Nl West

Spring Training 2000

February 16, 2000|By PETER SCHMUCK

Arizona Diamondbacks

Manager: Buck Showalter

1999 record: 100-62, first place

No. 1: When was the last time a third-year expansion team arrived at spring training looking to improve on a 100-win season?

No. 2: How in the world did Randy Johnson lose nine games?

No. 3: With Jay Bell, Matt Williams and Steve Finley playing key roles, is this young franchise in danger of growing old prematurely?

No. 4: Will Todd Stottlemyre, who passed up surgery to repair a shoulder tear, get through spring training, much less the season?

No. 5: C'mon, does anyone really believe that Luis Gonzalez can have another season like that?

Colorado Rockies

Manager: Buddy Bell

1999 record: 72-90, fifth place

No. 1: Are the revamped Rockies really on the road to respectability?

No. 2: Will the decision to downscale the offense in favor of more pitching pay off or backfire?

No. 3: Can Bell convince the reconfigured pitching staff that it is possible to win at altitude?

No. 4: Will 38-year-old closer Bill Taylor stabilize the bullpen?

No. 5: Could this be the year that newly acquired Jeffrey Hammonds becomes an offensive star?

Los Angeles Dodgers

Manager: Davey Johnson

1999 record: 77-85, third place

No. 1: In the wake of a disappointing 1999, what will Johnson do to develop winning chemistry?

No. 2: Can a clubhouse find harmony when three players -- Kevin Brown, Shawn Green and Gary Sheffield -- earn nearly half the payroll?

No. 3: Will the Dodgers regret letting starting pitcher Ismael Valdes go so cheaply?

No. 4: What will outspoken GM Kevin Malone do to stir things up this spring, and how will he talk his way out of it next fall?

No. 5: Do Davey and Kevin have to win this year, or else?

San Diego Padres

Manager: Bruce Bochy

1999 record: 74-88, fourth place

No. 1: Compete in this division on a $42 million budget? Are these guys delusional?

No. 2: Now that Quilvio Veras and Reggie Sanders are gone, who will lead off?

No. 3: Can Bret Boone and Ryan Klesko spark an offense that was 15th in the league in runs?

No. 4: Can Bochy grow the rest of his pitching staff from the seeds planted in the Andy Ashby trade?

No. 5: Will Ruben Rivera be healthy enough to become an impact offensive player?

San Francisco Giants

Manager: Dusty Baker

1999 record: 86-76, second place

No. 1: Can superstar Barry Bonds shake off the elbow and knee problems that dogged him last year?

No. 2: Will the nagging toe injury that hobbled second baseman Jeff Kent last season carry over?

No. 3: Will closer Robb Nen -- coming off significant elbow surgery -- be 100 percent by Opening Day?

No. 4: J. T. Snow and Ellis Burks also will be rehabbing this spring. Is anybody on this team healthy?

No. 5: Will Alan Embree be the only lefty in the bullpen?

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