I loooooove winning!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Season 30 Preview - NL East

Season 29 Standings
1. Wichita - 81-81
2. Buffalo - 75-87
3. Scranton - 68-94
4. San Juan - 65-97

Team Previews

Burlington (Wichita)
Arrivals - Bernie Pena (FA), Jared Williams Jr. (FA), Damian Peavy (FA), Gustavo Melo (Trade), Geraldo Mendez (Trade)
Departures - Jae-Kuk Hasegawa (FA), Ed Earley (FA),
Net Effect - Positive
Status - Bought a Pitching Staff
Prediction - 1st place in a relatively weak division. 2 or 3 players away from making some noise in the playoffs.

Arrivals - none
Departures - Gregory Stevenson (FA), Miguel Guerrero (FA), Vic Beltran (Released
Net Effect - negative
Status - starting to rebuild
Prediction - With a payroll of $100 million and only $5 million committed for next season, meece is primed to make a move in IFA to begin the re-build in earnest. 3rd or 4th is likely.

Pawtucket (Scranton)
Arrivals - Magglio Armas (FA), Charley Roberts (FA)
Departures - Don Iwamura (Trade), Mark Wanatabe (Trade), Jake Orie (Trade), Ed Hundley (FA)
Net Effect - negative
Status - rebuilding
Prediction - This is actually a pretty good team, despite the ongoing re-build. 2nd place should be within reach, but a .500 record might not be in the cards.

Chicago (San Juan)
Arrivals - Diego Diaz (promoted), Bob Sveum (promoted),
Departures - Lee Crosby (FA)
Net Effect - negative
Status - rebuilding/competing
Prediction - Arbitration clock be damned, schmidthb filled his roster with some decent players but appears to be re-building. If Pawtucket trades some pieces, Chicago has a chance to finish 2nd.

MVP Watch - Gregg FullerTony Esposito
Cy Young Watch - Geraldo Mendez

ROY Watch - Bob Sveum

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Season 30 Preview - NL North

Season 29 Standings
1. Kansas City 108-54
2. Pittsburgh 100-62
3. Cleveland 86-76
4. Fargo 80-82

Team Previews

Kansas City
Arrivals - none
Departures - Timothy Bryant (FA),
Net Effect - negative, but does it matter?
Status - Bored of winning
Prediction - What do you do when you get tired of winning with 25 guys? You win with 20. No matter the number -  this team will win the division.

Arrivals - none
Departures - none
Net Effect - none
Status - in the wrong division for now, but built to last
Prediction - This team could win the majority of the divisions out there and, without doubt, will make the playoffs. KC is just too tough, however, so the season really starts in the Wild Card round.

Arrivals - none
Departures - Yuniesky Johnson (Trade), Wally Lo Duca (FA)
Net Effect - negative
Status - stuck in the middle, rebuilding?
Prediction - 3rd. no better, no worse. A talented team that will be above .500, buy they don't have what it takes to win 100 games. And 100 games is what it would take to finish higher than 3rd. The trade of Johnson signals a shift in strategy. Should be more worried about Fargo getting the second Wild Card than anything else.

Arrivals - Quinton Trammell (trade), Raymond Campbell (FA)
Departures - none
Net Effect - positive
Status - competing, but for what?
Prediction - Another talented team in what might be the most talented division in 1530. Should finish over .500, and a shot at the playoffs is not out of the question. But the top two here are just too tough.

MVP Watch - where to begin? so many talented players, but Midre ValentinKen DeRosaFrank Thornton, and Davey Wood are the best from each squad
Cy Young Watch - Kelvin LavarnwayBert KolbGuy Wilson, or Alexi Terrero

ROY Lock (if promoted) - Brennan Alexander or Felipe Nunez

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

AL Playoffs/Awards

AL North Champ - Salt Lake City
AL East Champ - Boston
AL South Champ - Richmond
AL West Champ - Vancouver
AL Wild Card #1 - Durham
AL Wild Card #2 - Philadelphia
DPIS - Durham over Richmond, SLC over Philly
DCS - Boston over Durham, Vancouver over SLC
LCS - Boston over Vancouver

MVP - Ivan Walton
Cy Young - Albert Mondesi
ROY - Napoleon Starr

Season 30 Preview - AL West

Season 29 Standings
1. Vancouver 97-65
2. St. Louis 75-87
3. Colorado 73-89
4. Fresno 69-93

Team Previews

Arrivals - none
Departures - Rickey Frank (FA),
Net Effect - none
Status - Why mess with a good thing?
Prediction -  Frank brought back a roster, almost in full, that made the World Series in Season 29. The scary thing for the rest of the AL? His AAA roster could win over half of its games at the ML level, and 5 of the best will be promoted to the Majors after 20 or so ML games. The favorite for the World Series and a lock for the division championship.

Arizona (St. Louis)
Arrivals - Hughie Baker (trade), Roger Karl (FA), Cesar Rodriguez (FA),
Departures - Ken Locke (FA), Bartolo Santos (FA)
Net Effect - Positive
Status - Competing
Prediction - 2nd place and a winning record are worthwhile goals. Vancouver should prove to be just too tough.

Colorado Springs (Colorado)
Arrivals - Rickey Frank (FA),
Departures - Itchy Penis (Trade)
Net Effect - Fitter, Happier, More Productive
Status - Maintaining
Prediction - 3rd. Not enough to catch Arizona, let alone Vancouver. As much as we all despise it, the only way to win in this game is to sustain a 3-5 season re-build based upon high draft picks and expensive internationals. CSP, like many others,  are stuck in no-man's land - not good enough to win World Series now, not bad enough to win one later. The impending arrival of Abdul Simpson should help, but it won't be enough.

Arrivals - Ken Locke (FA),
Departures - Carlos Pena (FA)
Net Effect - Neutral
Status - Re-building
Prediction - 4th. Which, again, is not a bad thing for a re-building squad. Has won exactly 110 games over the past two seasons. Playing by the rules and re-building like a champ!

MVP Watch - One of Vancouver's guys
Cy Young Watch - One of Vancouver's guys

ROY Lock (if promoted) - One of Vancouver's guys

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Season 30 Preview - AL South

Season 29 Standings
1. Jacksonville 89-73
2. Charlotte 83-79
3. Texas 83-79
4. Mexico City 60-102

Team Previews

Richmond (Jacksonville)
Arrivals - Manny Ramsey (FA), Jesus Bautista (FA),
Departures - Luis Lopez (FA)
Net Effect - positive
Status - pushing for the playoffs
Prediction - They should have enough to win the division, and a marginal improvement over Season 29 should be expected. In a stacked AL, however, advancing in the playoffs should prove to be difficult.

Arrivals - Brant Riggan (FA), R.J. Albaladejo (FA), Maicer Bennett (FA)
Departures - none
Net Effect - positive
Status - one season away?
Prediction - An army of talent awaits in AAA, will they be rushed this season or saved for next? Saved is my guess, so 1st place is out of the question, but 2nd is realistic. Should be a team to watch in Season 31, though.

Jackson (Texas)
Arrivals - Adam Tucker (Trade), Saul Pineda (Trade), Juan Vincente (Trade), Bartolo Santos (FA), Victor Gonzalez (Promoted)
Departures - Angel Morales (Trade), R.J. Albaladejo (FA), Eugene Millwood (FA),
Net Effect - more positive than negative
Status - hanging in there
Prediction - In a division without a "super team", Jackson will be in the hunt if Richmond falters. If the pitching staff can hold up, 2nd place is within reach. In any event, a winning record is expected, but the playoffs are not.

Oklahoma City (Mexico City)
Arrivals - Larry Henley (Trade), Pablo Ramirez (Rule V)
Departures - Esteban Terrero (Trade), Alex Limon (Trade), Davy Moreno (Trade), Jesus Bautista (FA),
Net Effect - negative
Status - rebuilding 101
Prediction - 4th, but that's not bad. A textbook re-build is underway, and OKC have done an amazing job cutting payroll and adding prospects. Anyone looking to re-build should take notes.

MVP Watch - Posiedon LuekeEnrique Vincente
Cy Young Watch - Manny RamseyBrant RigganJuan Vincente

ROY Lock (if promoted) - Bernie Johnson

Monday, November 11, 2013

Season 30 Preview - AL East

Season 29 Standings
1. Boston 110-52
2. Durham 100-62
3. Chicago 68-94
4. Philadelphia 62-100

Team Previews

Arrivals - Benj Taylor (trade)
Departures - Hughie Baker (trade), Brett Randall (FA)
Net Effect - neutral
Status - World Series or bust
Prediction - An uneventful off-season for the AL East champs. Having hit 110 wins in three of the last four seasons, this threshold is now expected. The division title is likely, but a regression seems overdue.

Arrivals - Ed Hundley (FA), Kenta Suzuki (Promoted)
Departures - Manny Ramsey (FA), Bernie Pena (FA)
Net Effect - Negative
Status - chasing Boston
Prediction - 2nd place and a Wild Card. Too much talent to miss out, not enough to catch Boston

Arrivals - Ivy Latham (Trade), Bo Dunham (Trade), Vic Beltran (FA), Chuck Bland (FA)
Departures - none
Net Effect - Positive
Status - at the end of a 5-season re-build, competing
Prediction - 2nd or 3rd, with a good shot at the Wild Card. Boston is too tough and Durham appears to be the better team. Should make the playoffs, though.

Arrivals - Lee Crosby (FA), Gregory Stevenson (FA), Carlos Pena (FA)
Departures - Tyson Lollar (FA), Rafael Escobar (FA),
Net Effect - Positive
Status - competing
Prediction - Just not enough pitching to make a run. They could compete in another division, but the East is just too tough. Anythig other than 4th would be a surprise.

Cy Young Watch - Albert MondesiHick ManningCarson Stuart
MVP Watch - Barry PerryYusmeiro Durazo,

Season 30 Preview - AL North

Season 29 Standings
1. Salt Lake City 109-53
2. Toledo 86-76
3. Cincinnati 66-96
4. Montreal 58-104

Team Previews

Salt Lake City
Arrivals - Esteban Terrero (trade), Alex Limon (trade), Cecil Lee (promoted)
Departures - Benj Taylor (traded), Yorman Molina (traded), Larry Henley (traded), Bo Dunham (traded), Norman Carson (FA), Brant Riggan (FA)
Net Effect - neutral, maybe slightly negative
Status - competing for a World Series with an eye on rebuilding
Prediction - 1st
Best record in franchise history and 2nd best in the AL, SLC lost to Vancouver in the DCS. Most teams competing for a World Series don't trade a top SP, but they did just that. Still, there is enough talent here to win the division easily.

Arrivals - Donaldo Segui (FA)
Departures - Raymond Campbell (FA)
Net Effect - neutral
Status - Competing
Prediction - With very little turnover, Toledo is going with the same squad that won 86 games last season. A dramatic increase in unlikely, so a division title is likely to be out of reach. 2nd or 3rd.

Arrivals - none
Departures - Napoleon Starr (Rule V)
Net Effect - negative
Status - perpetually rebuilding
Prediction - With the loss of one of the best young players in the game and seven straight seasons of bad baseball, the fans of this once proud and successful squad are getting restless. Help is on the way, but a 4th place finish this season is all but guaranteed.

Arrivals - Napoleon Starr (Rule V), Frank Zhang (FA), Eugene Millwood (FA), Julio Lopez (FA), Mark Wanatabe (Trade), Yuniesky Johnson (Trade), Jake Orie (Trade)
Departures - Saul Pineda (Trade),
Net Effect - positive
Status - Worst to First?
Prediction - Any team that spends that kind of cash on Free Agents must not be ignored. Have they done enough to catch SLC? The blog says "no". Have they done enough to catch Toledo? The blog says "yes", but it won't be enough for a playoff spot.

Cy Young Watch - Frank Zhang
MVP Watch - Tony CuetoNapoleon StarrIvan Walton
ROY Lock - Napoleon Starr