Friday, December 10, 2010

Pittsburgh Pirates Season 18

The Pirates are back for another go after a disastrous playoff loss to the Phillies. The Pirates were unable to resign future hall of famer Omar Elcano, but thanks to a trade with Tampa they were able to come up with a capable replacement in Ken Shumpert.
Additions: Ken Shumpert, Jose Guzman, Wallace Wyatt
Departures: Clarence Valentin, Miguel Owen, Alex Espinoza, Dallas Hyzdu, Omar Elcano

Season 18 Starting Lineup
C: Andy Reagan gold glove winner last season
1B: Juan Carrasquel, 53 home runs last season
2B: Bernard Shelley gold glove winner last season
SS: Don Gong steady defender, really improved at the plate last season
3B: Luis Cruz decent glove at 3rd.
LF: David Gomez started off slow last season, but finished up strong
CF: Lance Howard came over in a trade with Anaheim last season
RF: Alex Richardson could be his last season with the Pirates
Rob Webster backup catcher,
Max Fuentes will pinch hit, play some 1B,
Derek Throneberry backup 2B and in CF
Jose Guzman will backup at SS and 3B
Yorvit Veras will see some time in LF, RF,
Season 18 Pitching Staff
SP1: Tim Loewer the best 6 inning pitcher in the game right now
SP2: Ken Shumpert gets to pitch for a playoff team
SP3: Emil Sosa 19 game winner last season
SP4: Jimmie Torres back in the rotation after a poor season in the pen
SP5: Felix Carter
Mop up: Nate Sager
LRB: Daryl Graves also start when Sosa and Loewer need some extra rest
LRB: Wallace Wyatt
SuA: Daniel Blackwell hall of famer
SuB: Max Carreras
SuB: Geraldo Rosa
CL: Andres Coronado all star last season

As has been the case the past few seasons, this season is all about winning the World series. Anything less will be a disaster. The NL North division will be pretty easy to win this season, as the other 3 teams are still rebuilding. The Pirates will be playing the regular season for a first round bye in the playoffs. Only Florida and Salem stand in their way.

Monday, November 8, 2010

GM of the Season


Chase39 - Pittsburgh Pirates
NL North Champs
4th division title

- Philadelphia Phillies
NL East Champs
1 win improvement
3rd division title

Sdhizzle - Florida Marlins
NL South Champs
4th division title

- Salem Super Sequoias
NL West Champs
7 win improvement
2nd division title

Yoker70 - Los Angeles Dodgers
#1 Wild Card
11 win improvement

- San Francisco Giants
#2 Wild Card


John_plotts - Detroit Tigers
AL North Champs
12 win improvement
1st division title

Pfontaine - Boston Red Sox
AL East Champs
7 win improvement
3rd division title

Edham55 - St. Louis Cardinals
AL South Champs
1st division title (5th for the franchise)

Slobs - Colorado Rockies
AL West Champs
20 win improvement
11 division titles

- Helena Hot Pockets
#1 Wild Card
9 win improvement

Mal247 - Anaheim Angels
#2 Wild Card
3 win improvement

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Season 17 Draft

It is once again time to see what I think of the drafted players. Been a struggle to get it done. The vacation was great BTW.

1. Ernest Barrett, P - Washington Senators: Looks like the real deal as far as a #1 starter is concerned if he can stay healthy.

Grade: A

2. Ebenezer Munoz, 1B - Milwaukee Brewers: May lack good range but all the other tools are there. May not be a great power hitter but should be a high OBP player with lots of extra base hits.
Grade: A -

3. Jonathan Kennedy, P - Dover Dung Beetles: May not go past the 7th inning often but has a very good pitch selection, control and splits and good enough to be a #1 starter.

Grade A

4. Artie Betemit, CF - Tampa Bay Rays: Has the range but uses a glove with a hole in the webbing. has decent power at the plate.

Grade: A

5. Hack Dean, RF- Cincinnati Reds: May lack good defensive skills for RF. Not big on power with the bat but has good contact and very good splits with a so-so eye. His biggest asset is he could win a steady stream of Iron-man awards.

Grade: B+

6. John Ni, SS - Arizona Diamondbacks: Range looks pretty weak for a SS and may end up at 3B. Good hitter with some decent power.

Grade: B+

7. Ted Maxwell, P - New York Mets: Has a great arm and pitches but his stamina could make him a go-to guy in the pen or a 5 inning starter.

Grade: A

8. Todd Lawrence, SS - Detroit Tigers: Drafted as a 3B which looks to be a wise move. Has a power, decent eye and splits but fails to make contact a lot.

Grade: B+

9. Ronny Gant, 2B - Houston Astros: 2B is way out of the question as the Astros quickly discovered and LF is the answer. Development is key on how he performs at the ML level. Plenty of power and should rocket a lot of long balls at the OJ Box.

Grade: A

10. Barry Cook, 1B - Chicago Cubs: An under glover at 1B but should be adequate. A very big power bat. Will his health keep him on the field is the question.

Grade: B+

11. Alex Reddick, 2B - New Orleans Zephyrs: Great range and glove for a 2B. Should be solid but unspectacular at the plate. Decent speed is a plus. Poor makeup is a bit of a concern.

Grade: B+

12. Al Steele, C - Los Angeles Dodgers: With the exception of a mediocre eye he has the potential to be very solid at the plate. His arm is very good. Pitch calling is also very good. All the makings of a very good C, but poor durability will limit him to nothing more than a part time C. May have been a stretch at 12 for a part time player.

Grade: C+

13. Walt Shelley, RP - Texas Rangers: Potential to be a very good closer. Mediocre health could limit development, but no other significant weaknesses.

Grade: A

14. Eugene Truman, SP - Minnesota Twins: He has the splits, pitches, and stamina to be a solid #2 or 3 SP. Mediocre health and control are his only weaknesses. Good pick at 14.

Grade: A

15. Sammy Uribe, RP - Kansas City Royals - At the ML level he should be a very solid reliever or closer. Durability may be his only limiting factor as a reliever. As a closer he would most likely be very good, but not dominate.

Grade: B-

16. Phil Levier, SP - San Diego Padres: He has the splits, and stamina to be a solid #2 or 3 SP. Only one good pitch and mediocre control are his only limiting factors. Great health and makeup are a plus. Solid pick at 16.

Grade: A

17. Brutus Mora, SS - Salem Super Sequoias: Defense is a little weak for a SS, but he should be able to play virtually any position. He has mediocre splits, and power meaning Salem shouldn't expect too much at the plate. With considerably slower than average speed Salem shouldn't much on the bases. Probably a very good utility player.

Grade: C+

18. Jackie Patel, RF - Salem Super Sequoias - Great speed, and better than average power. Poor glove and health are his most significant weaknesses.

Grade: C+

19. Stephen Melville, RF - Seattle Mariners: Pretty average all around. Below average splits and average power. Solid eye. Not a horrible pick at 19.

Grade: C+

20. J.D. Gibson, SP - Atlanta Braves: Poor vL will limit him to LR or as a back of the rotation SP at the ML. He does have two great pitches, great health, and decent control.

Grade: C-

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Look Around the World

Things look a little testy and some managers are scratching their heads trying to make sense of the season. I know I am.

AL North

The Tigers find themselves out in front today. It is a highly contested division at the moment with first place being traded back and forth with the mariners. The Twinkies are keeping pace ans not falling behind and might make an after All_Star break run. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, just can't seemed to get anything going.

AL East

The Red Sox seem to be breezing through the season so far but find themselves playing second fiddle to the #1 seed at the moment. The Braves seem satisfied with a possible Wild Card berth slipping to 10 games back. The Beetles and Senators will need a miracle to get into contention at this rate.

AL South

The Rays and Panthers find themselves tied for the division lead and could be a long season before this division is settled. The Cards and Royals are keeping in the thick of things just in case one or both should falter.

AL West

The Rockies are a rockin in Colorado! Helena has vowed to keep a close watch for an opening though. The Angels are suffering from jet lag at home which doesn't bode well for them. The Padres may not have the team for San Diego, ask the Zephyrs owner for help (MHO).

NL North

The Pirates find themselves in first, who would have thunk it? The rest of the division is good but still in the rebuild mode me thinks and will be up and coming soon.

NL East

The Phillies are in first, not sure why really. Oh, maybe it is because the rest of the division just can't seem to find some semblance of winning at home. The Indians get pitching and no hitting then hitting and no pitching...I for one am scratching my head, where is DJ's sister when you need her?

NL South

The Marlins (err.. Ivan Johnson) are in first, well that was a given. I am surprised to see the Rangers in second though and only 5 games back. Most of the NL teams are suffering from homeitis, in other words, the itch to get away? This is prevalent in the southland also.

NL West

Salem's dynasty has taken hold. How long though before it peaks? The rest of the West is struggling. Though me thinks Arizona is much better than their record indicates.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Indepth Look At The Indians

Ok, we are 30 games into the season and it is time to look at where things are going wrong. Is it time to tweak a few things? Make personnel changes? Wait a bit longer? Remember, must only analyze against the NL because of the DH factor.


The park parlays some lowered effects quite a bit as it is a relatively odd neutral park. We are above the line which is pretty good in my books. Got to remember we play defense and sacrifice some offense (rather paltry hitting at catcher and SS).

Matt Pierce leads the team with a .377 average, .472 OBP and 7 SB's which I think is good for a lead-off hitter for a non-running team. Not often will you find an upper echelon power hitter in this position.

Felipe Mendoza leads the team in HR's (10), RBI's (30), .685 SLG and 1.103 OPS coupled with a .369 average. Very good for the #4 hitter.

Giovanni Jackson has been somewhat of a disappointment again this year but normally picks it up later in the season.

The rest of the team needs to do a bit better but are chipping in the best they can. At least they are not horrendous.


Tied for 5th in the league with 15 errors which isn't bad. 14 plus plays and 2 minus plays. Surprisingly the two minus plays are at 1B and CF, though the CF one can be expected. #1 at stopping SB's, a big plus if you ask me.


This is where the woes seem to be at. SP is actually pretty good. Ok, they are not great but I only expect them to get to the 5th inning or so. The pen is where the biggest let down has been so far.

Mickey Frazier giving up 9 HR's already is no help. The two middle relief lefties has been beaten up badly so far.

Have got no recourse for the time being but to let it progress a little further to see if it straightens out. The problem could be with the schedule, 10 games in a row with the dominate forces can put a damper on anyones party.

After 30 Games



The Pittsburgh Pirates have taken a 5 game lead of the pack after the Cubs go on a 9 game bender. No surprises here so far.


The Philadelphia Phillies have created a 4 game gap but will it be enough. The Baltimore Orioles have not got used to their new digs yet. The Indians are still trying to overcome their horrendous schedule (Pittsburgh, Florida and Salem in a row ) where they didn't play well. While the Mets are being the Mets.


The Florida Marlins have a 6 game lead already which is not surprising. Houston is suddenly trying to stay close.


The Salem Super Sequoias have opened a 7 game lead and may vie for the #1 seed this season. Their division brethren are languishing, especially at home.



The Seattle Mariners are in first today as Detroit is on a 4 game bender. Don't look for any team to be comfy in this division, as all of them may enjoy their time in first place before the season is over.


The Boston Red Sox have corralled an early 6 game lead which is no surprise. Atlanta is still trying to overcome the new expanse, while Dover just can't get things going.


The Tampa Bay Rays enjoy a 1 game lead. Yes, I say enjoy, for a team that hasn't seen the front of the pack in a very long time. Gee, didn't I predict a division crown for them? Louisville will be battling them all season long of course. St Louis and KC are not to be taken lightly of course.


The Colorado Rockies are enjoying their new park and a 6 game lead, but will the pitching hold up there. The rest of the division seem to be malingering, will one of them find the spark to catch them?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The AL

The AL North is going to be a struggle all season long. Don't let the early season fool anyone, they all have a good shot.

The AL East will probably boil down to Boston and Atlanta and both could be in the playoffs.

The AL South could be a mixed bag as KC is not Austin and the silent one returns. Could this be the Rays year to finally bust out?

The AL West could be a hot topic with Colorado and San Diego on the agenda. Opponents will find the sledding very tough in those two parks.

So here comes the guess everyone is waiting for.

1. Boston Red Sox - I think they have the best overall team
2. Colorado Rockies - If the pitching staff holds it together
3. Minnesota Twins - The twinkies come out of hiding
4. Tampa Bay Rays - Dark-horse candidate of the year
5. Louisville Panthers - Just can't leave them out of the mix for some reason
6. Detroit Tigers - I think he has it figured out and the right mix

Who will be right there if someone gets tripped up?

Helena, Anaheim and Seattle of course.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The NL

I haven't had much time to look around, but at a glance this is what I see happening.

1 - Florida Marlins: Looking good as ever.
2 - Salem Super Sequoias: Taken time to get out of the cellar but patience and understanding pays off.
3 - Pittsburgh: The North might get contentious but the Pirates should endure another great season.
4 - Cleveland: Yes, I am picking myself to repeat.

Wild Cards

5 - Texas: Not sure why
6 - Frisco: If they can get by the new stadium issue.

Wild Cards is gonna be a close call in all reality. I see 8 teams that could vie for those two spots easy enough.

Your Season 17 Cleveland Indians

Wow, Indians made the playoffs for the first time last season with a division crown to boot. Been a long time coming! Looks like they failed to do much in the playoffs, that could be due to the lack of coach experience on someones part, but he gave a great effort with both teams. Funny I go on vacation and he puts two teams in the playoffs that had never been and lost in the first round. Hope I can duplicate it only do better in the playoffs.

The coaching staff looks better than last year as we (well I didn't but you know who I mean) only had to replace the bull pen and 1B coach.

The Line Up:

Jose Blanco and Hugh Maloney provide the backstop action. May not be profound hitters but give the pitchers a much needed boost with their defense and pitch calling. My last official act last season was to trade Black Bart. He may have been an on-base machine but really didn't help the pitching staff at all and they need all the help they can get.

1B/LF - Zachrey Jerzembeck and Felipe Mendoza. Mendoza will have a long tenure with the Indians. They are both starting at one position or the other for the time being.

2B/CF - Eswalin James and Mickey Greer. Both are very capable at either position and James can be moved to other places if needed.

3B/LF/RF - Rod Glaus and Trace Wallace. G'son really liked Glaus at 3B against right handed pitchers as his hitting isn't very gracious against lefties. Wallace is on the DL again to start the season, but will be back shortly. Will probably play LF/RF mostly and 3B against lefties.

SS/CF - Maximo Stone and Sean Smalley. Stone was a key pickup in the rule 5 draft as we needed some defensive help at that position. With the departure of Jesus Rivera, who was asking way too much money in arb and was signed for half of what he was asking for by KC so the notes say. I think my stand-in did a great job here.

RF - Giovanni Jackson. He has been a fixture in RF for quite a few years.

CF - Matt Pierce. What can ya say, great at the plate and the field.

LF - The afore mentioned Trace Wallace.

The Pitching Staff:

Tito Gao, Brant Brede, Rico Dali, Pedro Roque and Randy Lamb.

Maybe not the most talented starting 5, but get the job done. Rico Dali was a great cheap FA signing. Maybe I should let my stand-in do baseball and I should take over his B-Ball teams that I pay for....hmmmm

The Pen:

Posiedon Marte, Juan Moraga, Mickey Frazier, Mendy Hughes, Manny Wagner, Hipolito Palacios, Cy Bruske and Karim Pulido.

Hipolito Palacios was made the closer this year, G'son made a great point about that and is 4 for 4 already in the young season.

That is this seasons tribal war party, I don't foresee any changes being made. I think we have a very good chance of repeating this year and the fans are excited.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


1 Mitchell Ray 454
2 Vinny Post 414
3 Bryan McDowell 352
4 Dwight Hall 302
5 Pascual Solano 293
6 Johnnie Moeller 275
7 Zeus Singleton 258
8 Jacque Yoon 253
9 Santiago Mangual 248
10 Augie Holbert 241
11 Jorge Padilla 236
12 Bruce Shelley 232
13 Doug Cambridge 227
14 Johnny Stern 227
15 Cooper Benes 221
16 Albert Villafuerte 221
17 Andres Coronado 207
18 Louie Martinez 206
19 Dom Tabaka 203
20 Miguel Owen 190


1 Yamil Pulido 264
2 Britt Swindell 233
3 Mel Wagner 226
4 Omar Elcano 226
5 Don Benson 222
6 Dwight Johnson 221
7 Orlando Ozuna 216
8 Donald Satou 202
9 Paulie Sanders 195
10 Santiago Manto 191
11 Russell Spence 190
12 Cam Anderson 180
13 Kent Heredia 178
14 Carl Baker 172
15 Louie Moraga 169
16 Spike Stairs 168
17 Mike Leius 167
18 Chad Sanders 166
19 Marty Howell 166
20 Jake Owens 164

Monday, August 2, 2010

GM of the Season

chase39 - Pittsburgh Pirates:
NL North Champs
12 win improvement

firesogn34 - Cleveland Indians
NL East Champs
7 win improvement

sdhizzle - Florida Marlins
NL South Champs
10 win improvement

jsholmes - Salem Super Sequoias
NL West Champs
16 win improvement

davisbrian - Vancouver Canadians
5 win improvement

wholck - Philadelphia Phillies
Wild Card

northerngaul - Toronto Blue Jays
AL North Champs

pfontaine - Boston Red Sox
AL East Champs
4 win improvement

soxfan121 - Durham Bulls
AL South Champs
1 win improvement

SLOBS - Las Vegas 51s
AL West Champs(projected)

mitchrapp - Kansas City Royals
13 win improvement
Wild Card

dakar - Seattle Mariners
6 win improvement
Possible Wild Card

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

MLB Teams

Teams that would have to move to have all MLB teams represented:

Atlanta - has to move to Baltimore
Salem - has to move to San Francisco, Seattle, Colorado, San Diego
Vancouver - has to move to San Francisco, Seattle, Colorado, San Diego

Seattle - has to move to Montreal
Syracuse - has to move to NY Yankees, or Chicago White Sox
Dover - has to move to NY Yankees, or Chicago White Sox
Austin - has to move to Atlanta
Helena - has to move to San Francisco, Seattle, Colorado, San Diego
Las Vegas - has to move to San Francisco, Seattle, Colorado, San Diego

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Season 16 Draft

The draft was not the highlight of the season for most. I am going to take it slow because several first rounders have yet to sign and I limited time. With my limited scouting some of what I have to say may be off a bit from what others really know. It was more of a pitchers draft than position and just about everything I saw left me scratching my head. Many of the first round picks were not on my board either, go figure.

1. Reagan Mathews - P - Milwaukee Brewers: Living up to the Number 1 pick could be rough on a kid but I think this one will definitely weather the storm. He has everything I like in a pitcher and very well could be a number 1 or 2 starter in the future. Grade: A

2. Hick Marshall - P - Arizona Diamondbacks: Another fine pitcher in my books. He is a lefty, and it shows he could have a somewhat weak vsR, but I think it is better than I am seeing. Everything else looks ship-shape however and worthy of the second pick. Grade: A

3. Harpo Cust - SS - Washington D.C. Senators: UNK

4. Dan Radke - LF - New York Mets: At first I thought he could be better than a LF then reality set in. Overall impression is he a good pick but to me not in the top 10 let alone the top 5. He has lots of growth potential and how he develops will be everything. Grade: B-

5. Nigel Li - 2B - Tampa Bay Rays: UNK

6. Michael Barry - P - Detroit Tigers: Splits look a little weak but me thinks they are better than I am seeing and could develop into a very nice starting pitcher. Grade: A

7. Carl Mattingly - 2B - St. Louis Cardinals: 2B could be a stretch quality wise but his speed and bat will garner him ML status one day if he stays healthy. Grade: B+

8. Frank Cortes - P - Chicago Cubs: Quality pitcher but one I warned about in the pitch department. Not that he can't be good pitcher but not so sure that he could be that good in Chicago. Grade: B-

9. Harold Adcock - P - Oakland Athletics: Early Pronounced Highlight: The Master's Academy will have some groupies thrilled I bet, might even put DJ's sister in her place! Roflmao Maybe not the greatest SP but should easily make a number 3 spot in the rotation. Grade A-

10. Carmen Moorhouse - 2B - Dover Dung Beetles: Could be a good 2B in time and a good bat but don't expect home run awards. Grade: A

11. Edwin Webster - P - Seattle Mariners: This is a pitcher whose overall doesn't jive with the ratings so this would have to be my scouting. I see him in the pen for starters because of a stamina issue and the pitches are a tad worrisome. However, putting my 10/15/20 rule to the test I see a very capable SP. So I am deferring his grade to the rule. Grade: B+

12. Arthur Donatello - CF - Houston Astros: Too bad he is a lefty as he would make a great defensive 2B. Might be a little error prone but a plus-play CF with a strong arm. The bat will produce a lot of homers in Houston, scouting says his eye is weak but I don't think so. Grade: A

13. Edgardo Mateo - P - Anaheim Angels: I believe he should easily be at least a number 2 in the rotation some day, too many flaws if he doesn't develop well in splits and pitches. Should be able to throw some CG's. Grade: B+

14. Damion Kaline - P - Vancouver Canadians: I had him ranked number 2 on my board and the player I was hoping to get. Should easily be a quality medium reliever or closer in the pen. Grade A

15. Dale Griffin - SS - Kansas City Royals: If you wanted a good SS this is the guy. The jury is still out on defensive quality however as I seem him being a bit weak in the end and that can throw a monkey wrench in everything. Has a good eye but woeful contact with a little pop. Grade C+

16. Willie Kendrick - LF - Salem Super Sequoias: UNK Wanting $8M, must have a big bat one way or the other!

17. Fausto Ramirez - SS - Los Angeles Dodgers: Looks like Dodgers went with the best player available. Hoping to find a solid defensive SS but looks to me came up on the short end of the stick. Has plenty of speed and a bat that will work in LA I think but defensively may be better suited at 2B/CF, which is not a bad thing. Grade: B+

18. Quinn Quinn - CF - Las Vegas 51s: Just like the name, very odd that you get twins and his twin sisters name is Quimm Quinn, DJ's sister can now move aside maybe. All joking aside, has speed and can play CF very very well. Hitting is another matter but should thrive in Vegas.
Grade: B-

19. Clinton Guerrero - P - Philadelphia Phillies: For a lefty starter I think he has what it takes to be very successful. The only problem is whether or not his health will hold out. Grade: B

20. Tony Santos - SS - Cleveland Indians: Playing SS is probably out of the question for the Indians, while 2B or 3B is more likely. Has very good speed and hitting wise, well lets say the jury is still out. Grade B-

21. Miller Shiell - 2B - Atlanta Falcons: 2B is a very far reach and the quality isn't there, my interpretation would be LF at best, maybe RF. Very good bat though so he will be in themajors at some point. Grade B+

22. Ted O'Neil - P - Minnesota Twins: Finding a bonafide starter this late in 1st round is slim. His projections are a bit overstated in my opinion and unreachable. Could be a decent fifth starter or work out of the pen though in long relief. Grade B

23. Bip Cosby - CF - Boston Red Sox: How he slipped all the way to 23 is a mystery to me but Boston fans are very happy. He wasn't on my board so we know how he didn't find himself being drafted at 20. Boston says he is a 2B but I wouldn't give on the the CF aspect as of yet. Good hitter with some power and should bang some off the Green Monster. Grade: A

24. Paul Mercedes - RP - Austin Fightin' Armadillos: Tough one for me to actually say, surely his potential is better than I am seeing in pitches. Grade A or maybe B depends on development

25. Renyel Gongora - P - Toronto Blue Jays: I see his projections as over-rated and under-rated at the same time. Health could be a big issue. Fifth starter is a maybe, pen is more likely. Grade B-

26. Larry Wilson - RP - Helena Hot Pockets: A closer in the minors but a setup in the majors, the reason is low control but everything else is ship-shape. Grade: B

27. Albert Morales - SS - Texas Rangers: The potential is there to be a GG SS, making it though is another story, me thinks he will. Hitting is another matter but won't be a big setback. Grade: B

28. Mariano Pimentel - C - Syracuse Sycamores: Has great defensive abilities with good a PC to go with it and can be an everyday starter. Pretty decent with the bat. This is one of the guys I was hoping to available in the second round. Grade: B

29. Daniel Ray Rehfield - 2B - Cincinnati Reds: If his glove is better than what I am seeing then it is possible he could be a 2B. However he was on my board so I know he has no chance, LF is a maybe. Hitting isn't very keen either in my estimation. Grade D - RED HERRING of the draft.

30. Macbeth Gibbs - P - Durham Bulls: The question is whether this kid has a future past the DL. Has a lot to learn and it just may never happen. Grade: D

31. Vin Cook - RP - Pittsburgh Pirates: While not closer material, he does possess the ability to be a setup man I do believe. Grade: C+

32. Juan Flores - RP - Durham Bulls: The Bulls may have been looking for short help in the pen judging from the two picks. This kid in my mind has a chance but I think falls short as a closer which leaves a setup job in mind. Grade: B-

I am still wondering whether there is a problem with the draft generator or did I just find a real oddity? For the most unusual player that I ran into in this draft, Tony Castilla. He was so unusual that I just had to draft him. How many catchers can you find that can't catch but can play 1B or LF?

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Since Knuck had it on his show I will try to explain how I use and change my lineup. It is really hard to explain in all reality.

But first, pitching dilema in Cleveland. Mickey Frazier went down early in the season with a bad knee. We were depending on him to be one of the anchors in the pen this year. Juan Moraga was picked up from the FA pool to fill the hole. Juan hasn't pitched bad, teams don't hit him well, but has a tendency to walk or give up the long ball too often if he can't strike them out. Randy Lamb went down with an injury and it was decided to give Brad Hamelin a shot. Yeah, he has good control and pitches but the splits are anemic to say the least. Had to really check the schedule to make sure of the stadiums as he will make at least two starts. Not sure how Hamelin is going to work out, but I figure for a couple games he can't be any worse than anyone else.

To further exasperate problems, Ross Bland and Jose Crespo are not really having stellar years either which is a little baffling to me.

Back to the lineup, Bart Ross usually bats in the lead off spot. I found this out a bit late last year as his batting average skyrocketed when I put him there and has been doing exceptional this year. His hitting has to be good as the starting pitchers don't like his 58 PC very much. Case in point, Karim Pulido can't get past the 5th inning without Jose Blanco catching. This means Ross finds himself on the bench more often but with his semi low durability and being lead off doesn't hurt that much. But means I have to find another lead off hitter and change the lineup drastically. Matt Pierce finds himself in the lead off spot when Bart isn't. I consider Matt to be a 3 thru 6 hitter but does real well in the lead off spot with his speed.

Normally I have Zachery Jerzembeck in the two slot and Filipe Mendoza in the 3 spot. But with Pierce in the lead off spot this doesn't work well. So I end up putting Jesus Rivera in the two slot and move the other two down 1. With Giovanni Jackson sliding into the 5 slot. Jackson doesn't do well in the lead off spot against right handed pitching but goes to lead off versus lefties if Ross isn't in the lineup.

Trace Wallace and Eswalin James are in the 6th and 7th slots respectively as they don't hit well anywhere else. That puts Blanco in the 8th spot when is he the starting catcher otherwise Jesus Rivera is in the 8th slot. The rest of the bench don't care where they bat as long as they get to play.

I really have to be careful with the lineup because of all the switch and left handed hitters I have. It seems the sim doesn't like them back to back very well, more of an observation than anything. This seems to affect Jackson more than anybody else and is a tough one to find a good slot for. So I have to make sure I get them broke up the best I can.

As for substitutions, I try to get Blanco in the game as soon as possible after the 6th inning so the pen can have a good PC defensive catcher. Every little bit helps in the pitching department. I try to get Mendoza out of the lineup somewhere after the 7th inning also as his defense is not up to snuff yet and still has a relatively low durability and Steven Byrd solves that problem. Pascal Zapata comes into play quite a bit as he is actually a better 3B defensively but not by much.

When I rest a player, I don't change the existing lineup, I just insert the player for the game under most circumstances.

Sorry that I stopped using the player blog links, but a vicious storm came thru and took the power away again. Since the internet and cable are down till they get a tech out to the satellite tower to reset the breakers, nothing I can do and won't have the time later to doctor it up.

Yeah Knuck, I would really like to have two set lineups but certain things make me constantly adjust it.

After Draft Comments

Remember way back when there wasn't enough pitchers in the draft? To go along with that there wasn't enough pitchers anywhere to go around for the Rookie League? To fix this issue they made every ones draft board a 60-40 split favoring pitchers. I changed my mind set then that I would need to target fielders to get enough position players and save the late round pitchers for the following season. Normally there is enough career minor league pitchers that I can grab cheap ones in the IFA market so I don't have to worry about drafting pitchers. This year there wasn't any and I had to use all my Rookie League players from last year to fill my minors as there just wasn't anything I liked in the FA market or Tryout Camp. Since this came to pass I knew it would come back to bite me in the ass.

Since I used the Formula Builder and took the best player available, I had to really dump a lot of pitchers off the board, at least a 100 or more. If I remember, I only had 40 pitchers total ranked in the first 200 and if your lucky, only 10 to 12 after the first 100. Maybe I should have dumped some more as I drafted 20 pitchers out of 25 and the 25th pick was ranked 177 on my board. Actually all those pitchers aren't all that bad, but now, what an I going to do about fielders? Not all that bad, I had already got my hands on two and I did get 5 in the draft so I just need to come up with two or more. The draft really did have some ugly position players anyway so I am not all that bothered.

The top 10 players on my board by Overall.

1. Carmen Moorhouse - 2B - Dover: Good hitter, iffy 2B, had him ranked third.
2. Edgardo Mateo - P - Anaheim: $0 in HS scouting and still had him ranked first.
3. Tony Santos - SS - Cleveland: Has some upside, SS highly iffy though ranked fourth.
4. Randall Daily - 2B - Houston: Out do to Bio.
5. Damion Kaline - P - Vancouver: good middle reliever even though lefty, ranked second.
6. Dennis Thomas - 2B - Kansas City: Makeup dropped him to fifth on my board.
7. Quinn Quinn - CF - Las Vegas: Good defensively, ranked sixth.
8. Jose Hernandez - DH - Minnesota: Out because he was a DH.
9. Daniel Ray Rehfield - 2B - Cincinnati: Over rated to me, dropped to 30th.
10. Cyrus Abercrombie - P - Washington: Weak vsR dropped to 14th.

What can you say, I got the best player available who was ranked fourth on my board with the 20th pick, not bad I suppose. Who was left in my board that I would have been happier with in my top 10?

Harvey Hatcher, Mariano Pimentel or Ed Hughes: All three were catchers and had them ranked 7, 8 and 9. Hatcher was a very good hitter but poor defensively, overall good enough to be a 6 inning starter. The other two could be backups or starters at the position and both should be decent hitters.


Josh Moran - Was the best fielder left on my board and ranked tenth on my board, tells you of my further woes in the position player department but got him with the 85th pick.

Louis Thurman - was ranked 21 and had the control and pitches I like.

Tony Castilla - I thought he was a joke when I first saw him and listed as a catcher. I wonder how many GM's saw him and moved him out or way down the board? As a catcher I would have done the same thing but I got confused when I figured out he just might be able to play RF instead so I moved him all the way to the 25th spot.

Not sure how I will do my next draft. I don't exactly like the formula builder as I like to use the target approach to make sure I get enough fielders. It actually took more time using it than my original way, about 90 minutes compared to 30. It did put them in a good order though and I am not unhappy about the players I did draft. All players drafted were in the top 200 on my board which is odd as the target approach seems to manufacture ugly position players I think.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More About Drafting

Much of it is personal preference by most veteran GM's but the settings really drive everything. I used to take the best player available on the draft board, not sure that ever worked out really. Then I changed to target players by position, while this insured me of fielding a good Rookie roster, not sure it was the best idea either. This year I am doing something just a bit different, using the formula builder. I have never had much success with it but maybe it was because I always set targets. I tried it before but really never appealed to me, might be because of the target approach. This time I am going after the best player available in my opinion while using the formula builder.

Okay, I have been a little over an hour ranking players after using the builder. I actually had to work harder using that than the other way. Not sure it was worth the effort because I normally only mess with the first 100 players. Took too much time to weed out unwanted pitchers. This time I had to mess with the first 200 or so. Oops forgot to check the bios for players that won't sign or whatever. Oh well, only a small handful above 50, conservative approach so supposedly it might take 1 of those if available. Take a chance on me...ABBA was so great weren't they? Was it worth all the extra effort is the question, I guess I will find out after the draft.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

IFA Market News

Guillermo Espinosa was signed by the Florida Marlins for $12.9M. Listed as a CF but not sure his glove and durability will live up to an every day CF. What he does have going for him however is a pretty decent bat and lots of speed.

Fausto Nunez was signed by the Helena Hot Pockets for the cheap sum of $5M. Listed as a catcher but really doesn't possess the needed skills as I see him. But his monstrosity of a bat dictates that he could be a very useful DH and a catcher in emergency situations.

Junior Jacquez was signed by the Las Vegas 51s for $5M. Though he is not exceptional at anything, does have some pop in the bat and could be a decent enough RF or 3B. The best part he 22 and almost ready to step into a ML role.

Also signed by the Las Vegas 51s was Jose Figureoa for $4M. Though I am a little shocked by this, his health may dictate retirement at a very early age. He does have a nice arm and a good bat for a SS.

Hipolito Mesa was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals for the low sum of $3M. If he develops well could be a good player at the ML level.

Speaking of stealing players for low sums, the Helena Hot Pockets signed Davey Fernandez for $2.4M. He may be sort of a project player but if he meets expectations could turn into a very good 3B.

Draft Board First Impressions

It was time to be a kid in the candy store as the Draft Boards were released. I felt it was a very rude awakening myself as I thought another cup of coffee might help my disposition. I draft 20th and lean completely towards college, so as they say on the Ugly Truth, better a floozie than a doozie. Well, I do admit without having to spend money on High School scouting, I can invest elsewhere. I see a couple of position players I wouldn't mind having but nothing I would call really exceptional. If my board is any indication it could be a pitching deep draft. But alas, in the pitching department I don't exactly see that #1 starter that I would absolutely drool over though I see several that have promise. It didn't take me long to do my board, maybe 30 minutes and will probably do some tweaks here and there until draft day, I always do.

I have used several monetary values in the scouting departments through the seasons and have settled on 14. I find that amount gives the ability to separate the good from the bad and ugly. It also seems to limit those players that have a disgustingly big differences between current and projected. So happy draft board ranking fellow GM's.

Power Rankings #2

First off there was a mistake in the Drafting Pitchers, the cut off for RP vs SP apparently is 50 now, seems like it was 40 at one time. Oh well on to the power rankings.

1. Florida Marlins - At 32-10 they grab the #1 spot after drubbing Pittsburgh.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates - At 31-11 it came down to #1 vs #2 match up.
3. Durham Bulls - Are still proving everyone wrong beating up AL teams.
4. Cleveland Indians - Move up a couple spots after beating Vancouver.
5. Vancouver Canadians - Still holding on to a top spot.
6. Los Angeles Dodgers - Has jumped into the top 10 after catching Vancouver.
7. Toronto Blue Jays - Could be playing over their heads but lead the AL North.
8. Kansas City Royals - Hanging tough behind Durham like days of yore.
9. Boston Red Sox - Sneaks in after taking control of the AL East.
10. Oakland Athletics - Lays claim to the final spot taking over the AL West.

Losing ground

Las Vegas 51s - who seem to be really disliked by the sim.
Minnesota Twins - the inability to take control of the AL North has them bewildered.

Gaining Ground

Chicago Cubs
Salem Super Sequoias

Most surprising

Detroit Tigers
Arizona Diamondbacks

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wahoo Warrior Report

39 games into the season and the Indians lead the NL East!! Not really a surprise but still room for improvement, where it is going to come from is any ones guess. The fans are happy though. No surprise as the Falcons have caught up once again and Philly is hanging tough. New York wins in streaks as they are one of the most Hot and Cold teams I have seen.

Hitting hasn't been as robust as I would have hoped especially at home. At home, Matt Pierce is leading the way with a .372 average. That sounds all well and good but Giovanni Jackson has struggled with a .237 average although he has hit the most home runs at home with 7. Eswalin James and Trace Wallace have been disgruntled strikeout victims at home. The walk rate is pretty high for most of the lineup at home. Maybe a little tinkering is in order. On the road however is another story. The team hits pretty well on the road though it is a little misleading. Lots of walks precipitate this a bit but the team puts up a lot more runs on the road. Home runs have been pretty even home and away so far thanks to the onslaught in the last game at Pittsburgh. We might even hit more than the dismal 77 that they posted at home last year.

Fielding hasn't been as good as expected. Not sure what is up with all the errors actually, same infield as last year more or less but sure aren't playing like it. Almost leading the league in errors is never a good sign. Leading the league in plus plays and zero minus plays so far however is always a good sign. Not real sure how to interpret this little conundrum.

Pitching wise, the starters are actually getting the job done. The pen however can be perfect one day and forget how to pitch the next. It isn't sporadic and can't be linked to any one thing either. They are either good or ugly depending on how they feel as it would seem.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Other Stuff About Pitchers

This part really goes hand in hand with the other article on pitchers but just didn't seem to fit as that one was about a pitchers ratings more than anything else.

Drafting Pitchers

I really quit trying to draft ML starting pitchers. Sounds a bit dumb huh? When you don't draft in the top 10 or 12 slots there is no reason to look for one. I look instead to finding Long Relievers that have the capability to be #4 or #5 starters maybe. The way I look at it, two of them equal one good starter. As for setup/closer types I don't even bother unless he looks like he could be really good. It is actually cheaper to trade for one or get one in the FA market early than to bother drafting one. You can even find one in the Rule V draft most times. I have found out in the draft that pitchers are broken down into SP and RP, I know everybody knows this, but has anybody taken the time to look how they separate them? RP = 1 to 2 innings or stamina below 40 all others are classified as starters. Knowing that might change your mind on how to rank them. I try to draft pitchers in the 3rd round on that could be real good career minor league starters. I find this helps fatigue issues and needing less pitchers in the minors plus I can put more effort finding a good position player in the first two rounds.

I try to find good cheap starting pitchers in IFA to put in the rookie camp also. This means I can get more position players instead of worrying about pitchers in the draft. Never know when one of these might turn into a DITR.

Pitcher Advancement

Other than having a good pitcher to start with, has anybody noticed what effects other things have on pitcher advancement? Good coaches for one, though I am not thoroughly convinced on that. Minor League stadiums can be a helpful item to watch. Catchers can also be very helpful to development, good PC is a must in my books (think of Bull Durham). Advancing them too fast could be a detriment. Something I have noticed is that young pitchers really don't fare all that well in the majors. Is it because they are not mature enough? Too many young pitchers at the ML level is not so good either, a good mix of vets is a wise idea.

When is he ready for ML assignment is always an undetermined thing. Used to be I didn't hold a pitcher longer than three seasons in the minors. Of course that is when I used a good advanced scouting budget. Now I use a pitchers current ratings to determine if he is ready along with my pitching guidelines.

Performance Guide

What kind of performance do you expect of a pitcher at the ML level? Outstanding of course!! But we know that isn't possible. What do you really expect from any pitcher at the ML level should be relative.

Age, ratings, years with team and performance are great indicators of how good a pitcher really is on your team. Did he fit in with the team? Sometimes I think there is a hidden rating about that or a combination of ratings that indicate this. Did his performance not meet your expectations? That of course is the relative part as most never do.

What I look for is probably a bit odd for most of you. I will use Randy Lamb as an example. I use him as a 5th starter. Most of you probably wouldn't think of even having him at the ML level to start with. I wouldn't either if I had a better choice. But my expectations and his performance equals what I expect. If you look at his game log, the start of the season was rather bumpy but has calmed down since then. If I can get 5 innings out of him as a starter and still be in the game I am happy. Actually I am happy when any starter goes 5 or more innings and we are still in the game. A good pen is what allows a team to win if you don't have three or four outstanding starters.

Most GM's look at ERA and WHIP to determine if a pitcher has what it takes. Not me, I look at a pitchers OAV more than anything else. Randy is a good example for that. Even in the FA market, I look at the OAV, his home park the last two seasons, how good the defense was and the catchers. Too many times a GM hopes he has enough of a pitching staff that can carry the team while the offense wins the games. Last years Atlanta team was like that, defenseless teams however usually don't go far in the playoffs. I may have gotten further but I actually doubt I would have gotten out of the second round. (ooops, off track)

An OAV above .270 is starting to be borderline if you have an outstanding defense. One must look at the PC of the catcher also though. Above .290 either he isn't that good or something else is wrong and his other stats has to be looked at. Look at it this way, a .290 OAV and an under 4.00 ERA means something is off somewhere.

A pitcher like anyone else can have a bad season. Don't give up too soon if his stats and expectations didn't suit you. Sometimes a pitching staff just doesn't gel if you have a relatively new staff. Four or five new players in a pitching staff could take time, just like position players, but should continually improve.

Getting them into the right role can also be an inconvenience. Some pitchers for whatever reason thrive better in different slots. Long relievers in Setup A or Setup B roles, starters in slot 1 as opposed to slot 2 or 3. Be inventive and see if they perform better somewhere else. I have never figured this out and sometimes it becomes trial and error.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pitcher Ratings

Depending on the GM you will hear a lot of different things about pitchers and their ratings. Some pitchers with good ratings can be bad for no apparent reason and it drives us bonkers to say the least. Pitchers with so-so ratings also drives us nuts when the team can't hit them for some reason. So I guess it is all relative some of the time. What I like in a pitchers ratings differs from the next person also.

Stamina - Depends on the role I want them for but prefer pitchers with a 60 and above most generally for any role. It is actually hard to get 10 or more on the same roster.

Durability - I like this to be above 25 for most and 60+ for players with a low Stamina.

Control - Depends on the pitcher sometimes, but I seldom look at a pitcher with below 80 unless he has 70 splits and pitch 1 and 2 are very very good. For a closer I like a 90+ control.

Splits - I don't concern myself all that much with these ratings unless I am handing out big bucks. I really like 70+ in vsR and at least 50+ in vsL (vice-versa for a lefty) but will actually drop down to around 45 in both if control and pitches are very good. I like 70+ splits for a closer though.

Velocity - Some like it high as they tend to like strikeout pitchers, I on the other hand like them to be in the off-speed mode. Why? Power hitters like fast balls so why tempt fate especially in the late innings.

GB vs FB - For most this is a personal preference, I usually carry a stingy defense so I tend to try and get mostly GB pitchers. If most balls are on the ground then fewer are going over a wall. Fun fact, Cleveland pitchers give up more Home Runs at home than on the road. Why? Schedule, pure and simple. 81 games at home in a neutral park vs a minimum of 36 to a max of 54 road games in a plus park. The bad part is the offense hits more on the road than at home, go figure.

Pitch1 - I really like this pitch to be 85+ on any pitcher, this is his out pitch btw (from dev chat) so it had better be his good one. There are cases where the splits and control can justify it being in the 70's along with the second pitch.

Pitch2 - I really like this pitch in the 70's or better. I am not real keen on a pitcher that has a better pitch3 either unless pitch 2 is in the mid 60's+ with pitch 3 being in the mid 70's or better.

Pitch3 - I really like this pitch to be 50+

Pitch4 - I like to be as close to 50 as possible or better.

Pitch5 - Is actually a throw away pitch but you better have a good catcher behind the plate if it is below 30. If a pitcher has this pitch, it rarely if ever gets thrown if it is below 30*.

*Although it was mentioned in a dev chat, any pitcher with a real bad last pitch rarely if ever gets used. Though they never mentioned a cut off. What is evident in stats, a pitcher with a last pitch in the low 30's or lower with a catcher whose PC is not in the 80's tend to throw more wild pitches or catchers tend to have more passed balls especially those with a sub-par range or glove. Also wild pitches and passed balls are further enhanced by lack of control below 50.

As for Christian Gordon whom I have checked out. I have one in another World with almost identical ratings, ok mine has better splits but everything else is the same. I use him as a closer, he was 59-61 in that role last season and is 32-33 so far this season. What is the difference, catchers is the only thing I can think of, I run highly defensive catchers with 90 PC in that World. Matter of fact, he is the only setup/closer type I have in that world as I am blessed with 10 pitchers that would be considered #3 starters or worse here.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Power Rankings

1. Pittsburgh Pirates - A 17-3 record just about sums this team up.
2. Florida Marlins - Scoring is not their style but pitching is awesome.
3. Durham Bulls - Just to prove my preseason wrong again.
4. Vancouver Canadians - TJ told me these guys have a chance and so far he is right.
5. Las Vegas 51s - Hardest hitting team around, will it go south again this year?
6. Cleveland Indians - Tough schedule early but came out ok so far.
7. Toronto Blue Jays - They lead the North and have beaten worthy opponents.
8. Anaheim Angels - Money spent well so far but how long will it last?
9. Kansas City Royals - Been tough so far.
10. Minnesota Twins - Will the real Twins please stand up?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Quote of the Day

Sorry Folks, don't have much time for the news but I just had to put this one in writing because it seemed so funny and real.

GM tylermathias of the Arizona Diamondbacks - "I may be jumping the gun here, but I'm hopeful that my D-Backs have made the leap from embarrassingly bad to just plain everyday bad. Next stop...Mediocrity!"

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

First Big Money IFA Has Landed

The first big IFA contract for Season 16, if you call $7.7M big, was awarded to Benito Ozuna who was signed by the Oakland Athletics. Benito has the power at the plate but scouts tell me he suffers from a lazy arm. He is listed as a 2B but my blind scouts tell me a different story and could possibly wind up in RF at best. Landing himself in Low A to start his career but has yet to have any fun in the dirt.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Sad Day

A moment of silence will be observed before todays games to honor the passing of erffdogg, one of the greatest GM's and Commissioners in HBD. We will miss you!! RIP !!

In MLB, his 8 division titles and four straight World Series trophies with his beloved Cincinnati Reds will always be remembered. His fun loving attitude and dedication to his fake fantasy teams showed his tenacity towards any sport like no other. Even in real life, Mr Rudy showed the same dedication and will be sorely missed.

If we change the name of the league I would like to see it called, MLB - Erffdogg Memorial as he would not want to change the name fully. I would also like to see the name of the Cincinnati Reds changed to the Cincinnati Reds-erffdoggs as I am not sure I could bear not seeing his name on the team somewhere.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Season 16 Opening Day

Everywhere in MLB Land has high expectations as teams start their Season 16 play. Half of the teams played today and the rest tonight as the first pitches are being thrown out.

In Vancouver the Canadians opened the season against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers where a hit batter, a stolen base and a double in the bottom of the ninth that secured a 3-2 victory for Vancouver.

The Cleveland Indians opened their season at home against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies opened the scoring in the 2nd with 4 runs but the Indians powered their way back to tie it in 5th. The Phillies took the lead again in the 6th plating 2 but diminished quickly as home runs spelled trouble for the Phillies pitching staff in the 6th and 7th as Cleveland wins 7-6.

In Arlington, Texas that is, the Rangers pitching staff got out of a bases loaded jam in the 10th and scored the winning run on the speed of Everett Hill in the bottom of the inning to steal the game away from the St. Louis Cardinals 6-5.

At Wrigley Field, the Cubs clobbered the Cincinnati Reds 30-6. Oh where Oh where is the missing Rudy?

In Oakland it was Old-Timers Day as a treat to the fans for their opener. To commemorate the occasion the Athletics started crafty veteran Cam Anderson on the mound after he put his walker away. He went 6 innings giving up 2 runs as his prep H balls were confusing the Anaheim Angels hitters. Oakland wins 8-4 using the long ball to their advantage.

In the biggest rivalry of the the very young season, the Boston Red Sox held off the Syracuse Sycamores 8-5. It could have been nerves for the opening day, but both pens seemed very shaky.

In Detroit, the Seattle Mariners scored a 5-2 opening day victory as Tomas Camacho threw 1 real bad pitch in his complete game victory while striking out 8 along the way.

In North Carolina, Durham to be exact, the Bulls opened their campaign against their dreaded rival, the Kansas City Royals. The Royals slugged their way to a 6 -1 win as Albert Tapies, the one time Bull, went yard in his favorite park.

On Tap for tonight:

Milwaukee Brewers @ Pittsburgh Pirates (-6)
Luis Cruz's Grand Slam in the 5th seals Pirate opening day victory 7-1.

Atlanta Falcons @ New York Mets (E)
Max Lima's Grand Slam in the 4th breaks open a 3-3 tie and secures a Falcons victory.

Houston Astros @ Florida Marlins (-4)
In the sweltering Florida weather, Houston struck early for three runs and the pitching staff made it stand up for a 3-1 Astros victory over the Marlins.

Salem Super Sequoias @ Arizona Diamondbacks (+3)
Ex-Clevelandite, Karim Quevedo, continues to prove that he can actually hit and powers the D'Backs over Salem 7-3.

Toronto Blue Jays @ Minnesota Twins (-2)
The Jays opened the 1st with a 4 run onslaught but the Twinkies respond with a 4 run 4th to tie. After a couple single runs in the later innings, the Twinkies scored the winning run in the bottom of the 10th to end a surprising opening day.

Tampa Bay Rays @ Austin Fightin' Armadillos (-2)
In the dry Austin air, the Rays light up the 'dillos pen for 5 runs overcoming a 3-1 deficit winning 5-3.

Washington D.C. Senators @ Dover Dung Beetles (-1)
In rain filled Dover, the Senators three long balls outshined Miguel Rodrigo's blast as Washington sneaks in a 4-2 opening day win on the road.

Las Vegas 51s @ Helena Hot Pockets (E)
In Helena, the 51s hit at will as the Hot Pockets were on the wrong defrost setting getting swamped 11-1.

Other highlights see the Reds being clobbered for a second straight game 25-8 at the hands of the mighty Cubs(sic) as everyone is still worried about the missing e-dog.

The Los Angeles Dodgers handed the Vancouver Canadians their worst defeat in three years with a 17-3 thrashing.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hall Of Fame Voting

A very big class to vote on, 25 all told. Will any of them make it and join Armas and Stevenson? I looked over the class very carefully and several are good enough in my mind but had to settle for three. I am not here gathering votes for any one of these players, just saying why I voted for who I did.

Ramon Dong - 6 All-Star games, a Gold Glove (though these days would only make it as a 1B), SS twice in LF (wasn't even considered a Home Run threat) and a WS ring. What really makes him stand out is his life time batting average of .326. His ratings did not lie about that.

Charles Kinney - 3 All-Star games, 1 Cy Young, 3 WS rings. Was on some great teams and always had double digit wins as a starter and was successful even in his twilight. Never had more than 8 losses in a season and had 17 plus wins 4 years in a row. His Cy Young actually came on the down swing of his career but was followed with an even better year but was on the same team as Yamil. With his ratings he would be just as good today as yesteryear.

Bryan McDowell - 7 time All-Star, 6 time Fireman of the year. Had 40+ saves 6 times (2 of them 50 plus) and was 22 of 26 in the post season with 2 wins and no losses but never got the ring. Had 352 saves lifetime out of 396 chances, pretty good average there for sure. Yes his ratings matched the production.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The AL

The AL North

I really had to look very closely at the teams here in the North. Last year it was a race between Minnesota and Toronto as predicted. This year could be an all out war between all four teams.

Minnesota - I am giving them a very tentative nod to win the division.

Detroit and Seattle both have vastly and I mean vastly improved and either could surprise.

Toronto - I am not saying they are out of the loop but there is something about the makeup of the team that just doesn't gel in my eyes this year.

I am going out on a limb and picking Minnesota with Detroit, Seattle and Toronto on their heels all tied for second. How is that for a race.

The AL East

Syracuse got the lead last year and refused to surrender it. Can they repeat this year? They spent money to support the pen. Boston more or less stood pat while Dover spent tons on Rodrigo. Washington got better from the farm.

I still pick Syracuse, as they are still strong for a likely repeat.

Boston will contend and make a close second again.

Dover helped the offense but pitching may not be good enough.

Washington will be much better but I don't think the pitching is good enough to contend just yet.

The AL South

Last year it was Durham with Austin coming out of the woodwork to claim second place. I really didn't see that happening. Durham lost a lot this year, so can they keep their stranglehold on the South?

I am picking Austin this year because the pitching is much better IMO.

Kansas City rolls in as a very close second.

I chose Durham third last year and got beat up about it and I don't have any qualms doing it again.

Tampa Bay continues to improve but not enough to contend this year.

The AL West

When the dust settled last year Helena found themselves in first with a frustrated Las Vegas second. Will it change this year? I am here to tell you that Oakland and Anaheim didn't sit around sucking their thumbs. Like the AL North this could very well be another free-for-all.

I am picking Helena because they look like the deeper team on all sides of the ball.

The rest are all tied for second as I can't distinguish them apart.

How will it end in the AL is anyones guess actually but my guess is this.

#1 - Austin
#2 - Syracuse
#3 - Minnesota
#4 - Helena
#5 - Detroit
#6 - Oakland

Just about anyone and everyone could be contention for the wild card spots, so it will be a wild and woolly affair.

The NL

NL North

Pittsburgh - I would say they are set up to win for a couple more seasons at least. If the injury bug sets in however this team could find itself in dire straits.
Cincinnati - The Reds have a lot to prove this year as last year may have been a bit surprising but did they lose too much and maybe gained less. The pitching staff could be a sore spot.
Milwaukee - The defense may be atrocious but the offense could spell trouble. The pitching is not great but can get the job done. I would say two season away from contending again.
Chicago - A team that folded up shop last year and then went on a fire sale. Too many youngsters that may not be ready for the ML level.

Pittsburgh should stand alone this year with Cincy maybe grabbing a Wild Card spot.

NL East

Cleveland - Should be the team to beat but seem to find a way of losing. The pen is vastly improved but starting pitching could be a problem but will be aided by a very stingy defense.

Atlanta - Has the hitting going for them and really the only thing that keeps them in contention. Pitching isn't great but keeps them in games.

Philadelphia - Good players on offense but the elder pitching staff could be a let down this year.

New York - This is a team to be very wary of. They are vastly improved but still have a ways to go on offense/defense. The pitching staff could give any team fits.

Will Cleveland finally win? Or will Atlanta hit their way in again?

NL South

Florida - It will be hard not to put them in first place with the #1 seed this year.

Texas - Proved last year they can win but winning the division is probably out of reach. Wild Card once again and maybe another World Series?

St. Louis - Offense will be causing teams trouble as always but pitching may not lend a helping hand.

Houston - Pitching and hitting is the key in Houston and there just doesn't seem to be enough to go around. There is help coming in the pitching department but it is still in development while hitting help could be another year or so away.

NL West

Salem - I am going out on a limb here and have them as the #3 seed and maybe #2 if things come together for them.

Los Angeles - Not sure how they will react to the new stadium this year. They are a very solid team and should actually win more games. I really think they should grab the final wild card spot.

Vancouver - Has the pitching but I think hitting could be another story.

Arizona - Will be vastly improved this season. Pitching is not their ally but help in that department is on the way but is a year or two in development yet.

This is the way I see it happening this year.

#1 - Florida
#2 - Salem
#3 - Pittsburgh
#4 - Cleveland
#5 - Texas
#6 - Las Angeles

Serious contention from Cincinnati and Atlanta.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pittsburgh Pirates Season 16

The Pirates begin season 16 with pretty much the same roster as they ended season 15. Budgetary constraints were the main reason for this.
Additions: Vin Cruz, Kerry Rivera, Nate Sager, Daryl Graves, and Damian Wiltse
Departures: Jake Owens, Don Benson, Wilfredo Belliard, Jaime Philips, Juan Bonilla, and Happy Hayes
Losing Phillips and Benson hurts. The Pirates have one more spot open and this will be filled once spring training has been completed.

The Pirates Season 16 opening day roster:
C: Andy Reagan backing him up will be: Vin Cruz
1B: Juan Carrasquel tailed off a bit last season, look for him to bounce back this year and make a run for MVP. Max Fuentes will back up Juan and pinch hit when needed.
2B: Bernard Shelley moves to 2B this season. Kerry Rivera will backup at 2nd, CF and pinch run when needed.
SS: Don Gong not flashy but gets the job done
3B: Luis Cruz moves back to 3rd this season. His batting avg dropped quite a bit last year, management is confident he'll bounce back this season.
LF: David Gomez solid first full season in the majors last season. Tim Roberts will come off the bench when needed.
CF: Clarence Valentin moves to CF this reason. With his range it should work out well.
RF: Alex Richardson had an MVP type season last year, hoping for more of the same this season.

Pitching Staff:
SP1: Tim Loewer best 6 inning pitcher in the game
SP2: Omar Elcano had a good regular season, bad playoff. Have to stop this trend.
SP3: Jimmie Torres had a pretty good first half of the season and than got hammered in the second half. Might be better suited in the pen.
SP4: Alex Espinoza has bounced between starting and relieving pretty much his whole career.
SP5: Daryl Graves will be given a chance to start this season.
Mopup: Nate Sager will get the odd spot start to when needed
SuA: Emil Sosa was outstanding last season
SuA: Daniel Blackwell key along with Sosa and Corronado
SuB: Albert Villafuerte vet is back for one more season
SuB: Geraldo Rosa has put together 3 pretty good seasons in relief for the Pirates
SuB: Damian Wiltse gets a chance earn a spot in the pen this year.
CLA: Andres Coronado all star last season

The Pirates focus this season is winning the world series. The team is one year older, the starting pitching is a little bit weaker, the bullpen is strong with Blackwell joining Sosa and Corronado for a full season. The offence should be about the same maybe a little bit better. With that noted, anything less than a World Series win will be a dissappointment. The window of opportunity for this team winning is maybe 2 possibly 3 more seasons, the Pirates must win now.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Buzz of The Day

The Buzz of the day is the Rule V draft of course. The biggest thing is whether Darren Cambridge should have been protected. It depends I suppose as Tampa Bay may be looking to draft two players, if protected then would only be able to get one. Looking him over at a glance I would say several GM's would be licking their chops if he is available to them.

He has Range, Arm Strength, Speed and Contact working in his favor and he can play a most deficient position, SS, to me not very well at all yet. But what happens at a deeper look? Awards show he is pretty good at the minors and why not with a high contact where pitching and defense is not the greatest. He bats left, another good combo really, and hits to the left side against an even weaker defensive area in the minors and has some pop in the bat. But can he hit ML pitching, not well IMO. What about defense, not that good by the stats as he is very error prone. Of course that could be exacerbated by a very weak 1B or 2B but I doubt by much. Plus plays are about right IMO for the minors especially last season. I see him able to achieve a very good defensive SS status with some better hitting abilities even but that will probably not be this season. The catch to me, he isn't ready for a ML uniform as of yet and maybe not for two seasons at least, not at SS anyway. His durability and health limits his playing time a bit also. He very well could make a solid 2B or 3B and maybe play some CF this year at the ML level with his current ratings. But how well is a question mark as he has only ever played SS in the minors.

Rule V players rarely get any ratings boost, have never figured out why (does WIS see this as a growth stunt?). IMO he is worth taking but don't expect much this season, especially in the hitting department. He would need a lot of playing time to make the pick worth while and hope he has a good rollover for next season.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

And the Money Goes To!

Santiago Mangual was signed by the Florida Marlins with a 5-year deal worth over $58M. Durham gets a 1st round pick albeit the 32nd in the deal.

The Durham Bulls signed Douglas Baker to a 4-year deal worth over $24M.

Carmen Recchio reached terms with the Detroit Tigers for a 2-year contract at $7.2M.

Your Season 16 Cleveland Indians

Without further ado management has declared the ML team as pretty much set. Since management does not believe there will be anything in Rule 5 V that could help, though we will be on the lookout. The team really has a lot of new faces compared to the start of the season last year. Management was trade happy last year trying to find a good fit and thinks they have found it.

The Offense/Defense

C - Bart Ross or Black Bart as he has become to be known. The uncertainty is whether he will bat lead-off or 2nd in the lineup. His companion at backstop is none other than Jose Blanco whom the pen love.

1B - Zachrey Jerzembeck, who was managements final choice at crunch time in the FA market. He won out over Winston Ulrich for his defense and speed in the end. He is penciled in to lead-off.

2B - Eswalin James, who had is best season last year is back again. He will be batting 7th,

3B - Trace Wallace, who played a myriad of positions last year but management decided to make him a fixture at 3B this season. He will be batting 6th.

SS - Jesus Rivera will be the starting SS this season. He was in the dog house last year after he made or caused three errors in one inning of a game last season. The best part for him was he never had another. He will be batting 8th.

RF - Giovanni Jackson is back in his stomping grounds going for his 4th straight Gold Glove and will be batting 4th.

CF - Matt Pierce is back for his 2nd season. He will be batting 3rd in the lineup.

LF - Felipe Mendoza is still considered a rookie (I think) and was acquired in a late season trade with Arizona last year. He will be batting 5th in the lineup.


Sean Smalley will be the all-purpose position player this season.

Pascual Zapata remains with the club to backup 1B, 3B, RF and LF.

Steven Byrd was well liked by the staff after being called up late last season and assumes a backup role for 1B and LF mainly but could be used in other ways also.

Mickey Greer became the only player to lose an offensive roster spot this season from the end of last season. Though he is first on the list of call-ups due to injury or other misgivings.

The Starting Pitching Staff

SP1 - Tito Gao will be the opening day starter this year.

SP2 - Brant Brede draws the #2 slot this season.

SP3 - Karim Pulido is a new acquisition in FA we hope will have a great season for us and gets the #3 slot.

SP4 - Pedro Roque slides into the #4 slot this year.

SP5 - Randy Lamb was chosen for the #5 slot.

The Relief Core

Ross Bland
Mickey Frazier
Cy Bruske
Lonnie Dipoto
Jose Crespo
Mendy Hughes
Posiedon Marte
Manny Wagner

The Coaching Staff

Yannick Thompson returns for his 6th season as the Hitting Coach.
Davey Dawley returns for his second season at 1B.
Cy Holzemer was hired to replace the traitorous Don Bell(Durham of all places) at 3B.
Tim Morgan pleaded with us to be the Pitching Coach after two seasons in the pen.
Luke Kelly returns for his 2nd year as the Bench Coach.
Marty Harding returns for his 2nd season as the Fielding Instructor.
Will Smith (Fresh Prince of Bolt) was hired to take over the Bull Pen this season.

Team Song: Please Mr Custer

The season sees us opening at home against the Philadelphia Phillies. Not sure about anyone else on the management team, but I am happy that it isn't the Mets for a change. What is the chances of the Indians breaking their playoff drought? I think it is better this year than previous seasons, of course I say that every year.