Sunday, June 21, 2009

AL West 1/4 Pole Report


Vancouver Villains- jvburns has his club tied for the West lead with perennial powerhouse Boise. At 25-20, they are over .500 both at home and on the road. Playing slightly below expectations(.568 act-.582 exp). They have scored 45 more runs than they have allowed. A potent offense leads the league in RS(305) and is 2nd in BA(.289) and OPS(.853). The pitching staff K's a lot(3rd, 284), but give up a lot of HRs(15th, 79). Most of the rest of the pitching stats are just a bit below the league avgs. FA signing SP Russell Blake has been disappointing so far(2-6, 6.22 ERA). Former top starter Trevor Roa has pitched well in relief. Up and comer Johnny Richardson has been very good(5-0, .254 OAV, 3.76 ERA). DH Bump Sabel is off to a great start(.361 BA, 11 HR, .611 SLG, 1.057 OPS), as is 1b/DH Vin Bradshaw(.341, .707 SLG, 1.193 OPS). Rookie RF Rob Willis(.324, 13 HR, 50 RBI) looks like a star in the making.

Boise Browncoats- in a current 3 way tie for 1st at 25-20. Evan23 always fields a competitive team and this year is no exception. Also playing over .500 home/road. They have given up more runs than they have scored and are playing well above EXP(.556 act-.496 exp). An 8-2 record in 1-run games has helped. a .276 BA is below league avg, OBP & OPS(15th) and SLG & HR(last) are uninspiring. 225 RS is 3rd from the bottom. So how is this team tied for 1st? Well, the pitching is above average in almost every category, proving once again how important pitching is. Of the few mid-level FA signings, only 3B Steve Cook has made a decent contribution. Traded for SP Miguel Benavente to shore up the staff, but results have been uneven(4-2, .310 OAV, 5.29 ERA).Staff is showing some age(Joey Montgomery-38, Mark Scutaro-37, Stan Rolls-40). Scutaro is still effective and is backed up by Artie Dimaggio(5-2, 3.86) and Bobby Stephenson(4-3, 3.18). Perennial All-Star LF Alfonso Tejera is off to the worst start of his career(.208 BA, 6HR, .385 SLG). 4 time MVP C Olmedo Rivas is also playing well below career norms(.246, 8 HRs, .419 SLG). Unless these guys revert to form, it could be a long cold winter in Boise.

San Jose Giants- also part of the 3-way knot at the top of the West at 25-20. Also above .500 home/road. nzballa has his club playing a touch above expectations(.556 act-.546 exp) despite a 2-5 record in 1-run games. San Jose usually does it with pitching and this year is no exception. 1st in WHIP(1.30), OBP(.315) & Hits(384), 2nd in OAV(.250), SLG(.428), 3rd in RA(221). The offense has been doing its part with a BA, OBP, & SLG all above league averages. No speed, having attempted ony 2 SBs all season. Some mid-level FA signings have not provided much to date. Shane Rolls(4-1, 2.31), Dave Wilkinson(4-2, 3.20), and Johnnie Price(7-1) have anchored as solid staff. LF Rick Costello is have a great season, leading the league in RBI(52) and tied in HR(19) and is batting .352. Luis Guillen is also having a fine season at .323 with a 1.004 OPS. Solid contender.

Tucson Desert Rats- after finishing 33 games out last season, optistrat is hanging tough this year at 22-23, only 3 games back. The Rats are playing a bit above EXP(.489 act-.477 exp) having won 6 straight. A less than stellar home record(8-12) has been offset by an excellent road tally(14-11). Near the top of the league in Runs, SB, BA, OPB and SLG. It's the pitching that has been holding them back. A staff with an ERA of 6.00(14th), WHIP(1.68, 15th), OBP(T-14th), OAV(.290) & RA(last at 297) is the culprit. That won't get it done. Trades for SPs Mike Kelton and Donaldo Rosario have not met expectations. SP Andres Cela has been a bright spot(6-1, 3.83). DH Jumbo Flores has been very good(.348 BA, 1.056 OPS) as has CF Timothy Roberts (.328, .974 OPS). Rising star Harry Alicea has been disappointing so far. Playing in a tough division, the Desert Rats are making progress, but they're not there yet.

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