We’ve always been fascinated by players that seem to only play on teams in the NL East. That got us thinking– What current players can actually be considered NL East Lifers? You know what we mean…the guys that always pop up against your favorite NLE team, guys you feel like you are always facing, and before you know it they end up logging a stint with your team. In doing a little research we came up with a list of recent guys that are either mainstays of one NLE squad or perpetually resurface within the division. Enjoy this first post in a series of three…
Platinum Grade Lifers
(Current players, 6+ years of service, same team)
You may recognize some of these guys…
-David Wright (Mets)- May not be on this list for much longer, but he better be! The Wilpons might need to find another lucrative ponzi scheme or Flushing could be without their unofficial captain after 2013.
-Mike Pelfrey (Mets)- Now 7 years deep, the Wichita State boy had the best mouthpiece in the bigs, now he’s relegated to the DL with Tommy John. Lick that elbow Mike, it couldn’t hurt.
-Larry “Chipper” Jones (Braves)- ATL legend. 48 career dongs against the Mets, so he named his son Shea. Sigh. We’re sure “LAAAARRRRRY” chants will abound as his video tribute is reluctantly played at Citi Field this year. Hopefully it’s followed by a cordial, but subdued, applause for one of the NL East’s best players. Stay classy Queens…
-Brian McCann (Braves)- He can’t see too well, but doesn’t seem to have a problem hitting. This homegrown talent can’t be denied recognition.
-Martin Prado (Braves)- Super-utility man has logged 8 years for the Bravos. Searching for a position stunted his growth as an everyday player but when he’s in there, he’s dangerous.
-Ricky Nolasco (Marlins)- The all time wins leader in Marlins history. Wait, WHAT!?!? Not a typo, nuff said…
-Josh Johnson (Marlins)- Ace-like stuff, body like Tinman. No one wants to face this gunslinger when he’s 100%
-Annibal Sanchez (Marlins)- The Floridian version of “The Sanchize” has more no-hitters to his credit than anyone in a Mets jersey…ONE! (can you tell what team we root for yet?)
-Jimmy Rollins (Phillies)- JRoll, originator of the skull cap and perpetual Met nemesis has etched his legacy as the NL East’s most consistent SS in the past decade.
-Ryan Howard (Phillies)- The Pedro Cerrano of Philly. An improbable achilles injury during his last AB of 2011 has shelved this power threat for the beginning of 2012. If he comes back healthy, watch out NLE leaderboard.
-Chase Utley (Phillies)- If he gets two artificial knees, he might just be able to play again. Once a 2b fantasy god, because of his power, Chase is looking to resurrect his career in the second half of 2012.
-Cole Hamels (Phillies)- “Fake” tough dude. Plunking phenom Bryce Harper didn’t garner many popularity votes for the Philadelphia lefty, but he’s on pace for a stellar season.
-Kyle Kendrick (Phillies)- Seemingly traded to Japan, but somehow manages to make the list…in our opinion, he won’t make the next one.
-Ryan Zimmerman (Nats)- David Wright’s former AAU teammate has superstar potential and numbers, when he’s healthy. Caveat being when he’s healthy, which is rare. If he stays on the field he could live up to his contract in ways that current NL-Easters Jayson Werth and Jason Bay can’t.
This is just one installment of the NL East for Life series, we dig deeper and get dirtier in the next two…stay tuned.
Feel free to respond with your suggestions.
In the meantime, enjoy the the most competitive division in the majors.
On Twitter: @peteverdorn and @jbiz2033