Tuesday, January 5, 2010

AL West Analysis


Scottsdale Sunny- mdtiger's squad shot out of the gate but have cooled off a bit recently. Still they lead the division with a 25-23 record. .521 Act Pct just about matches their .518 Exp Pct. Signed a number of older FAs. The best so far has been 1B Wayne Smalley(.300, 9, 36). They are in the top half of the league in most offensive categories. The pitching is a bit schizo. Top half of the league in HR allowed, OSLG, Ks, & ERA. Bottom half in Hits, Walks, OAV, OBP, & WHIP. Offense is led by DH Jumbo Flores(.346, 8, 40), 1B Wayne Smalley(.300, 9, 36), & 3B Zach Tatum(14 HR, 31 RBI). RF Hector Soto leads the league with 22 SBs. SS Julius Serrano is very good defensively, but that's a lot of $$ to pay for his limited O. The team lacks a true #1 starter. SPs Jesus Benitez, Fritz Starr, & FA signee Fergie Chouinard are all 4-4. Carson Hoffman id 6/8 in Saves, but has a 5.79 ERA. After a 66-96 campaign last year, the Sunny should be somewhat improved, but not enough to stay in contention in this tough division all year.

Boise Browncoats- Evan43's club won 106 games and made it to the WS in season 13. They're off to a sluggish start thru the first part of the the season at 24-23 and 2nd place. And even that(.511) is better than expected(.470). Re-signed Fireman of the Year Felipe Cairo(1.66, 12 Svs) and he's as good as ever. Also re-signed 40 year old future HOFer Joey Montgomery(1-5, 5.48) but he may be at the end of the road. FA SP Luther Rupe(6.97 ERA) was never that good and looks to be on the downside. The Coats lead the league in SBs(71) but are last in HR(33) and the SLG(.376, 14th) and OPS(.724, 12th) are way down. The pitching, a strength last season, has fallen off somewhat in the early going. They hover near the league average in most categories. Bright spots on offense include soph SS Rafael Carrara(.350, 8, 29) and 4 time MVP DH Olmedo Rivas(.294, 11, 34). 5 players already have double digit SBs, but only one, Rivas, has double digit HRs. However, 5 players have 28 or more RBIs. With All Star LF Alfonso Tejera and former ROY 1B Jose Marquez and others, this team should be fine offensively in the long run. 2 time Cy Young winner Bobby Stephenson(3-2, 3.50), Jarrett Stechschulte(4-2, 3.10), & Artie Dimaggio(3-1, 3.32, on DL) are solid, but Tony Perez and Montgomery are weak 4-5 starters. With 20 players on the ML squad 28 or older, the Browncoats are still a legitimate contender, but the clock is running.

Vancouver Villains- jvburns club won 95 games last year, and that was only good for 3rd place in what was an extremely tough division. Currently at 22-25, 2.5 games off the pace. They are under performing to date(.468 act/.539 exp). Resigned his own ancient FA Trevor Roa, but he's on the 60-day DL and my be done. Also signed defensive C Vicente Romano. The Villains boast one of the better offenses in the league. 4th in BA, 6th in Runs, 4th in Hits, 2nd in 2Bs, 2nd in SBs, 3rd in OBP, 6th in SLG, and 5th in OPS. The pitching staff is performing well overall too. 5th in Hits allowed, 8th in RA, 5th in HRA, 5th in OAV, 7th in OBP, 4th in OSLG, 5th in WHIP. ERA(4.62) is right at the league avg, while K's and BBs fall in the bottom half. Tied for the league lead in FldPct at .991. Hard to fathom why this club is playing below .500 ball. DH Bump Sabel hit 36 dingers last year, only 3 so far this season, but he's is hitting .328. Already a 2 time All Star at 24, 1B Rob Willis(.328, 9, 30) is off to a good start. All Star 3B Al Canseco is having a power outage(4 HR). CF D'Angelo Escobar(.275, 18 SB) is doing OK in his first season as a starter. Slugger Alton Buckley has 12 HR but is only hitting .230. SPs Shane Coffman, Johnny Richardson, & Harry Seneca all have OAV under .260, yet they're only a combined 8-8. jv can't seem to settle on an everyday closer as no one has stepped forward to grab the job. With the stats this team has put up, I can't imagine they'll be below .500 for too long.

San Jose Giants- nzballa's Giants were one of only 2 AL clubs to win 100 or more games last year. Unfortunately for him, that other one also played in his division. They are going to have to go some to come close to that total this season. Playing below expectations to date(.438 act/..479 exp), they;re currently bringing up the rear at 21-27. To beef up the offense, SJ traded for 2 time MVP RF Ramiro Guevara(10 HR, 40 RBI). Also acquired setup man Pedro Matos(.324 OAV, 9.53 ERA) but he's been awful so far. In the bottom third of the league in most offensive categories. Always one of the better pitching teams in the league, and this year is no exception. 1st in OAV & Ks. 2nd in RA, OBP, & OSLG. 3rd in ER, WHIP, & ERA. DH Floyd McFarland(.325, 11, 24), former ROY & All Star 1B Luis Guillen(.316, 6, 25), & Guevara lead the offense. Many of the SPs on this club would be Aces on most other staffs. Dave Wilkinson(3.12 ERA, .232 OAV, 3-4), Sean Brown(4-2, 3.00, .238 OAV), Raymond Morton(5-2, 3.60, .224 OAV), & Phil Corino(3-3, 3.06, .203), have all been very good. Shane Rolls(6.66, 2-6) has not. Closer Alberto Aparicio is 12/12 in save ops. The 'O' is not scoring enough runs and that's gonna put an awful lot of stress on the pitching. That may be too much to ask in a very tough division.

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