Monday, May 10, 2010

Lucky Season 13 AL East Preview

As I enter my sixth season in the Jersey League World, I take a look back and realize a couple of things. First, where has the time gone? When I first started here, I was not even expecting to be a father yet. Now I have twin boys over a year old. Good times. Second, my team has floundered in mediocrity for too long. Things have to change. With that said, I present to you the Season 13 AL East Preview. I will break down each team and attempt (again) to amuse you with my prognostication skills. I will preview each team in the reverse order of their Season 12 finish in standings. Hope you enjoy.

Philadelphia Phillies

Owner: bball10 (4th Season, 176-310, 0 Playoff Appearances)

Franchise History: (815-1,129, 1 Playoff Appearance, 0 Division Titles)

Season 12 Recap:

Record: 54-108 (4th Place, 32 GB)

BA / OBP / SLG: .272 / .335 / .411

R / HR / RBI / SB: 779 / 172 / 753 / 184

ERA / WHIP / SO: 6.34 / 1.68 / 953

Fld % / CS %: .975 / .232

Bartolo Maradona, RP (Free Agency from Norfolk)
Taylor Everett, RP (Free Agency from Norfolk)
Tomas Tavarez, SP (Free Agency from Syracuse)
Banana Munoz, RP (Free Agency from Trenton)

Nash Ponson, RP (Free Agency)
Junior Lee, SP (Free Agency)
Norm Mantei, RP (Free Agency)
Donatello Barker, OF (Free Agency)
Al Clifton, SS (Released)

After a promising sophomore campaign, bball10 took a stumble backwards in his third year, finishing last in the division and ending tied for worst overall record in team history. You don't have to look hard (mainly because I did the work for you) to see that pitching was what did this team in last season. Bball10 focused on that in the offseason, picking up 4 pitchers via Free Agency. That, along with an improvement in defense, needs to come through for this team to have any chance at 81 wins, let alone a shot at the division crown.

Pittsburgh sluggers

Owner: larr100 (6th Season, 368-442, 1 Playoff Appearance, 1 Division Title)

Franchise History: 971-973, 4 Playoff Appearances, 2 Division Titles)

Season 12 Recap:

Record: 65-97 (3rd Place, 21 GB)

BA / OBP / SLG: .253 / .324 / .441

R / HR / RBI / SB: 801 / 259 / 785 / 121

ERA / WHIP / SO: 5.48 / 1.59 / 923

Fld % / CS %: .974 / .249

Bob Bonilla, RP (Promoted)
Dude Lloyd, SP (Promoted)
Max Rios, SS (Free Agent from Colorado)
Junior Ortiz, SS (Free Agent from Florida)
Jayson Caufield, 3B (Promoted)
Patrick Peavy, RP (Free Agent from Colorado Springs)
Buddy Johnson, RP (Free Agent from Seattle)
Brian Morgan, RP (Free Agent from Atlanta)
Oswaldo Alvarez, SS (Free Agent from Norfolk)
Bernie Izquierdo, LF (Free Agent from Salem)

Gerald Grissom, RP (Free Agency)
Red DiSarcina, SS (Free Agency)

Pittsburgh is a team that has me baffled. GM larr100 came into this league the same time as me and immediately brought this franchise a division title. Since then, they slowly deteriorated down the standings (2nd in Season 9, 3rd in Season 10, 4th in Season 11) before finally rebounding last season and finishing 3rd, improving their win total from 63 to 65 wins. If the trend holds true, we should expect a 2nd place finish this year. The young talent is starting to break through this season. SP Dude Lloyd has earned the final rotation spot, RP Bob Bonilla has made the club as a long relief pitcher, and 3B Jayson Caufield has broken camp with the club to backup Rodney Mulder. Larr100 was also busy on the free agency wire, shoring up relief pitching and improved defense.

Norfolk Phanatics

Owner: ratatat72 (6th Season, 380-430, 3 Playoff Appearances, 2 Division Titles)

Franchise History: (876-1,068, 5 Playoff Appearances, 4 Division Titles)

Season 12 Recap:

Record: 66-96 (2nd Place, 20 GB)

BA / OBP / SLG: .272 / .341 / .426

R / HR / RBI / SB: 857 / 189 / 833 / 194

ERA / WHIP / SO: 5.82 / 1.65 / 937

Fld % / CS %: .983 / .246

Dion Hundley, LF (Promoted)
Hector Trevino, SP (Free Agent from Tampa Bay)
Tony Alonso, SS (Free Agent from Las Vegas)

Allen Chapman, RP (Free Agency)
Alex Dunham, RP (Free Agency)
Jake Webb, RF (Free Agency)
Taylor Everett, RP (Team Declined Mutual Option)
Brian Sanders, RP (Team Declined Mutual Option)
Bartolo Maradona, RP (Released)
Oswaldo Alvarez, SS (Released)

GM ratatat72 had his share of antacids last season. Who could blame him. After 4 solid seasons, the Phanatics took a HUGE step backwards. Lack of pitching depth at beginning of season plus DL stints by 5 pitchers during the season equals bad season. Chalk it up as a formula for disaster. They did get younger in the pitching, but may still be lacking depth to compete with the big boys in the AL. Offensively, they are led by SS Mateo Flores, 2B Bucky Gates, and AL Rookie of the Year winner Darrell Rossy. If the pitching rebounds from last year's disaster, they might give New York some much needed competition.

New York Mutuals

Owner: piratestros (5th Season, 301-347, 2 Playoff Appearances, 2 Division Titles)

Franchise History: (991-953, 6 Playoff Appearances, 6 Division Titles, 1 American League Championship)

Season 12 Recap:

Record: 86-76 (1st Place, Lost to Rochester in Division Play-in Series 3-0)

BA / OBP / SLG: .268 / .338 / .429

R / HR / RBI / SB: 892 / 197 / 870 / 323

ERA / WHIP / SO: 4.78 / 1.49 / 1,019

Fld % / CS %: .981 / .253

Brian Sanders, RP (Free Agent from Norfolk)
Alex Dunham, RP (Free Agent from Norfolk)
Louis Collier, C (Free Agent from Las Vegas)
Luther Crosby, RP (Rule V from Rochester)
Terrence Sheehan, RP (Rule V from Charlotte)

Eric Morris, RP (Free Agency)
Steve Singleton, C (Free Agency)
Larry Simon, RP (Free Agency)
Tony Blank, RP (Free Agency)
Donaldo Hernandez, SP (Free Agency)
Johnnie Key, RP (Free Agency)
Brian Vander Wal, C (Free Agency)
Cliff Parrish, SP (Free Agency)
Matty Ozuna, RP (Free Agency)
Jerry Halama, RP (Free Agency)
Gabe Eaton, RP (Free Agency)
Tim Buehrle, RP (Free Agency)
T.J. Richardson, LF (Player Declined Mutual Option, Released)
Albert Espinoza, 1B (Released)
Edgar Abreu, RF (Released)

Whew!!!! New York, the City that Never Sleeps. That is exactly true for piratestros, as the revolving door needed some serious oil after he was through with the offseason moves. The 2nd Division title in as many seasons did little to satisfy piratestros. Most of the players that left were September callups that had no options left, so there isn't too much damage. This team is led offensively by speedy Calvin Lee, who at only age 25 is approaching elite status in Stolen Bases, and Gerald Pratt. They also have speedy youngsters Dan Blank and Osvaldo Montero joining the carousel that is the basepaths of the American League. It won't be a stretch to predict that the Mutuals will steal the SB category for a fifth straight season. Their biggest concern will be how the Pitching holds up. They already lost Rule V pick Sheehan for the season due to a nerve irritation in the forearm.

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