Fair Play Committee Members

Bulls7210, Jweatherman, Rds_lsu, Ttnorm and Quebec.

Commissioner: Harkov

Thursday, October 8, 2009

AL Season 13 Preview

Season 13 Preview: American League


Detroit Domination (86-76)
A team anchored by a pitcher like David Polanco & a hitter like Jon Price should compete for a playoff spot on a yearly basis. Detroit has enough pieces in place around these two stars that they will again battle for the divisional crown. However although the Domination was in the top third of the league in all three major categories they need to upgrade some positions if they hope to hoist a championship flag.

Prediction: 88-74

Trenton Revolutionaries (Last yr 86-76)
Tying for the division title but losing the tie-breaker left a bad taste so Trenton enters the season with a chip on their shoulders. Deciding a fresh start was necessary the team left Chicago to see if their future would be brighter on the East Coast. Louie Neruda struggled after being acquired but it is hoped that he will settle down to form a strong one two punch with Matt Gordon at the front end of the rotation. Roy Pall will again anchor the bullpen that converted 39 of their 55 save chances. The offense was led by Einar Candelaria, Miguel Diaz & Trenidad Park as they each hit over .295. Moving to a new park can take some time to adjust to so a small step back may be ahead.

Prediction: 83-79

Dover ‘Necks (83-79)
Vince Morgan, Ryan Nelson & Gregory Wilkins give the ‘Necks 3 solid starters at the top of their rotation. When runs are needed Robinson Washington, Russell Piper & Shaggy Brown are as good as any middle of the order guys in Uecker. This team could contend for a championship if they added more to the strong nucleus already in place. Blown saves and players able to get on base in front of the big thumpers would go a long way to helping this team become more of a threat to take control of the division and go deep in the playoffs.

Prediction: 81-81

Toledo Mudhens (80-82)
The Mudhens had the 6th best team batting Avg, yet finished in the bottom half of the league in runs scored. That was the problem the team had last season. Harold Cox & Ugueth Romero got on base then Cy Keats & Darren Beltre drove them in. Rafael Castro was added to the mix to see if he can’t help carry some of the load. Jonathan Campbell was the leader of the staff, but that not be for long if Jacque Brown continues to develop. Bip Steib, Butch Pulsipher & Steve Klassen shared the save opportunities however each had an ERA over 4 which doesn’t make a manager confident when calling for help from the pen. More parts will need to be added for them to win the division however if the other teams struggle Toledo may be able to take advantage.

Prediction: 77-85


Pawtucket Privateers (90-72)
Sub 3.00 ERA’s from Kordell Forbes (17 wins) & Eli Frias (46 saves) paced a strong pitching contingent. Erick Mullin, Raul Guerrero & Jolbert Telemaco all hit over .290, smacked more than 30 HR & drove in over 100 runs. With stars that these there wouldn’t seem to be any room for improvement, however the Privateers were below .500 in 1 run games and had 19 blown saves. Both of these stats are unusual for an elite team and need to be addressed if this team hopes to get further in the playoffs.

Prediction: 91-71

Cincinnati Lebowskis (77-85)
Starter Sal Harris & Closer Adrian Jordan led the pitching staff while sluggers Don Wilkins, Malcolm Adams & Alex Martin lead the offensive barrage. The team is hoping that moving from Hartford will help the pitchers rebound from a disastrous Season 12 where they languished near the bottom. The defense was slightly below average putting even more strain on the struggling hurlers and leaving a potent offense that led the league in hitting looking for help from management. With everyone still waiting for that help to arrive the Lebowskis will again fight to reach the .500 mark .

Prediction: 75-87

Boston Chokers (77-85)
Last years team struggled on the mound with the 2nd worst ERA in Uecker while the offense was the 2nd best. This year’s team should be much the same as the pitching staff remains a big concern and the team continues to allow some of its young bats to develop at the ML level. Until the arms catch up to the bats the most Boston can hope for is a shot at .500 while entertaining fans with their offensive show.

Prediction: 72-90

Columbus Hammers (59-103)
When discussing the Hammers all talk begins with 3rd yr player Nick Regan. At 24 he has put up impressive numbers and last years 52 HR & 120 RBI show just how talented he is. Matty Campos was the only other player to put up good numbers and with much of the roster filled with youngsters up from the farm it looks like another rebuilding year in Columbus. The pitching staff struggled last year and it looks like another year of patience will be needed until the right players are found to raise this team to a contender status.

Prediction: 63-99


San Juan Wrecking Crew (99-63)
The Crew are solid from top to bottom. The pitching staff is led by Cliff Gunderson (15 wins), Walker Jennings (16 wins) & Jeremy Weston (32 saves). A very dynamic offense is not in short supply of power with Corky Bowman & Geraldo Lee as two of their rising stars. San Juan has several young players that haven’t hit their peak yet so it is very possible this team has yet to see how well it can play.

Prediction: 99-63

Charleston of Bricks (98-64)
Late season pickup Marvin Jefferies adds another strong arm to a deep pitching staff and will help carry some of the load shouldered by Thomas Strange and Walter Krause. The fireworks will be provided by Brendan Springer, Jason Wise, Raul Andujar & Rich Gagne. Full seasons from Jefferies and Andujar should help Charleston in their battle for the division title with San Juan.

Prediction: 97-65

Montgomery Daddies (90-72)
A somewhat suspect rotation is backed up by a very solid bullpen that received a major lift when Pat Yamamoto was added. 16 game winners Lonnie Glynn & Russ Wall will now only be needed to pitch 5 or 6 innings before turning things over to the pen. Offensively sluggers Diego Moya, Lariel Neruda, Benny Baerga & Courtney Rogers will be smacking opponents pitching staffs into submission. With a solid offense and opponents only getting 6 innings to some damage with their bats this team is poised to make a serious run at the division title.

Prediction: 95-67

Iowa City Screwballs (77-85)
Injuries have helped derail Iowa City. JJ Gibbs & Ron Perry headline a somewhat suspect pitching staff. A full recovery by closer Darwin Green from the shoulder problems of the last 2 seasons would go a long way to helping fix some of the problems on the mound. The pitching staff wasn’t the only area affected by the injury bug as Brett Munoz’ big bat was missed at the end of last season and the team hopes to stay close to the division leaders until his return. Expectations for Matt Moseley, Robert Tomberlin will be high with Elson Service not yet producing as management had hoped. With several holes still needing to be filled this team is a year or two away from making a serious push.

Prediction: 73-89


Honolulu Dashboard Hula Dolls (107-55)
The Dolls won more games than any other team around last season. This was accomplished by pushing 200 more runs across the plate than their opponents. Ace Russ Jerchower and closer Ronnie Field will have to help hold things together until Eddie Baker is able to come off the DL. Once again the offense will be led by all-world star Jeff Jennings. Jennings was again able to reach the 70 homer mark and drove in 187 runs. This year he will break the 700 mark in homers and at 31 yrs old he has a good shot at the 1000 HR barrier. Honolulu will go as far as their pitching will carry them so don’t be surprised if they can’t reach last years lofty win total but do run away with the division title.

Prediction: 97-65

Salem Lumberjacks (76-86)
The pitching was respectable last season but allowed 100 runs more than the offense could produce. That will need to be changed. A pitching staff with an ace the caliber of 17 game winner Rafael Morales should be able to put up better numbers but will need to reduce the number of blown saves to do so. Deivi Tapies, Sean Pulsipher & Louis McCartin put up good numbers last season and will need to do it again for this team to have a chance to improve. The team owner is hoping that moving to Salem will be a successful change but more will need to be done to enable them to catch Honolulu.

Prediction: 71-91

Kansas City Masterpieces (74-88)
A warning needs to be sent out to the league about this team. They are loaded with big time bats and will be relentless in their offensive assault. Unfortunately their pitching and defense up the middle is suspect and offenses should be licking their chops to get an opportunity to get to the plate. Ralph Dixon & Philip Ransom are rising stars and with Gordon Hines still only 27 runs should continue to roll in. As for the pitching staff no one was able to put up more than 11 wins and the bullpen blew 13 save opportunity to further hurt the struggling hurlers.

Prediction: 70-92

Boise Mashers (57-105)
Herman Atkins, Lariel Martin, Javier Rosado, Ryan Ruffin will provide the offensive attack for Boise. The pitching staff is lead by Miguel Nunez who converted 25 of his 33 save opportunities and Matty Alomar’s 8 wins out of the pen lead the team. The Mashers were near the bottom of the league in most offensive, defensive and pitching categories. Upgrades throughout the roster will be necessary for them to escape the basement.

Prediction: 62-100

NL Season 13 Preview

Season 13 Preview: National League


Ottawa Rocks (92-70)
With 326 stolen bases last season games turned into track meets on a regular basis. A rock solid pitching staff led by starters Elmer O’Toole, Brad Adams & closer Grover Daley. Larry Brown, Lance Blume & Rich Buhner collected 260 of last season’s SB. Yet even with a high octane offense and quality production from their pitching staff they only took the division by 1 game most likely caused by a losing record in 1 run games. Without fixing a bullpen that blew 26 saves last season it will be tough for the Rocks to again hold off Scranton.

Prediction: 87-70

Toronto Make Believers (87-75)
Can this be the year? It’s been 8 yrs since Toronto’s last playoff appearance and they have never finished 1st. Getting a wildcard berth isn’t easy in the NL so winning the division may be their only hope. 4 players hit at least 30 homers and 3 players drove in at least 100 runs so there is some offensive firepower. Jeromy Thompson is the real deal and if his sophomore season is as good as last year he should be an allstar soon. Mid-season pick up Fausto Rivera will be around all year and take some of the heat off of Thompson. The bullpen only converted 33 of their 47 save opportunities and cost the team a shot at the division title. The pitching staff could still use a little tweaking to help out an offense that was strengthened by the late season acquisition of Dan Franco.

Prediction: 86-76

Scranton Salt Dogs (Last yr 91-71)
Pitching and defense allowed the Dogs to overcome scoring fewer runs than they allowed. Horacio Martinez had a big year with 18 wins and a 3.05 ERA, but that was overshadowed by the work Vladimir Sierra out of the bullpen who recorded 50 saves in 53 opportunities. The shortfall in runs could in no way be blamed on Angel Carrara (57 HR, 151 RBI) or Eddie Jodie (42 HR, 119 RBI). In a curious move Scranton is hoping Rodrigo Unamuno will bounce back after losing 23 games and putting up an ERA over 7 last season for Philly. With the top three clubs bunched so close together last season it is hard to pick a clear winner so any misstep by any of them will drop them to 3rd in the divison.

Prediction: 85-77

Portland Showers (75-87)
Tom Torres slugged 48 HRs last season with Tyrone Kennedy, Luis Limon & Bubbles Jerchower each adding at least 30 bombs a piece. More consistent hitting is what the showers need to help boost them out of last place in this very competitive division. On the mound Jerry Walker posted 17 wins but no other Portland pitcher reached the 10 win mark. Billy Ratliff is a more than capable closer that suffered last year from a lack of save opportunities with only 33 chances. Changes on offense and defense will need to be made if the Showers hope to pass any of the teams that finished ahead of them last year.

Prediction: 71-91


Syracuse Saltine Warriors (102-60)
Scoring 200 runs more than you allow makes winning 100 games look simple. Syracuse used strong pitching, defense and timely hitting to surpass the 100 victory plateau for the 2nd time in team history. Unfortunately the 42’s have owned this division the past 3 seasons. The Warriors had 4 starters pick up 10 wins or more, led by Alex Guzman’s 19. The big question for the pitching staff is will 39 yr old Luke Gordon be able to continue converting saves (40/45) at the same pace for another season. On offense 5 players finished with more than 20 HR and 80 RBI. It’s unknown how the 42’s will adjust to their new home so this may be Syracuse’s chance to again finish 1st in the division.

Prediction: 98-64

Burlington 42’s (106-56)
Can the 42’s repeat their 106 win season of last year and hold off a very talented Syracuse team again? Those are 2 of the questions to be answered as is how this team will adjust to its new home. Starters Jose Johnson (18 wins) & Sammy Henriquez (17 wins) return as do bullpen stalwarts Mendy Griffin (19 wins) & Wilfredo Lugo (33 saves). Offensively this team is loaded with sluggers like Tony Castillo & Bert Hughes. Last year’s team posted the #1 defense & pitching staff while the offense was not far behind at #4. The biggest question is can they repeat these awesome numbers in a new location?

Prediction: 95-67

New York Highlanders (78-84)
Workhorse pitchers Rich Romero & Winston Surhoff lead a deep pitching staff that also includes the Brown’s, starter Bruce & closer Haywood. Last season most of the offensive fire power was provided by Sal Simmons & Olmeda Aguilera. With only a brief stint with the ML squad last season Benji Valdez is being counted on to help them out. Big improvement to both the offense and defense will be necessary if this team wants to compete with the 42’s & Saltine Warriors.
Prediction: 77-85

Philadelphia Flying Fish (59-103)
After a disastrous season the Fish will try to rise from the dead. Pitchers Matty Castillo & Joaquin Oliveras were rushed through the minors with the big league club struggling and not surprisingly they had their problems. Timo Coleridge is a legitimate star and could use Joaquin Bocachica to bounce back to form after last years knee problem. The roster is in a state of constant flux as management tries to bring in fresh talent. More needs to be done and older players need to be moved to make way if this team is going to escape the cellar anytime soon.

Prediction: 63-99


New Orleans Pelicans (78-84)
The Pelicans were able to hold on to win a division title no one wanted. With only 2 players over 30 it is hoped this team will be able to grow together into a winner. Pitchers Vasco Urbina & Stephen Cunningham have established themselves at the ML level. Young guns like Don Lee & Pedro Rijo should be able to lead the offense for many years to come. Last year’s team struggled offensively holding the team back and causing them to finish under .500, with another years experience under their belt that should start to change.

Prediction: 81-81

Louisville Sluggers (74-88)
This is seemingly a tale of two teams with a very mature pitching staff hoping to stave off the affects of lots of mileage as their young stars push across runs as they develop their skills at the big league level. Vasco Hernandez has been added to the potent bats of fellow outfielders Alex Abreu & Morgan Burnett. Management came in and moved some valued vets with an eye to the future. Several prospects will be expected to contribute in the near future as some stop gaps have been added to keep the team competitive in a weak division. Questions to be answered are have the changes that were made hurt a strong pitching staff and aided a weak offense.

Prediction: 79-83

Nashville Music (74-88)
An interesting of young and old, experienced and youngsters learning on the big stage has Nashville looking for better days ahead. Richard Scoroposki was acquired in a trade to lead the staff and mentor young stud Brian Fordyce who should develop into a top #1 or 2 starter. Javy Carrasquel & Vic Gonzales could you some more support to lessen the load on these very talented players. If not for the fact they play in the South this team would be again looking to the future with a month to play however in this division anything is possible. The Music are definitely headed in the right direction but to seriously bid for a championship more upgrades will need to be added.

Prediction: 78-84

Oklahoma City Rams (73-89)
The Rams pitching and defense struggled last season and with their offense hovering around the league average this team had to fight for every victory. Andrew Rehfield is the pitching star while Gerald Franklin & Emmanuel Bennett spearhead the offense. Major changes are needed to shore up the pitching staff, defense & offense to allow the Rams to turn into a yearly playoff participant.

Prediction: 70-92


Anaheim Bombers (85-77)
Nicknamed the Bombers there are some big bats to help this team live up to their name. Hades Tyner will be counted on to continue to produce big numbers even at the ripe old age of 34. Bryan Brown and Phil Murphy will need to again help power this team if they are going to make the playoffs. On the hill the rotation is stacked with the quality arms of Dante Edmonds, Ernie Alexander, Miguel Sosa & Mule Black. The pitching & defense will keep Anaheim in games. The success of this team will depend on the offense’s ability to produce more runs than last season.
Prediction: 87-75

Arizona Tuques (71-91)
With a need to add more offense the Tuques went out and signed the biggest bat on the FA market, DaRond Neal. If he can bounce back from last season’s injury it will take some of the pressure off Bill Rollins & Al Baerga while possibly adding to the already impressive amounts of runs scored by the electrifying Marv Wilkins. Defensive shortcomings last yr put a strain on both the pitching staff and offense and unless that is fixed Arizona will need to wait a while longer to knock Anaheim off their throne.

Prediction: 70-92

St. Louis Cardinals (68-94)
It’s been 4 long years since the Cards finished with 90 wins, since then only once did they come close to reaching .500. The offense was a major disappointment last season as they scored the 2nd fewest runs. While the team’s ERA was respectable the bullpen blew 27 saves wasting good efforts by the starters. Starter Todd Maxwell & closer Andy Belitz lead the pitching staff and had decent seasons. Ricardo Lopez spent a full season in the majors and proved that decision to be a good one by hitting 38 bombs and driving in 102 with a .446 OBP. This will prove to be another tough season for the St. Louis faithful, things will get better as the talent in the minors starts to continues to move onto the ML roster.

Prediction: 67-95

Salt Lake City Polygamists (63-99)
The Polygamists were able to avoid losing 100 games last season. Their offense struggled to score runs however their pitchers had no trouble allowing runs and finished the season with 200 fewer runs scored than allowed. Adding JP Rodriguez should help the beleaguered staff however more changes are necessary to allow this team to compete. Ronnie Kirkland & Alan Vickers will need the rookies brought up this year to start producing immediately to narrow the gap between runs allowed and runs scored.

Prediction: 65-97