Monday, April 30, 2012

Draft Review

 It is time for the dreaded overview of the draft picks. This season was no different than previous seasons in a way.  I did find it a little discomforting that after the first 6 picks, players did a hefty nose dive in quality.  For the newbies, the grading system indicates if the player is a ML contender or not.  Basically, an "A" indicates a for sure pick with probable star power. A "B" indicates a probable ML pick. A "C" indicates an iffy pick at best that might have ML potential. Anything else, let's just say he down right sucks that actually didn't happen in this draft as of yet.  My scouting is a bit off this year also, so I may not see them totally in the right light and am sort of guessing a little.

1.  Fautino Lopez , P, St. Louis Cardinals: If he develops and there is no reason why he shouldn't, should become very worthy of the number 1 overall pick.  Easily be a number 1 starting pitcher and a future Cy Young candidate. Just what the Cards needed in the rebuild and came at an unusually cheap price too.

Grade: A+

2. Robinson Montgomery, CF, Detroit Tigers: Has the potential to be a Gold Glove star at his position. At the plate, he could be intense and intimidating for a lefty.  Not one to go for the fences with every swing but could be an OBP nightmare. Speed also helps his cause one he gets there also. Detroit chose well.

Grade: A+

3. Vinny Gates, P, San Francisco Giants: May not have the overwhelming control, but the splits and pitches look to be top notch for a lefty flame thrower.  In Frisco, should be the talk of the town in the future.

Grade: A

4. Rock Trachsel, P, Kansas City Royals: If you needed middle relief and a lefty to boot this was the player to take. If my scouting is off the way I think it is, he could be a IJ look a like.

Grade: A+

5. Blaine Milton, C, Toronto Blue Jays:  May not be great defensively but may have the pitch calling needed for a long career at the catching spot. At the plate, his attentiveness will drive pitchers and balls insane. Well, if projections are met anyway, otherwise he might be just a super DH which bodes well for the Blue Jays. He could just as well be a big promising bust also but we don't think so. Okay, so the minus is inherent to his health.

Grade: A-

6. Alex Martin, C, Cincinnati Reds: Two possibly great catchers in the top 10 picks is rare let alone one.  This pick though leaves the Blue Jays with egg on their face.  Just like the previous pick, not great defensively but has the pitch calling potential already in place for the ML and will get better. Health is not an issue and looks to be an everyday player which is hard to come by in a catcher. At the plate, pitchers are gonna have to be very cautious as he will be a tougher than tough out. Very likely a yearly consensus MVP.

Grade: A+

7. Dean Venters, CF/2B, Louisville Colonels:  Defensively he isn't Gold Glove material at either targeted position, more like RF. At the plate, he has a good eye but likes lefty pitchers much better.  Doesn't have the booming power but makes contact most of the time which will test the opponents defense. Lots of speed for many thefts to go with it.

Grade: A-

8. Eddie McMillan, SS, Little Rock Heads: Could be a defensive star at SS but me thinks he will wind up short and may be better suited to play 3B or 2B.  His durability is severely lacking or it could be my scouting coming into play again. At the plate he only shows to be average with a little pop. Plenty of speed for those thefty situations. Robert has already told me it was the best pick on his ugly board and I might have to agree as things have surely went down hill quickly.

Grade: B

9. Flip Murray, P, San Diego Padres:  I would consider him to be a middle of the rotation starter. May have good control and splits and the scouts may be a little inept about his first two pitches. Development will be key to this more than likely good off-speed pitcher.

Grade: A-

10. Rondell Coomb, SS,  Baltimore Orioles: The O's may be in a bit of a tizzy on whether to sign this pick or not. He was a bit of a risky pick to begin with, but his health could be an even bigger risk to factor in. Looks to have the Range and Arm to play SS but the Glove is another issue which could relegate him to 3B and possible 2B. At the plate he makes contact but his eye and splits may not make him an over-achiever.

Grade: B

11. Sammy Santana, SS, Mexico City Diablos Rojos:  Defensively he could struggle to play a good 3B which could relegate him to RF and that ain't all bad.  At the plate he has some good pop and contact which will make him a tough adversary with his decent eye and splits. Plenty of speed once he gets on also.

Grade: A-

12. Tomas Otanez, 2B, Dover Dung Beetles: Chances are he would be best suited to play RF as it is doubtful he will aspire at 2B. At the plate he could be a tough out with lots of singles doubles and walks. His speed is good but know how could cause him to be caught a lot.

Grade: A-

13. Jon Moore, P, Washington D.C. Senators:  The draft wasn't really great in the pitching department especially with starters. Yes he has ML potential, greatness however isn't in his cards without a good offense for this lefty. Control is only decent, splits could be decent but the pitches look they could be great. Has some velo but is a fly ball type pitcher which proffers the need for a good outfield.

Grade: B

14. Devon Mercedes, P, Atlanta Braves:  Another starter who may make a spot in the end of a rotation.  Has a lot to develop and coming up short won't help his cause. Pitches don't look good enough but that could be my scouts. Control and splits will be decent just not overwhelming but has the tools to keep the ball in the park maybe.

Grade: B

15. Sawyer Christensen, CL, Milwaukee Brewers:  Shows to have the control, velo and pitches to be a successful closer. The question is whether the splits will make the grade in the end as they have a long way to go.

Grade: B+

16. Tony Toregas, P, Cincinnati Reds: After their first pick they were hoping for a pitcher to help but failed miserably.  He is young and could develop but it will take time and maybe not well enough for the majors after that. I am calling this the "Red Herring" pick of the draft.

Grade: C

17.  Philip Creek, LF, Anaheim Angels:  The Angels are overjoyed with their pick or should be. He may not develop into a great LF but 1B and DH are other options this kid can fill.  Has power at the plate with a good eye and high splits with some decent contact which should put him on-base alot. Speed and know how isn't great so don't look for any thievery.

Grade: A

18. Chin-Hui Kuroda, C, Arizona Diamondbacks:  When I first looked I went, "WoW! a third 1st round catcher." Then I looked at his durability and said " Awww shucks.".  Well, it could be better than I am seeing. Defensively he is a very strong backstop pitchers will love. At the plate he has good power, eye and splits but could be lacking in the contact area.

Grade: B

19. Orlando James, 2B, Helena Hot Pockets: How well this kid plays 2B is up to him, could be decent or mediocre but intuition dictates the latter.  His contact is what drew the eyes of Helena, very high even though the rest is average.

Grade: B

20. Esteban Bennett, P, Milwaukee Brewers:  My scouts look befuddled again but looking things over I think he could make it as an end of rotation starter.  Not sure if Milwaukee will be to his liking but could have decent control and splits and maybe pitches to go with it. Off-speed and nearly Fly ball doesn't help his cause.

Grade: B-

21. Herb Jenkins, SU, New York Mets: Gee, would think that this pick would be great for the first setup type guy drafted since I deemed the other a closer but au contraire laddies.  Good control is a maybe, splits may be a little weak, off speed isn't all that helpful either but has the pitches. In reality, he was the best player left on my board.

Grade: B-

22. Kyle Gilke, P,  Minnesota Twins: unknown

23. Andrew Bergen, P, Tampa Bay Rays:  End of rotation starter to long relief. Could be a rare find this late in the draft. Could have the control and splits with the pitches necessary to compete at the ML level. The big problem is that it might take a while for him to develop, a long way to go and maybe a short time to get there.

Grade: A

24. Trent Hodges, 2B,  Helena Hot Pockets: May not be defensively great at 2B, has great speed but health could be an issue. At the plate he doesn't have a lot of power but may have the penchant for getting on base.

Grade: B

25. Julio Merced, P, Philadelphia Phillies: Another development project that might end up short.  Control might be okay, splits could be so-so for a lefty but the pitches might be a mystery.  Velo and ground ball look good though.

Grade: B-

26. Willie Clark, CF,  Salem Super Sequoias: Unknown

27. Royce Brown, CF, Chicago Cubs: The Cubs have already decided they didn't like the pick. Evidently they didn't wait for my interpretation and already demoted him to LF.  No he really won't have the range for CF and doesn't have the arm for RF, so they are right in that aspect.  At the plate he has a decent eye and could develop into a decent hitter with a little pop.

Grade: B-

28. Chance Cummings, P, Montreal Expos: We all can hear the ABBA tune playing already, now to just get it out of my head and the porn jokes that just won't subside.  Other than having less than admirable control though I don't see any reason why he can't make a ML roster.

Grade: B

29. Domingo Blanco, SS, Colorado Springs Sky Sox: Not sure he has the arm for SS but should be good enough for 3B and range will probably wind up a bit short also.  Has some pop at the plate but development could make or break him.

Grade: C+

30. Philip Well, CF, Houston Astros: Unknown

31.  Gregg Clark, 2B,  Salem Super Sequoias: Unknown

32. Alex Latham, 2B, Toronto Blue Jays: 2B could be an iffy proposition. At the plate he has a good eye but the rest will need to come around to make the majors. Has speed and knows how to use but must first demonstrate the ability to get on base.

Grade: C+

33. Johan Hunter, RF, San Francisco Giants: Unknown

Friday, April 27, 2012

Royals Join IFA Fray

No disrespect to the Royals even though they are in Metland at the moment, I just plainly missed it. The Kansas City Royals saw fit to spend $24M on Edgmer Bennett. Another fireballer that has Cy Young aspirations. My scouts are still hiding in a Cantina somewhere so I am on my own. There was a Linda Loo sighting, seems she was walking rather bow legged on a beach somewhere.  My scouts need to be fired as they think he is a pretty good lefty. Well, they think his left split will be better than his right, so in their inebriated state made a ridiculous assumption. Great control, splits look odd but I think they will be good and not odd, good velo and GB action.  Pitches could be somewhat of a mystery of what I see but think they will be alright also. Another good buy.
The Atlanta Braves parted ways with $27.8M for Harry Guardado. My bumbling scouts don't know what they are talking about for sure as he looks like the real deal to me. I think he could be Cy Young candidate in a few years. My scouts don't think he has the pitches to carry him but they have the tendency to use beer goggles if you ask me. He is projected to be spot on with very good splits, velo and decent GB ability even if the pitches don't look that overpowering. Looking at it without my scouts, I think he is very capable and projections are a bit better than the way my scouts show him off but not as good as the number 1 pick in the draft. A very good buy regardless.

Mets Post Draft Board

 How my top 11 looked before the draft:

1. P - I expect him to go in the first 5 picks.
2. P - I expect him to go in the first 5 picks.
3. SS - I expect him to go in the first 5 picks also.
4. 2B - I am hoping he is there at 21, but not sure, to me he is a top 16 pick at least.
5. 2B - I am hoping he is there at 21, but not sure, to me he is a top 16 pick at least.
6. P - Could be there at 21 but not holding my breath, another top 16 pick.
7. P - Should be there at 21, but I would rather get him with sandwich pick.
8. SS - Should be there with 21st pick and may move him up one.
9. P - Should be there at 21, to me a later first round pick.
10. SS - Should be there at 21, but should go as a later 1st rounder.
11. CF - Classified more of a sandwich pick to a 2nd rounder if you ask me. Ok, after looking things over  here I changed my mind and dropped him a spot.

1.  Fautino Lopez, P - Thought he was solid and was the number 1 pick.
2.  Flip Murra, P - I really figured he would be a top 5 pick but his bio may have dropped him. Still the number 9 pick by the Padres looks solid.
3.  Sammy Santana, SS - Maybe 3B is the best he could ever play but still a good hitter. Did his stock drop  to 11 and the Diablos due to the amount of pitchers and catchers taken early?
4.  Tomas Otanez, 2B - Bad base running skill but such good hitting skills for the lead off spot. Dropped in the draft to number 12 and the Beetles.
5.  Dean Venter, 2B - The Colonels took him at number 7. We can debate for a while which of the last two was a better pick.
6.  Esteban Bennett, P - The Brew Crew got there in the nick of time to scoop him up with the 20th pick. He would have been mine....waaah!
7.  Herb Jenkin, P - What can I say, he was the first "should"and the Mets got him at 21.
8.  Domingo Blanc, SS - Became a Sky Sucker with the 29th pick, he was kinda of an up and down player.
9.  William Galloway, P - Wow, he was still available with the 40th pick? Made my draft!
10.  Rondell Coomb, SS - The O's liked him and made him the 10th pick, too many issues for my liking.
11.  Mike Crowe, CF - Fell all the way to the second round to Frisco. Yeah, he did have some issues but I don't think falling that far was one of them.

There were a three or four more further down my board that went in first round, see how the scouts can make things up as they go.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

News of Note

Real world issues have critically intervened into my fake fantasy world. I could go on and on about the events this month has conceived but I doubt you want to hear it, would make a good soap opera though. Back to the real fake news however.

Hey, is everyone ready for the amateur draft? In my other world, for the newbies on that snippet should wait at least another season before picking up another team, held their draft this morning. I was very surprised in the fact that I drafted the number 2, 6 and 7 players on my board, not bad considering I drafted in the 28th spot.  All three were pitchers unfortunately, but they all should make a ML roster one day. Actually had a 4th in the top twenty but was a very iffy pick that can go play football for all I care.  I spent less time on that board than here, but caused me to make a few minor adjustments for the later rounds.

Meanwhile the Reds paid a whopping $30.5M for the services of Renyel Manuel.  We sent Linda Loo in to investigate, but haven't heard from her in days. What we do know is that he should make a great 3B that may border on occasional stints at SS if the need arises. Well that may be a stretch as he needs a lot of work to play SS and  probably 3B also. He will be one mean beast at the plate however. He looks like he might be worth every penny the Reds pump into him over the next 15 years or so.

Ricardo Pelaez was signed by the Tigers for  $17M.  He looks like he will play a great 2B but might be rather limited as playing time becomes a serious issue.  At the plate he has the aptitude to be be a very tough and hard hitting out. For the money, ummm well, maybe a little over priced if you ask me. Okay, remember my scouting is a bit hampered so what I am seeing is a $12 or $13M player at best in my books.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Looking At My Draft Board

Egads sports fans! WIS has actually made this a very boring season I am afraid to say. Notice the lack of enthusiasm for my writing, there just hasn't been much to write about. Someone said it best as it is a repeat of last year, I am finding that to be true. Then to my surprise they have updated the blog software and it took me a while to figure out what they did, not sure of all new thingies they added or changed. So I guess it is time to look at my draft board so you can have some drivel to read about.

To begin with I have four picks in the top 100, woohoo! That means I actually have a chance to get four players from the top 25 of my board. What I wanted for my first pick isn't even in the draft, was looking for a real ML catcher or an ace closer. Neither one is on my board though I do have a setup man in the top ten but not one I would use for a closer. What is on my board though, even with my poor scouting department, is a couple SP1's and three or four SP2's at a minimum and quite a few end of rotation starters. Whether any of SP1's or 2's fall to the 21st pick is highly unlikely. With that said, doesn't leave much room for a top 10 pick from where I am sitting, but at least one pick will come from that arena.

I didn't spend much time on my board this year as I set things up as a quick cop-out more or less. Did my usual thing of weeding out the less than desirable health addicts and those whose profiles showing distress in signing. Hey, my budget is a little thin so have to be a bit conservative. That doesn't mean I drove off the "Want to be drafted in the first round" or "May sign if the deal is right", they may be a little more costly but can be dealt with on a thin budget. If you have the "Very Conservative approach" and it still drafts that kind of player, they sign sooner or later (more later than sooner). I did look at the top 100 picks though in my sorting arrangement, and moved out the DH's except for one, can always use a career minor league player in that spot. After a few days of letting the board sit like that, I came back and adjusted the top 100 looking for specifics that could help down the line. Didn't really take long, more to the fact that I have had a really busy two weeks and today was the first chance at taking a long look at things.

For those that are wondering, the teams that draft in the first five spots should get at least their first or second pick from their board as no ones board is the same. Those drafting 6 thru 10 should get no less than than a third, matter of fact, teams drafting in the first 16 picks should get a player in their top 5. From there on out, a team should get a player in their top 10 and should be in their top 8 at a minimum in the first round. Once the sandwich picks come in to play, those teams should still get a pick in their top 10 up until about pick 50. Then things start getting a little dicey as all the for sure ML players are off the boards. Then the probables start in which the 11 thru 20 ranked players which should hold out until round 4 starts. From then on it is the ones with an outside chance of making the majors starts in, which stops somewhere in round 7. After that players are more or less regarded as minor league fillers and quite a few have a chance if the WIS gods determine they are PED users (err... miss informed scouting) which happens after All-Star break.

So who do I have my eyes set on with the 21st pick? I have my sights set on a 2B, not sure he will be good enough at the position or not but is the best position player I think will be around. If that falls through then an end of rotation starter is high on my list followed by a good setup man. So here is my top 10 I have on my board, after the draft I will tell you the facts about them.

1. P - I expect him to go in the first 5 picks.
2. P - I expect him to go in the first 5 picks.
3. SS - I expect him to go in the first 5 picks also.
4. 2B - I am hoping he is there at 21, but not sure, to me he is a top 16 pick at least.
5. 2B - I am hoping he is there at 21, but not sure, to me he is a top 16 pick at least.
6. P - Could be there at 21 but not holding my breath, another top 16 pick.
7. P - Should be there at 21, but I would rather get him with sandwich pick.
8. SS - Should be there with 21st pick and may move him up one.
9. P - Should be there at 21, to me a later first round pick.
10. SS - Should be there at 21, but should go as a later 1st rounder.
11. CF - Classified more of a sandwich pick to a 2nd rounder if you ask me. Ok, after looking things over  here I changed my mind and dropped him a spot.

Monday, April 9, 2012

IFA Signs

Montreal had the audacity to sign Che-Hsuan Itou with a $4.1M bonus. A lefty with enough ability to grace the majors one day as a decent setup man as he doesn't have the velo for a closer.. A steal in the market remains to be seen but is a very likely candidate.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Woe Is Me!!

Pedro DeSoto isn't the first player to hit the injury list for the season but is the costliest one so far. Will he return for another season is also a question that will need to be addressed. Finding a replacement looks to be a difficult task also. How will it effect Houstons chances to make the playoffs? Will a huge trade occur? We shall wait and see.

Amateur Draft

This one is for the newbies. The amateur draft is coming soon and you may want to take this time now to get an idea of how it works. Okay, so the prospect pool doesn't arrive til the 20th and the actual draft will be held on the morning of the 27th, Christmas Day as we call it.

To begin with it is always a good idea to know where you draft especially in the first round. To do that you go to GM's Office - Player Development - Amateur Draft Order. The big thing here is the sandwich picks, those identified with a 1*, they are not in order as of yet, not until the 20th. They will be reordered by type on that day, looks like the Mets will move up to the 34th position. If you are in the top 16, you should get a very good player to help the future of your club, if you do your home work.

Next thing to look at is the Amateur Draft Settings and take the time to understand what they do. All the help is on the right side of the page for any section, sometimes it is clear as mud. If you don't understand, ASK for help!. The formula builder is a helpful tool but not exactly a necessity to use. It will be a little awkward at first until you get the hang of what it does. Of course you can't use it til the prospects show up on the morning of the 20th.

If you are wondering about what it is going to cost you, look at last years draft by clicking on World Office-Reports-Draft History. You will need to change the season to 22. If you look at the second player drafted, you will notice an unusually high amount was paid. He must have had signability issues that caused that. Not sure if he was worth that much in my books. Normally they start out at $4M and gradually decrease in value from there. Oh and Shafty, I know last years owner didn't sign most of the upper picks, think he ran out of money. But the first round pick wasn't worth it as my draft review in January will tell you, he was a late first rounder to supp pick at best. The others I don't know about but probably should have been signed anyway.

Once the prospects are in place the morning of the 20th, you have seven days to finalize the order before the draft. It can be a pains taking task by the way, so make sure you allot plenty of time. I usually only mess with the top 100, umm yeah, there will be at least 500 in the pool on your board. No team will see every player either.

Things to watch out for. Scouts lie is the first thing to note. All players have current ratings that everyone sees them the same. The projected ratings is what we call a little fuzzy. One owner may see the projected ratings one way while another sees them another even with the same money spent on scouting. Be careful of health ratings. Also if the difference between a current rating to a projected rating is 30 or more, chances are he will never attain it or even get close for that matter. 20 to 25 is attainable under ideal situations.

One other thing to note, the rookie league will start a few days after the draft. It has a roster size of 30, of those 16 should be pitchers to be on the safe side. Out of those 16, 10 or so should be in stater territory. You don't have to sign all your picks immediately either. I have a carry over rookie roster, I sign the best picks then leave the rest til the end of the season. At the end of the season I promote players that can be decent career minor leaguers and leave the rest then sign the remainder of the draft picks for next season.

Friday, April 6, 2012

First 4 Games

So what have we learned after the first four games? Not much to go on in all reality. Things are going as expected however.

NL North

Cubs and Brewers are at the top but they don't meet for a while yet.

NL East

No one expected the Phils to be tied for first with the Mets though. That might be a bit of a surprise. Like the North duo, they don't meet for a while.

NL South

Astros and Marlins, both undefeated but not a surprise. All eyes will be focused on them for the series of the weekend.

NL West

A small surprise in the NL is the undefeated D'backs. The biggest surprise however is the split between San Diego and Salem...Go Padres! A big series between the D'backs and Salem is also featured this weekend.

AL North

The Twins and ummm...Blue Jays? umm That's right sports fans. They are a big feature in the AL this weekend.

AL East

The Red Sox and maybe the biggest surprise in the AL, Baltimore! And yes, another big weekend series.

AL South

No surprise here, didn't I tell ya this would be a gritty mess.

AL West

Sky Sox and A's go into the weekend tied, luckily they have a bit before they meet unlike the rest of the AL.

Non-Erff Update

Our own VL, boydndahood for those that don't know, is having that championship feeling in world Wright with the Burlington Coat Factory. Normally I don't follow teams in other worlds that aren't mine and never mention them here, but this team deserves a little respect.

I have looked for references to the stadium they play in and find absolutely none. What I can tell you, it is a heavily negative tard park, probably no fences, talk about old time. People watch the games in lawn chairs with their feet propped up on their ice chests having a great time. Peanuts, cotton candy, cracker jacks and hot dog salespersons are freelance concessionaires even.

What the team has accomplished this season is what catches my eye. Only 490 runs scored which is the lowest I have ever seen from a playoff team. 417 runs allowed is also the fewest runs I have ever seen by a team. Another odd fact, the team was 34-34 in 1-run games, normally the high is about 55 1-run games in a season. That is the first time I have seen a team with more than 60 1-run games in a season, I have seen 60 before. The offense hits a dismal .222 and only hit 49 Home Runs on the season. Matter of fact only one player barely hits above the Mendoza Line. But what they do have is 422 Stolen Bases, I have seen teams go over 300 but never that many, even with being caught 107 times. It has been a long time since I have seen a player with 100 SB's in a season even.

The defense is one of the best I have seen and can play anywhere in that aspect with 100 plus plays and only 13 minus plays. They only committed 70 errors, many would think that is the essence of the park but it isn't. I really think the 2B and SS got victimized more than they should have committing 31 of those errors combined. Believe it or not they only finished second second in any category. The bulk of these players would be nothing but a mere backup on most teams. Only two of the players won Gold Gloves, go figure. Tough crowd!

The pitching staff is better than any I have ever seen, 4 were on the All-Star team. The closer had 54 Saves in 62 tries and won the Fireman of the Year award. 4 starters had double digit wins and one fell just short of a 20 win season. Any of them could pitch for any team if you ask me along with the side kicks in the pen. The staff only gave up 108 home runs, not unheard of with the park the way it is, but only 51 on the road is pretty damn good.

So it came down to the playoffs as the 6th seed, things looked grim in the first round after losing the first two games on the road. Never say give up, they win the next two at home and the third on the road. Second round saw the same thing happen. Now it is on to the NL Championship against the #1 seed. The season didn't go well against this team so a bunch of rabbits will need to pulled out of the old hat, is that a real hat trick?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spring Training

Who did surprising well and who did awful is only a figment to the imagination. The games didn't count as it is only a warm up to the season. Though one might be a little worried if the first 10 games didn't go all that well.


1. Brewers - 14-4
2. Salem - 13-5
3. Cubs - 12-6
4. Astros - 10-8
5. Colonels - 10-8
6. Cards - 10-8
7. D'backs - 10-8

With 162 games that count to go, don't expect the final results to end this way, well maybe the top 4 in a manner of speaking.


1. A's - 13-5
2. Rays - 13-5
3. Orioles - 12-6
4. Heads - 12-6
5. Blue Jays - 11-7
6. Tigers - 10-8

Several owners would be happy that things would end this way. A pipe dream for sure. The Rangers were 1-17, I don't see that happening at all. In my estimation three of those teams will be there after the grueling 162.

Spring Training is Over!

Okay, a little time on your hands before the first pitch and you are wondering what one should be doing. Well, there are a few things to do, so lets cut to the chase.

First thing I do is find out how well the players did in Spring Training. The first ratings bump of the season ya know. Well if you don't know, players get ratings advancements every now and then throughout the season and this is the first one. Most generally the young players are the only ones affected, those under the age of 27. But sometimes older players may see an increase or a resettling though rare. Older players may even go down the drain a bit but not usually during Spring Training. Other ratings bumps happen about every 30 games and show progress through playing time.

Now is the time to solidify the rosters, you may want to move players up to fill holes in the minors as they will be ready to play in a couple days. Ahh Hah thought you only needed to worry about the majors huh? If you want to move a player from the minors to the ML roster, you might want to reconsider that for teensy bit. There is this thing about minor league options and ML service time you should read and know about. If a player is not on the 40-man roster his clock hasn't started ticking yet. After three years of ML service time a player can file for arbitration. To stall the arbitration a little, owners wait until the 23rd game of the the minor league season before promoting to the ML level. I usually wait until the player has had his first playing bump.

If I still have some holes to fill in the minors I will check the tryout camp attendees. They may not be all that great but make great fillers. Might want to check out the Free Agent market also, prices will have dropped fanatically.

After all that I usually go to the Management Console and click on Recs at the bottom of the page for each level. This is a quick way to get everything set up and ready to go.

After that it is time to check the ML lineups, two lineups you don't have to worry about right at the moment but depends in which league you are in. Look them over and see if that is how you want them. Normally your best non power hitter with speed is in the first slot. Power hitters usually occupy slots three thru six. I think they still use low eye - high contact over high eye - low contact in the order also if it comes to that. Make sure that Rest, Pinch Hitting and Defensive Replacements are to your liking also. I won't go into great detail about those, just remember if you replace a player or a player goes on the DL at any time those areas need to be updated.

You will need to change the Manager settings to regular season play also. Whether to play areas as Average, Aggressive or other is your choice. Some of them is usually self evident like Base Stealing. If you only have one or two speed guys (remember base running IQ is also involved as well as coaches) then maybe you don't want to go aggressive. But maybe you have a bunch of 60-75 type guys and want to go aggressive on Base Running.

As for the runs and innings, some use 3 and 7th, 3 and 8th, others use 5 and 7th. Basically it depends on the depth of the bench and your personal preferences. If you have better defense on the bench with a lead or maybe a better hitter when behind.

As for Mop Up, I rarely have a guy in this position so I don't use it. I only use my closer in save situations and 9th inning also.

Now for the pitching staff. Check to make sure it is set the way you want, seldom is it the way you envision it or should be for that matter. Then go to the Edit Player Settings section and make sure the pitch counts are the way you want, the call pen setting and the right relief boxes checked. OOps almost forgot about the innings thing in relief. Make sure there is at least one pitcher in relief set to any or 1, as I am sure there will be a starter that can't get past the first inning.

I usually don't look at the minors that much right now. I will run through and check the lineups to make sure the best players are in the right spot in the lineup. Check the pitching staffs and make sure my stars are where they need to be. Remember that players advance with playing time, that means more AB's and innings pitched. But you also can't ignore their stamina and durability. Normally you won't have any problems with that until All_Star break.

After each game you will need to rest pitchers in the pen that have become fatigued. For some reason the Sim will pick on them even though they shouldn't Happens more in the minors that the majors). Normally, if they are not 100%, I rest them til they are. Starters you will need to keep an eye on if they are not recovering from fatigue well enough to make their next start at 100%. Lowering the TPC and MPC will fix that.

I know, some of you have no way of checking after each game and that can become problematic. Having extra pitchers on the Inactive roster helps.

The Newest Hot Pocket

That might be one Hot Pocket alright! But not the Hot Pocket we are interviewing today.
Focus guys..Here!!! Yoooohooo Down here!! Finally got your attention.

AAAhemmmm!!!! So Funny

This is Linda Loo reporting live from Hot Pocket headquarters in Helena where they just announced the signing of Ruben Mota for a miniscule amount of $3.5M. I swear I would have been a cheaper and more productive buy for the money . Any way the talent does possess some nice hands and some very handsome peepers. Has the stamina, well he will I tell ya and a little power in his speed stroke but let me tell ya he just doesn't muster up. Could make a decent outfielder in time but nothing in the HOF category.

Monday, April 2, 2012

International Scouts at Work

International Scouts are hard at work finding players to fit in your organization. Like this possible prospect:

Never fear as Linda Loo is all set finding and reporting the intrinsic value of each prospect:

Early Season Trades

Was the world shaken with early season trades? One way to find out is to take a look.

The first trade of the season between Little Rock and Montreal didn't exactly set the tone. Edwin Webster was sent to Little Rock and is a decent starting pitcher. In return Montreal got Yorman Reyes a 2B prospect of questionable quality. A cost cutting move perhaps.

Karim Pulido was sent to Mexico City for Pedro Saez who winds up on the Louisville roster. Pulido is another starting pitcher of questionable quality while Pedro may be a good hitter but lacks the ability to be a good catcher.

The Twins sent Magglio Palacios to Louisville and received Louie Hanson in return. Magglio is a 3B on the low end of the scale and might be better in RF. Louie is still young and hasn't performed well out of the pen.

Little Rock sent Tony Takada and Luis Cervantes to Mexico City for Clint Olson. Takada is a prospect that is iffy at 1B but may possess some nice hitting skills. Cervantes is a decent pitcher and holds his own. Olson just never looked good in Mexico City and maybe a new home will work out for him.

Tampa Bay sent Edwin Milner, Nicholas Velarde and Heinie Laffey to Montreal for Kane North, Tony Prior and Sticky Russell. A trade of Gold Glove SS's is always something to take notice of, like Milner and Kane. Tampa Bay got a power DH in Prior and a decent hitting catcher in Russell. Jokes are already spreading in Montreal about the laughing ass, err Heinie Laffey. His young Heinie could be a nice pitching prospect of the future. Meanwhile Velarde could yet grace the majors as a DH.

Philly sent 2 time Cy Young winner, Pedro DeSoto, to Houston for three young talents in Jesus Mendez, Alan Ellis and Ralph Taylor. A cost cutting and rebuild start for Philly. Ellis and Mendez could be good in the pen one day while Taylor has enough skill to be a great hitting catcher. Houston solidifies it pen for another run for sure.

Chicago sent Matt Wiltse, a so-so 2B that may look better in RF and a possible top of the order hitter to Washington. In return Chicago got the services of Trevor Gibson, Lew Yates, and Shawn Sexton. All three are prospect pitchers with varying degrees of talent.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Changing Positions

This post is for the newbies more or less. Position players are a tricky lot sometimes. They may have their skill set to one position or multiple positions. They may or may not carry the skill set needed for a position. Alas, here to the rescue is how to change that interesting bumbling.

To change a position players primary position or secondary set, click on GM's Office-Roster Management-Edit Rosters. You can go through each roster and perform many functions as outlined at the bottom of the page. Any function selected and action taken on a player will give you a second chance for you to execute the function. It will not happen until you submit the action for processing. So be sure that is what you want to do. Be warned that you should thoroughly read the help section on this, especially the GM's Basic.

As for changing a players position, click on the position next to the player involved after that interruption. It was brought on by the wife, "What's this for?", her version of 'Are we there yet?'. Anyway, it will bring up a pop up mini page that outlines the so called minimums for a position along with the players current and projected ratings. The last line is for the primary and secondary positions. You can change them manually or select one of the buttons below. I normally go with Show Recs (proj) and edit if not to your liking before hitting the Save button.

The reason for this is to easily set up lineups thru the Management Console so you don't have to do it manually, it can be such a burden in the minors. If you use the Management Console on the ML team, at the beginning of the season is okay, but trust me, you will need to go edit the lineups and pitch settings manually afterwards.

When a player becomes injured and needs to be put on the DL, holes will exist in the rest, defensive replacements and pinch hitting settings that need to be addressed. I am always forgetting those.

Also players playing a position that is not on their resume brings on 'out of position minuses' I believe in the sim. Whether he can actually play the position or not.

International Report

With the start of Spring training so goes the scouting in International waters. For the newbies on this, just because they show up doesn't mean they are any good. You also don't have to bid on them either. Scouts are only as good as the money spent and even then they lie a little bit, sometimes a lot. Sometimes you see the good ones and sometimes you don't, kind like pot luck in that arena. Getting into a nasty bidding war for the good ones is common so hang onto your wallet. Anyway on to the news in this area.

The first IFA signed is Albert Velazquez, who signed for $1M by Dover. Even with my ugly scouting, oh wait I don't have any in the IFA market and advanced is not looking hypoallergenic either, I don't see the justification anyway, unless minor league pitching is a dire need. Control maybe good and has a deep set of above average pitches in the future but the splits look to be severely impoverished.

Albert Chavez was the second whatever he is to be taken. The Baltimore Orioles shelled out 50K for a so called 1B that disillusionment says he can't even find the locker room let alone 1B. Doesn't have the hitting prowess for a DH either. Okay, so now that ya got your feet wet...

The Free Agent Market

George Atkins became the first Type A player and starting pitcher to sign. He made no bones about wanting out of New York. The Mutts will be compensated with the first sandwich pick when draft time arrives. Little Rock gets what I would call a SP3, good control, decent splits and decent pitches but not overwhelming.

Florida picks up Victor Beltran after the loss of Dwight Hall. Victor doesn't have the velocity most want in a closer. With that assumption in mind, he will be used in short relief in which he is very good at.

Dwight Hall was picked up by Little Rock also. He is 5th all time in saves and looks to hold onto that status.

Benji Franco signed an unusual mega deal with Pittsburgh. He is not your prototypical closer with his stamina but is very good at it. So who will be closing for the Pirates?

Winston Maxwell was the prize in Free Agency as he was the best starter available. Texas rewarded him with an all out super deal. Already with 2 Cy Young awards, garnering a third could be tough in Texas but likely. The question remains why, did Winston not like the move to Montreal?

Omar Elcano was one of the best but his age is catching up with him. Still viable as a starter for at least another year and maybe the pen for another, the third year might be a bit high priced to keep, hopefully that is an option year. It looks like a good contract if that is the case and Little Rock is hoping.

With a closer already on board Little Rock went for a short reliever with style and found Pedro Marichal. Rounding out the pitching staff with aces is a sure fire way to win, hopefully the offense clicks also.

Boston had to replace Chang and chose Mark James. Mark had some great years in Salem and should again in Fenway. Signing a mega deal and his ratings mean more expensive dents in the Green Monster.

With the loss of James. Salem spent money on Cookie Eyre and Tony Lansing to replace him. Neither is overwhelming on the mound and may take both to get the job done.

Paul Berroa was the remaining star at the end of Free Agency. The Mutts tried but couldn't contend with the mega deal he got. He joins a very good and deep pitching staff and an offense that can shell the opponents.

Detroit decided to add some power to the offense with Steve Clifton and the hitting abilities of Santo Martin. They both are the first Type A position players taken in the FA Market. Both will help a beleaguered offense but problems still exist with the so-so pitching staff.

Texas needed some offensive help also and went after Eric LaRocca and Andy Fassero. Both haven't been all that productive with their former employers and a new start somewhere fresh may be what the doctor ordered.