Thursday, May 17, 2012

Season 19 Update-NL North

National League North
There isn't much of a race going on in this division, but they do have the chance of sending 2 teams to the post season. They also have a chance at a team getting the 1st pick in next seasons draft.

In Trenton the team is lighting up opponents this season. They've scored the most runs in the NL and have given up the third fewest runs. They should have the division locked up to make it 3 out of the past 4 division titles belonging to them. The offense has been great this season. Odd thing about that is that this team isn't hitting many homers. The team has 134 all season and the team leader, Cozy Corbin, has just 23. Trenton is purely built to get on base and swipe a bag. Art Nelson has 74 steals and four others have more than 30. Offensively the team MVP has to be Rich Pierce who is hitting .324, with an OBP of .424. He also has scored 108 runs, hit 18 homers, drove in 92 runs while only striking out 55 times. The pitching has been likewise great for this team. The rotation features Tony Fernandez(16-4, 2.67), Rudy Parker(15-5, 2.63), Al Rosario(14-6, 3.93), and Dean Harvey(11-9, 3.97). All of those guys are having amazing seasons. In the bullpen Aaron Moorhouse has 34 saves in 35 chances with a 3.54 ERA. David Ortiz has been the work horse out of the pen though, with 125 innings in 70 games with an outstanding 1.87 ERA and .87 WHIP. This team is going to be tough to beat in the post season, as they have been tough to beat all season.

Coming off of the teams first division title and post season appearance last season, Iowa City is putting together another good season. The are in the wild card race and right now a few games out. The offense has really been this teams weakness this season. There are only 3 teams worse than them at scoring runs and the teams .257 batting average is a big part of that. Joseph Bang is getting it done though, batting a .329 on the season with a .387 OBP. Spike Maxwell looks like the teams offensive MVP with 40 homers, 97 RBI, 69 runs, and a .267 average. The pitching is by far this teams strength. They have given up the second fewest runs in the league and only allow opponents to hit .237 against them. Rookie Sticky Farquhar is having a really good start to his career with a 14-6 record and 2.90 ERA. The rest of the rotation has been solid, but they aren't putting up numbers like Sticky. The bullpen has been phenomenal. 3 pitchers with sub 3.00 ERA's and another with a 3.06. Luis Perez leads the group with a 1.26 ERA and 12 saves in 13 chances. Brendan Taylor has the 3.06 ERA and 16 saves in 20 chances. The bullpen could keep this team in the race down the stretch, but the offense isn't helping.

Detroit hasn't had a very good season, but it looks like they'll improve upon last season's record. The offense has been solid and youngsters Houston Graves(17 homers, 95 runs, 35 steals, .282 average) and Ricky Masterson(26 homers, 82 runs, 109 RBI, 13 steals, and .276 average) are players to build around. The pitching hasn't been very good, but another young player, Carlos Flores, has done solid in the closer role saving 26 games in 31 tries with a 3.14 ERA.

Fargo has continued it's rebuild this season and actually look like they will finish worse than last season as they challenge for the top pick in the draft next season. The offense has been the worst in the NL this season, but Ron Hudek has put up solid number despite the help around him. He's hitting .299, has an OBP of .363, has 20 homers, 71 RBI and 58 runs scored. Outside of Orlando Nieves(12-13, 4.03) the rotation has been pretty bad. The bullpen though, has actually been quite solid. Heath Spivey(2.66), Ted Haynes(2.63), Scot Millwood(3.57), and Kevin Beck(3.63) have put up respectable to good ERA's this season and have far exceeded what could be expected of them.

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