Saturday, June 20, 2009

AL East 1/4 Pole Report


Columbus Clippers- currently leading division by 1 game over Norfolk. Got off to a blazing start but have cooled recently, losing 11 of their last 15. Overall playing a bit better than RS/RA would suggest(.558 act-.531 exp). Better than league avg ERA(4.77) and most other pitching categories. Below league avg in most offensive categories, it has mainly been strong relief pitching that has kept them atop the division. Signed FA SP Guillermo Paz, CF Ernie Thompson, and SS Derrek Beltre. Paz has done well, but so far Thompson and Beltre have not provided much offensive punch. Former All Star Dennis Newfield has been the offensive star with 14 HRs. 4 other Clippers have 10 HRs each, but they will need more to have the season grissom expects.

Norfolk Warheads- chrishoiles squad is currently 23-20, 1 game behind Columbus, but has dropped their last 4. They have 25 more RS than RA and should be playing at a .558 clip but are a bit below expectations at .535. Next to last in BA(.269) and below league avg in most other offensive categories. They are doing it with pitching however. 2nd in the league in ERA(4.17). 1st in OSLG & 3rd in OAV. They have given up a league low 190 runs. Ned Little leads the staff with a 5-0 record. May come to regret signing aging 3B Jayson Long to a 4 year contract. Lack of potent offensive threats may put too much strain on the pitching staff to contend all season.

New York Torrones- A pre-season favorite to contend for the division crown, torrone's club is off to a horrendous start. While playing a bit better of late, having won 4 straight, they are still a game below .500 at 21-22 and 3 games behind Columbus. Their .488 act pct is well below the .549 exp. To look at the stats, you would think this team was in 1st place. The pitching staff has the 4th lowest ERA, 2nd lowest HR allowed, 3rd lowest OAV, 4th lowest OBP, 2nd lowest OSLG, & 4th lowest WHIP. Offensively they are 4th in BA, 3rd in OBP & Hits. But this has not translated into enough runs(241 is only slightly above league avg). Loss of SP Monte Brown has been somewhat offset by the trade for Glendon Green(4-1, 3.86 ERA) and the re-signing of Jamie Adkins(4-2, 4.17). But ace A.J. Freeman and Hipolito Martin have been disappointing so far. The offense has been led by former MVP 1B Tanner Magnante(.350 BA, 1.054 OPS), & C Andres Cedeno(.419 BA). Currently injured CF Macbeth Clarke (R)still leads the league in SB with 29. So, what's wrong. Only thing I can think of is that it must be the manager!

Boston Greenwell Gators- Tied with the Torrones in 3rd at 21-22. Signed some FA veterans to big dollar, multi-year contracts(Vin Austin, Kiki Beltran) to try to reverse last season's 4th place finish. Currently playing below expectations(.488 act/.517 exp). Leads league in BA(.298) & OBP, 2nd in SLG & RS, 3rd in HRs. Offense led by former ROY F.P. Koskie(.370 BA), Stevie Bonilla(.363), and powerful Parker Bennett(12 HR, 40 RBI). Problem is the pitching. 5.89 ERA(4th worst), Last in OBP, WHIP, & Hits. 4th worst in SLG & RA tells the story. SP Fergie Chouinard is 4-0 & Fernando Pena has been good at closer, but the rest of the staff has been sub-par. Doesn't matter how much they hit if the pitching does not improve.

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