I loooooove winning!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

AL North Preview

The first in a series

Season 22 Standings
1. Cincinnati 109-53
2. Montreal 83-79
3. New Britain 73-89
4. Salt Lake City 48-114

Season 22 Recap - Cincy had the best team, by far, in the majors and was unlucky to not win it all. Montreal had its worst in 17 seasons under nhollan. New Britain showed its third consecutive season of improvement. SLC was the worst team in the league.

Team Previews

With one of the highest payrolls in the league, Cincinnati appears to be re-building after winning over 100 games in 5 out of the last 7 seasons. Their definition of rebuilding, however, is not the same as most.

Additions - John Baek, Benny Crespo
Subtractions - Terry Buford, Benji Neill, Bernie Pena, Jonathan Gload, Angel Siqueiros
Net effect - Negative. You could win 90 games just with the guys that left the team plus some scrap heap free agents.
Prediction - There is still a bunch of talent here, but this team is clearly one in transition. 2nd Place with a shot at a wild card.

Upset at missing his first playoff in 17 seasons. nhollan appears to be building to win, and do it now.
Additions - Cory Clark, Aaron Simon, Alex Encarnacion, Lou Jenkins, Bernie Pena, Tyson Lollar
Substractions - Chad Clarke, Bert Throneberry, Geronimo Lunar,Bill Reed, Lou Jenkins
Net effect - Positive. Some good players lost, but some better ones acquired.
Predicition - A return to the top, 1st place and 1st round bye.

New Britain
A chance at the Top 2 is there, are there more moves to come?
Additions - Wendell Reed, Aurelio Alvarez, Andy Jefferson
Subtractions - Jonathan Lankford, Rafael Telemaco
Net Effect - Positive
Prediction - 3rd place, but just. I would not be surprised to see them finish #2 or make the playoffs.

Salt Lake City
Will they win enough to meet the minimum win rule? Must go at least 62-100 to avoid.
Additions - Norman Carson, Joaquin Dominguez, Jason Weaver, and Vic Cabeza (expected promotions?)
Subtractions - none
Net effect - Positive, if promotions happen
Prediction - The only drama here is whether or not they will run afoul of the win rule. 4th place finish looks to be in the cards.

Most likely to win MVP - Henry Wise (MON)
Most likely to win Cy Young - Sammy Iglesias (MON)
Most likely to win ROY - Joaquin Dominguez (SLC)

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