Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Season 21 AL East Preview

Durham Doormats
Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .303 1 Fielding % .982 12 ERA 3.74 1
Home Runs 307 1 Double Plays 438 5 Opp. Avg. .245 1
Ops. .900 1 + Plays 44 13 Stike Outs 1136 3
Runs 1055 1 - Plays 33 6 Saves 55 1
Steals 56 13 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .521 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Season 20 record- 111-51(AL East Champ; ALCS runner up)
Last 5 seasons- 432-378

After a very successful regular season, this team couldn't get past Nashville in the ALCS. I guess the great regular season is nice, but with the way this franchise played last season, the playoff loss was a major letdown. They did have the best offense in the league last season and they were amazing. Led by silver sluggers Fred Inge, and Eric Lindsey, they also have Angel Faulk, who tied the team single season batting average record. Kazuhiro Kuroda also set the franchise single season record for OBP. The threats don't end there though. Julio Navarro is a clutch hitter, Billy Haynes has great contact, Willie Martinez has great power, as does Hector Janssen and Ernest Christiansen provides some pop. This offense is lethal. I'm expecting another great season from them. The defense was not very good last season. They really sacrifice the defense for offense and it works for them. Faulk is the shortstop, and his glove is solid, but he lacks good range. Lindsey is a solid centerfielder with range, but his glove isn't great. Besides them the defense just isn't very good at all. The pitching was pretty dominant last season. They are led by Cy Young winner Willie Jacquez and following him are some pretty good arms as well. Benny Bravo found himself and had a breakthrough season. The relief pitching is also pretty good on this team. I think they'll be one of the better pitching staffs again this season. I really like Durhams chances of repeating as the division champs and they should challenge for the AL title again this season.

Pittsburgh Psychics
Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .281 3 Fielding % .986 3 ERA 4.74 9
Home Runs 215 9 Double Plays 334 16 Opp. Avg. 270 8
Ops. .791 5 + Plays 48 12 Stike Outs 1138 2
Runs 879 4 - Plays 39 7 Saves 38 13
Steals 74 12 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .445 6 1 1 1 1 1 1

Season 20 record- 84-78(Wild Card)
Last 5 seasons- 451-359

Taking the second wild card spot last season, this franchise has now been to 6 of the last 7 post seasons. It's been since season 13 that they have had a losing season. Offensively they were among the best in the league last season. The lineup is fueled by Joseph Bang, Alvin Reed, Reggie Creek, and Coco Stratton. Off season free agent signing Tanner Stephenson should be a nice addition to an already good lineup. They could use a little more power as Tony Dalrymple is the only true power threat they have. The defense was good last season. They didn't commit many errors, but they lacked good range. It looks like this team has taken a major step backwards in regards to defense this season. The lack a true shortstop, but Daniel Smith is a solid centerfielder. They really don't have much at other positions either though. The pitching staff was average last season and they really look about that again. The best arms are in the pen with Irv Coghlan and Rudy Jameson. The rotation should do fine, but they aren't among the best in the league. This team has a pretty good offense, but the pitching is only average and the defense is just bad. It could be a tough season for them, but I think they can finish with close to 80 wins.

Rochester Retards
Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .274 6 Fielding % .984 8 ERA 4.80 10
Home Runs 217 8 Double Plays 492 1 Opp. Avg. .278 11
Ops. .781 7 + Plays 57 7 Stike Outs 1037 10
Runs 835 8 - Plays 27 4 Saves 43 9
Steals 156 4 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .440 9 1 1 1 1 1 1

Season 20 record- 83-79
Last 5 seasons- 372-438

Rochester missed the post season for a 9th straight season, but they did end up with a winning record. The team has made strides the past couple seasons and look to continue moving forward. The offense was pretty average last season. Led by 3 time allstar Barney Taft, silver slugger 1B Russell Powell, Tomas Carrasco, and Samuel Wallace, this team could be a bit better than average this season. They have some power, they have some speed and they can get on base. I like this lineup they've built in Rochester. The defense was also about average last season. Shortstop McKay Payton is solid, but not spectacular. The defense has solid gloves at most positions and could end up better than last season, but I think they could use more range in centerfield. The pitching on this team was below average in season 20, but they are a solid group. Vinny Napoli is a pretty good ace and he's young. I like a few of the pitchers they have and appear to be heading in the right direction. Rochester is an all around solid team. They could use a bit better pitching, but they really look like they are only a few pieces away from being a real threat in the division.

Boston Pilgrims
Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .260 13 Fielding % .986 2 ERA 4.59 6
Home Runs 265 2 Double Plays 480 2 Opp. Avg. .284 13
Ops. .772 10 + Plays 101 1 Stike Outs 1010 12
Runs 776 11 - Plays 27 2 Saves 39 11
Steals 42 15 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .448 5 1 1 1 1 1 1

Season 20 record- 79-83
Last 5 seasons- 382-428

It seems like this team just can't get over the hump. They've been stuck around .500 for the past four seasons now and have to be growing frustrated. This team was below average offensively last season but did have some good power. The lineup features, Pepper Sanders, Rico Tatis, Matt Jaha, and Houston Baptist. Just those guys alone can make any lineup dangerous. This team has the look of an offense that is close to taking that step to being above average. They do feature one of the best defenses in the league though. They were just amazing last season and they should be again. Yusmeiro Julio could contend for a gold glove at shortstop. Sammy Espinosa is a great 3B. Chun-Lim Li has been and could be again a gold glove centerfielder. If those guys can get some offense going then they will make for some very good pieces to the puzzle for Boston. The pitching was about average overall last season, but they gave up too many hits and couldn't close out games with a 62% save percentage. Hipolito Owen is a good young up and coming starter. Nash Casanova is a good young reliever that struggled last season, but he should turn it around. The pitching in Boston overall is pretty solid, but not quite among the best in the league. I really like this team altogether and think they could make a solid run at the post season, but they still may be a couple pieces away.

This is a tough division. Durham obviously is the leader of the pack and they are quite stacked. I think they are the favorite in the AL right now and should at least make the ALCS again. That's not a knock against the other teams in this division. They all have strong pieces of their games, but they just aren't put together as solid as Durham is. Pittsburgh could be the team that takes a step back in this division. They aren't bad, but Rochester and Boston both look better. Rochester seems to be only a few pieces away from being a real contender, but they should at least challenge for a post season spot. Boston is the team I really think can improve the most. They have the offense and defense, and the pitching isn't too far behind them. Look for Boston to make a real challenge to get into the post season.

1. Durham
2. Boston
3. Rochester
4. Pittsburgh

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