Friday, November 11, 2011

Team Previews - AL

AL North

Fargo Bison

The bison expect and will compete at a high level this season. we will lead the major league in runs scored again and have an above average defense...our pitching will need to be better than last year and frankly, it should be...the talent is much better than the way theyve performed. if we can get out team ERA someone around 4-4.25 then we will win alot of games and make a strong run in the playoffs.

AL East

Philadelphia Owls

Players Added : RP Trent Clark, RP Bo Clark, utility Joe Campbell and C Benito Goya.
Key Players Lost : None.

Key Transactions : None

Rookies expected to contribute: None.

After another season under .500, we tried very hard in the offseason to improve our team on the FA market and in the trading market too but without success, we hope minor adjustments will help Owls coming back in playoff.

New pitching and fielding coaches should help.
Young guys like 3B Danny Smoltz, SP Brandon Gragg and RP Phil Worrell should be better.
No star have been added to the team but C Benito Goya should help the offense and both Clarks should help the bullpen.

For the rest, our 5 starters are back. And all position players are also back except for the new guy behind the plate..

We need their contribution to win:

3B Danny Smoltz, 2B Miller Kotsay, 1B Julio Nunez, SPs Domingo Servet, Daisuke Suzuki and Brandon Gragg and RPs Bo Parker and Howie Grim.

In the minors, 1B Aaron Scelfo, SP Lew Whitaker, C/DH Everth Manzanillo and RP Julio Andrus are preparing to make an impact in a few seasons.

Our goal is to make the playoff.

Charleston Cougars

Charleston made a number of moves this offseason in an effort to build upon last season’s unexpected trip to the ALCS. John Kramer was acquired from Charlotte and will likely fill the #2 slot in the rotation. Charleston gave up highly touted prospect Louis Cortez to acquire Kramer. The bullpen was bolstered by the signing of Michael Sutton. To help the offense, Charleston signed Max Peterson who the team hopes will produce in a new environment. The Cougars will again rely on last season’s Cy Young Award winner Eswalin Sierra to anchor their pitching staff and Odalis Velasquez to lead the offense.

Charleston allowed consistent hitter Damian Chang to depart via Free Agency and released catcher Juan Diaz

AL South

Nashville Commodores

Expectations are high this season in Nashville. The Commodores are coming off a world series appearance with the core of the team still intact.

Youngsters Willie Izturus and Trent Keefe combine with veterans Randy Tyson and Jimmie Jodie to complete a solid rotation. The bullpen is lead by Ronald Berger.

All fielders return this season, with the exception of 3B, where Tomas Navarro takes over looking to improve the position defensively. Vin Horton lead the offensive charge last season with 39 Hr and 87 RBI. Harry Minor contributed a .302 batting average and young catcher Alex Pimentel is a rising superstar.

3B Tomas Navarro
RP Harry Moya
RP Lyle Nieman

New Orleans Bayou Bengals

The New Orleans Bayou Bengals have had only one winning season in the last ten, going 83-77 in Season 12. So to surpass the breakeven mark will be a challenge for the new ownership who made no major moves in the offseason.

The franchise made a few attempts to upgrade the pitching staff but was unable to secure any help. The staff has some young pitchers that should show some improvement but must be mamaged well. 23 year old Alberto Valentin has the most talent on the staff and veteran Julio Lira will be counted on to hold the starting rotation together. Closer Bart Pellows was traded away and Miguel Montanez is being asked to head the bullpen. The pitching staff will have to hold their own for the team to have any success.

CF James Hernandez was lost in free agency as the franchise apparently did not see the value in him. Former New Orleans minor leager CF Bonk Benard was signed and will be patooned.The remainder of the regulars from last season returns. There is some young talent and veteran 1B Carlos Molina will be asked to lead them. 3B Matty Bohannon will try and prove everyone wrong, New Orleans for trying to trade him and the rest of the league for not dealing for him.

Looks like New Orleans will look to play good defense, be aggressive offensively and hope the pitching staff improves enough to be competitive.

With a core of good young players and a few moves during this season and next offseason New Orleans should be able to compete in the post season hunt soon.

Jackson Rebels

I had no free agent signings or trade acquisitions for this season.

I let 1B Rick Daly go in free agency (actually an arbitration release)...SS Orber Rosado left for free big loss there.

Half of my "Fab Four" will be making their major league debuts this season. 1B/LF Charles Dickerson, my first round pick from season 11 and SS Fernando Segui (an IFA from season 12) make the jump to the big leagues. Dickerson will occupy first base this season before moving to his normal position in left field to make room for Lyle Daly's big league debut next season. Segui will anchor the infield until his "wonder twin" 2B Dee Thompson arrives next season as well. Segui and Thompson will make a potent 1-2 punch in the lineup with Thompson fulfilling a long time need at the lead-off spot.

Along with veteran mainstays DH Andre Martinez (30 HRs, 141 RBI, .328 avg) and Torey Vallarta (27 HR, 110 RBI, .315 avg), the Rebel lineup should be able to score runs in bunches. With Daly and Thompson joining the mix next season...whew...look out!

The pitching staff will be anchored by starters Yonder Santos, Bret Hutch and Marc Westmoreland with phenom closer Nash Messmer slamming the doors behind them.

Outlook is very bright for the Rebels, especially next season when my "Fab Four" will attempt to bring glory and success to the franchise.

AL West

Salem Beavers

The Beaver Execs have taken the "if it's not broke, don't fix it" or atleast the "if your not sure it's broke, don't fix it" philosophy for season 15. The line-up card will be essently the same as last; hoping for continued producting from their veteran core. Two veterans starters were quietly signed in the shadows of the Nunez sweepstakes. Nunez and Woodson will sure up the rotation filling the primary weakness identified by the new ownership in Salem.

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