We seen some changes in this division last season. Durham took home the division crown for the first time since season 13 as they ended Pittsburgh's 5 season run atop the division. Pittsburgh still had a good season, but it wasn't quite good enough to reach the post season. Boston remained in third for the 4th time in 5 seasons and seen their record worsen by 1 game. Chicago seen their win total rise by 5 games, but continued an 8 season run without a post season appearance.
Season 19 Record: 94-68(AL East Champ)
5 Season Record: 397-413
Owner: algoman1 (774-846, 3 division titles)
|Home Runs||319||1||Double Plays||421||10||Opp. Avg.||283||28|
|Ops.||879||1||+ Plays||49||19||Stike Outs||1122||6|
Key Additions- SP Wayne Perez(FA), RP Flip Buck(FA)
Key Losses- SP Chris Kirk(Released), SP Curtis Bannister(Released)
Durham was the division champ last season as they ended an 8 season streak without a winning record. The post season didn't go very well, but they are moving in the right direction. This team has some very good young talent and could be poised to be on top for quite some time. In the off season they actually added the 2 oldest players on the team, but still very quality pitchers in Perez and Buck.
Offensively this team was the best in Pine Tar last season. The offensive production by this team was pretty phenomenal. I don't see that changing. With players like Eric Lindsey, Julio Navarro, Fred Inge, Billy Haynes, Ernest Christiansen and Angel Faulk in the lineup, they are going to be tough stop. They sure look like they'll be the top offense again. Grade- A+
The fielding was below average last season. With such an emphasis put on offense, this will happen. Angel Faulk is a pretty good shortstop though and Eric Lindsey is a solid centerfielder. Besides that they aren't very solid at the other positions. The defense is what brings this team back to the pack. Grade- C
The pitching was pretty bad last season. They ranked near the bottom of the league, but they have some solid pitching. They made a couple signings in the off season to help address this and hope it will pay off. The rotation is anchored by Willie Jacquez, who is a legit ace. Rounding it out are Benny Bravo, Orlando Cruz, Wayne Perez, and Victor Maranon. This is a pretty good rotation. In the bullpen they have Glenn Hafner, Flip Buck, and Miguel Gonzales, who should all be pretty good at closing down close games. The pitching staff looks pretty good and should bounce back after a poor performance last season. Grade- B
This team looks really good offensively and should be able to win a lot of games just on that. The pitching is good too though, but the defense will likely keep them from reaching the peak of their abilities. This team could very well win 100 games though with what they have and should win the division again. They should give it a run at making the World Series as well, but their defensive woes could stall that push.
Season 19 Record: 89-73
5 Season Record: 190-134
Owner: blues_bros (190-134)
|Home Runs||225||11||Double Plays||485||2||Opp. Avg.||267||17|
|Ops.||.783||6||+ Plays||45||21||Stike Outs||1019||24|
Key Additions- 1B Joseph Bang(FA), SP Ivan Silva(FA), C Felipe Reynoso(FA),
SP Bartolo Montero(Rule 5)
Key Losses- SP Jorge Figureoa(FA), 1B Charles Torres(FA)
After winning this division for the past 5 seasons, the run ended. With 89 wins the team failed to make the post season. The team wasn't happy about that and went out and made some changes in the off season. With one of the older teams in the league, it appears that it's almost time to start rebuilding. I guess that will depend on how the season shapes up for them.
Offensively this team was one of the better teams in the league last season. They were top 10 in average, OPS, Runs and Slg, and finished 11th in homers. With players like Corky Lawrie, Joseph Bang, Alvin Reed, Reggie Creek, Phil North, Coco Stratton and Felipe Reynoso spread throughout the lineup, the should be able to rank up there again. They have real good hitters for average, some decent power and good eyes. Grade- A-
The defense was good last season. The gloves were there, but they lacked range for the plus and minus plays. Robin Risley is a solid shortstop, but this team is only average at the other positions on the field. They have average gloves and less than average range. Grade- C+
The pitching was pretty average last season. They were right in the middle of the league. Ivan Silva was a solid pickup, but not a move that can change the way the staff looks. Carlos Nieto is a good starter, Lou Offerman is solid, and Walter Heredia is good, but they aren't really aces. They are better suited as middle rotation pitchers. The bullpen has a couple good arms in Irv Coghlan, and Rudy Jameson. This staff really looks average to me. Grade- C+
I like the teams offense, but the pitching and defense really hurt them. That is what is likely to hold this team back from the post season again. I don't think they can match up with Durham, so a division title is unlikely. They would need a lot of things to go right for them to get into the post season.
Season 19 Record: 76-86
5 Season Record: 374-436
Owner: kjmulli (341-439)
|Home Runs||242||5||Double Plays||420||11||Opp. Avg.||269||21|
|Ops.||.766||11||+ Plays||133||1||Stike Outs||1003||28|
Key Additions- None
Key Losses- SP Charles Hayashi(FA), 1B Junior Cruz(Released), RP Chico Guerrero(FA)
Just a few seasons ago, Boston was on its way up and finished second in the division with 83 victories. They've hit hard times since and have seen the winning percentage drop in each of the past 2 seasons. They aren't too far behind the leaders of this pack though as they finished just below .500 and could be a few pieces from jump into contention. In the off season they didn't really make any key signings, but lost a few players that could hurt them. It looks like the team is planning on bringing up a couple of young prospects, Matt Jaha, and Hipolito Owen a few weeks into the season.
Offensively this team was just above average last season. The team average was just average, but they hit for power and scored runs at a decent clip. Pepper Sanders, Darren Urich and Rico Tatis should hit well. Rico Tatis has tons of power also and can get on base. He's always a threat to take home an MVP award. Houston Baptist adds some power, but he's not a great hitter. This offense has some really nice pieces, but they could use a few more. If they added some average players in with this group they could be really good, but the others look below average to me. Grade- B
I'd say this was an above average defense last season. The gloves ranked in the middle of the league, but they flashed some range with the plus plays. I'm not sure who will be the shortstop, but the team has 2 potential gold glove options in Yusmeiro Julio and Chun-Lim Li. Neither played short last season and that is a surprise. Tito Raburn was the shortstop, but he committed a lot of errors and could be better used at second or third where he'd commit less of them. I like this defense. It isn't great, but it's pretty good. Grade- A-
The pitching on this team was below average last season. Hayashi and Guerrero were good pitchers and the losses will hurt. Ronald Lynch and Woody Sheridan are solid starters, but neither can anchor down the rotation. Nash Casanova and Damaso Infante are good relievers, but there isn't much else for this team coming out of the pen. I think they pitching takes a step back this season as I'm unimpressed with what I see. Grade- C-
I really do like some of the pieces this team has offensively, and defensively, but the pitching is a real weakness. They could also use some depth in the lineup. I think the weakness is enough to keep this team from reaching last seasons win total and that means that I don't see them in the post season with the way things are right now.
Chicago Wind Tunnel
Season 19 Record: 73-89
5 Season Record: 348-462
Owner: skidmark (558-738)
|Home Runs||197||19||Double Plays||430||6||Opp. Avg.||.283||23|
|Ops.||.744||19||+ Plays||37||28||Stike Outs||1055||16|
Key Additions- SP Cutris Banister(FA), C Davey Decker(FA)
Key Losses- OF/IF Roberto Fernandez(Released)
The Wind Tunnels. This team has been struggling for some time now. The last post season appearance was back in season 11. They've only had 1 winning season since then. Last season was a step forward as they improved by 5 games over the previous season, but they were still a ways off. I do like the 2 key additions they added in the off season. Banister should be solid for them and Decker should hit. If anything though, this team has some good young talent.
Offensively the team was slightly below average last season, but they stole a lot of bases. They do have some speed on this team for sure. They also have a few good hitters in Barney Taft, Russell Powell and Davey Decker. They just don't have much to go around them. The team is still a few good hitters short of having a good offense. Grade- C+
This teams defense wasn't very good last season. Gerardo Vega is the best option at short and he's not a very good option. They do have solid gloves at other positions, but they are not good up the middle. The middle is where most of it happens and that brings this team down a lot. Grade- D+
The pitching was also below average last season. Vinny Napoli is a good starter and Curtis Bannister is solid, but they don't have very quality arms besides them in the rotation. The bullpen looks worse. Yorvit Diaz and Alan Denham are decent, but they are it. This teams pitching staff could use an overhaul. I really don't like what I see. Grade- D
I'm just stumped with what I see here. This rebuild is taking longer than I would have expected. They should be loaded with young talent, but I just don't see it. Outside of a few players, this team really doesn't have much quality major league caliber players. It's looking like they will continue the rebuild for another season and likely finish in last.
Durham is looking tough this season. They have a great offense and decent pitching. The only thing that may hold them back of the AL championship could be the defense. Pittsburgh has a real good offense, but the pitching and defense hold them back. I think they'll struggle to make the post season. Boston has a few nice weapons offensively and a real good defense, but the pitching could use some help. I think they may be a few good pitchers away from challenging for a post season spot, but as it stands now I don't think they can reach 81 wins. Chicago just looks like a AAAA team to me. They have a few really good offensive weapons, but those weapons are meaningless if they don't have a full compliment of help for them.