Nats and Marlins rising in the East
March, 14, 2012
By Jim Bowden | ESPN Insider
Drew Hallowell/Getty ImagesHow well Howard comes back from his Achilles injury will heavily impact the Phillies' offense.
Last year, the National League East was a two-horse race, with the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves jockeying for position on the strength of deep starting pitching. The Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins were essentially afterthoughts, but each has made tremendous strides filling out their respective rosters and have nearly caught up to the Phillies and Braves. The NL East pennant race, save for the New York Mets, will be a much closer contest than most realize, and don't be surprised if Miami or Washington comes out on top. Here’s why: