Monday, June 20, 2011

NL South Preview

Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves have managed to return their entire veteran core that has won 3 straight division titles including 2 World Series appearances and one championship. Even with a 100 win season last year, Atlanta was well aware of their one glaring weakness: A big left handed bat in the middle of the lineup. Atlanta got their man in 2 time MVP Reid Gold.

From front office to the littlest of fans, Atlantans feels like Reid is worth his weight in Gold. Atlanta has a history of veterans and spends top dollar to keep them healthy and productive. Atlanta curbed their scouting budgets to clear cap room for Gold. The prospects acquired in the draft have been marginal because of the low order of picks brought on by continued success. Atlanta had to part with often injured OF Ralph Bay who underachieved at the ML level last year. They also had to let go Season 2 and Season 3 #1 picks in Ed Riely and Reed Highland. Reed will do well in a few years but Atlanta is deep at RP and can afford his departure. Ed Rielly has done well in the minors but the front office was concerned that his lack of power and the effects of a pitchers park may hinder his ability to get on base and thus neutralize his speed.

Atlanta will be quiet in the FA market as having obtained their Golden boy. A few leftover bargains may be picked up to fill the minor league holes from the prospect departures. The fans are quite pleased with the one big offseason blockbuster and are anxiously awaiting to hoist another pennant in Turner Field

Florida Marlins

Key Additions (ML) - No Key Additions

Key Losses (ML) - Kip Johnson RP. 1st Round Pick Retired from last years draft.

Season 4 Outlook - Strong Starting Pitching, with a few mid season (sell out type) trades and a lot of luck we might get into the play-offs. The season 4 Marlins have a few weekness that we hope to address soon. A weak Bull Pen with a mediocore offence is going to be one of our biggest challenges. If the Marlins believe, that we can make a deep run in the play-offs this year. The Marlins loaded minor league system can give us the trade tools needed to fill the weakness.

NL East Preview

New York Mets

Key Player Added: Hersh Baxter
Key Player Lost: N/A

Best Prospects: Ricky Duffy, Erubiel Sardinha, and Gerald Park.

Season Outlook:
The NL East isn't a strong division as no team finished season 3 over .500. Torres, Baxter, Simms, and Corbin provide a decent heart of the order, and the additions of Trevino and Ramsey (Rule V) make what was already a solid bullpen a potentially dominant one.

My starting pitching isn't great, and my offense does have some holes in it. I think I might have a chance at .500, and in the NL East that might contend for the playoffs. Of course, I may lose 90+ games again too. Who knows...

Washington Nationals

Key additions - free agent 2b Joe Briggs, P Pascual Perez
Rule 5 additions - p Domingo Hernandez and cf Roger Moyer

Losses - P Barry Cook

Rookies - P Ron Henry, Bono Walker, and Manny Heilman, ss Shaggy Cedeno

Outlook - We look to improve our record and defend our South Division Crown. With the addition of Briggs moving former ss Fergie Crawford to third and the insertion of Cedeno at short improves our defense. Walker and Heilman were late call ups last season and improved our pen, This season, Heilman will be the closer as Allie Mitchell and his 42 saves goes to the setup role. Of course, Rightfielder Darren Whitaker and Catcher Derrick Miller hitters 5 and 6 in the lineup return coming off 30 homer seasons as well as the speedy and talented outfield duo of Leftielder Johnny Munro and Centerfielder Delino Melendez.

AL West Preview

Seattle Mariners

Key Additions

Pepper Sutton - LR/Spot Starter (FA)
Brendan James - LR/Spot Starter (Trade)
Juan Martinez - Stud LRP (FA)
Paul Harris - Back Up Catcher (FA)
Robinzon Mondesi - SP (Trade)
Hong-Jin Sasaki - 2B/3B (Call Up)

Key Subtractions

Von Hultzen
Yank Stafford (Type A Comp)
Peter Vernon (Type B Comp)
Will Wilson (Type A Comp)

Typical Line Up (Pos) (Proj):

Garrett Simons (3B) .280, 30HR, 75RBI, 30SB
Benny Vega (CF) .310, 45HR, 130RBI
Rondell Brooks (DH) .330, 45HR, 125RBI
Josias Cedeno (C) .280, 35HR, 100RBI
Darwin Howell (1B) .275, 40HR, 100RBI
Hong-jin Sasaki (2B) .270, 35HR, 75RBI
Harry Suarez (LF) .290, 30HR, 100RBI
Odalis Andujar (SS) .240, 10HR, 60RBI, 20SB
Benito Johnson (RF) .300, 15HR, 80RBI, 15SB

Pitchers (Rot) (Proj):

Andy Ramsey (SP1) 240IP, 18W, 4.00ERA
Robinzon Mondesi (SP2) 240IP, 18W, 4.00ERA
Wendell Xavier (SP3) 175IP, 15W, 3.20ERA
Ivan Estrella (SP4) 175IP, 14W, 3.50ERA
Ben Reese (SP5) 220IP, 10W, 4.50ERA

Pepper Sutton (LR) 120IP, 8W, 4.00ERA
Juan Martinez (RP) 150IP, 3.25ERA
Gus Handworth (RP) 100IP, 3.75ERA
Victor Ramirez (RP) 75IP, 3.5ERA
Jim Osbourne (RP) 75IP, 4.00ERA
Clayton Benard (RP) 40IP, 4.00ERA

Possible Injury replacements

Brendan James (SP)
Brad Harper (RP)

Rookie Update:

Hong-jin Sasaki should have a solid rookie season, playing in Safeco will likely prevent him from getting ROY consideration.

I think I’ve made improvements to my bullpen, I still need to get a closer and perhaps improve the back end of my rotation. I may have to trade a solid prospect to do so. We’ll have to see how the RP’s that I have perform. My core players are still young and my team should be much better just based on their progression. Doesn’t help that my starting SS just got injured, luckily it happened early enough that I can still sign a decent FA to fill in.

Projected Win Total: 100 (2 seed)

AL South Preview

Kansas City Royals

Success for year 4 will be measured by a World Series Ring, everything else is failure for the Royals.

Off Season big decision was to trade year 2 MVP Jack Meadows or keep him for his last season of his contract. Offers were low ball so Meadows is back for a Championship run. Kansas City will always attract pitchers but batters like Meadows will want to move. He would be crazy great in parks like Colorado.

Last year failure may have been only having Lefties in the pen so FA signings of Magglio Jose and Anthony Lansing will give better options.

The other improvement will come from training. Big off season for Edgardo Javier moving from a 75 to an 81. His second year could be his breakout to all star form. Also, KC starting pitching has further improved with Jonnie Donovan and Pedro Coronado's youth have moved into prime time and Last season's Cy Young winner Dale Nathan all return

Tampa Bay Rays

Key FAs added - Tuck Thompson and Kip Johnson
Key FAs lost - Milt Duncan
Transactions - Brought in Sun-Woo Zhang and Stu Morgan through two separate trades.

Rookies - Alex Jung and two Rule 5 picks: Woodie Maurer and Karim Biddle Review - The Rays were able to keep their core players intact and bring in a few veterans to help the cause.

After winning 94 games last season, which was only good for 3rd in the division, the goal this offseason was to get better overall. By trading for Morgan, we were able to replace Duncan, who brought us two 1st round picks in free agency.

We then gave up our own 1st round pick to acquire Johnson who will be our closer this year after moving Phillip Price in the trade for Zhang. The Rays look to stay consistent and hit the 90 win mark again this season.

Texas Rangers

Key Players Added : None
Key Players Lost : None

Key Transactions : None

Rookies expected to contribute: RF Dustin Malone.

We made big moves last season when we acquired Michael Tatum and Joe Bowman, who finished the season as our first and second SP. Marino Barajas also came in those trades and was our closer. We think these three guys will lead the pitching staff to a better season than last year.

On the offensive side, the same guys are back, SS Ezdra Ayala(.325,46 HR and 156 RBI), CF Miguel Picasso(.305, 18 HR, 84 RBI and 75 SB), 3B Ramon Masato(.305, 23 HR and 109 RBI) and rookie DH Ralph Cameron(.295, 39 HR and 113).

Our goal is to made the playoffs..

AL North Preview

Chicago White Sox

The White Sox will have a solid hitting lineup led by CF Yuel Andujar has averaged 40 homeruns and 103 RBI's his first two years in the Majors. The sox also brought up last year Evan Henry and Yuumeiro Owen that hit .294 and .270 in their first year. The Sox have the luxury of platooning two very good catchers in Lew Ginter and Slick Schumpert who hit .280 and .339. The club also added Evereth Enriquez as a free agent who will play all outfield positions. The White Sox pitching is still a concern but have D.T. Obermueller who had 30/33 saves last season. The ace of the staff is Xavier Russell 14-9 and has 2nd year startes Mike Seaver 4-3 and Darrel Swan 5-11 who should seee improvement this season. The pitching FA aquisitions were Osvaldo Torcato and Dustin Peters. The white Sox look to the future of 5 great pitching prospects to go with the current lineup.

Minnesota Twins

The Twins will concentrate on trying to solidify my bullpen with the addition of 3 RP. SP was a huge disappointment last year -Robert Kielty was a bust and also let Eduardo Sanchez go. Minnesota is trying to add 1 more SP via FA or trade to bridge the youth coming up.

Re-upping Kirkland to a not too bad extension was my key transaction. Outlook is to avoid 100 losses as my offence tries to steal games and I try to re-build the pitching staff while working in some kids over the course of the year.

AL East Preview

Baltimore Orioles

Key player added- Efrain Grissom
Key player lost- Reid Gold
Key transaction- (ultimately...the trade for Hersh Baxter from Cincinati was my "big deal" and the "domino" (and main) reason Reid Gold was moved to Atlanta as I needed to free up cash for Baxter's long term may ultimately be my team's demise as I really wasn't expecting the veto).

So, if we are talking about transactions that actually didn't get vetoed...then the trade of Reid Gold to Atlanta was our key tranaction as it gives the Orioles the financial flexibilty needed for the next four seasons, but most importantly, we added three very good and underrated ML prospects that will help the Orioles long after Reid Gold decides to hang up his cleats.

Season #4 Outlook- The Orioles still consider themselves the team to beat in the AL East. We still have a potent offensive team with a good mix of veterans and youngsters alike.

We are slick-fielding and have the best bullpen in the league. If there is a weakness, it's the back end of our rotation as there is a drop-off in talent after our top-three starting pitchers.

If the team takes a turn for the worse and doesn't produce this season, you may see a "fire sale" as 3 key veterans Glenn Aspromonte , Pascual Mendez , Philip Price are in their contract year and several other key players are arbitration eligable next season. Anything less then the playoffs will be a major dissapointment.

Boston Red Sox

Additioins: Huang (will DH) Pride (SP) Stafford (RP) Lockwood Cohen (LF) Ordonez (RP) Promte Kerr

Released: Lemke Walsh

FA that left - Thompon and Owen

Cleveland Indians

Jolbert Mendoza - CF - was my key player lost
Yovani Johnson - C - key player added
Albert Fernandez - SP - key Rookie

Biggest move is having Fausto Bennett for a full season from a trade last year. If the SP holds together, the team should be in good shape. Decent depth is available on the hitting side, but we'll need to have consistency in the rotation to do anything good this year.

Not alot of movement on my team between years.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

NL North Preview

Cincinnati Reds

Key Losses: CF Hersh Baxter (trade), CF Everth Henriquez (free agency), RHP Juan Martinez (free agency), C Buzz Meadows

Key Addition: LHP Dennis Maduro

Season 4 Outlook: Many fans in Cincinnati were upset to see some of the star players leave the Ohio River area. The Reds are forecasted to be an average team with some holes to fill at 2B and CF. Many feel that the Reds will be sellers during the July trade deadline with RHPs Doc Patterson and Joe Hannity being the most likely causalities if any other team has the money and the courage to take on their large salaries.

Franchise Outlook: Although many Cincinnati fans don’t want to hear it, the Reds are looking at a rebuild. The Reds lost two Type A free agents and one Type B and so will be looking to rebuild with two first round draft picks, three supplemental round choices, and two second round selections; the highest being 19th overall. The Reds front office staff realizes that they have a lot of scouting to do in order to receive the absolute best payoff with the low budget they have ($8M college, $13M high school).

Bottom-line: Look for the Reds to be an average team in season 4. They will continue to rebuild in forthcoming seasons, spending more money on scouting and less on payroll. The draft will be critical this season and in the next few seasons with a few more Type A and Type B free agents to come. ML favorites like RHPs Doc Patterson, Joe Hannity and 1B Tomas Rojas could be traded as well. Expect the Reds to become irrelevant until season 7 or 8.

Milwaukee Brewers

My offseason was quite tame. I lost nobody of importance, and signed nobody of importance. My only important transactions were the promotions of Gerardo Castro and Byron Mashore from AAA, along with the Rule V selection of Guillermo Martin from the Blue Jays. All three are pitchers who will get a fair number of innings this season. As for an outlook/prediction, this is essentially the same team that has been playing .500 for the last three seasons. Unless something crazy happens, or I make a big trade, we'll be a .500 team and miss the playoffs yet again this season.

Montreal Expos

Key Player Added : None
Key Player Lost : None
Key Transaction: No major transaction
Rookies: None

Outlook: The team is almost the same from last season. The Expos still have the same pitching rotation, Rabbit Mauer, Daniel Ratliff, Art Harvey, Bob Richards and Buzz Epstein. In the playoffs of the last season, Mauer and Ratliff were very impressive and we hope that they will be as good this season. Epstein should be better since his control and split have improved in the offseason.

Terrence Fonville has shown great numbers in his first season in the bigs. He was second in saves with 49, and he has kept an ERA of 2.01. Fonville still have the closer job for the Expos.

For the positions players, Hector Colome may be use in the clean up spot since he hit 51 home runs last season. Peter Yamamoto did very well as a rookie, and we are hoping more from him this season. Also, Charles Suzuki was promoted in the mid season to replace injured Sherry Merrick. Merrick is back, and Suzuki will stay with the team and play at second base. This is the main reason why the Expos traded Maverick Rivera for a young prospect.

Montreal won his first world series, and they are looking for another title. Therefore, there is other teams who want the same thing. Many of them have already moved to acquire some great players.

Also, we are looking to play against Atlanta in the playoffs because we need to prove to all the Expos fans that we can beat them. This is becoming personal.

Philadelphia Phillies

Key Player Additions: Jack Meadows(trade from KC) and SetUp/Closer Frank Fujiwara (Trade from LAD)

Key Players lost: 2B Prince Hernandez(Trade to Boston), 2B Huston Hill (FA signing by LAA)

Rookie Outlook: OF Bob Scoroposki and SetUp/Closer Del Carrasco

Outlook: The Phillies are looking to get back into the division race with Fujiwara and Carrasco joining the back end of the bullpen and former MVP Jack Meadows coming in to the lead an Offense that already featured MVP candidate Les Milner together they are hoping to bring a ring to the city of brotherly love.

Its short I could make it a bit longer if you would like just let me know if you need more info

Friday, June 17, 2011

NL West Preview

Arizona Diamondbacks

Key Additions (ML) - Don Takada (C from Oak)-will provide a much needed big bat even though his defense isn't the greatest. Was an All-star last year. May play 1B for me this year.

Key Losses (ML) - Tony Torres (OF). His proj/ratings show him to be a career minor leaguer, but all he's done is crush ML pitching. I may regret letting TT go.
Willie Park (1B) - hasn't lived up to the hype.. Coming off major injury last year and headed to arbitration = needed to go..

Key Additions (prospects) - Carlos Gandarillas (SP-from LA). Should be in my ML rotation in Season 5. Very happy to add another quality young pitcher to my team.

Key Losses (prospects) - Ivan Roque (#5 overall pick from Season 1 part of Gandarillas trade). Was looking at a ML promotion this year. Has had success in the minors, but as you predicted when he was drafted he's likely only a LF and not a 2B due to his sub-par glove. LF are easy to find SP aren't. That was my thinking.

Season 4 Outlook - The D-backs improved 17 gms from Season 2 to Season 3. Lost too many games early on from a terrible bullpen and a very young SP rotation. Promoted closer Orber Soriano probably a year early to try and keep from hitting the losses limit and just win some games and it paid immediate results. He was one of the best closers in the NL in the 2nd half. The team had an 11-gm and an 8-gm wins streak in the 2nd half so I fee like the D-backs could be a playoff contender in Season 4 if we stay healthy. We dramatically addressed our defensive issues from Seasons 1&2 with free agent signings of Mac Nakamura and Ramon Jang. Both are getting up in age, but their defense was stellar and Jang had an All-star year while winning the Silver Slugger award for SS in the NL.. With young CF Bob Price and proven vet Adam Long at 2B my team was at the top of the defensive stats in the NL and should continue to be that way.

Franchise Outlook - Probably aren't a serious contender this year, but the future looks very bright. I have several highly rated prospects who should arrive in Season 5. A future rotation of Daryle Duffy, Justin Jacquez, Lorenzo Mercado,and Carlos Gandarillas looks very promising though Jacquez and Mercado will never be big inning eaters so my bullpen needs more depth. Orber Soriano and Yamil Calvo makes for a dynamic 8th and 9th inning "closers",
My offensive prospects are just as solid as Murray Dawley, Jacob Munoz,and Yeico Lee should all have great ML careers when they arrive..

- I will have $30m to spend on INT prospects along with the #13 pick in the Amateur draft so expect to see me add 2-5 top rated prospects in Season 4.

Coaching - I budgeted 15m for coaches and currently have the Top 10 bench, hitting and pitching coaches as well as several top coaches in the minors. Gonna overspend on what above average fielding coaches are left, but certainly wish I had a better one already signed.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Key Player Added: RP Cole Simmons

Key Player Lost: RP Frank Fujiwara

Key Transaction: SP Carlos Gandarillas for IF/OF Ivan Roque, RP Jumbo Ramirez and C Damian Lowery

Rookies: SP Stump Stokes and C Ian Dorsey

Outlook for the upcoming season: Looking to improve by at least 10 games. Team defense and pitching have been upgraded from weak points to modest team strengths.

San Diego Padres

The Padres traded for Maverick Rivera to bring some much needed pop to last season's lackluster offense. In a surprising move, they dealt away the Cy Young Award runner up, Stu Morgan, for a minor league pitcher. To compensate for the loss of Morgan, San Diego signed type A free agent Milt Duncan. Only time will tell if that was a smart move.

Look for top prospects Jesus Rodriguez and Phillip French to make an impact on this club, although both are expected to start the year in the minors.

The Padres made it to the NLCS last season and are expecting to represent the NL in the World Series this year. The pitching and defense are top notch and if the hitters can step up the Series is there for the Padres to take.

San Francisco Giants

Not much happening out in the Bay Area. Our only addition of note was the trade for Eli Soto .

We didn't lose anyone of note this season (although Reid Gold coming back to the NL does NOT make me happy). Key Rookie is Catcher Corey Carter , who should add a little offensive punch to the lineup.

As far as season outlook is concerned, SF is in limbo. The team is still competitive enough for the division, but the takeover of LA by santafe, plus San Diego's continued progression will make any success in the NL West hard earned.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Teams Power Ranking – Season 3

National League
1. Arizona Diamondbacks (+16)
2. Montreal Expos (+15)
2. San Diego Padres (+15)
3. Cincinnati Reds (+10)
4. Washington D.C. Nationals (+9)
5. Atlanta Braves (+5)
6. San Francisco Giants (+2)
7. St. Louis Cardinals (0)
8. Florida Marlins (-2)
8. Houston Astros (-2)
9. Milwaukee Brewers (-6)
10. Chicago Cubs (-6)
11. Los Angeles Dodgers (-11)
12. Philadelphia Phillies (-12)
13. Pittsburgh Pirates (-13)
14. New York Mets (-21)

American League
1. Texas Rangers (+29)
2. New York Yankees (+15)
3. Kansas City Royals (+13)
4. Boston Red Sox (+11)
5. Oakland Athletics (+9)
6. Seattle Mariners (+2)
7. Tampa Bay Rays (+1)
8. Baltimore Orioles (-1)
8. Chicago White Sox (-1)
9. San Juan Tiburones (-2)
10. Minnesota Twins (-5)
11. Toronto Blue Jays (-8)
12. Anaheim Angels (-10)
13. Colorado Rockies (-14)
13. Detroit Tigers (-14)
14. Cleveland Indians (-24)

Welcome - Season 4

Welcome to all for this forth season of Gary Carter. Three owners have left us in the offseason, but they have been replaced. So, let me introduce jmaese (Boston Red Sox), santafe (Los Angeles Dodgers) and riverbat33 (Florida Marlins).

The world has the same rules, and you can read them on the blog if you need a little refresh.

Good luck to all of you!