Welcome to another edition of The Chicago Scandal. There have been some interesting developments over the past weeks, to include a healthy dose of trades, international free-agent signings and of course the injury bug. First, congratulatory comments go to Buddy Berry, who hit for the cycle during 1/23/16 PM2, Milwaukee Magnitude @ New Orleans B&G Steelers. The 5-time all-star is batting .308 for the year, while racking up 5 HRs and sitting in the top ten of the AL with 29 RBIs. In other news, the AL North divisional race is heating up with the dubbed “War in North”. The Milwaukee Magnitude sit atop the division with an 18-12 record. Hot on their heels though, owner holleybard’s Kansas City Yardbirds sit at 17-13, only a game out of 1st. My Chicago Black sox and the Dover Dinklebergs round out the division at 16-15 and 15-15 respectively. Barring any major setbacks for either of these teams, we could be headed for a down to the wire divisional race. Let’s keep our eyes on that as the season progresses.
The El Paso Walkers traded SS Phil Starr to New York Sultans of Swat for Pitchers Vin Cornejo and Sal Clayton.
Albuquerque Komodo Dragons traded P Glenn Karl and P Tony Perez to Texas Galveston Wave for Major League P Glen Brooks.
Albuquerque Komodo Dragons also traded Pitchers John Carter and Lou Montgomery to the Boise Coursers for P Antonio Simms.
Boise Coursers traded C Morgan Stephens and Scooter Snell to Scranton Red Barons for 3B Alex Moreno.
In a series of deals, the Chicago Black Sox sent P Khiry Carlson, P Freddie Brower, and P Clayton Webster to the Jacksonville Juice for 3B Bunny Barber, LF Edgard Villano, P Kameron Moore, P Bernie Wolf, P Gordon Ramirez.
The Chicago Black Sox sent RF Howard Atchison to Louisville ARF ARF ARF ARF's for SS Max Owen and RF Lee Jefferies who was drafted via Rule 5 by the Syracuse Orange.
Colorado Springs Iron Horseman traded P Mike Franklin to Jacksonville Juice for RF Ralph Hatcher, 3B Rex Bradley, RF Chris Gibson.
Louisville ARF ARF ARF ARF's traded 1B Hipolito Arredondo and 2B Bengie Uribe to St. Louis Miracles for LF Bono Durham and P Wascar Azocar.
The Nashville Merchants sent RF Wilfredo Soria to Texas for P Dennis Jones, C Benji Valverde , and RF Erasmo Johnson.
Albuquerque (15-15) is in the market for some prospects. They are willing to move Benny Garcia - RF, Ed Paul - P, Ernesto Mendez - CF. Sources have confirmed that the Cincinnati Firestorm (19-12) are actively shopping for a closer and a center fielder. El Paso (12-18) is possibly looking for a SP as well as an upgrade at SS. They are looking to pair LF Vic Ward with a prospect in order to bring in a ML level SS.
Hot or Not
Salem Volcanoes remain atop Team Hotness. They have the best record in the show and 7-3 in their last 10. These road warriors are 15-1 when playing outside of Volcanoes Stadium. They are still my favorite to when the AL. Their team pitching sits at a whopping 3.10 ERA. This is a powerful team offensively and defensively. Let’s see who has the skill to knock them off their perch.
Houston Roughnecks have also gone 7-3 in their last 10 after a slow start. They appear poised to give Jackson some competition for the NL South crown behind the arms of aces, Wilt Sizemore – P and Albert Olivo - P. H-town is definitely hot right now.
The AL North made the list because of their brutal battles for division supremacy and remaining the only division with every team playing .500 ball. One can only wonder how this will play out in the weeks to come.
Honorable mention: Omaha Oracles (9-1) in their last 10. Colorado Springs Iron Horseman (16-15) are in second place in the AL West after the abysmal start. I’d keep my eye on this team.
Boston Screaming Babies currently riding a 6 game skid have managed to go 1-9 in their last 10. With one of the highest payrolls in Pine Tar, expectations are pretty high. We can only hope that this is just an early road block and that this team can use the talent they have to bounce back. I do like their chances, but I do wonder if owner kcclark may decide to abandon ship and begin a rebuild or stay true to the course.
New Orleans B&G Steelers made the list this week. They are a young team in rebuilding mode. However, the lack of runs scored have really hampered their ability to be competitive. The future does look bright for the B&G Steelers with the talent pool they have in the minors. It should also be noted that they have tons of cap space. The question is, will they use it?
St. Louis Miracles round out team Notness. Not because of their record, but because I think they are truly under-performing. They are statically a top 5 pitching team with a 3.64 ERA. Where they are hurting, is their ability to generate runs. They have only scored 100 runs, which is the lowest totals in the Majors. I would love to see them go after a power hitter like Gus Justice or Keith Williamson just to add some much needed offense.
The Players Club
Buddy Berry – Hit for the cycle, .308 avg., 5 HRs, 29 RBIs.
Michel Pena - .367 Avg., 10 HRs, 30 RBIs, 14:1 SB to CS ratio.
Hamlet Allen – 4-1 in 7 starts, 2.81 ERA, 43 strike outs
Rymer Tavarez – 6-0 in 6 starts, 1.27 ERA, s8 strike outs and the most impressive stat: 0 HRs given up this year. Sniff, Sniff…. what’s that smell, “the CY Young”.
The Minor League Minute will be delayed this week. Look for it in the 3rd edition.
Disclaimer: Hot or Not and the Players Club are entirely opinion based. Even though stats are considered, future players and teams will be selected based on what the blogger/writer decides. As always inputs are always appreciated.