Friday, January 14, 2011

Season 18 Preview NL West

Fresno Primetimers (92-70, 3rd)

A team that finished with the 4th best ERA in Addicted Users and scored 150 more runs than they allowed would seem like a sure bet to make the playoffs. That wasn’t the case in the tough NL west. Closer Ryan Politte is the leader of the pitching staff and finished with 45 saves in 50 chances. Terrence Cooper, Freddy Franco & Ernest Payton carry the big bats for the Fresno but will need some more contributions from their friends this season. With 17 players 30 or older this team’s window of opportunity is closing fast. Primetime17 will need to start making tough decisions soon on when to start tearing this team apart and if they fall out of contention early it may start this year.

Prediction: 90-72

Honolulu LuauDawgs (96-66, 1st)

10 more victories last season than the previous year propelled the LuauDawgs from last place to 1st. Yet there continued lack of playoff success haunts this team as all but one of their playoff appearances have ended in the 1st round, as last years did. $20M man Tony Blair leads the 2nd ranked pitching staff with 18 wins and a 3.12 ERA. He’ll need to at least do the same until Malcolm Sandberg returns from the DL. Omar Estrada put up MVP numbers (37, 135, .312) and will need to do it again. With some key contributors leaving this may be a bit of transition season and may hinge on how rockydawg fills out his roster.

Prediction: 94-68

Salem Senators (93-69, 2nd)

The pitching rich NL west included the San Diego franchise. In a move geared to help lower the frustration of the hitters, grissom97 has moved the team to Salem. This may be a wise move or it could cause be a disaster if the pitching staff doesn't adjust quickly to their new surroundings. In an attempt to off set any problems that may arise from the move several roster changes have been made. RF Morris Grace was added to provide another long ball hitter, while the veteran arms of Victor Colome, Vincente Domingo & Louis Henley were added to compensate for the more hitter friendly dimensions in Salem. A move to a new park brings pitfalls as well as opportunities and the wheeling & dealing done in the offseason had better work or it will be a long season for a team that finished 3 games out last season and hopes to improve on that.

Prediction: 90-72

Scottsdale Hohokams (92-70, 3rd)

Last years team was well balanced with both the pitching staff and offense ranking high. Unfortunately this didn’t translate into more than a good record and higher expectations for this season as the Hohokams missed the playoffs. New owner gaheel84 decided that a in state move to the more hitter friendly park in Scottsdale would be just what this franchise needed. Sluggers Clarence Levis, Lou Beamon & Jumbo Neruda should find their new home very much to their liking. On the other hand 15 game winners, Bruce Phillips & Hulk Morris, and closer Tom Holmes may become homesick rather quickly. Again moving to a new ballpark can be a little tricky and while this will create more offense the adverse affect to the pitching staff may be more than anticipated.

Prediction: 89-73

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