 4 HRs, 26 RBIs, 20 SB), 2B Aaron Hill (.315, 2, 16 in 33 games with Arizona; .225, 45, 6 in 104 games with Toronto), RF Justin Upton (.289, 88, 31, 21 SB), C Miguel Montero (.282, 86, 18), 1B Paul Goldschmidt (.250, 26, 8 in 48 games), LF Jason Kubel (.273, 58, 12 in 99 games for Minnesota), CF Chris Young (.236, 71, 20, 21 SB), 3B Ryan Roberts (.249, 65, 19).

Story Continues →