Monday, November 19, 2012

S11 Preview

Charleston River Dogs
This season should be titled, "A Season in Transition." 5 big contributors from last season's 98 win squad are gone via free agency which ganrered the River Dogs multiple draft picks in return.

The starting lineup still slooks formidable behind Enrique Canseco (All Star C), Milton Kramer (All Star 1B), and one of the top players in the league in 2B Bruce "I'm a Lover, not a Fighter" Casanova. The bullpen is deep and very talented and will be one of the tops in the league. However, the Pitching Rotation has taken a mighty beating and will indoubtedly go through many changes throughout the season as River Dogs management tries to bandaid over the situation and hope for the best.

The only reason for some optimism is the NL East is relatively weak. As weird as it sounds...this is the start of a rebuilding process, but we still have hopes to take the division.

Chicago Black Sox
So, we lost some key FAs in the off-season in Eddie Lloyd & Doug Robinson, but we were able to upgrade to Brian Ma & Alfredo Candelaria, so I am quite happy.

We also were able to select Rabbit Richard (love the name) in the Rule 5 to help out as a late inning defensive replacement and someone who can spell my starting ss when he needs some rest without falling off too far defensively.

Overall, I hope we can build on our trend upward as we improved by 13 games the year before and we have a young nucleus that is ready to contribute now.

Columbus Aeros
1 season early. That was the story from last season as I was building for this season but with the performance early on the aeros made a couple of late season trades to get into the playoffs. This year bill Buckner is ready to take over at 2nd base and lead off at the top of the line up and Sean stearns will start in rf to provide some more power to the heart of the line up. With the addition of Alex rios I feel the aeros have a 1,2,3 punch that will rival any staff in the league and with 1-2 short five game series I like the chances of estalella, rios, calvo, estalella, rios. Also this season will be the debut of my best ever diamond in the rough curt Murray. I am excited about the aeros chances and anything less than a league championship series exit at the end of the season will be a disappointment.

Las Vegas Bookies
Last season we were fortunate to be in the NL West division which saw us taking the division with an under .500 record. We made some improvements with our pitching, hiring Tyler Betancourt, Flash Hamil, Donald Cheng, and Tomas Ozuna but lost out on some of the bigger name pitchers as management decided an out of town wedding was more important the last 2 days of free agency (the GM is under investigation and may be possibly fired if this leads to another losing record). The good news is we are in the middle of a youth movement so to make the playoffs while getting younger shows we have some potential. Last season's NL Rookie Houston Reese is expected to carry the offense along with Carlos Baez. We have a lot of money left over so may be looking to make some moves yet later on in the season depending on where we see the team headed.

Little Rock Rollers
It appears as though season 11 will be a rebuilding season for this Little Rock team.
I took over the team last season with approximately 60 games left, the arbitration period had already passed and unfortunately lost 2 quality starting pitchers due to them being taken to arb. for a third and final time....
Some of the positives in losing Jesse Blowers, Alex Rios, JT Miles and Chris Torres has been receiving compensation picks (6 total first round picks, and 9 through the first 88) and the other positive is having very little money tied up in contracts. Advanced scouting was set lower than I like as it was only set at $2 million last season so therefore this season I could only raise it to $6 mill. so I'm hoping I will be able to make some good decisions in the upcoming draft to benefit from all the picks.

Los Angeles Capitalists
This season should be the start of a long, uphill battle for the Capitalists. After finishing last season in a tie for last place, it became apparent that the team as it stood could not compete for a title, and would need to retool and rebuild in the off-season. That ushered in a transition that saw the club's top two starting pitchers get traded away for prospects, kicking off the rebuilding era. Los Angeles will hope to win at least 60 games this season, with added emphasis on maintaining a high enough level of play to avoid the anti-tanking regulations.

Louisville Steamboats
Franchise leader in home runs, LF Kevin Zhang (133) looks to anchor this rebuilt offense. Even though the Steamboats hit a lot of home runs last season, runs were still at a premium due to a lack of people getting on-base. Several players were jettisoned in an attempt to make this team (10 new position players, 7 new pitchers) more competitive on a game in and game out basis. 3B Jorge Marichal, 2B Chris Torres, 1B Tommie Farley, CF Josh Singleton, RF Ismael Lopez, and C Dan Mercedes round out the offense that looks to put guys on base and put the ball in play. We brought in some new pitchers as ace Al Castro comes in from Charleston in a big-time trade which saw us move last season’s draft to add a quality pitcher. Stalwars Fonzie Becker, Hiram Sanders, and Rich Bonds combine with J.D. Dixon to form a vastly improved rotation. The bullpen should be better with Yamil Zorrilla being the primary long man and Logan Putnam and Willie Dunston joining Curtis Newson to work the 7-8-9 innings and hopefully bring home some wins.

Montgomery Hornets
The Montgomery Hornets continue to try and rebuild their historically horrific franchise for the future while remaining competitive at the major league level. Montgomery has never finished with a record above .500, and their 72 wins last season were the 3rd highest win total in franchise history.
Season 10 All Star, Hal Thompson, who hit .317 with 40 HRs, 108 RBIs with an OPS of .989 will continue to pace the offense. Former #6 overall pick Darrin Rossy hopes to improve upon his sophomore big league season in which he hit 20 HRs and stole 20 bases. The newly acquired Maximo Collier will replace the aging Ed Kelly at 2B and last season’s Rule 5 pick-up Terry Rivers has some big shoes to fill, as he’ll take over DH duties from Victor Santana.
The Hornets spent $29.5 million to land free-agent pitcher Darrell Taylor who has 119 wins, a 1.19 WHIP and a 3.56 ERA in 292 big league starts. Taylor will anchor the rotation with 24 year old Victor Alomar, entering his third full season in the majors and last year’s surprising Rich Lawrence who had a 1.39 WHIP and 3.92 ERA in 32 starts. Montgomery is hoping the 35 year old free agent pitcher Jimmie Roth will provide some stability to a very shaky bullpen.
The Hornets are looking to improve on last season’s 72 wins, but any hopes of a wild card spot are very far-fetched.

New Orleans Zydeco
The Zydeco are in the early stages of rebuilding and likely won't challenge for a division title this season. They chose not to sign their departing free agent position players Bingo Jepsen and Ismael Lopez, and will fill those gaps with young, untested prospects. Their rotation remains decent with Jesus Diaz, Wayne Roosevelt, and Zachrey Hogan. Their bullpen has some good young talent. But there isn't enough firepower in the lineup to make a serious run this season. They're still a few seasons away.

New York Highlanders
The Highlanders should regain their competitive edge this year primarily based upon a pitching staff that is now deeper than last year’s solid group. The addition of FA, veteran starter, Sherman Feldman gives the rotation needed depth, while the bullpen remains strong both in all respects. Last year’s issue of anemic bats was addressed by trading for veteran 3B, Al Chantres and the young, dynamic CF, Renyel Cortes. In addition, hard hitting Matt Reynolds will see his first full season in LF. By adding these new faces to an excellent middle infield, veterans Enrique Ordonez (RF) and Scott Gorecki (1B), together with a solid defensive catching tandem NY, now has all we need to be a contender this year. On the farm, young catcher Tommy Orr, 2B Jamie Pote and pitchers Tony Greene and Benny Gregg are almost ready for prime time.

Seattle Pilots
It's rebuilding time in Seattle. Last year was a year of great pitching and absolutely no offense. Ownership wanted to rebuild to have a more balanced team. So we shipped off our two stud pitchers, Victor Castillo and Erik Stone, for fomer #2 overall pick CF Carl Ripken and SS Cesar Olivo. The long term salary relief will go a long way towards rebuilding. In the mean time, we've signed Jesse Blowers in Free Agency. He and JP Diaz will hold down the fort until the prospects arrive. There are more moves to be made, so we'll wait to see where this team is at the end of the year.

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