NL North Season 44 Preview
Wichita Tornadoes (Owner pinetaar-18th season)
Season 43/ 93-69 (Division Champ)
Owners thoughts/pinetaar's take- It's now or never...or deal with a retooled NL North that should all be above .500 soon, while my squad is peaking right now. This is essentially the same team as last year, lateral moves made at CF and 5th starter. Average offense with excellent speed, excellent starting pitching with reliable bullpen. Average defense. Minor leagues have some talent, not deep.
Chicago Hawks (Owner awind-3rd season)
Season 43/ 75-87
Owners thoughts: None provided.
pinetaar's take- Another rebuild year in Chicago. Two free agent signings, veterans CF Steve Redmond & Pinch Hitter (?) Esmil Benitez won't do much to help improve from last year. Offense is capable, but aging, decent speed still. Starting pitching may have issues. Solid bullpen. Below average defense. Minor leagues don’t show much promise.
Iowa City Hawkeyes (Owner tk21775-29th season)
Season 43/ 73-89
Owners thoughts: I decided it was time to move my draft picks and guys I traded for the last two seasons up to the bigs and land a couple good FA’s. Struck out on one and got the other pitcher I targeted.
pinetaar’s take- The rebuild has been released! Major free agent signings and minors upcalls will bring Iowa in the Wild Card conversation this year, and perhaps the Division Title. 4 pitchers signed for $45M just this season shows tk’s serious about winning now. Veteran CF Jack Westbrook a savvy signing at $3M. Average offense with decent speed, Solid starting rotation with a very good bullpen. Average defense. Minor leagues stocked with talent.
Pawtucket Patriots (Owner bigronnie-8th season)
Season 43/ 68-94
Owners thoughts: After all those seasons at the top, this team got old, without much upper minors talent. The offense was weak last season, hopefully I have bolstered that a bit with the following players Darrin Atkins (2B), J.O. Leon (3B), Raul Roque (2B). Pitching was OK last season, hopefully improved with additions of Ivan DeRojas (P) Dean Taylor (P) and Dennis Martin. I don’t know if it’s enough to take down your team, but hopefully I can spank the other 2 guys in the division.
pinetaar’s take- After a lengthy time away, Pawtucket’s making some moves. The FA signings ronnie mentioned may get this franchise out of the Division cellar where they’ve resided the last 4 seasons. Playoff material? Not likely…yet. Good offense, slow as a turtle. Below average starting pitching, with a marginal bullpen. Poor defense. Great minor league talent.
El Paso Walkers (owner sudbury1111-11th season)
Season 43/ 82-80
Owners Thoughts: In El Paso, spring and summer are where hope blossoms and grows. Fall is when it dies. For several seasons now, El Paso has been expecting a contender and has been relying on its depth to make it happen. It didn’t happen. With only a few critical pieces remaining among the critical positions players, El Paso decided that this was the year t pick up a couple of affordable veteran clutch pitchers and try to reach that next tier. They’ll be complimented by Wisler, a solid prospect coming out of AAA. Time will tell if we pulled the trigger too soon.
pinetaar’s take- The AL sucks (Thanks for your contribution sudbury!)