Thursday, March 31, 2011

Season 15 preview-NL West

NL West
Last season I mentioned that I liked the direction this division was headed. Never did I think for one second that the World Champ would come from this division. Scottsdale shocked the Pine Tar world last season and put together an impressive late season and post season run to take the title. During the regular season it was a battle for the top spot for most of the season then Scottsdale ended up winning the division by virtue of a tie breaker with Seattle. That ended Seattle's 3 season run as division champs. Colorado Springs finished third and missed the post season. They made the post season in season 13, so last season was a step back for this franchise. Oklahoma City finished at the bottom of the division for the third straight season, but moved forward a bit as they added 5 wins to the previous seasons total. It should be another good season in this division as the division continues to get tougher with every season that goes by.

Scottsdale Scorpions
Season 14 record- 88-74(NL West Champs, World Champs)
5 year record- 387-423

Offense- Average-1st(.281), OBP-1st(.348), Slg-1st(.480), Runs-2nd(882), HR-2nd(279), SB-11th(85)
Defense- Fielding %-7th(.983), Plus Plays-11th(40), Minus Plays-15th(79)
Pitching- ERA-8th(4.48), OAV-15th(.280), SO-9th(1072), Saves-3rd(51/67)
Key Additions-SP Patsy Ainsworth(promoted)
Key Losses-3B Omar Siqueiros(tr-Tex), RP Esteban Dotel(FA), IF David Leonard(FA)

What is there to say about this team? A lot obviously, but I'll try to keep it short. I knew this team was improved last season, but wow. I'm still in shock by this. It was an amazing run to end the season by this club. They were nearly out of the division race by double digits heading into the last quarter of the season and went on a tear that didn't end when the post season started. In just 4 seasons as owner of this franchise, vector21, has done a wonderful job of turning them around. Each season the win totals have improved and last season that culminated in a division title and world series title. The NL West is lucky to have such a good owner running this franchise now. Well now that I'm done praising the awesome job done by the teams ownership, it's on to the preview. Last season this team was tops in the NL in hitting. They lost a good part in Siqueiros, but the team should still be a really good hitting team. Not only do they hit, but they can draw walks, hit homers, and steal a few bases. The defense was the teams weakness last season. They finished near the middle of the league in fielding percentage but lacked range. I don't think the defense will improve if not move backwards. The fielding doesn't impress me at all. The pitching was pretty average last season. This season I think they are a little better. The rotation is about average with a couple below average starters in the mix. The relief pitching seems a bit above average though. This team will be pretty good again this season and should return to the post season to try and defend their crown.

Seattle Strikers
Season 14 record- 88-74(Wild Card)
5 year record- 455-355

Offense- Average-7th(.268), OBP-9th(.335), Slg-16th(.372), Runs-13th(722), HR-16th(112), SB-1st(234)
Defense- Fielding %-1st(.989), Plus Plays-4th(63), Minus Plays-5th(40)
Pitching- ERA-1st(3.60), OAV-1st(.241), SO-8th(1074), Saves-6th(48/63)
Key Additions-SP Benji Crespo(tr-Ott), SP Wayne Perez(tr-LA), RP Phil Gardner(FA), SP Wes Sanders(FA), 2B Alfredo Colome(FA), SP Orber Torres(FA), RP Matthew Goodwin(FA), C Antonio Zhang(resigned)
Key Losses-SP Al Rivers(tr-LA), CF Nigel Zaun(tr-LA), 1B Miguel Pichardo(tr-LA), C Benji Villafuerte(FA), RP Hal Davenport(FA), SP Angel Suarez(FA), SP Warren Hargrave(FA), RP Jayson Crawford(FA), SP Don Corey(FA)

Well here's the reason I saved my division for last and even put it off a couple days. I hate reviewing my team. It's boring and I'm not sure anyone even cares to read about my team. Well, once again there was quite a bit of turnover here in Seattle. I just get bored of underachieving and let my big names walk every season. Lot's of losses and big ones at that. It's hard to imagine that I, ghutton9, have now owned this team for 8 going on 9 seasons. Wow how time flies. Last season, Seattle had one of the best defenses in Pine Tar. It's hard to imagine that happening again. The loss of Zaun hurts a bit, but overall the defense will still be good. The offense was average last season and based around speed on the bases. The team lost a few good hitters and probably will be a bit worse this season with the bats, but the speed is still there. The team really lacks power. The pitching staff lost all but one starter from last season and was completely rebuilt. Losing Hargrave hurts. The team finished at the top of the league last season in pitching and should be in the upper half this season, but I doubt they will be as good as last season. I really wanted to rebuild, but didn't have any takers and ended up piecing together scraps to try and be somewhat competitive. This team will likely hover around the 500 mark and has virtually no shot at the post season.

Colorado Springs Night Watchmen
Season 14 record- 74-88
5 year record- 392-418

Offense- Average-9th(.267), OBP-4th(.339), Slg-9th(.427), Runs-11th(776), HR-10th(213), SB-13th(65)
Defense- Fielding %-5th(.985), Plus Plays-12th(35), Minus Plays-13th(64)
Pitching- ERA-15th(4.87), OAV-13th(.276), SO-15th(1006), Saves-4th(50/64)
Key Additions-C Benji Villafuerte(FA)
Key Losses-C Chuck Daniels(FA), RP Zack Prince(FA), RP Miguel Sierra(FA)

Ownership in Colorado Springs has found things a bit frustrating lately. After dominating this division for the opening 8 seasons in Pine Tar, they have not won the division since.The only post season appearance since was in season 13 with a wild card spot. Owner, toe64, has been around since season 1, and has proved to be a successful owner and I think that the rebuilding in Colorado Springs will probably end pretty soon. The defense last season was close to average, but they lacked range. That is pretty much the case again this season. The lack a true shortstop and centerfielder, but the gloves aren't terrible. They finished pretty average in hitting as well. They have some good hitters, but the lineup won't scare anyone. They have a little power but not much. The pitching was bottom of the league last season. They have some decent pitchers, but the overall talent level is low. The pitching probably won't improve. I see this team struggling this season as hopefully for them the rebuilding process is close to showing the benefits next season.

Oklahoma City Prairie Dogs
Season 14 record- 72-90
5 year record- 380-430

Offense- Average-13th(.262), OBP-12th(.332), Slg-13th(.404), Runs-14th(721), HR-14th(170), SB-3rd(188)
Defense- Fielding %-9th(.981), Plus Plays-10th(41), Minus Plays-6th(44)
Pitching- ERA-5th(4.43), OAV-6th(.263), SO-6th(1110), Saves-10th(44/57)
Key Additions-RP Babe Ashburn(promoted), SS Billy Kashmir(promoted)
Key Losses-none

Owner brentcnb moves into a third season as owner of this franchise. Last season seen an improvement over the previous season by 5 games. They claim that the team has too many holes heading into this season to compete, but season 16 they expect a high finish in the division. They have a few prospects that could fill some holes but plan to move them up next season when the team is really ready to compete. Last season the offense on the team was below average but had some good team speed. It will probably end up pretty close to last season as the teams hitting is not overly impressive. The fielding was average last season. Looking at the team this season I find it hard to see how they could be any better than that. They do have some good fielders, but lack a shortstop or centerfielder. The pitching was the bright spot on this team last season. They finished near the top on the NL last season and I wouldn't be surprised if they did again. They have some pretty good pitchers on this staff. I wouldn't be surprised to see this team finish close to 500 this season, but I don't think they are ready to challenge for the division title. The pitching is there, but everything else is not.

It's hard to pick against Scottsdale. Really, there isn't another team in the division that can compare. I think they end up running away with the division. Seattle has taken some major steps back and I doubt they can compete for the division and probably miss the post season. Oklahoma City is looking better this season, but the playoffs are a long shot. Colorado Springs will struggle this season.

1. Scottsdale
2. Oklahoma City
3. Seattle
4. Colorado Springs

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