This season will begin the second phase of the Tacoma Rebuilding Project. Last year the team focused on pitching and it was a big success. The bringing up of young pitchers, waiver wire selections and plucking some from the Rule 5 draft produced on of the best pitching season in Tacoma’s history. With only five pitchers over the age of 25 (only one being over 30) it looks like the pitching staff of the Admirals will once again be the talk of the league soon.
The biggest surprise for the Admirals last season wasn’t really the pitching staff it was the offensive. The offensive came out of the gates smacking the ball all over the field, helping the team with a 19 game winning streak to start the year. Then the offensive hit a brick wall after the winning streak and struggled the rest of the year in scoring runs. The biggest problem from last season was that most of the players starting to break down after the Allstar break, which really started to hurt there production. The Admirals had 13 players with more then 150 At-bats but expect the team to probably have all 13 hitters to get over 200 At-bats this season.
The biggest weakness from the team last season was the defense. The team was near the bottom in errors with over 100, giving up 69 unearned runs to the pitching staff. The team has figured out that the defensive problems from last season was from the players getting tired and many of them are at a point in there career where they can no longer play that position. So the second phase of the rebuilding project was to bring in a defense shortstop and centerfielder which where a big problem last season. The team believes they have done that this season.
Let’s introduce the Season 10 Tacoma Admirals
Leading off will be Right Fielder Rich Blue (.279Ave, 107R, 72SB, .356OBP)
Blue is a hitting and stealing machine with 157 SB in two seasons with the Admirals. Blue will be in the lineup against Right Hander’s and the main pitch runner off the bench.
Also batting lead-off will be Right Fielder Bobby Donnelly (.263Ave, 94BB, 59SB, .391OBP)
Donnelly struggled early in his rookie season but really came on during the second half.
Donnelly will be in the lineup against Left Hander’s and the main pitch runner off the bench.
Batting Second will be Second Basemen Anthony Bolling (.284Ave, 77R, 56SB, .353OBP)
Bolling spent most of last season in the eighth spot but with his average and on-base percentage the team fells he will be his best in the second spot.
Bolling will be in the lineup against Right Hander’s and one of the main pitch hitters off the bench.
Also batting second will be Third Basemen Julio Rincon (.266Ave, 67R, 68RBI, 28SB)
Rincon signed a nice contract last season but really struggled during the second half after putting up good numbers before the Allstar break.
Rincon will be in the lineup against Left Hander’s and will be one of the main players off the bench.
Batting Third will be Left Fielder Tommy Mientkiewicz (.277Ave, 101RBI, 92R, 38SB)
Mientkiewicz was the only player on the team last season with more then 10 homeruns and after playing centerfield last year, the team fells like left field will be the best option for him this season.
Mientkiewicz will be in the lineup against Right and Left Hander’s
Batting Fourth will be First Basemen Jeff O’Keefe (.266Ave, 12HR, 67RBI, .333OBP)
O’Keefe played in New York last season and was claimed off waivers from New York. Since leaving the Admirals after season five, O’Keefe has really struggled and is looking to get back on track with a return to Tacoma.
O’Keefe will be in the lineup against Right Hander’s and will be the main power source off the bench.
Also batting Fourth will be First Basemen Tim Kelly (.258Ave, 66RBI, 18SB, .334OBP)
Kelly was mostly used off the bench last season until the second half where is production and playing improved.
Kelly will be in the lineup against Left Hander’s and will be the main power source off the bench.
Batting Fifth will be Third Basemen Tommie Romero (.316Ave, 79BB, 156H, .411OBP)
Romero isn’t your typical fifth hitter but with his ability to hit the ball should bring a ton RBI’s for him. After playing shortstop last season the team fells that third base will be the best option for him this season.
Romero will be in the lineup against Right Hander’s and will be one of the main hitters off the bench.
Also batting fifth will be Second Basemen Kevin Lloyd (.265Ave, 34RBI, 36R, .341OBP)
Lloyd mostly played off the bench last season which is why he had only 275AB, but the team believes his ready for a bigger role this season.
Lloyd will be in the lineup against Left Hander’s and will be one of the main defensive players off the bench.
Batting Sixth will be Shortstop Shawn Durbin (.295Ave, 70RBI, 119R, 66SB) (AAA)
Durbin was picked up with a trade from the Beefpound early in the off-season. Durbin’s main purpose for the team will provide defense and anything else will be a bonus.
Durbin will be in the lineup against Right and Left Hander’s
Batting Seventh will be Catcher Vic Franco (.246Ave, 7HR. 37RBI, 23R)
Franco isn’t going to scare anyone with his offense but as a catcher he’s one of the best.
And don’t try to run on him, as he threw out 14 base runners in 31 attempts.
Franco will be in the lineup against Right and Left Hander’s
Batting Eighth will be Centerfielder Jon Harper (.305Ave, .391OBP, 63R, 19SB) (AAA)
Harper spent last season in Triple-A for the Admirals but was brought back to provide defense to the centerfield position after finding poor options in the market.
Harper will be in the lineup against Right and Left Hander’s
Coming off the bench will be Catcher Nigel Howard (.220Ave, 5HR, 37RBI, 28R)
Howard was the starting last season but with the team trying to improve the defense this season he come off the bench and spot start for Franco.
The opening day starter and the staff ace is season will be Steven Hill (13-7, 3.58ERA, 201.1IP, 178SO)
In his rookie season Hill started the first half struggling but made a huge improvement during the second half almost becoming unbeatable during that time. Hill not even close to what he’s capable of but only at the age of 22 he’s doing pretty well for himself so far.
Starting pitcher number two will be Luis Barajas (11-9, 3.57ERA, 209IP, 161SO)
Last season Barajas was the opening day starter and pitched really well the whole season even though his W-L record isn’t as great as it should have been. With another season under his belt, I would expect Barajas W-L record to improve.
Starting pitcher number three Jumbo Quevedo (13-7, 4.08ERA, 181IP, 133SO)
Quevedo starting the season on fire last season and at one point was the leading canidiate for Rookie of the Year but he struggled down the strech. Quevedo was one of the best waiver wire pickups from last season and with that experience I would expect the innings to improve this season.
Starting pitcher number four Edwin Saipe (14-10, 3.27ERA, 214.2IP, 144SO)
Saipe really enjoys pitching in Tacoma, having all of his success as a pitcher coming in Tacoma. Saipe led the team in wins, ERA, IP and CG but also led the team in hits allowed, runs allowed and walks. Expect Saipe to be the workhorse for the staff once again this season.
Long Reilver and Spot Starter will be Geronimo Seguignol (15-5, 3.06ERA, 156IP, 122SO) (AAA) (Cy Young)
Seguignol pitched so well in Triple-A last season and is considered a bright spot in the future starting rotation of the Admirals that the team will like to see what he can do in the majors this season. With the team going to a four-man rotation Seguignol will get most of his work out of the bullpen but will get chances in the rotation when needed.
Long Reliever and Spot Starter will be Brook Spencer (4-3, 4.68ERA, 51G, 74SO)
Spencer was picked in the Rule-5 Draft last season and really did a nice job. Will have the same role as last season pitching in long relieve but is expected to have a couple starts if Seguignol struggles.
Setup men Manny Krivda (2-2, 6.57ERA, 1SV, 19SO) and Gerald Nakamura (6-1, 2.79ERA, 12SV, 83SO) (AAA) will be used mostly used outside of close games as Krivda struggled during his stint in the majors last season and Nakamura is coming from Triple-A so the team doesn’t know what they will get from him.
Setup men Manny Barrett (7-1, 2.09ERA, 4SV, 59SO) and Nolan Eiland (4-4, 4.22ERA, 4SV, 37SO) will be used in the sixth and seventh innings mostly. Barrett was another great pick from the waiver wire last season and Eiland will be looked on a veteran leader of the bullpen this season.
Setup man Mariano Belliard (8-4, 3.04ERA, 1SV, 75SO) will be the main setup man for the team this year. Belliard really seemed to find his calling in the bullpen after going from the bullpen to the starting rotation and back to the bullpen the last couple of seasons. The team believes with him knowing his role that he will be one of the best eighth inning relievers this season.
Closer Miguel Pena (1-2, 1.98ERA, 37SV, 33SO) came as a surprise after being forced into the closer role early last season after the team’s original closer blew two games. Pena really took the ball and pitched great the rest of the way and after two seasons trying to find a closer the team was more then happy to have Pena pitch so well.
Last season Record Breakers
Bobby Donnelly broke the team all-time Walk record in a single season with 94 walks last season.
Tommie Romero broke the team all-time On-Base Percentage in a single season with .411 OBP last season.
The team had the highest team batting Average in a season with a .267 Batting Average, the highest team walk total with 570 Walks, the fewest strikeouts in a season with 868 Strikeouts, the most times hit with a pitch with 70 HBP, the most stolen bases in a season with 343 SB, the highest team on-base percentage with a .347 OBP and the fewest homeruns allowed with only 130 Homeruns allowed.