I loooooove winning!

Friday, April 20, 2012

NL North Preview

Season 23 Standings

Detroit (Milwaukee) 90 - 72
Kansas City 88 - 74
Pittsburgh - 86 - 76
Cleveland 58-104

Previews

Milwaukee
Additions - Don Iwamura, Marino Pujols, Brendan Watson, Junior MonteroRyan BlakeVic Martin
Subtractions - Gustavo MeloAlberto MartinezBenji PulidoBert ThroneberryYusmeiro Durazo
Net Effect - Negative
Prediction - The dad from the Orab was extremely active in the off-season. He traded away some very good talent and replaced them with good, but not equal, pieces. It will be hard for him to re-peat in a very competitive division.

Kansas City

Additions - Quinn PortugalJose QuentinCarl Peterman
Subtractions - Mo Nunnari
Net Effect - Positive
Prediction - Anything but a 1st place finish would be a disappointment for 1530's resident lighting rod. This team is loaded, and should be the favorite to represent the NL in the World Series.

Pittsburgh

Additions - Adrian GonzalesHenry Foster
Subtractions - Clayton MullinQuinton CoghlanWillie Wheat
Net Effect - Negative
Prediction - 3rd place. Mondesi alone gives tham a chance to take 2nd from Milwaukee, but that's a stretch.

Cleveland

Additions - Wally Lo Duca (promoted)
Subtractions - Ahmad Bell
Net Effect - neutral
Prediction - Another team that knows that timing is key to success. They aren't going to win this season or next, but the plan is in place and it involves some growing pains. Anything but last would be a surprise.

MVP - Midre Valentin
Cy Young - Alexi Terrero
ROY - Davey Wood


AL West Preview

Season 23 Standings

1. Salem 103-59
2. St Louis 100-62
3. Fresno 91-71
4. Vancouver 63-99

Previews

Salem
Additions - Rico Martin (re-signed)
Subtractions - Gene Dillon
Net Effect - neutral
Prediction - Why mess with a good thing? The league's best team in Season 23 returns virtually intact, although they are aging a bit. Will they have enough pitching behind Manning? My guess is taht they will slip a bit in one of the most difficult divisions in 1530 - 2nd place and a Wild Card

St. Louis
Additions - Victor Pichardo, Brian Donahue, Giovanni Jennings
Subtractions - Edwin Skipworth
Net Effect - Positive
Preciction - Some nice fine-tuning work done by a 100 win team. This is a very difficult division, and I think that a 2nd place finish would be a success (and a playoff berth), but I have a hard time picking them over Salem and............

 Fresno
Additions - John Baek, Freddy Christenson, Jesus Pineda, Bert Throneberry, Randy Broome
Subtractions - Edgar Johnson
Net Effect - Very Positive
Preciction - Fresno was extremely active in the trade market and they are clearly the most improved team in the West, if not the entire AL. A 90 win team in Season 23, I see them increasing their win total by at least 10 and winning the division in the process.

Vancouver
Addition by subtraction - Stan Thompson
Subtraction by addition - Joe Campbell
Net Effect - neutral
Preciction - Even though they didn't do much, I like what they are doing. Vancouver will not win this season in this division so what's the point? They will finish with a respectable record (and 4th place finish) and bide their time until their robust farm system matures in the next two seasons. At that point, the three teams above will have likely run their course and have to start the re-build.

Cy Young - Ivy Latham
MVP - Trenidad Trajano
ROY - Russell Lincoln

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

AL South Preview

Season 23 Standings

1. Oklahoma City - 101-61
2. Jacksonville - 95-67
3. New Orleans (Florida) - 79-83
4. San Antonio (Monterrey) - 69-93

Team Previews

Oklahoma City
Additions -none
Subtractions - Vinny Boyd
Net Effect - neutral
Prediction - A 101 win team returns virtually unchanged. Some guys are a bit older, but their ratings have not taken a big hit. Anyhting but a repeat division championship would be a surprise.

Jacksonville
Additions - Bartolo Santos, Don Guerrero, Ezdra Mateo
Subtractions - Derrek Peters, Mac Ashby, Buddy Houston, Adrian Gonzales
Net Effect - slighlty negative, but not by much
Prediction - This is still a very good squad with very good players. A #2 and Wild Card finish seems likely, although if OKC slips, the division will be theirs for the taking.

Florida
Additions - Orlando Calderone, Josh Hudson, Jae-Kuk Hasegawa
Subtractions - Steve Hamilton, Carl Peterman, Ug Lee
Net Effect - Neutral
Prediction - Losing Hamilto hurts, but Hasegawa and Hudson could provide the same production. Still, anythign above a 3rd place finish would be an achiement.

Monterrey
Additions - Don Chen, Louis Melville, Rafael Escobar (promoted)
Subtractions - Trenidad Henriquez, Jonathan Eiland
Net Effect - Very Positive
Prediction - Signing arguably the two best free agents is sure to have a positive impact. There is not much in the rotation behind Melville, but a 10-15 win increses seems likely. A good shot at a 3rd place finish.

MVP - Jesus Bautista
Cy Young - Phil Pride
ROY - Rafael Escobar

Monday, April 16, 2012

AL East Preview

Season 23 Standings

1. Philadelphia - 88-74
2. Durham - 75-87
3. Baltimore (Washington) - 61-101
4. Boston - 48-114

Previews

Philadelphia
Additions - Yusmeiro Durazo, Magglio Trinidad, Victor Olmeda
Subtractions - Don Chen, Keith Lanning, Daniel Reitsma, Ryan Blake
Net Effect - Negative
Prediction - To add Durazo AND lose ground says alot about the guys that left. However, they are still the best team in the division and should win it for teh second time in a row.

Durham
Additions - signed Darron Speier, signed Hector Guerrero and 8 others
Subtractions - Jeromy West, Pascual Gongora, and 8 others
Net Effect - Neutral, too much turnover and not enough impact players
Prediction - A 4th place finish in a much improved AL East. They have plenty of offense, but the pitching is sure to get roughed up in the home park.

Washington DC
Additions - Tom Perez, Steve Hamilton, Keith Lanning, Adam Tucker, Bill Reed
Subtractions - Junior Ozuna, Guillermo Balboa
Net Effect - Very Positive
Prediction - 2nd place, with an outside shot at the top spot. This is a much improved team that should challenge Philly to the end.

Boston
Additions - Juan Vincente, Gustavo Melo, Alberto Martinez, Omar Flores, Daniel Reitsma
Subtractions - none
Net Effect - Very positive
Prediction - 3rd with a good shot at 2nd. A much improved team after a dreadful Season 23 campaign. A candidate for most improved team in 1530.

Cy Young - Timothy Crawford
MVP - Yusmeiro Durazo
ROY - Freddy Shelby

AL North Preview

Season 23 Results

1. Montreal - 98-64
2. Salt Lake City - 79-83
3. New Britain - 73-89
4. Cincinnati - 64-98

Team Previews

Montreal
Additions - signed Trenidad Henriquez
Subtractions - traded Victor Pichardo
Net Effect - neutral
Prediction - They should win the division again for the 14th time in 18 seasons. Their pitching staff is perhaps the best in the game.

Salt Lake City
Additions - signed Rob Tartabull
Subtractions - released Willis Durham,
Net Effect - Neutral
Prediction - 4th place. They just don't have the horses on offense to compete with the big boys. They do have some nice pitchers in AAA, however, and the future looks bright in SLC.

New Britain
Additions - Braeden Fonda
Subtractions - Magglio Trinidad
Net Effect - Neutral
Prediction - They have some nice pieces, especially on offense, but pitching remains a concern. A couple of impact players are sitting in AAA. An improved 2nd place finish seems likely, with the playoffs just out of reach

Cincinnati
Additions - Roscoe Weber, Buddy Henry
Subtractions - Fritz Grabowski, Jesus Pineda, Freddy Christenson, John Baek
Net Effect - Negative
Prediction - This team is much better than its Season 23 finish. They should finish 3rd, with an outside shot 2nd and a playoff berth.

Cy Young Candidate - Sammy Iglesias
MVP Candidate - Henry Wise
ROY - Henry Murray

Free Agency Review - Position Players

1. Don Chen, Monterrey, 5 years $64 million

Analysis - Chen is 4 x all-start lefty LF. He will give you 30 homers and 30 sb's a season with an OBP of .375-.425 and an OPS over .900. He is only 29, so while he will lose some speed and power over the duration of this deal, the front-loading of the contract makes it likely that he will earn every penny. A reasonable deal.

2. Keith Lanning, Washingtn, 4 years $39.8 million

Analysis - A decent defensive SS with power, Lanning has a career OPS of .842. A move to 3B is likely in the next 2 years, but until then, he is a good value.

Bargain Buys

1. Omar Flores, Boston, 2 years $7.2 million
Analysis - .775 career OPS for a CF/2B type that will give you 162 games is a good deal. 32 years old

2. Tom Perez, Washington, 2 years $5.6 million
Analysis - A 29 year old left-fielder with a career .777 OPS. Stole 90 bases last season.

3. Darron Speier, Durham, 2 years $4 million
Analysis - A 28 year old RF that will only start vs. righties. Career OPS of .801