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Longtime Rivalry Takes Center Stage In NL West

Tracy Ringolsby -

More than ever, the players in the National League West are as talented as any in the game. The NL West has long been one of baseball's most balanced divisions, with every team in the division having made the playoffs twice—and only twice—since 2005. The Giants have cashed in on their two appearances with World Series titles, while the Rockies reached the World Series in 2007 (defeating the Diamondbacks in the NL Championship Series).

Majors | #Bruce Bochy#National League West#Season Preview

Three-Year Lefty-Righty Splits For Each MLB Park

Matt Eddy -

Most major league ballparks affect righthanded and lefthanded batters differently, so teams cannot necessarily rely on an overall park factor when searching for players most ideally suited for playing 81 games at home each year. Here you'll find righty/lefty hitting averages for all 30 parks during the past three seasons.

Majors | #2012#Season Preview

Home Parks Affect Fortunes Of Talented Youngsters

Matt Eddy -

A handful of top prospects, including Jesus Montero, Jarrod Parker and Yonder Alonso, will feel the effects of switching home venues after recent trades set them up in new ballparks. Also, find out which major league parks are most friendly or unfriendly when it comes to home runs and other safe hits by both lefthanded and righthanded batters.

Majors | #2012#Season Preview

Rays Have Great Expectations For 2012

Marc Topkin -Premium Content

Executive vice president Andrew Friedman passed on opportunities to leave town. Manager Joe Maddon extended his contract. Starters Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann are both—surprisingly—still there, as is center fielder B.J. Upton, along with the rest of the core of their squad. But there is something very new, and very different, in Rays camp this year: Expectations.

Majors | #2012#Season Preview

Trade Lets Yonder Alonso Go Home To First

Tom Krasovic -Premium Content

If anyone asks Yonder Alonso what part of his European vacation last December was the most memorable, the answer won't be the sights and tastes of Spain or the soccer match played by his favorite futbol team, Real Madrid. No, the No. 1 scrapbook moment was the phone call informing Alonso he'd been traded to the Padres.

Majors | #2012#Season Preview

Freeman Ready To Help Lead Braves Next Youth Movement

Bill Ballew -Premium Content

For the second time in as many seasons, Atlanta general manager Frank Wren entered spring training having penciled a rookie into the starting lineup. What's more, Wren also opted to walk the proverbial tightrope without a net, meaning the options should Freddie Freeman falter are not considered certainties to stop a freefall at the infield's first turn.

Majors | #2011#Season Preview

Opportunity, Ability Dictate A Pitcher’s Role

Ed Price -Premium Content

Once upon a time, an American League team had a hard-throwing righthander who had started his entire career—until he was moved to the bullpen, where he struck out more than a batter an inning, held opponents to a sub-.200 average and helped his team get to the World Series. The Rangers face that crossroads now with Neftali Feliz, but four years ago, the Tigers were in a similar position with Joel Zumaya. Or maybe not so similar.

Majors | #2011#Season Preview