Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Arfy's Ramblings

Arfy's Ramblings

Just me posting  random stuff that I observe happening in Pinetar

Front runners so far for Cy Young

Ryan Wilkins, Alb 7-0, 0.62 ERA
Eddie Plant, Wichita 6-3, 1.91 ERA 5 CG
Tim Daubach, Seattle 5-4, 1.64 ERA
Chico Pineda, Texas 8-1, 3.18 ERA
Juan Sierra, Seattle  1-0 16/16 Saves, 0.00 ERA

Sticky Farquahar, KC 8-3, 2.25 ERA
Desi Gabriel, Nash 6-2, 2.05 ERA
Malik Sele, Milw 8-2, 3.15 ERA
Marcus Carr, KC 7-1, 3.45 ERA
Tex Wagner, Mil  11/11 Saves, 0.96 ERA

MVP front runners(Best hitters anyway)

Vicente Palmeiro, Alb  .345, 19hr, 51 rbi
Eugenio Canseco, Scranton .333, 15hr, 46 rbi
J.A. Stanley,Helena .300, 22hr, 53 rbi
King Ashburn, Phil .327, 14 hr, 45 rbi, 23 SB
Bartolo Ortiz, Wich .309 10hr, 40 rbi,  47 runs

Blaine Moore, Roch .408, .457 obp, 12hr, 47 rbi
Zip Sullivan, Mil .351, 18hr, 45rbi
Rubby Prieto, Sal  .284 24hr, 63rbi
Avisail Martin Sal .323 14hr, 48rbi
Roger Byrne Ind .324, 19hr, 39rbi, 58 runs, 16SB

How are last seasons award winners faring this season?

NL ROY- Neal Hartzell, Alb .305, 13hr, 34rbi
AL ROY-John Martin, Mil  .261, 2hr, 15 rbi
NY CY- Tim Daubach, Sea  5-4, 1.64 ERA
AL CY-Yoshinori Zhou Van  3-2 2.41 ERA
NL MVP-Benito Rodriguez Hel .345 6HR, 26rbi,
AL MVP-Roger Byrne, Indy,  .324, 19hr, 39rbi, 58 runs, 16SB

  • Blaine Moore from Rochester is the only player flirting with hitting .400 .  He is currently hitting .411
  • Carlos Zorilla from Oklahoma City has been intentionally walked 13 times this season.   Holy smokes! The next highest is 7.
  • Most pinch hits this season, Kevin Griffith's from Philadelphia.  He has 13 pinch hits this season. 
  • Best hitting pitcher this season(Minimum 15 AB's): Benny Villano from Seattle is hitting .367
  • Pitcher, Lee Coveleski from Milwaukee  has given up the most home runs so far this season with 18
  • Why is this guy even on a major league roster?  Al Galvez,   Helena, Career #'s:  25-90 record, 7.90 ERA, 2.11 WHIP
  • Just an FYI-  Don't put a left handed thrower at 2B.    Someone like King Ashburn  from Phillie looks more than qualified to play 2B with his ratings.  However because he is left handed he has 15 negative plays at 2B this season. 
  • Most errors so far this season: Alex Suzuki, Helena 21 errors so far this season at SS.
  • Philadelphia Moneymakers have turned way less Double Plays this season than any other team.  They have 57.  The next highest is 88.
  • Oklahoma City has the most blown saves this season so far with 11.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

S30 AL West Previews

AL West

Last season, Salem won the division for the second straight season.  It was also the second straight season they won 100 games.  Vancouver took second winning 91 games and going to the World Series for the second time in franchise history.  They were upset by Scranton in a thrilling 7 game World Series.  Fresno finished in third last season at an even .500 mark.  It was the first time they didn't post a winning record in 4 seasons.  St. Louis finished at the bottom   It was also the first time in 4 seasons they didn't post a winning record.

Salem Volcanoes (Jkenned 8th season)
Draft Pick-#19

Season 30 grades
Offense A
Hitting A-
Power A
S&BR  A-

Pitching A
Starters  A
Relievers A+

Fielding A+

Vancouver Canucks (skplayer07 13th season)
Draft Pick-#14

Season 30 grades
Offense A-
Hitting A-
Power B+
S&BR  C-

Pitching A
Starters A+
Relievers  A

Fielding A-

Fresno Grizzlies (dlmose 2nd season)
Draft Pick-#20

Season 30 grades
Offense C
Hitting B-
Power D
Speed C

Pitching C-
Starters B
Relievers D-

Fielding C

St. Louis Arch Angels (Flucie 16th season)
Draft Pick-#17

Season 30 grades
Offense C+
Hitting C
Power B-
Speed  C-

Pitching C
Starters D+
Relievers B-

Fielding B+


Vancouver and Salem are going to have a Super Heavyweight battle for this division.  Both teams will probably win 100 games and both make the playoffs.   It is very close, but I'm going to give the nod to Salem, only because Jkenned has a better proven track record.  St. Louis and Fresno should have a good battle for the bottom of the division.    It's another difficult one to call.  Fresno really concerns me with their lack of power and depth in the bullpen.  And at the same time St. Louis has  one of the weakest Starting Pitching staffs in the league.

1. Salem
2. Vancouver
3. St. Louis
4. Fresno

Press Releases
Salem- Season 30 should be a good one for Salem, but we are probably an ace away from being a legit world series contender. Threw all the room I had at Rock Randall in FA but came up a couple million short and settled on adding an impact player in Wolf Dodd to fill in the back of the lineup and my huge hole in CF. Will hope someone is selling an impact arm at some point this year but even without the rotation help I am still expecting a 100 win season and another divisional round loss for us here in Salem this season. Anything beyond that would be a welcome surprise.

Vancouver-After a disappointing loss in the World Series the Canucks are excited the get the season started with the recent addition of Rock Randall to the staff headed by last seasons Cy Young Award Winner Yoshinori Zhou. The Canucks finally opened up their wallets and signed a max contract signaling that they believe they can get back to the series. ther new faces in Vancouver will be Sammy Salinas, Don Nakajima, Vance Pettyjohn, and Jim Swarzak. These players have a lot expected of them for their rookie season.
 The Canucks posted a team 271 HR, 895 RBI, and .810 OPS. Here in Vancouver we don't expect much of a drop off as the lineup will look almost exactly the same.

Fresno- We should be an improved bunch but not sure by how much, but making up the 10 games we were out last season should be within reach. Looking for Wilt Sizemore to break out and make a run for the CY. However coma, 2 new additions to the staff are solid questions marks so we might be drinking the wine or stomping the friggin' grapes.

S30 AL South Preview

AL South

Last season Nashville rose from the depths of the south to win their first division title in eight seasons.  In fact, it was their first winning season in eight seasons as well.  Florida finished second despite paying sub .500 ball.  It was their third straight losing season, and fifth season in a row that they missed the playoffs.  New Orleans finished in third last season, it was the first time in six seasons that they didn't have a winning record.  Tampa Bay finished on the bottom for the second straight season as they continue their rebuild.

Nashville Merchants (Blapo21 4th season)
Draft Pick- #26

Season 30 grades
Offense A
Hitting A+
Power A+
Speed C

Pitching B+
Starters B
Relievers B+

Fielding A

Florida Retirees (Soxfan_9 14th season)
Draft Pick-#10

Season 30 grade
Offense C+
Hitting B-
Power C
Speed  C

Pitching B-
Starters C
Relievers A-

Fielding C

New Orleans Zephyrs ( Fantasy Frea 9th season)
Draft Pick-#7

Season 30 grade
Offense C-
Hitting C-
Power C
Speed C+

Pitching D
Starters C-
Relievers D-

Fielding B+

Tampa Bay Thunder (rxw1 30th season)
Draft Pick-#4

Season 30 grade
Offense A-
Hitting A
Power B-
Spd&BR   A-

Pitching D
Starters D-
Relievers C-

Fielding D-


I don't see anyone denying Nashville from winning this division again.  In fact, they might be able to make a serious run for the AL pennant this season.  Tampa Bay has some real good hitters, but that pitching staff is really lacking.  I think Florida will end up in second place hovering around the .500 mark.  New Orleans and Tampa Bay should battle for the bottom.  It's a real difficult one to call.  I'm going to go with New Orleans only because of Tampa's very weak defense.

1. Nashville
2. Florida
3. New Orleans
4. Tampa Bay

Press Releases
Nashville- We are young, promoted some top notch talent, have more coming, could be the start of a nice run. Still pretty deep with prospects. Hope guys pan out.
Tampa Bay-This will be a rough rebuilding season for a Thunder franchise that is used to being in playoff contention each season. A great crop of prospects working their way through the minors will not be much help this season.

S30 AL East Preview

AL East

Last Season Boston won 106 games and the division once again.  That was their third straight division title and fifth in the last 7 seasons.  Durham finished second  winning 92 games.  They settled for a wildcard and finished for the 11th straight season with a winning record.  Rochester finished 3rd place, just a tad under .500.  That was their 3rd straight losing season.   Indianapolis finished at the bottom.  That franchise was in a rut when qtip got there and continues to be.  It was their 9th straight losing season.

Boston Pilgrims (kjmulli  16th season)
Draft Pick-#35

Season 30 grades
Offense  C+
Hitting B-
Power C
S & BR- B

Pitching B
Starters A+
Relievers C-

Fielding  C

Durham Doormats (Alogman1 21st season)
Draft Pick-#30

Offense C+
Hitting  C-
Power  A
Speed  D-

Pitching  B
Starters  B
Relievers B+

Fielding B+

Rochester Retards (Wylie715 10th season)
Draft Pick-#32

Offense D
Hitting  D-
Power  C
Speed  B

Pitching D
Starters D
Relievers C-

Fielding D+

Indianapolis Valhalla Varauders ( Qtip32 6th season)
Draft Pick- #8

Hitting C-
Power C
S&BR  A+

Pitching C
Starters C-
Relievers C+

Fielding B+

I think Boston and Durham are going to go right down to the end for the division.  Regardless, both teams should make the playoffs. I'm going to give the nod to Boston, only because he obviously knows how to win the division, and he never comes out very good on my rating system.    Boston also has perhaps the best Starting pitching staff in the AL  I think Indy will break out of their funk and start to win a few games, but will still finish under .500.   Rochester should really struggle this season. It might be a good opportunity for the franchise to start over and think about rebuilding.

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

Press Releases
Boston-basically returning the same exact team from last season that pooped it's pants in the playoffs. returning 6 of 7 all-stars from last season -- kennie McCracken takes over cf from fautino guerrero. still looking to push for 1,000 (came up a bit shy last season) and gunning for the WS title once again. would be very disappointed if we didn't at least finish the regular season with a first-round bye in the playoffs.  actually, I'll be disappointed if we get the bye and crap-out in the playoffs like we did last year. We should win it all, damnit! Dusty Lindsey is in the final year of his mega deal. I think I got my money's worth there - 66 wins and an all-star in each of the first four seasons of the deal. hoping to get one more all-star caliber season out of him.

Durham- We hope not to live up to our team name this season. Whether or not that happens, the jury is still out.

Rochester-the major change for the Retards this season is that we've totally revamped our starting rotation and brought in a veteran catcher with good pitch calling. Unfortunately, my offense still does not scare anyone (except for maybe my pitchers!!!)

S30 AL North Preview

AL North
Last season Milwaukee won the division with an 82-80 record.  It was the first time that franchise has EVER won the division title.  New York came in second, 10 games under .500.  It was the seventh straight season in which New York has finished in either 2nd or 3rd place.  Kansas City finished in third place.  It was the seventh straight season in which Kansas City has not made the playoffs.  Dover finished in last place.  It snapped an impressive streak of 11 straight winning seasons.

Kansas City Yardbirds (Holleybard 4th season)
Draft Pick-#9

Season 30 grades
Hitting  C+
Power  C  
Speed  C

Starters C+
Relievers D-

Fielding A

Dover Dinklebergs (tmfran 13th season)
Draft Pick-#2

Season 30 grades
Offense  C
Hitting  C
Power  C
Speed  D-

Pitching   D+
Starters   D-
Relievers  C-


New York Damage Controllers (Skuff730 11th season)
Draft Pick-#13

Season 30 grades
Offense  C+
Hitting  C
Power   B-
Speed  A

Pitching  D
Starters  D
Relievers  D

Fielding  D

Milwaukee Magnitude(Horvie78 5th season)
Draft Pick-#21

Season 30 grades
Offense C+
Hitting  C
Power  B-
Speed C+

Pitching  B+
Starters B
Relievers  A

Fielding  B


All of these teams hit pretty close the same.   Milwaukee has a far better pitching staff than the rest of the division, so they should probably run away with it.  Kansas City is probably right behind them with their strong defense.    Dover and New York are about on even playing fields, however Dover's defense is way better than New York.  So I'll pick them to place third.  New York will finish at the bottom.  Just a side note that New York seems to have 9 starting pitchers on their roster.  I found that a little odd.

1. Milwaukee
2. Kansas City
3. Dover
4. New York

Press Releases-
Kansas City-As I go into Year 4 with the Yardbirds, my goal is fairly simple: top 800 runs for the season. If that happens, the Yardbirds will likely win 80-something games, which could be enough to nab a wildcard spot. Every fiber of my baseball being KNOWS that putting everything on the offense is just wrong, but the reality is that's our best chance of success right now. Sticky is the man as our ace, and Clint Buddie is a solid 2. As usual, the 3-4-5 slots are shaky, and I didn't do enough in the offseason to change that. And by enough, I mean nothing! I wanted Rock Randall badly, but that didn't work out. I also offered Olmedo Johnson (.292/.367/.407, 42 SBs) to ghutton for some of his pitching, and that didn't work out, either. I'm hopeful that Mr. Johnson will be a professional and not sulk about being used as trade bait. ("It's business, Sonny! It's not personal!") What I'm relying on is the continued stardom of Hugh Paterson, who is just scratching the surface of his potential and still posted a MVP finalist season (33 HRs, 125 RBI, 45 doubles, 8 triples, 19 SB). We made slight upgrades at CF, 1B, and DH. If they work out, topping 800 shouldn't be a problem. But, oh, that pitching. I see 85-77 in the Yardbirds' future. We'll see where that takes us.

Milwaukee- I think we have a good chance to win the division, but we're not at the level of some of the elite AL teams. The pitching and fielding should be decent. The starters are old, but nobody had any major declines. Ben Boyer has been awesome out of the pen, and Tex Wagner had a nice season as the closer. The offense should be below average and needs at least 1 more great bat. was hoping to add a stud DH/1B, but there wasn't much available in FA. Zip Sullivan and ROY John Martin should be our top hitters. Hoping Michael Chong (16M IFA) has a nice rookie season.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

S30 NL North Preview

Scranton and owner reggie988 won the NL North for the second consecutive year and made their second straight World Series appearance.  This time, the Red Barons came out on top to win their first championship in franchise history.  Iowa City made a late-season run to capture the NL's final wild-card birth.  Owner tk21775 has won 7 NL North titles in his 14 seasons with the Hawkeyes, which means the odds of returning to the top are in his favor.  Owner pinetaar has come back to Pine Tar after a one-year absence.  He led Helena to a World Series title in Season 26 and hopes to make the Copper Kings contenders once again.  Fargo traded away a number of star players at the mid-season mark, and finished in 4th place.  It looks as though owner starbuckdc could be starting to rebuild the Wood Chippers. 

Fargo Wood Chippers (starbuckdc - 30th season)
Payroll: 58.1M
Draft Pick: #6

Season 29 Record: 69-93 (4th place)
S29 Runs ScoredS29 Team ERAS29 Fielding Percentage
619 (13th in NL)4.00 (8th in NL).983 (10th in NL)

Season 30: Grading the Wood Chippers
Hitting: C-Starters: DInfield: C+
Power: DRelievers: COutfield: D
Speed: C
Catching: A-

-Offensive Threats: 1B Junior Shigetoshi (.389 OBP, 64 RBI), LF Octavio Armas (16 HR, 45 RBI), 3B Clint Green (39 HR, 99 RBI).
-Catching should be strong with Jonny Lincoln.  Could use an improved glove at SS and better range at 1B and OF.
-Starting rotation is missing true #1 and #2 starters.  Freddy Butcher (10-11, 3.96 ERA) was an all-star in Season 28 and 24-year-old Ben May (8-7, 3.40 ERA) showed promise after being called-up mid-season.  Bullpen has Rickie Metcalfe (40 saves, 2.98 ERA) and a few good low-stamina set-up guys, but could use more help.

Helena Copper Kings (pinetaar - 4th season)
Payroll: 89.2M
Draft Pick: #22

Season 29 Record: 82-80 (3rd place)
S29 Runs ScoredS29 Team ERAS29 Fielding Percentage
718 (6th in NL)4.04 (9th in NL).985 (4th in NL)

Season 30: Grading the Copper Kings
Hitting: CStarters: CInfield: C+
Power: ARelievers: B-Outfield: C-
Speed: C
Catching: B+

-Offensive Threats: MVP LF Benito Rodriguez (.337 BA, 40 HR, 87 RBI, 21 SB), RF J.A. Stanley (41 HR, 118 RBI), SS Alex Suzuki (43 HR, 111 RBI).  Plenty of power in the lineup.
-SS Yusmeiro Julio lost some range but still has a good glove.  Will probably have to sacrifice fielding to get best hitters in lineup.
-Starters Miguel Rivera (10-9), Gerald Foster (13-9), and Nicholas Phillips (13-10) all had serviceable seasons.  Closer Jose Goya (29 saves, 2.77 ERA) has amazing splits.  Bullpen promoted several youngsters who may or may not be ready for the bigs.

Iowa City Hawkeyes (tk21775 - 15th season)
Payroll: 77.7M
Draft Pick: #72

Season 29 Record: 85-77 (2nd place - lost in DPIS)
S29 Runs ScoredS29 Team ERAS29 Fielding Percentage
615 (14th in NL)3.19 (2nd in NL).987 (1st in NL)

Season 30: Grading the Hawkeyes
Hitting: CStarters: B+Infield: A-
Power: B+Relievers: BOutfield: C-
Speed: C-
Catching: A

-Offensive Threats: S28 MVP Tony Caballero (.309 BA, 46 HR, 109 RBI), RF Rickie Halama (.279 BA, 42 HR, 102 RBI), LF Alexei Marrero (.270 BA, 23 HR, 65 RBI).  Big dropoff in offense after these three players.
-Carl Marion (41% CS, 2.92 cERA) won a gold glove at C.  Cam House is an outstanding defensive shortstop.  Lacking range in OF.
-Added free-agents Sean Shipley (12-8, 2.87 ERA) and Ryan Wilkins (16-10) to a rotation that had a bunch of success last season.  All-star Butch Simmons (12-9, 2.85 ERA) moves to the bullpen and 25-year-old Dave Coleman will try his hand at the closer role.

Scranton Red Barons (reggie988 - 8th season)
Payroll: 53.6M
Draft Pick: #27

Season 29 Record: 91-71 (1st place - World Series Champs)
S29 Runs ScoredS29 Team ERAS29 Fielding Percentage
827 (1st in NL)4.13 (11th in NL).984 (8th in NL)

Season 30: Grading the Red Barons
Hitting: AStarters: BInfield: C+
Power: A-Relievers: COutfield: B+
Speed: C-
Catching: C

-Offensive Threats: All-stars Eugenio Canseco (.374 OBP, 41 HR, 120 RBI) and Jim Hawpe (.363 OBP, 22 HR, 82 RBI, 30 SB), 1B David Uribe (.371 OBP, 32 HR, 112 RBI).  Basically, everybody in their starting lineup is an offensive threat.
-Vladimir Toregas had 17 plus plays at 3B, but Jim Hawpe had 27 errors at SS.  Zachrey Diamond should be strong in CF.
-24-year-old Gustavo Santos (10-5, 3.57 ERA) made a name for himself by going 6-1 in the postseason.  Starting rotation has good depth.  Average pen led by Avisail Soto (3.72 ERA) and closer Mitch Mota (26 saves, 3.00 ERA).

In my opinion, Scranton has the best offensive lineup in the National League.  That offense, along with mediocre pitching and fielding, should give the Red Barons a great shot at repeating as NL North champs.  Iowa has great pitching and fielding.  If the Hawkeyes decide to keep Caballero and Marrero, who are on the trade block, then they could be a contender for the division title.  If Iowa does trade those stars, then they will probably drop to third place behind Helena.  The Copper Kings have a powerful lineup which contains last season's MVP Benito Rodriguez.  Fargo should struggle in multiple areas of the game.  The Wood Chippers unloaded their veterans last season in an effort to begin rebuilding.

1.  Scranton
2.  Iowa
3.  Helena
4.  Fargo

Owner's Press Release:

Pinetaar (Helena)Glad to have my team back, unfortunately have this report: Missed last year, the franchise paid for it has taken several steps back most notably due to contracts signed by the interim owner for J. A. Stanley, Alex Suzuki , Miguel Rivera, and others. Team will be rebuilding the best it can while enduring those contracts...they happen to catch fire early then we'll roll with it.

Reggie988 (Scranton): Boy that World Series trophy sure looks good on the front page. I decided to pretty much keep the band together and go for another one. Looking forward to adding Luis Cruz into the mix this season. I'll be looking to make a move or two to bolster my bullpen during the season, but overall, I think I'm in a good position to make another run at it.

Starbuckdc (Fargo)My team will most likely suck this season. I completely messed up my rule 5 draft and lost top talent. Its a hazard of being on the road. I'lll just try and be as competitive as possible.

Tk21775 (Iowa) has some star players on the trading block.  He said "If a trade goes through I will not be competitive, as last year was a shock going into a rebuild and getting a wildcard spot. If it doesn't go through I'm hoping for a repeat but believe my players overperformed and my pitching is not very strong."

Thursday, January 8, 2015

S30 NL South Preview

Louisville, led by owner arfy, won the NL South by one game to secure their 3rd division title in four seasons.  The ARF ARF ARF ARF's edged out owner erichanville's Texas squad, who has now made the playoffs in two of the past three seasons.  Both teams were upset in their opening playoff series and will be hoping to make a deeper run.  Jackson missed the playoffs on a tie-breaker and might be ready to contend after a 6-season playoff drought.  Owner bobbyj7 has won 6 NL South division titles and 2 World Series championships with the Juggernauts.  Houston finished in 4th place and missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, after winning the division for four consecutive seasons.  Owner bagwellbuff has a large amount of money invested in scouting and could be preparing for the future.

Houston Roughnecks (bagwellbuff - 9th season)
Payroll: 17.4M
Draft Pick: #5

Season 29 Record: 68-94 (4th place)
S29 Runs ScoredS29 Team ERAS29 Fielding Percentage
597 (16th in NL)4.08 (10th in NL).984 (9th in NL)

Season 30: Grading the Roughnecks
Hitting: DStarters: DInfield: B-
Power: DRelievers: COutfield: B
Speed: D
Catching: B

-Cut plenty of payroll in the off-season. 
-Offensive Threats: 1B Howie Jay (.275 BA, 26 HR, 92 RBI), C Angel Marin (.289 BA), RF Napoleon Charles (62 RBI).  Rookie CF Tony Tatis has some serious speed.  Offense will struggle again this season.
-Should be a decent fielding team.  Have a handful of young SS/3B-type players.  Napoleon Charles won a gold glove in RF last season.
-Starting rotation should struggle with the exception of Albert Olivo (2.77 ERA).  Khiry Clark is a solid, young set-up guy and Lou Riley (40 saves) has made two consecutive all-star appearances as the closer.

Jackson Juggernauts (bobbyj7 - 18th season)
Payroll: 34M
Draft Pick: #23

Season 29 Record: 85-77 (3rd place)
S29 Runs ScoredS29 Team ERAS29 Fielding Percentage
680 (12th in NL)3.85 (6th in NL).978 (16th in NL)

Season 30: Grading the Juggernauts
Hitting: C+Starters: BInfield: B-
Power: DRelievers: BOutfield: A-
Speed: B+
Catching: A

-Offensive Threats: 1B Vic Romero (.394 OBP, 27 HR, 77 RBI), RF Pat Rocker (.360 OBP, 24 HR, 80 RBI), CF Cliff Gray (.274 BA, 51 RBI, 59 SB).  Have multiple speed threats, but lacking power.
-Great catching duo.  Could use a better glove at SS...otherwise, this is a very good fielding team.  Not sure how they finished 16th in fielding last season.
-Return all-star SP Ralph Young (12-1, 1.79 ERA) and signed Danys Telemaco (10-7, 3.86 ERA) in the off-season.  Closer D.T. Cromer (40/57 saves) could help the bullpen by improving on his save percentage.

Louisville ARF ARF ARF ARF's (arfy - 15th season)
Payroll: 108M
Draft Pick: #31

Season 29 Record: 95-67 (1st place - lost in DCS)
S29 Runs ScoredS29 Team ERAS29 Fielding Percentage
760 (3rd in NL)3.68 (5th in NL).983 (12th in NL)

Season 30: Grading the ARF ARF ARF ARF's
Hitting: A-Starters: B+Infield: B-
Power: C+Relievers: AOutfield: B
Speed: C
Catching: B-

-Offensive Threats: MVP-finalist Russell Powell (.327 BA, 40 HR, 128 RBI), free-agent signings Brendan Latham (.401 OBP, 76 RBI, 23 SB) and Kazuhiro Kuroda (.395 OBP, 19 HR, 63 RBI).  Should have one of the best OBP's in the NL.
-CF Ben Tate has won two consecutive gold gloves.  Eduardo Ortiz was a much needed acquisition at SS.  Fielding will be better than last season.
-Three solid starters in Geronimo Estrada (15-8, 3.41 ERA), Clay Vernon (13-8, 3.59 ERA), and Felipe Ramos (13-7, 3.14 ERA).  Could use a south-paw in the rotation.  Cy-Young runner-up Melvin Bere (44 saves) and Darren Banks (acquired by trade) lead a loaded bullpen.

Texas GalvestonWave (erichanville - 6th season)
Payroll: 113.3M
Draft Pick: #48

Season 29 Record: 94-68 (2nd place - lost in DPIS)
S29 Runs ScoredS29 Team ERAS29 Fielding Percentage
731 (4th in NL)3.65 (4th in NL).985 (5th in NL)

Season 30: Grading the GalvestonWave
Hitting: A-Starters: BInfield: B
Power: BRelievers: AOutfield: C-
Speed: C
Catching: A-

-Offensive Threats: 1B Dicky Stanley (48 HR, 131 RBI), RF Alan Wilson (.392 OBP, 28 HR, 103 RBI), free-agent signing Yusmeiro Veras (.272 BA, 56 RBI, 24 SB).  Great offensive depth...will have multiple contributors.
-Sammy Goya is an outstanding defensive catcher.  Not sure who will play CF, but P.T. Rosa struggled last season.
-All-star SP Ariel Mateo (12-10, 3.98 ERA) joins Texas from division-rival Louisville.  Aging veterans Al Manto (16-7) and Timo Pan (11-10) should have another good year left in them.  Another loaded bullpen with multiple pitchers who had an ERA under 3.00 last season, including Jesus Amezaga (1.67 ERA, 21 saves) and all-star Davey Diaz (2.04 ERA, 11 saves).

Quite a rivalry has developed in the NL South between Louisville and Texas.  This season should be no exception as the ARF ARF ARF ARF's and GalvestonWave are two very strong and very similar teams.  I view Louisville as having a slight edge in starting rotation and Texas with the edge in offensive line-up from spots 1 through 8.  I am going to pick Louisville to repeat because "too close to call" goes to the defending champ (hopefully they hired a psychological coach to help handle playoff pressure), but Texas should be a playoff-lock and could make a deep post-season run.  Jackson is also an above-average team who almost snuck into the playoffs last season.  I like the Juggernauts' pitching and defense, but don't think they improved the offense enough to compete with the NL South's top dawgs.  Houston is openly rebuilding and have a variety of rookies, waiver claims, and rule-5 picks on their roster.  The Roughnecks should struggle, but will be hoping to add a few strong prospects to their organization along the way.

1.  Louisville
2.  Texas
3.  Jackson
4.  Houston

Owner's Press Release:

Erichanville (Texas)Let me start out with saying Lauren will not win the NL South. lol Now let's talk about my team. My season will depend on how my OLD starting pitching performs with Manto and Mateo. If they can muster the magic they had in their prime and my bottom half of the rotation with Magnuson, Pineda, and Spiezio can hold up with maybe Glen Brooks as the number six starter we should look really good. The bullpen is still pretty solid. Even Amezaga at 40 years old as my closer still has some juice left in that arm and I will be squeezing everything I can out of it! Offensively we look pretty good with the new addition of Veras and backup Unamuno. Also the addition of Salmon at SS with an okay glove but more offense then the previous SS's. Defensively I would say we look average and we do have some speedsters to get a few extra bases. I would like to think we can win in the 90's range but again it will really depend on the starters. Or maybe I have been drinking too much and have too high expectations on this team!!!

Bagwellbuff (Houston): We are in total rebuild mode with a very young and green team. I do have two potential all-stars in 1b Howie Jay and our closer, Lou Riley. Otherwise, we don't have much experience.  Of course, we hope economizing pays off in about 3 seasons. Our goal is to be competitive, avoid losing over 100, make good use of the number 5 pick in the amateur draft, and make at least one big impact international signing.

Arfy (Louisville)We feel really good about this season. We think it might be one of our best teams yet in Louisville.  We added a couple vets who are going to get on base quite a bit(Kuroda, Ortiz and Latham). We also added veteran pitcher Darren Banks, who we plan to use as a relief pitcher. We like our chances in Louisville.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

S30 NL East Preview

Wichita and owner jibe ended an 18-year playoff drought by winning the NL East title.  The Mojados made a surprising run to the NLCS, where they lost to the eventual World Series champions.  The remainder of the division had disappointing seasons.  Philadelphia finished in 2nd place with only 75 wins.  Owner phillies26 has a high payroll, which could keep the Moneymakers in contention this season.  Jacksonville has now missed the playoffs for three consecutive seasons, which has never happened in owner greygoose123's 29 seasons at the helm.  One figures that the Juice won't be down for long.  Cincinnati went from first to worst, and is hoping that owner jbburner can get the Firestorm back on track.

Cincinnati Firestorm (jbburner - 30th season)
Payroll: 88.7M
Draft Pick: #1

Season 29 Record: 61-101 (4th place)
S29 Runs ScoredS29 Team ERAS29 Fielding Percentage
609 (15th in NL)4.34 (13th in NL).985 (6th in NL)

Season 30: Grading the Firestorm
Hitting: B-Starters: CInfield: A
Power: C-Relievers: COutfield: B+
Speed: D
Catching: B

-Offensive Threats: LF Rafael Unamuno (.284 BA, 33 HR, 99 RBI), 1B Pedro Martinez (.264 BA, 28 HR, 74 RBI), 2B Elroy Epstein (.274 BA, 45 RBI, 13 SB).  Offense is low on power and speed.
-Strong defensive team.  Walt Phillips (26 plus plays) is one of the best defensive shortstops in the league.  He won a gold glove last season, along with 2B Elroy Epstein.
-Have a bunch of average starters in my opinion.  S28 rookie-of-the-year Boone Holmes (11-14, 3.70 ERA) is the closest to an ace.  Rule 5 top-pick Miguel Siqueiros will be making his debut this season.  Bullpen looks like they under-performed last year and have the potential to improve.

Jacksonville Juice (greygoose123 - 30th season)
Payroll: 66.8M
Draft Pick: #3

Season 29 Record: 68-94 (3rd place)
S29 Runs ScoredS29 Team ERAS29 Fielding Percentage
640 (13th in NL)4.46 (15th in NL).981 (13th in NL)

Season 30: Grading the Juice
Hitting: BStarters: C-Infield: B-
Power: C-Relievers: BOutfield: C-
Speed: D
Catching: A

-Offensive Threats: late-season acquisition 1B Bo Long (.383 OBP, 29 HR, 94 RBI), free-agent signing C Shouhei Uehara (.281 BA, 44 RBI), 2B Marcell Escobar (.276 BA, 44 RBI, 23 SB).  Hitting should be improved, but still lack power and speed.
-Two solid catchers in Andy Ludwick and Uehara.  Lack a good glove at SS and range at LF/RF.
-24-year-old Ray Henry (10-12, 3.96 ERA) is probably the top starter.  Signed all-star Howard Tartabull (15-6, 2.88 ERA), who is coming off a career year.  Lack depth in the rotation.  Have a few quality set-up men in Victor Waner and Carlton Redmond.  Will benefit if free-agent signee Carlos Flores returns to his Season 27 form (50 saves).

Philadelphia Moneymakers (phillies26 - 30th season)
Payroll: 103.4M
Draft Pick: #12

Season 29 Record: 75-87 (2nd place)
S29 Runs ScoredS29 Team ERAS29 Fielding Percentage
727 (5th in NL)4.45 (14th in NL).986 (2nd in NL)

Season 30: Grading the Moneymakers
Hitting: B+Starters: DInfield: B+
Power: DRelievers: COutfield: C
Speed: B+
Catching: C

-Offensive Threats: 1B Jo-Jo Frandsen (.354 OBP, 24 HR, 70 RBI, 33 SB), 2B King Ashburn (.274 BA, 23 HR, 57 RBI, 44 SB), C Gaylord Morgan (.309 BA, 63 RBI).  Offense would be rated better if Rickey Masterson was not in AAA.
-Alex Lyons (145 starts, 8 errors, 17 plus plays) had an outstanding season at SS.  Only flaw of infield is having a left-handed 2B.
-The starting staff needed an off-season improvement, which it did not get.  Kiko Hanrahan (8-6, 3.90 ERA) and Walt Gomes (10-13, 4.25 ERA) are the only starters that will be able to "hold their own".  RP Yannick Truby (#5 pick in S25 draft) has had a rough start to his MLB career...he sure has great splits.

Wichita DwArf'y Mojados (jibe - 7th season)
Payroll: 12.3M
Draft Pick: #25

Season 29 Record: 86-76 (1st place - lost in NLCS)
S29 Runs ScoredS29 Team ERAS29 Fielding Percentage
694 (9th in NL)3.51 (3rd in NL).983 (11th in NL)

Season 30: Grading the DwArf'y Mojados
Hitting: C+Starters: A-Infield: B
Power: C-Relievers: DOutfield: C-
Speed: B+
Catching: C-

-Offensive Threats: 2B Gorkys Gonzales (.261 BA, 30 HR, 101 RBI), SS Bartolo Ortiz (.275 BA, 23 HR, 92 RBI, 31 SB), RF Pete O'Keefe (.272 BA, 48 RBI, 59 SB).  Offense will receive a jolt when owner jibe calls up Eli Duran (see press release below).
-A lot of infielders are on the roster.  It will be interesting to see how the defensive lineup is set.
-Strong starting rotation consists of 21-game winner and Cy-Young finalist Eddie Plant, along with three additional pitchers who had an ERA under 3.00.  I don't see much in the bullpen besides a few long-relievers and second-year set-up man Rafael Tatis (14 saves, 3.86 ERA).

The four members of the NL East are pretty similar in talent, and I can see them all hovering around the .500 mark.  I'm going to give the edge to Wichita because the Mojados have an outstanding starting rotation, will be calling up some big-time prospects after 25 games, and they are the defending division champs.  Jacksonville had an active off-season and can only improve upon their 68-wins.  The Juice might be a great starting pitcher away from winning the division.  I predict that Cincinnati will finish in third place.  The Firestorm are one of the best fielding teams in the league and I expect their pitching to be slightly better than last season.  Philadelphia has good hitting and a decent infield, but I believe that their starting rotation will drop them to the cellar.  

1.  Wichita
2.  Jacksonville
3.  Cincinnati
4.  Philadelphia

Owner's Press Release:

Jibe (Wichita)The long drought of no PO's finally ended with Wichita winning the division last season. In the early going of this season I expect to be a struggle here. We are going to be a bit shorthanded in players as we are going to be making some major call-ups after 25 games. We need to play this strategy to avoid having almost the entire team hit arb's and FA at once. At that point we will call-up AAA MVP Alex Cerda and prospect sensation Eli Duran along with slugger Humberto Ortiz and former #1 pick Jeimer Parra . Junior Martin and R.J. Vazquez will then fill out the roster. The only off season moves was promoting some minor league P's who had bid their time in place of a few stiffs in the Pen. That mentioned Pen will likely once again be this teams major weakness. We also do not have a true CF to play or in the entire organization. At least a number of other Pine Tar clubs share the same fate based on the Coaches chat. Starting pitching will be our strength and we believe it can go toe to toe with anyone in this world. It is led by last seasons Cy Young runner-up Eddie Plant followed by Rondell Collins, Javier Beltran, Alejandro Andujar and finally Dewayne Malone. These guys are young and good. As for my line-up it will be led by Bartolo Ortiz and Gorkys Gonzalez with support coming from singles hitting extordinare Pete O'Keefe. Alving Torrealba should also be a key contributor. But we are waiting to bring those kids up. Due to what I expect to be a tough start to the season I am sceptical about our repeating this season. Season 31 is when I expect us to be really good. I would be surprised if we match last seasons division title or win total. I'm guessing somewhere between 80 and 85 W's. Our top goal for the season is to make life miserable for those dastardly ARF ARF ARF ARF's out of Louisville. Anything else is icing on the cake.

Jbburner (Cincinnati)Not much has changed in Cincinnati. We are hoping to improve from last years horrendous season but have not made any moves that might change that. The pitching should be ok and I think Rule 5 pickup Miguel Siqueiros should help the rotation.  Pretty much the same position players so all in all, I think it will be good if we can get 70 wins this season.

Greygoose123 (Jacksonville)I'm pretty much looking at a 500 season. I signed quite a few pitchers because my pitching was so poor. And I'm hoping most will stick for the next few seasons. Because I have a bunch of really good hitting prospects coming up.  I'm expecting next season or the season after I will be playoff team hopefully competing for a title. This season I am expecting big contributions from some young players: Marcell EscobarTomas LopezRay Henry.

Phillies26 (Philadelphia)Not expecting anything big. Team is in the rebuilding stage. Have to start to build the team completely over.