Sunday, January 3, 2010

Early Season Report

OK. It's time to see who's gotten off to a hot start and who's not! It's the Annual 1/4 Pole Report!


New York Torrones- We'll start off with the team most important to me. ME! :) The Torrones have played the role of bridesmaid in this division for 5 years running. This team has won over 90 games the last 3 seasons, but that was not good enough to take the division from grissom's Columbus Clippers. Currently tied for the division lead at 24-18 with Cincy(nee Columbus). The Exp win Pct is .551 while actual is .571, so they are playing a bit better than expected at the moment. That's not my perception, however, as I feel like we are playing nowhere near as good as we are capable of. Even so, offensively we're in the top 5 in runs, hits, 3Bs, RBIs, BA, & OBP. Pitching is doing well. 4th in ERA, 2nd in OAV, T1 in OBP, 1st in OSLG, 6th in RA, 2nd in Ks, 3rd in BB, and giving up less than a hit an IP. As I write this, I don't know why I feel like we are underachieving! Maybe because a couple of long time stalwarts are off to slow starts. Ace A.J. Freeman is off to an awful start(2-5, 6.23 ERA). Slugger Dan Jones(.225 BA, 6HRs) seems to have been hit by the recent update, but it's still early. A pre-season trade brought in CF Chad Wolf, who is off to a good start with a .333 BA. 1B Tanner Magnante(.327, 6, 24) is rebounding from a sub-par season. SP's Vince Livingstone & Victor Colome have 4 wins each and closer B.C. Garland has 8 saves. Recent callup LRP Eswalin Alou has yet to give up a run in 10IP. This team is a legitimate contender, but they better do something in the next few season or their core players are going to get too old to get it done.

Cincinnati Knights- formerly the Columbus Clippers, this club has won the division for the last 3 seasons. They have been taken over by 1st time owner brentcnb and moved to Cincy. They are currently tied for the division lead at 24-18. Despite leading the league in RS(264), they are playing a bit below expectations(.571 act/.595 exp). Signed 6 FAs, but so far only RP Raymond Smith has been effective as a part of a closer-by-committee. Very good offensive start as they are 2nd in Hits, RBI, BA, 2Bs, OBP, and 3rd in OPS, SLG, HR, & BBs. Pitchin is a different story. A 5.10 ERA ranks 14th. 13th in RA, OAV. 12th in OSLG. Last in OBP. Those are not stats that will get it done over a full season, no matter how much you hit. They are 2nd in the league in Fld Pct at .991 and have made only 14 Es(2nd). Early season bright spots include former MVP LF Billy Ledee(.384 BA,12 HR, 33 RBI), C Joey Cannon(.330, 9,35), & RF Bailey Baptist(.309,8,24). On the pitching side, perennial All Star & 2 time Cy Young winner Pedro Alarcon(4-0, 2.58 ERA, .211 OAV) remains one of the league's best.Rookie LRP Barry McKain has 5 wins. Must get better results from Lyle Melhuse(5.09 ERA) and find a way to round out the starting staff or they will have trouble contending all year.

Norfolk Navigators- another new, but experienced, owner for this franchise in cspring. This squad (formerly Boston) is currently 2 games back at 22-20. Playing a little below exp(.524 act, .557 exp). Traded former ROY F.P. Koskie for 3 prospects in a decidedly csherwood-like move. FA pickup Gene Oquist(.285, 6, 24) has been good. His other FA, SP Yamil Diaz has a great OAV(.226) & a good ERA(3.73) that has not translated into wins(2-4). Traded for much travelled SP Monte Brown, who is still effective(5-3, .259 OAV). Below league averages in most offensive categories, but they have scored 210 runs. The pitching leads the league with a 4.05 ERA. Top 5 in Hits, Runs, OAV, OBP, OSLG, & WHIP. DH Miguel Palacios is hitting .368. SS Max Chavez is hitting .308, 4, 19. C Stevie Bonilla has provided some pop(.296, 7, 22). In addition to Brown, SP Alan Lowell(4-4, 2.70 ERA) has been effective.SP Ronnie Clark is 5-2. It's been closer by committee as 4 RP have split 11 saves. The Navs will have to maintain their pitching excellence and improve their offensive output to be considered a serious contender this year.

Tamps Bay NEWHAMPSHIRE MUDHENS- Wow, that's a mouthful! The 3rd new owner for the AL East is sport65, another first year owner. This team was abandoned last year and babysat by timf for the 2nd half of the season. They are currently playing well below expectations(431 exp, 357 act). Their 15-27 record has the 9 games off the pace in the early going. Fell into a typical new owner trap of signing a lot of has-been and never-was FAs, all of whom have been released or are seriously under performing, with the lone exception of LF Ross Rhodes, but he's 36, not exactly the type of player you build a team around. Gave way too much money to light hitting C Osvaldo Valentin, regardless of his defensive prowess. In the bottom 3 in just about every meaningful offensive category. The pitching staff has been holding it's own so far. 2nd in ERA, BB, & WHIP. 1st in RA, ER, OBP. 3rd in OAV. 4th in OSLG. RF/DH Al Cairo is leading the club in BA(.329). There really isn't much else to speak of offensively. SP Raymond Lincoln has been a workhorse(11 starts, .221 OAV, 3.29 ERA) but has little to show for it with a 3-6 record. Closer Matty Colon is 4/5 in Saves. This club need a serious upgrade to its offense before it can expect to contend. As a first time owner, perhaps sport65 took on too much by juggling 3 teams at once. This being the deep sim it is, it takes quite a while to effectively learn the ropes.

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