>Scranton Beet Farmer’s (aa12on)
The Beet Farmer’s have seen there record get worse every year with there record falling down to 67 victories last year. With a lot of young players playing last year it was expected that the team wouldn’t do so well but with this year coming it is expected that the Beet Farmer’s might have a chance at .500 this year. The team lost Ernie Garcia (P) (0-0, 4.76ERA, 3G), Albie Jacquez (P) (4-3, 6.36ERA, 7SV), Walt Biggio (SS) (.270, 0, 20), Walter Hatcher (2B) (.259, 7, 53) and Gene Guerrero (P) (3-2, 3.32ERA, 15SV) to free agency. The team only signed Fritz Hernandez (2B) (minor leaguer) from the Portland Landports for 4yrs/14.8mil. The team traded Dario Wallace (P) (6-13, 6.75ERA, 152IP) to the Colorado Sky Sox for Vicente Domingo (RF) (.353, 50, 179) and a minor leaguer with 4.0mil coming to the Beet Farmer’s as well. The Beet Farmer’s made one trade that improved there offensive to be something to fear in the National League North.
The Beet Farmer’s offensive only scored 799 runs last season which in the American League is an offensive that struggled all year. You should really see a big improvement in there offensive this season with just one trade. Rookie of the Year/ AllStar Phil Shigetoshi (1B) (.330, 26, 101) is a young first basemen that has a very bright future ahead of him as he won the Rookie of the Year in the American League. Dean Clark (DH) (.309, 30, 106) in a big bat in the middle of the order and provided the protection that was needed for Shigetoshi to have a successful season last year. The returning players Dwight Hennessey (2B) (.247, 26, 97), Vernon Graves (2B) (.252, 15, 75), SS Gold Glove Eddie Erstad (SS) (.299, 5, 55), AllStar Angel James (SS) (.346, 29, 105), LF Gold Glove Marc Rivera (2B) (.290, 12, 56) and Byung-Hyun Shibata (SS) (.233, 3, 24) should improve from last season. This offensive should be a whole lot better this season as the young players will improve and Domingo will fit right in the middle of order.
The Beet Farmer’s pitching staff nearly gave up a thousand runs last season but the team had expected that it might be a tough year for the staff but they also expect there will be improvement this year as they didn’t add anyone to help from a trade or the free agent market this season. Victor Diaz (10-7, 5.86ERA, 2SV) pitched mostly from the bullpen last season but the team thinks that he is ready to become a starter on the major league level. Carter Wise (4-13, 5.26ERA, 184.2IP) believe it or not but Wise was looked upon as the ace of this staff last season, as he was able to eat up some innings to give the bullpen a break last season. Paul Hurst (3-7, 6.46ERA, 1SV), Steve McIntyre (7-6, 5.64ERA, 140.1IP), Alex Vizquel (P) (4-14, 8.00ERA, 129.1IP) and Phil Lee (minor leaguer) should fill out the remaining spots in the rotation. Sammy Beltran (1-5, 3.68ERA, 5SV) will be given the closer role this season as he did very well from the bullpen last year and the team is hoping that he can step up into a closer role this season. Last season the pitching wasn’t very good for the Beet Farmer’s with the starting rotation being awful. If this team has any chance to improve the staff has got to get better and get better quick.
Projected Record – 63-99
Ottawa Crawdaddies (davisbrian)
The Crawdaddies saw a huge improvement from the previous with a 19 game swing and putting a huge scare into the Madison Lasers that maybe there reign on top of the American League North was about to come to an end. There plan from last season was simple, hit the ball over the fence, have some speed sprinkled throughout the lineup, have the pitchers only go 5 or 6 innings and let the bullpen close out the games and this was worked to perfection. The team lost Antone Rhodes (RF) (.200, 0, 1), Jeff Shipley (P) (6-5, 4.24ERA, 8SV) and Cliff Woodson (P) (9-9, 4.17ERA, 3SV). The team signed Gus Wilkins (SS) (.332, 32, 136) from the Colorado Sky Sox for 3yrs/31.5mil and Chris Haney (P) (8-9, 4.14ERA, 1SV) from the Durham Bulls for 2yrs/5.6mil. The team resigned Danny Smith (P) (3-3, 4.42ERA, 5SV). The team traded Adam Beimel (RF) (.259, 2, 8) to the Indianapolis Wrecking Crew for a minor leaguer. They also traded Adam Warner (P) (2-2, 6.14ERA, 22G) and two minor leaguers to the New Britain Fisher Cats for Rafael Machado (P) (15-8, 4.39ERA, 186.2IP) and a minor leaguer with 3.0mil coming there way. The team made one more trade, trading Spike Sweeney (C) (.471, 3, 6) to the San Jose Sabercats for a minor leaguer. The team wanted to have the momentum that they had last season and put into the off-season with some big signings and trades and that’s what the owner did this off-season.
The offensive only scored just over 900 runs last year which would put them in the middle of the pack in the American League, as they did hit the ball over the fence well, stole the bases when they had too and found a way to score more runs then the other team. AllStar Al Vazquez (SS) (.296, 55, 145) crushed the ball all over the field and will be a staple in the middle of the Crawdaddies order for some time. Clay Offerman (SS) (.293, 9, 60) provided what every good offensive needs and that is a lead-off hitter that can get on base and put some pressure on the pitchers with the threat of him stealing. Returning players Al Guillen (SS) (.310, 32, 104), Luis Johnson (SS) (.311, 15, 104), Weldon Erving (DH) (.310, 14, 73), C Gold Glove Donte Cashman (C) (.287, 32, 86) and Felix Davenport (3B ) (.250, 6, 45) should have no problem being as good as they were last season. Can this offensive become an elite offensive this season in the American League?
The Crawdaddies knew that if they where going to compete against the Madison Lasers that they had to have a good pitching staff, so instead getting there starting pitchers getting tired in the late innings that they would rely on the bullpen to win them games and that’s what this team will do this year as well. Mateo Romano (12-8, 3.99ERA, 198.1IP) was a good steady starting pitcher take could take the team to the sixth inning but was happy to see the bullpen close out the games for him. Ajax Peavy (11-8, 4.51ERA, 1SV) started the season in the bullpen but quickly went into the starting rotation and proved that he was ready for the job. Benito Garces (10-9, 5.58ERA, 182.1IP), Dennis Thompson (10-7, 4.04ERA, 189.1IP) and Rafael Machado should finish the rest of the rotation. Abraham Millwood (3-3, 2.98ERA, 24SV) will be given the closing job once again and the team is hoping that he can get more saves this year and less then the 5 blown saves he had last season. Can relying on the bullpen work for one more year or will all the work from last season effect them this season?
Projected Record – 93-69
Madison Lasers (quantum76)
The Lasers have one the American League North for three straight seasons now but ever since they won the World Series in season 1 the team seems to be falling back into the pack of the American League and with the Ottawa Crawdaddies improving it looks like the fourth straight division title is in series jeopardy this year. The team lost Chet O’Connor (P) (1-2, 6.08ERA, 1SV), Malcolm Reed (P) (5-4, 6.55ERA, 26G) and Art Denham (P) (12-9, 5.52ERA, 200.2IP). The team didn’t sign any from the free agent market. The team didn’t make any trades during the off-season. The team may have slipped a little last season but the owner still believes that he has the right team to win the division again and get back the World Series.
The offensive wasn’t the problem for the Lasers last season as they once again scored over a 1000 runs proving that they still have one of the best offensive in the whole league. Ed Houston (SS) (.295, 35, 120) has seen his production slip a little the last couple years but he’s still a great force in the middle of the order and when guys are in scoring position he always finds a way to get them home. Darren Higginson (C) (.346, 31, 99) proved that even a catcher can be one of the best hitters in the league. Returning players Dave James (2B) (.284, 20, 101), Freddie Adcock (2B) (.343, 27, 99), Sherry West (3B) (.249, 41, 93), Harry Voigt (C) (.283, 24, 79), Heath Young (3B) (.293, 12, 65), Don Xaio (C) (.269, 39, 101) and Ricky Hogan (C) (.232, 11, 47) should have no problem getting close to there numbers last season. Can this offensive that is getting older still provide the kind of number the fans of Madison have expected from them?
The pitching staff really let this team down last season giving well over 900 runs and making the American League North a close race through out the whole season. The team is expecting the staff this season to improve and get this team another division title this year. The team added a lot of pitchers from there minor leagues and the Rule-5 Draft to see if it can improve this year. Chad Armstrong (13-10, 5.59ERA, 215.2IP) will need to start pitching like an ace, as that’s what the team has given him this season. Ned Frazier (11-12, 5.65ERA, 181.2IP) is the only other starting pitcher from last year on this team to have a spot this year and the team is hoping they don’t regret that decision. Louis Corino (minor leagues), Ralph Ewing (minor leagues) and Mark Higgins (minor leagues) should fill out the rest of the starting rotation this season. Larry Ellenwood (0-1, 3.24ERA, 31SV) should once again be asked to close the door at the end of the game this season again and once again should do well in that role. The rotation was a mess last season and with all the young pitchers in the staff this season it just might be a mess again.
Projected Record – 81-81
Portland Landports (scooterbop)
Last season the Landports where the Chicago Legionaires before the new owner moved them Portland for this season. The Portland fans will be watching a major rebuilding job oops I mean a “youth movement” this season as this team needs some help if there going anywhere soon. It seems such a long time for this franchise when they last made it to the playoffs and the team seems to be getting worse every year, will this be the year that the trend is reversed? The team lost Miller Young (CF) (.233, 4, 18), Marvin Wilson (P) (4-1, 7.08ERA, 4SV) and Willie Montanez (SS) (.224, 2, 15). The team signed Stephen Mayer (P) (1-2, 5.96ERA, 19SV) from the Boston Braves for 3yrs/1.41mil, Wayne Root (P) (11-12, 5.03ERA, 202.1IP) from the Houston Hitmen for 2yrs/700k with a 2.2mil signing bonus, Felix Riggs (P) (1-2, 4.56ERA, 71G) from the New Britain Fisher Cats for 3yrs/1.0mil with a 800k signing bonus and Al Priest (1B) (minor leaguer) from the Colorado Sky Sox for a minor league deal. The team resigned Bartolo Rosado (P) (1-6, 5.67ERA, 73IP). The team traded Tim Perry (1B) (.282, 35, 111) to the Jackson Blazers for Rich Blue (RF) (.315, 0, 43). I think the team did a good job getting some veterans to hold the positions till the minor leaguers are ready but at the same time the got these guys at a really cheap price.
Last season the Landports offensive wasn’t even close to the problem for this team as they did score the runs to keep the team in games last season. This year though I think that the team might struggle a bit on the offensive side, I do see that this team is moving in the right direction. Tomas Rosario (3B) (.278, 31, 84) is one of the true power hitters left in the lineup from last season and is expected to even do better this season. Andy Roenicke (2B) (.284, 3, 49) has a lot of speed with the prove of 71 stolen bases last season but he will be moving out of the lead-off this season with the trade for Blue. Returning players Ken Lincoln (SS) (.296, 23, 82), Tony Rodriguez (LF) (.293, 18, 76) and Peter Holmes (C) (.267, 19, 53) will need to provide the offensive this season. The biggest question I have for this team is where the big RBI guy is going to come from this lineup because they have the guys to get on base and steal a base but they don’t have RBI in the lineup.
The struggles that this team will see this season will come from the pitching staff that really isn’t different from last years team with the bullpen the only thing that really improved. Michael Dickey (15-11, 5.13ERA, 214IP) was the only starting that held his own and getting 15 wins for a team with only 65 wins is a great feat but can any team stand for there ace pitcher to have a 5.13ERA. Wayne Root was signed to provide another quality arm or what this team really needed was an innings eater. Vin Bryne (6-9, 5.05ERA, 148IP), Cesar Delgado (6-8, 6.20ERA, 123.1IP), Bartolo Rosado (1-6, 5.67ERA, 73IP) and Edwin Saipe (2-4, 5.19ERA, 60.2IP) will battle it out for the remaining spots. Mayer was signed to provide the team with a reliable closer this season and I believe that he will do fine in that role. Beyond Dickey and Root the rest of the starters will need to step up and show the fans of Portland that this team may be going through a hard time right now but the future will be bright real soon.
Projected Record – 60-102