Our defense should be very, very good in 2006. Our most important defenders (SS, C and CF) could all be in the top 5 in their respective positions. Taveras made some rookie mistakes last year, but he should be making better reads and jumps in 2006. His speed and underrated arm make him a quality defender. Everett saves runs with his glove; he's not flashy but takes care of business. Ausmus has lost quite a bit in the throwing-out-runners department, but he brings so much to our pitching staff. (Backe has been pitching to Munson this spring... could it be a reason for his bad outings? Maybe.)
Our corner outfielders are solid. Wilson, normally a CF, should have an easy time in our small left field. And although Lane looks like he's lumbering around out in right, he makes plays and has a decent arm to hold runners. Ensberg in underrated, as is Berkman. Maybe I'm just comparing him to Lamb, but I was really impressed with his defense at first last year. More time there can only help. And besides, who can't play first (besides Bagwell...) Biggio's declining in range, but he should be solid enough to make the plays when he can get to them.
129.2 IP, 5.60 K/9, 3.70 BB/9, 19 HR
228.1 IP, 6.74 K/9, 3.51 BB/9, 26 HR
Clearly, Pitcher B is superior. But Pitcher A (Wandy) isn't too far behind Pitcher B (Zito). Thing is, Wandy is actually a big groundball pitcher (1.34 ground-ball-to-fly-ball ratio). So with better control — and hopefully a few more Ks — he could be a serviceable starter.