All-decade teams: Picking the ultimate roster for each NL West franchise
Over the next week, theScore's MLB editors will roll out a series that assembles the best roster for every franchise during the 2010s.
These rosters include eight position players, five starters, two relievers, and a closer. All WAR statistics in tables are for the player with only that franchise since the 2010 campaign, and only performances since that year were considered when building rosters. Players must have spent a minimum of one full season with their club.
We conclude with the National League West:
Los Angeles Dodgers
Unsurprisingly, the team that has won seven consecutive division titles would field a lineup full of All-Stars. The most notable omission is Hanley Ramirez, who accrued 10.2 WAR during his stint with the club, but it came when he still played shortstop. Andre Ethier barely misses the cut, too, after functioning as a staple of the team's outfield from 2010 to 2013 before serving in a platoon role during the two subsequent campaigns.
Kershaw sits atop the rotation after one of the greatest 10-year pitching stretches in baseball history. The other four starters combined to be worth fewer WAR than the former MVP and three-time Cy Young Award winner. Buehler makes it in thanks to our placement of Maeda in the bullpen - the right-hander made 34 of his 137 total appearances with the club as a reliever. Buehler's tenure has been short but spectacular, as the sophomore threw fewer innings than Hiroki Kuroda, Alex Wood, Rich Hill, Ross Stripling, and Ted Lilly, but has been worth more WAR than any of them.
The decade-best roster for the Diamondbacks bears almost no resemblance to the current squad. Save for Marte, Peralta, and Lamb (the latter being the worst player by WAR on this squad), everyone is gone. The outfield was actually quite good, with Chris Young narrowly missing out after being worth 10.6 WAR with the club. An alternative lineup might have Marte at second base, which would bump Hill out and see either Stephen Drew (6.2 WAR) or Jean Segura (5.0 WAR) slide in at short.
Like the lineup, only a few pitchers remain on the present-day roster: Ray, Bradley, and Chafin. Zack Godley and Josh Collmenter are the most notable omissions from the rotation, the latter of whom got an Opening Day start for the club. Meanwhile, in the bullpen, Brad Ziegler actually led the team in appearances this decade, accruing 2.8 WAR over 357 1/3 innings.
San Francisco Giants
It's somewhat shocking that a team that won three World Series titles this decade has arguably the worst group of outfielders in the division. Melky Cabrera was actually one of the best hitters the Giants employed in the outfield, but he stuck around for only 113 games. Meanwhile, Pagan and Torres were essentially league average during their respective tenures. Of course, Posey headlines the group as the best catcher of the decade in all of baseball.
The top three in the rotation represent better times for the dynastic club, while the bottom two - who are still with the team - tell the story of the veterans who remain. The knock against the Giants during their dominant seasons was the bullpen. However, in retrospect, the best relievers were actually quite memorable. Romo - who made 441 appearances, second to only Javier Lopez - sealed the final out of the 2012 World Series and Wilson memorably closed out the 2010 Fall Classic.
San Diego Padres
|SS||Fernando Tatis Jr.||3.6|
It should come as no surprise that the team that features Venable as its second-best player has been a perpetual loser for the last decade. Things are looking up, though, for the current roster - which includes Tatis, whose 84 games are enough to make him the best shortstop on the team in the last 10 years - but it was a bleak era for San Diego. Grandal was traded in 2014 to bring in Matt Kemp - who mostly disappointed during his tenure - and was still one of the best players on the club. Amazingly, fellow catcher Yorvit Torrealba ranked 15th in WAR for the decade while appearing in just 95 games for the Padres.
This is where it gets particularly gloomy. Yates is the last man standing in a Friars uniform, though perhaps that's a good thing when it comes to the starters, as none of them were actually very good for any prolonged period of time. Ross, Latos, Cashner, Richard, and Stults combined to be worth 33.9 WAR; 11 different individual pitchers have been worth more than that since 2010.
Despite a distinct lack of team success this decade, the Rockies had a legitimately great lineup, with their top four players combining to total nearly 100 WAR. Considering the fact that Arenado, Tulowitzki, Gonzalez, and Blackmon overlapped at some point, it's rather shocking that this team managed to string together so many disappointing seasons. However, its lack of an impact - or even average - catcher or first baseman has certainly been detrimental.
|SP||Jorge De La Rosa||9.0|
Finding pitchers to succeed at Coors Field is a near-impossible task. Gray is the team's best starter this decade, and he was demoted to the minors during the 2018 campaign for rocking an ERA north of 5.00. Only two pitchers have thrown more than 200 innings in a single season for Colorado this decade: Jimenez during his stellar showing in 2010 and Kyle Freeland two years ago. The Rockies have a pitching problem that needs to be addressed if the club wants to take that next step.