Monday, January 4, 2010

AL South Analysis


New Orleans Freebeads- In what looks to be a competitive division, joshoakley current has his team tied for the lead at 25-21. They are underachieving a bit to date(.556 act/.596 exp). They have been playing well at home with a 16-9 record. Thus far, they have been one of the top offensive clubs. They are 1st in SLG, Runs, Hits, 3B, RBI & OPS. 2nd in BA, 2B, & HR. They are also 2nd in Ks, so it looks like a hit or miss offense. So far, mostly hit. On the pitching side, other than K's, where they rank 2nd, the Beads are the epitome of average. Nearly every pitching rank sits right at or near the league average. Team currently tied for last in FA at .978 with a league worst 38 Es. FA RP Delino Castillo(2.38 ERA) has done a good job so far, FA RP Eric Robbins(.397 OAV, 9.22 ERA) has not. C Hector Gonzales(.331, 16, 43), LF Vic Rijo(.297, 14, 44*), & 3b Bill Mercedes(.342, 9, 32) lead a potent offense. Speedy 2B Howie Dickson has 15 SBs. Rookie SP Ivan Alexander(5-2, 3.55 ERA) has been the top starter. Nominal ace Pete Gardner is 4-0. Closer John Chiba is 7/9 in Saves with a 1.80 ERA. Looks like a solid club that should contend all year despite some shortcomings on the pitching end. But how can you not love a club with players named Stuffy, Pokey, & Jumbo on the roster!
*=league leader.

Louisville Sluggers- Looks like davidbutler9's Sluggers may finally be rounding into shape. They are currently tied for 1st at 25-21. While only .500 at home, they are 13-10 on the road. david has had his managerial prowess on display as he has the boys playing a bit over their heads to date(.533 act/ .486 exp). A trade for top CF Ivan Gonzalez(.220, 11 RBI, 7 SB) has been disappointing so far. Louisville is in the bottom 1/3 of the league in nearly all significant offensive categories. It's the pitching that has carried them so far in the early going. They are 2nd in RA & SLG. 4th in ERA and Hits. 1st HR allowed. Their .984 FA is in the top half of the league. Offense is led by perennial All Star 2B Virgil Rodriguez(.327, 31 RBI) & power hitting 3B Lou Beamon(8 HR, 27 RBI). SP Harry Velazquez(7-2, 2.01 ERA) was a top IFA signing last season and looks to be one of the leagues top hurlers for years to come. Omar Cela is 6-2. Closer Vin Guevara is 12/14 in Saves. Don't know if they will hang in there all year, but it sure looks like the Sluggers have turned the corner.

Monterrey Cheeseheads- vector21's club is currently in 3rd place, and is playing slightly better than expectations(.500 act/.480 exp). He was pretty active in signing FAs coming into the season and spent plenty of $$ doing it. On the plus side have been RP T.J. Wagner(.234 OAV, 2 Svs), RP Felipe Vincente(4/5 Svs), & CL D'Angelo Figureoa(0.90 ERA, 6/6 Svs). So far FA 2B Bruce King(.258, 5, 23, 14 SB) must be a disappointment at $8M/4yrs + a $2.5M bonus. Kind of a split personality offense. Above average in Runs(5th), 3B(T2nd), HR(T4). Below average in BA(11th), Hits(11th), OPS(9th). The pitching staff has had it's problems. The ERA(5.04) is 14th. The rest of the picture's not pretty either. WHIP(T13), OSLG(13), OBP(12), OAV(13), Hits(15), Runs(15). That's too much pressure for an inconsistent offense to overcome. The team is also 14th in FldPct. Inconsistent offense, bad pitching, and mediocre fielding is not a recipe for long term success. Some bright spots include 1B/LF Diego Moreno(.350 BA), DH Gary Hardy(.328, 11, 26), LF Ernest Payton(.299, 6, 32, 10SB). SP Lewis Locko is 5-1 despite a 5.55 ERA, while Tom Benes(2-4, 3.58) appears to have pitched in some bad luck. 3B/SS Dolf Titan has 38 RBI, but is only hitting .234. Mark Jones must do more to justify his big contract. Rule5 pickup Charlie Robertson(.182) has done nothing. Former #1 pick Reid Bagwell may have been rushed to the ML a bit too soon. vector has done a good job to keep this team in contention to date. I'll be surprised if he manages to do it all year.

Florida Fire Sailfish- Commish jmercer77's club is currently bringing up the rear, but at only 4 games back is still well within striking distance at 21-25. They're at .500 at home, but only 6-10 away. .448 exp/.457 act has them right about where they are expected to be. Fun fact-only team in league not to have played an extra inning game yet. 2nd year 3B Robert Merrick(.304, 5, 30) was acquired in a trade and has been a pleasant surprise. The Fish hover at just about the league average in almost all offensive categories except HRs where they rank 11th. Almost all the pitching stats rank in the bottom 1/3 of the league. The team FldPct(.985) is right at the league average. Bright spots on offense include Merrick, 1BJorge Mairena(.342, 5, 25), 2 time MVP RF Miguel Palacios(.306, 9, 34), & slugging DH Lance Kelleher(8 HR, 31 RBI). An All Star last year in his rookie season, young SP Oswaldo Cruz(3-5, 5.59) is encountering the sophomore jinx. He's a good one, though. Bob Kelly(5-1, 2.59) is off to a very good start. Rookie SP Daniel Fitzgerald(2-6, 5.90) is finding the going a bit tough. Welcome to the ML, Danny! Retreads Fritz Dykhoff & Jamie Adkins have limited ML value. Closer Diego Garza is 10/11 in Saves with a 1.74 ERA. With only 3 players on the ML roster 30 or over, this team is on the rise, but they may not be ready to contend just yet.

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