Thursday, April 30, 2009

With 5 Games To Go

The AL is pretty much decided though the seeds could change

#1 Seed - St. Louis Barracudas: North Champ and #1 Seed with a win
#2 Seed - Monterrey Corn Dogs: South Champ but could fall to #3 Seed
#3 Seed - Colorado Rockies: West Champ with a win, could take #2 Seed away
#4 Seed - Dover Dung Beetles: East Champ
#5 Seed - Las Vegas Slobs: Slim chance to be West Champ but could fall to #6 Seed
#6 Seed - Santa Fe Good Will: Could be #5 Seed

Division Crowns are settled though seeds could change but doubtful.

#1 Seed - Chicago Cubs: North Champ and #1 Seed with 2 wins
#2 Seed - Atlanta Pork-N-Beans: East Champ and #2 Seed with 2 wins, slim chance at #1 Seed
#3 Seed - Houston Astros: South Champ and #3 Seed, slim chance at #2 Seed
#4 Seed - Salem Volcanoes: West Champ
#5 Seed - Cincinnati Reds: Must win 2 Games
#6 Seed - Pittsburgh Pirates: Must win 2 Games
Outside looking in: Brewers and Indians and the possibilities are many.

Monday, April 27, 2009

GM of the Season

Voting extremely close in the AL. Dhyatt1080 edged out Cmchristians by exactly one vote. Soxfan121 received a few votes, but not enough to repeat. Voting was also close in the NL. Chase39 edged out Sdhizzle by a few votes. Josepaco also received a few votes. Congrats.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

GM of the Season Candidates

Candidates were chosen based on one or more of the following:
  • Winning percentage
  • Increase in winning percentage
sdhizzle - Florida Marlins
  • Currently on pace for a 17 win improvement over last season
  • 1st season over .500 since season 3
  • Currently 2nd in the NL South
chase39 - Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Currently on pace for a 14 win improvement over last season
  • 1st season over .500 since season 5
  • Currently 2nd in the wild card standings
  • Currently 3rd in the NL North
josepaco - Chicago Cubs
  • Currently on pace for a 8 win improvement over last season
  • Currently leading the NL North
  • Currently have the best record in the NL
firesign34 - Cleveland Indians
  • Currently on pace for a 8 win improvement over last season
  • 1st season over .500 in franchise history
  • Currently 2nd in the NL East
kingjohndev - Houston Astros
  • Currently on pace for a 4 win improvement over last season
  • Currently leading the NL South
  • 5th consecutive season over .500
cmchristians - St. Louis Barracudas
  • Currently on pace for a 14 win improvement over last season
  • Currently have the leagues best record
  • Currently leading the AL North
dhyatt1080 - Dover Dung Beetles
  • Currently on pace for a 14 win improvement over last season
  • 1st season over .500 since season 1
  • Currently leading the AL East
  • 1st playoff appearance in franchise history
soxfan121 - Santa Fe Good Will
  • Currently on pace for a 14 win improvement over last season
  • Currently leading the AL South
  • 2nd consecutive season over .500
Slobs - Las Vegas Slobs
  • Currently on pace for a 3 win improvement over last season
  • Currently leading the AL West
  • 11th consecutive season over .500

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Indians Update

The Indians are proud to announce the fact they have set some records this year. For one, they have a home winning record something that has never been accomplished by the organization in their previous 10 season history. Secondly, they are only one win away from having their best record in organization history. Not counting their chickens before they hatch, but I would say that it is a given that it will happen. Third, they are in a playoff spot this late in the season, whether they make it to post season is another story. Fourth, they are only 4 wins away from an above .500 season which also has never occurred in their history but may or may not happen believe it or not.

How have the Indians managed these accomplishments this year? That is actually hard to say in all reality. It has taken some hard work to tell the truth. As noted early in the season, the team has always jumped out winning early only to see things go bad after All-Star break. The Indians found a way to avoid the long 23 games in a row stretch that always put them in a slump.

The early season trade of Hub Strange and Courtney Haynes for Bart Ross looked like a boon for the Indians. In reality, Santa Fe was rewarded by the trade more than the Indians at this time. The Indians are happy that Hub and Courtney are doing so well with their new team. Bart is an up and comer, but maybe not next season as his defense is deplorable yet.

The mid season trade of Rodrigo Gonzales, Victor Guerrero and Butch King certainly helped the Rockies get to where they are now. Seeing Victor go was rough. Kimera Adams has helped the Indians get to this point in more ways than one. Wayne Stewart was not really wanted, but his emergency service has played dividends recently.

Why is it my thinking that the Indians will not make the playoffs? WIS has been one step ahead of me the entire season, ever since I moved Tito Gao and Pedro Roque to the majors. I had to wait til the mid season trade was accomplished before taking action. Posiedon Marte was going to be called up after he pitched his final game in AAA to replace the floundering Steven Haynes, but if you look, a season ending and maybe career ending Tommy John surgery took that option away. Matt Brooks was promoted to take his place and waiting for the next seasonal bump to perform the same move. Lo and Behold, the same fate occurred to him right after the bump.

I was hoping two players (pitcher and fielder) would hit the Waiver Wire from the same team that suited me enough to trade Black Bart, but that has yet to happen. Then Howard Washington went down with a somewhat minor injury, no big deal at the time. Hard to lose a GG caliber CF though whether his hitting was great or not, he was the guy that made the Indians click. Things were progressing along nicely, then Karim Quevedo went down with injury and he was having a great year once I put him at 3B. Still not a problem though I question the injury, because he was being rested quite a bit and was at 100%. Then there was yesterday, both Jae Dong and Wes Kelly went down with 10 day injuries. Luckily it is call up time, but the Indians really didn't have anyone ready at those key positions and the fact the AAA team will be in the playoffs makes it much more difficult.

It just seems to me that my team has been surgically destroyed not by happenstance, but on purpose. It is not the injuries themselves mind you as those do and will happen. It is the exact timing of the injuries that has me baffled. Oh before I forget, the organization has only had 4 other injuries as a whole.

Playoff Hunt Is On The NL

With 24 games to go, who has the best chance of making the playoffs. Since the AL picture looks pretty well locked up and already reported, here is the NL.

NL North
Chicago Cubs seem to have things well in hand with a 7 game lead. The reason, 7 games are too hard to make up in the NL North.

NL East
Atlanta Pork-N-Beans have a 12 game lead and inside track to the #1 seed.

NL South
Houston Astros have a 15 game lead which pretty well locks the division up for them.

NL West
Salem Volcanoes have a 15 game lead and has staved off a sudden Vancouver run and has the division well in hand.

The Wild Card
This is where things get very interesting and nasty.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are currently in the #5 seed spot. For how long is a huge question mark since they are part of that rough and tumble NL North.
The Cleveland Indians have sneaked their way into the #6 slot 1 game in back of the Pirates.
The Cincinnati Reds, yeah the Reds, are not in a playoff spot at this time, how long ago has it been since that happened this late in the season? They are only 1 game behind the Indians however and two behind the Pirates so we can't count them out yet.
The Milwaukee Brewers have played their way into contention even though they are the 4th place team in the North.
The Florida Marlins are on a rampage of late to be a contender, will it hold up?
The Trenton Ball Hogs have stayed steady and are looking to make a run.

So who has the best chance to securing the Wild Cards before the dust settles? Yesterday I would have said the Indians because they have the easiest schedule, however today is another story. Three of the teams are in the rough and tumble North and could boil down to a brew ha ha at the end as the Cubs could play favorites, but it may not matter by then. Trenton and Florida could sneak in but that actually remains a long shot with their schedules as each would need to go 16-8 at a minimum.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Eyeing the Crystal Ball

With the season 3/4 over, its time to take a look at the teams in the hunt for the playoffs. Since Im in the AL I'll start with them.

The St. Louis Barracudas have surprised everyone save cmchristians no doubt. With a 84-41 record they seem to be running away with the no.1 seed.

Santa Fe Good Will have lead the division from the beginning except for a brief flip flop with Monterrerey. GM soxfan121, last years AL GM of the year hasn't seemed to have suffered a sophmore slump. With a 78-46 record the Good Will are in striking distance of St. Louis, but the Barracudas are gaining on them.

Las Vegas Slobs have been steady and in first most of the season. After failing to win the division for the first time in 10 seasons with KC taking the division last year, the SLOBS are back and holding on tight to a 4 game lead. They too have a chance to catch St. Louis, but somebodys going to have to do something other than hit solo shots on offense. The Slobs pitching appears to be one of the top staffs in the league.

Another huge surprise in the AL, the Dover Dung Beetles have all but wrapped up the AL East with a 14 game lead and 71-54 record finally knocking off the New York Yankees after a 10 year reign.

The Colorado Rockies won the division last season and find themselves presently fighting for a wild card spot with Monterrey and Toronto. Devoid of pitching and youth, but loaded with veteran offensive players and playing in an offense freindly stadium, the Rockies seem to be a lock for the playoffs as a wild card. They dont look to have the pitching to defend their division crown.

The Monterrey Corn Dogs are yet another surprise team, but in a surprisingly bad way. After making several trades late last season, they seemed retooled to keep their hold on the division and AL Crown, but they started slow and only recently have started to put pressure on the Good Will. I predict the Corn Dogs will overtake the Good Will and win the division.

The Toronto Blue Jays have been yet another surprise (there an echo?). With the loss of their superstar and hall of fame candidate Javier Santayana the Blue Jays have surprised everyone by hanging in for the final playoff spot. If Monterrey or Colorado falters, Toronto could find themselves in the playoffs yet again. Hats off to northerngaul for a job well done.

The American League predictions

AL North - St. Louis
AL West - Las Vegas
AL South - Monterrey
AL East - Dover

WC 5 - Santa Fe
WC 6 - Colorado

Friday, April 17, 2009

Grading the PnBs

C - Max Lima & Richard Mitchell - Limas defense has been relatively poor and his BA has dropped, but overall he has been productive. Mitchell has been a top notch backup.
Grade - B+

1B - Zoltan Mercedes - One of the leagues best hitters. Great season.
Grade - A

2B - Pedro Fernandez/Rich Munoz/David Colin/Raymond Neal/Slash Kroeger - If you can't tell I mess with my lineup a lot. Tough to grade. Munoz, Fernandez and Neal are all having solid seasons.
Grade - B+

SS - Vernon Rooney - Rooney is pissing me off. His hitting and defense have fallen off this season.
Grade - B-

3B - Slash Kroeger/Jimmie Pascual - Slash is having a bad season at the plate but decent defense. Pascual has been poor all around.
Grade - C

LF - Junior Bocachica - Should hit 40+ HRs. Solid season.
Grade - B+

CF - David Guardado/Raymond Neal - Hit to CF against the PnBs. Both suck defensively. Both have been solid at the plate.
Grade - B+

RF - Homer Lieberthal/David Guardado - Lieberthal was an outstanding addition that came with a very small price tag. He should finish out the season with 50+ steals.
Grade - B+

SP - Britt Swindell/Bubba Rose/Gary Wyatt/Russell Spence/Michael Ming - Swindell should win the CY Young. Swindell and Rose should both win close to 20. Wyatt is having the best season of his career. Ming and Spence have been serviceable.
Grade - A-

BP - Way too many blown saves.
Grade - C-

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Position Player Fatigue

There is a simple formula I use for position players to determine how many plate appearances a player can have during a season. If a player plays the entire season it is about 730 plate appearances, plate appearance is not the same as an AB by the way. If you take 730 and multiply it by the players durability as a percentage, it will give you the approximate number of plate appearances a player can have during a season. EX: 730 x .84 = 614. Player fatigue occurs when the number of player PA's start exceeding the number of projected PA's left for the rest of the season. I will use Karim Quevedo as an example as he went to 99% recently. His durability is a 75, so his seasonal PA is about 547, he has already had 441 actual PA's already this season. There are 45 games left in the season, that equates to about 202 PA's left, much more than the 100 or so he has left. I can play him every other day or I can put him on the bench and use him as a substitute for a few games until an off day comes around. Then rest him every 4th game after that. Doing this I can squeeze a few more PA's out of him and probably push him to about 570.

The rule of thumb I try to use this during the season to rest a player periodically like so:
90 or above - rest once every 15 to 20 games. Equates to about 10 playing days off.
80 to 90 - rest once every 10 games. Equates to about 16 playing days off.
70 to 80 - rest twice every 10 to 15 games. Equates to about 32 playing days off.
below 70 - rest once every 5 to 8 games. Equates to about 40 or more playing days off, normally for catchers or low durability bench players.

Also, players in the top half of the batting order will see more plate appearances and fatigue more quickly than the bottom half. It is better to rest them more during the season because they are needed most at the end of the season especially during a playoff run. If the fatigue level drops below 100%, I try to rest them til I get the fatigue back to 100% and use them as a bench player for 4 or 5 games before using them as a starter again.

Adverse effects on fatigue is a player will not play as well and is more susceptible to injury. For the minors it says that fatigue will help increase a players durability during rollover, but do you risk injury to a future superstar player for that reason? I try not to allow minor league players to drop below 95% as a rule, it just isn't worth the risk. Another thing I don't pay much attention to in the minors is playing players out of position. Maybe not the coolest thing to do, but it is better to rest a player than being forced to do it anyway because of injury.

If you are wondering how you can find out the number of plate appearances a player has: Go to Stats/Awards in the World drop down and click on Player Statistics and use the Extended function in Batting.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Power Rankings

1. (tie) Houston Astros - Astros have been really good as of late. Pitching is really coming around. Everett Hill is having one of the greatest seasons in league history.
Record: 75 - 38
Previous Ranking: 6

1. (tie) St. Louis Barracudas - Biggest surprise of the season thus far. Another team who is really coming on strong. One of the leagues best records over the last 40 or so games.
Record: 75 - 38
Previous Ranking: 5

2. Las Vegas Slobs - Currently on an 8 game winning streak. The Slobs now have an 4 game lead over the Rockies in the AL West.
Record: 70 - 43
Previous Ranking: 9

3. Monterrey Corn Dogs - 12 - 3 over their last 15 games, and only one back of the Goodwill in the AL South.
Record: 70 - 43
Previous Ranking: UR

4. Atlanta Pork N Beans - Offense is starting to come on strong. Starting to feel some pressure from the red hot Indians.
Record: 72 - 41
Previous Ranking: 3

5. Santa Fe Goodwill - Killer lineup, but their pitching is hurting them a bit. Currently 2nd in the league the league in runs scored.
Record: 71 - 42
Previous Ranking: 2

6. (tie) Pittsburgh Pirates - Wow what a great come back. Currently tied with the Cubs in the NL North.
Record: 67 - 46
Previous Ranking: UR

6. (tie) Chicago Cubs - Relatively unimpressive over their past 20 or so games, but still one of the NL's elite teams.
Record: 67 - 46
Previous Ranking: 4

7. Colorado Rockies - Another team with a killer lineup, but mediocre pitching. Leading the league in runs scored.
Record: 66 - 47
Previous Ranking: 8

8. Cleveland Indians - Currently on an impressive 8 game winning streak. The 6 game losing streak earlier in the week hurt their position in the rankings.
Record: 64 - 49
Previous Ranking: 9

9. Milwaukee Brewers - If they manage to win the North it will be the most impressive run in league history (or at least the most impressive I can think of). Currently on a 12 game winning streak and only 5 back in the NL North.
Record: 62 - 51
Previous Ranking: UR

10. Cincinnati Reds - Dropping, but they are a much better team than their current record suggests. Kind of odd to see them 3rd in the standings. Dont be shocked when they reel 20 wins in a row.
Record: 65 - 48
Previous Ranking: 1

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Draft Signings Update

2. Josh Towers, P, Washington D.C. Senators - Looks like a good pick for the two slot, defensively adequate, Physically strong. A power starting pitcher with great control, splits and an awesome out pitch, however pitch 2 could be troublesome as the rest are in pretty good shape.

Organization: B A good first and second round pick with good pitching filler for the minors.

15. Kane North, SS, Salt Lake City Multiple Spouses - Can play any position defensively as a GG. Makeup is a little light is the physical aspect. Has a decent eye and can hit the right handed pitchers and the power to hit the ball deep, but short on contact and has problems with the lefties. All in all still a good pick for the SS position.

Organization: C+ The unsigned 2nd round pick remains an overly priced question mark. The 4th round pick could find a ML bench job one day.

27. T.J. O'Brien, 2B, Chicago Cubs - Defensively not capable to play 2B but can play COF with ease. Good eye, splits and very good contact with enough power to hit the LCF gap for doubles and an occasional homer.

Organization: C- mostly minor league fillers at best after the first pick.

This leaves 3 first round picks unsigned.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

HOF Voting

20 voters for a total of 58 votes (2 people only voted for 2 candidates). Needed 14 votes. Thanks to all those who participated.

Hall Inductees:
Maybe next season: