Warning Track Sports Ticker

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Season 22 Preview - National League


NL NORTH

Fargo Woodchippers (120-42, 1st place)

After winning 120 games and bringing home the World Series title it’s hard to imagine what Fargo can do to better last season’s results.  How good is this team?  Most team’s would love to have Pedro Guzman (34, 115, .329) as their centerpiece offensive weapon but he’s probably only the third best bat with the likes of Jose Oliva (43, 130, .293) and Quilvio Guerrero (40, 128, .291) in the arsenal.

So as not to be overshadowed by the offense, the pitching staff can boast 18 game winner Carlos Espinoza and 17 game winners Ivan Sequi & John Valdes.  Of the five pitchers that had the most starts, all had ERAs under 3.69.  However closer Harry Charles (46/51, 1.89) may actually be the best pitcher on the staff.  Last season’s win total was astounding however having Ted Cogan for a full year and the addition of Nicky Davis’ dangerous bat, this team may surpass that total by several games.

Prediction:  125-37, 1st place

Iowa City Conquers (97-55, 2nd place)

This team has the misfortune of playing in a division with the Juggernaut that is Fargo.  Rarely does a team win 97 games yet finish 23 games back.  The good news is that John Byrdak (30, 100, .314), the bad news is that on a team in need of more offense one of their most productive bats, Gustavo Servet, left for free agency.

On the hill, 19 game winner Ben Allen is still around but ageless wonder Nash Hogg has taken the money and run.  Some minor acquisitions were made to the pitching staff yet the question becomes is it enough to offset the loss of Hogg.  Loses to both the offense and pitching staff will make it difficult to reach last season’s win total and impossible to capture a division title.

Prediction:  82-80, 3rd place

Toronto Ocelots (86-76, 3rd place)

One of the better 3rd place teams in the league last season still finished way behind the front runners of the division.  A .263 team batting average explains why a team with plenty of power only scored 763 runs.  Scott Bolton (39, 100, .264), Derrick Hardy (26, 100, .280), Luis Cordero (27, 90, 284) & Steve Williams (34, 92, .260) do the most damage in this lineup but could use more table-setters in front of them to help kick things up a notch.

Mitch Governale (15/17, 2.48) did a nice job in the closer role and Gil Carson (14-6, 4.41) was the team leader in wins as they helped this team to a sub 4.00 ERA.  Unfortunately with little done in the off-season to improve the roster a similar record to last year is very likely.

Prediction:  85-77, 2nd place

Buffalo Soldiers (83-79, 4th place)

In a division where all the teams finish above .500, someone had to finish in last place.  Unfortunately for Buffalo that honor fell to them.  Benny McClellan (10, 67, .303), Tony Alou (26, 73, .296), Asdrubal Vincente (36, 87, .283) are back for another season in upstate New York.  The team struck out in adding any more offensive weapons and even more importantly lost Mr All World, Andrew O’Brien (52, 137, .341) leaving more questions than answers for this teams attack this coming year.

Esteban Sanchez (15-9, 2.90) & Christopher Kelly (36/38, 3.21) are among the league’s best and James Philips (14-7, 3.32) is still contributing at 36 yrs old.  The pitching staff will have to bear down even more this season with the concerns the team has about the offensive production.  This team will go as far as their pitchers can carry them.

Prediction:  79-83, 4th place

NL EAST

Louisville Sluggers (90-72, 1st place)

Two 1st place finishes in the three years since current ownership took over this team albeit in a weak division.  But 90 wins are 90 wins and any team should be proud of that.  Losing Ben Garcia would normally be a major concern and send even the most faithful of fans into a tailspin.  That is not the case in this instance because Andrew O’Brien is the new basher in town.  He joins a solid lineup that has Bernie Malone (37, 107, .282), Cristian Iwazaki (33, 89, .256), Einar Martinez (38, 87, .235) to support him.

Mid-season call up Guillermo Gonzalez is being counted on to build on the great start to his career.  Ubaldo Armas (15/17, 2.25), Cameron Lawrence (14-8, 3.79) & Zephyr Sexson (14-11, 3.84) will need to help him out and if the team wants to seriously challenge for a WS trophy, step up their game.  There is no doubt this team has a potent offense, the question becomes can the pitching staff hold up their end and if not can the bats carry this team deeper into the playoffs.

Prediction:  93-69, 1st place

Florida Golden Gunners (73-89, 2nd place)

Rookie owner psap has decided to play the hand he was dealt by previous ownership.  Taking a wait and see approach with his team may not be a bad way to identify the problem areas first hand.  The first thing he’ll notice is that Greg Iannone (25, 66, .274) is a good player that has a hand full of other decent hitters around.  However a .248 team average and only 615 runs scored won’t cut it in this league or division so more offense will need to be added if this team is to become a threat.

The pitching staff did a stellar job last season with little help from the offense.  Chip Canseco (14-10, 3.22) & Steve Wagner (12/15, 3.09) put up some good numbers that could have better with a stronger team.  With a 14 man staff management has many options when making in game decisions.  Until the attack is addressed this team will continue to be a sub .500 team yet upgrading the starting rotation shouldn’t be ignored if ownership wants to get into the playoff race.

Prediction:  71-91, 2nd place

Norfolk Blue Crabs (70-92, 3rd place)

A new owner has moved this team to Norfolk.  The holes in this team’s roster have been filled with players from the farm system that will be given the chance to show that they belong in the bigs.  Theo Powell (40, 105, .241) supplies the power and Bob Brown (75 SB, 89 Runs, .258) supplies the speed, now if more players would supply something to the attack this team will increase their win total and start rising in the standings.

The pitching staff was the strength of the team last season and showed it by producing a very strong 3.96 ERA.  Seven of those pitchers are no longer with the club with the most damaging loses being that of closer Alex Olivares (28/31, 2.25), Les Parker (8-7, 3.04) and Bronson Bush (11-8, 3.48).  It will take some time to see if the new arms are up to last season’s standards.  The offense will most likely continue to struggle without any new talent added.  Considering the record last season it’s not surprising that management didn't resign some of the older players from last year.  However it makes it look like this will be a very long season for the Crabs and their new fans.

Prediction: 63-99, 4th place

Charleston Yellowfins (68-94, 4th place)

Since the season 18 division title the win total for this team has been going down until they found themselves in the basement.  The offense revolves around the bats of Neil Hanson (40, 105, .303) and Lloyd Greer (26, 83, .260), now if only they could get a little help from their friends.

Management let closer Carlos Villano (37/45, 3.14) walk and the team had only one pitcher, Al Brown (12-10, 4.24) hit double digits in wins.  With little to speak of at the plate to support a questionable pitching staff it looks like another down season in Charleston with a very good chance that they will see fewer than the 68 wins of last year.

Prediction:  65-97, 3rd place

NL SOUTH

Atlanta Black Bears (85-77, 1st place)

After two very difficult seasons the Bears added 20 wins and were able to capture the division title.  The offense wasn't very strong last season so the loss of Rex Henderson’s 26 HRs & 84 RBIs will hurt.  Al Guerrero (28, 89, .282) and Adam Thompson (18, 84, .291) swing powerful bats and should improve, making them a big part of this team’s future.  Now if they can find 5-6 more like them they may be able to slug with the big boys in the NL.

Pitching is what won the division for this team.  The team ERA was 3.62 and of the 13 pitchers that made appearances last season all but one had an ERA 4.68 or lower.  Losing Miguel Rosales was a huge blow to the pitching staff and he’ll be missed.  Fausto Garces (27/37, 2.68) pitched well last season yet needs to cut down on his blown saves especially if additional help isn't brought in.  With an exceptionally low payroll management should have the resources to add some offense and someone to replace Rosales but signs point to them going heavy in the draft and IFA markets to build up the farm system.

Prediction:  82-80, 1st place

Austin Arf Sox (79-83, 2nd place)

HBD’s version of Jerry Jones came in two seasons ago and in a bold move named his team after himself.  Since taking the controls he has yet to get his team above .500 however he does have things heading in that direction.  620 runs scored, 109 HRs, .258 Team Batting Average pretty much sums up the problems with this teams attack.  George Kauffman (89 runs, 51 SB, .300) is a sparkplug at the top of the order but there is little help driving him home once on base.

On the hill three players had over ten wins but none more than eleven and the team also had three pitchers lose more than ten games.  Typically a team ERA under 4.00 would have few issues but the closer by committee system in place produced 17 blown saves for a team with too little offense to compensate for any lost leads.  The austerity program seems to be funneling extra cash into player development as management goes to Kmart for bargain basement FA’s to fill out the ML roster.  This team will not compete for a playoff spot this season and most likely not next season either but if the draft and IFA market is used well a flood of young talent may begin showing up in three seasons.

Prediction:  76-86, 2nd place

St Louis Snappers (72-90, 3rd place)

It’s been four seasons since the Snappers last division title and since then they have been fighting to get back to .500 which so far has eluded them.   This is the division for spendthrift owners waiting for something better to come along and St Louis as subscribed to this method also.  Benito Macias (27, 85, .275) and Chris Bevelin (18, 63, .291) are legitimate talents.  David Alberro (30, 66, .267) is only 30 and still has some life in his bat and was able to pry $5M out of the tight salary budget.

17 game loser Vic Macias had a 1.24 Whip & 3.78 ERA that may have been better with a little help from his offense and defense.  Closer Ron Krause (12 blown saves, 6.84 ERA) was allowed to leave but will be hardly missed except by St Louis’ opponents.   At the moment this teams shortcomings at the plate and on the mound don’t inspire confidence that there will be any improvement this season. 
Prediction:  70-92, 3rd place

Little Rock 00’s (63-99, 4th place)

It’s been 11 seasons since a Little Rock team has finished higher than 3rd in the division and in 9 of those years they landed in the basement.  As is the case with their division mates the 00’s do what they can to keep the budget low.  One of the exceptions is Dan Cora (35, 105, .264) who is the offensive powerhouse of this club.  However at 35 he probably won’t be around to see this club fighting for a pennant.  In a surprise move the club decided to bring in 32 yr old Brian Garcia (32, 79, .278) to add another weapon to a thin attack.

Bob Downs (12-16, 3.82) & Gil Fisher (15-11, 4.02) were the best the team could trot out to the mound.  Closer Jocko Farquhar took his 30 saves to Monterrey so the team will need to find a new closer and two starters with the departures of  Oscar Liang & Harry Lowe, although losing them may be a case of addition by subtraction.  The club started adding some younger talent from the farm system last year and has continued that trend this season.  Whether that will lead to more wins is yet to be determined and may need to be supplemented with some players acquired through free agency or trades.

Prediction:  67-95, 4th place

NL WEST

Vancouver Vikings (97-65, 1st place)

The Vikings extended their run atop the division to a ninth consecutive year but weren't able to return to the World Series to defend their title.  Gustavo Servet (27, 86, .307) was the big off-season acquisition via the free agent market, however he’s now 37 and you have to wonder how much he has left in the tank.  Al Lopez (41, 101, .305), Dimitri Gil (42, 112, .297) & Willie O’Keefe (37, 100, .287) will again be the focus of the offense.

Just like the offense, the pitching staff has its own big three of Wally Thurston (21-7, 2.25), Peter Zheng (20-8, 2.73) & Louis Pena (14-9, 2.90) and you could add closer Bo Jackson (31/37, 2.89) to make it a big four.  It appears that Vancouver will again be the class of the division yet several players have been brought up to fill out the roster possibly a little prematurely.  The other unknown is if a team with half its roster filled by players over can hold up for a full season and can they make a deep run in the playoffs.

Prediction: 93-69, 1st place

Anaheim Scofflaws (73-89, 2nd place)
Four playoff appearances in 21 seasons with the last taking place seven years ago has got have the fans scratching their heads wondering when things will get turned around.  This year Wallace Bagley was brought in to hopefully work the same magic with the Scofflaws staff that he did in Sacramento.  Also Jhonny Davis (29, 104, .275) replace some of the lost production that Carl Watten (31, 82, .257) & Odalis Fernandez (10, 53, .286) supplied last season.

Landon Sweeney (18-7, 3.20) was an interesting pickup that gives Anaheim a frontline starter to head up the rotation.  Joe Durban (34/42, 2.76) is a top flight closer and still the leader of this pitching staff but will welcome the opportunity to help finish off some quality starts provided by Sweeney.  The three free agents brought in are all good players that will fill roles that needed a quality player.  However it looks like while those holes have been filled there are still plenty of spots waiting for an upgrade so that this team can join the playoff hopefuls.

Prediction:  70-92, 3rd place

Salt Lake City Bulls & Bears (71-91, 3rd place)

The B&B’s have struggled for the last seven years as they have yet to find a way to get back over the .500 mark or return to the playoffs.  Sluggers Joe Pie (26, 109, .291) & Alex Gongora (35, 94, .249) put up good numbers but can’t carry the load by themselves as it appears they’ll need to do.

The pitching staff did a pretty good job last season with Birdie Brinson (12-10, 3.06), Julian Sanchez (9-10, 3.93), Esteban Soriano (35/42, 3.95) & Julio Vallarta (13-10, 3.99) being the best of the bunch.  Salt Lake has several pieces in place to build on; the problem this season will be that the supporting pieces this year won’t be capable of helping out enough to improve this team’s fate.

Prediction:  73-89, 2nd place

Sacramento Dancers (63-99, 4th place)

It’s been ten years since this team brought home a division title and that was also the last time it was able to finish over .500 so it’s been a lifetime for some of its fans since they've had anything to cheer about.  Glen Rogers (22, 62, .274) has the makings of a solid run producer and has put up decent numbers his first two seasons in the bigs in a rather anemic offense.

The starting pitching was the strength of this team.  Robinson Denorfia (6-13, 2.99), Chet Kuttler (9-7, 3.11), Bill Coleman (10-15, 3.88), Dion Fonville (10-18, 4.16), & Randy Morel (8-12, 4.19) all deserved better fates and more support from the offense and bullpen.  Having accounted for 22 blown saves the bullpen did little to help the starters and squandered more leads than they saved.  For a team that almost lost 100 games it’s surprising to find a solid rotation.  Seeing the condition of the team’s bats and bullpen better explains the Dancers record.  Until significant changes are made to bring in quality talent to strengthen both of those areas the Sacramento area will continue to have time for other things in the fall when playoff time rolls around.

Prediction:  65-97, 4th place




Sunday, October 27, 2013

Season 22 Preview - American League


AL NORTH

Syracuse Choke Masters (95-67, 1st place)

Rarely do you see a team with two $20M arms in the rotation yet Syracuse boasts this fact.  Louis Potvin (18-5, 3.54) and hard luck guy Harry Gates (11-11, 3.38) are still very effective and set the tone for the mound corps.  A team ERA of 4.05 would indicate this teams pitching is in good shape however a better option in the fifth slot of the rotation would really improve things as would Jeremy Langford lowering his ERA of 4.88 which is too high for an elite closer.

At the plate, F.P. Valdes (54, 137, .317) is a one man wrecking crew.  But other than Kennie Wright (26, 95, .269) this team struggles to move runners around.  A full season from Al Manuel will definitely help but the loss of Juan Vallarta may leave them in the same position offensively that they were much of last season.  The fact that so much of this team’s salary budget was used on the pitching staff seems to be a problem that will continue to haunt this team until the offense can keep up with its counterparts on the bump.

Prediction:  89-73, 3rd place

Pittsburgh G-Men (90-72, 2nd place)

Pittsburgh is hoping it can build on last season’s 2nd place finish to choke out Syracuse and take home the division crown.  The late season addition of Hector Mesa (3-2, 3.00) added some youth to an aging rotation.  It will be necessary for everyone to improve on last year’s numbers to truly challenge for the title.  In the pen Willie Puente (55 apps, 6/8 svs, 1.93) had a spectacular sophomore season after an inconsistent rookie year that makes him look like a future closer for this team.

On offense the 1-2 punch of Robinson Carroll (43, 100, .263) & Kenneth Farnsworth (48, 136, .304) are the driving force for this team.  Add in 3 other players with more than 20 HRs and this team has a dynamic attack.  However more production from  the under producing Miguel Mendoza & FA pickup Polin Delgado would help compensate for management’s decision not to upgrade the pitching staff.

Prediction:  94-68, 2nd place

Chicago Hurricanes (84-78, 3rd place)

The Hurricanes are just that to other teams pitching staff.  Armando Saenez (74, 170, .354) & Quinton Sutton (60, 149,.287) are HBD’s version of Mantle & Maris.  Last season’s .283 team batting average shows that they weren’t alone in the havoc they wreaked on other teams.

Unfortunately for this team there is more to the game than hitting for their pitching staff allowed other teams to knock them around too.  Miguel Saenz (19-6, 3.57) was the lone weapon to roam the mound last season as he picked up the Cy Young for his effort.  To address this problem, management opened the checkbook to bring in Brian Dean (13-4, 3.52), Cookie Ramirez (15-11, 3.26) & Miguel Rosalez (13-7, 2.16) which may be enough to lift this team into serious contention for the division.  So with the rotation refortified if the bullpen can offer even a modicum of help this team may be poised for a giant leap.  No team will want to meet this team come playoff time so now they just need to get there.

Prediction:  96-66, 1st place

Helena Gold Sox (76-86, 4th place)

The Sox didn’t have a problem producing runs.  Lloyd Helms (36, 112, .321) is still a solid producer as are some of his friends.  However even his numbers were down some last season and with 7 of the 12 position players on the roster now over 30 age is becoming more of an issue.  Management also needs to find a way to Arthur Rogers bat into the lineup more often this season.

Closer Butch Hinch (35 sv, 3.11) & Kennie Millwood (11-16, 3.12) had solid seasons but Millwood is 37 so it’s hard to know if he can keep up his production.  Last season leader in wins, Tom Lange, needs to do better than a 5.46 ERA if he wants to be considered a frontline pitcher and this seasons major FA acquisition Bronson Bush will need to improve on his 11 wins of last season to be worth his new contract.  In this competitive division management needed to add more if it wanted to compete for a playoff spot.

Prediction:  71-91, 4th place

AL EAST

Philadelphia Phillies (84-78, 1st place)

In a battle that no one appeared to want to win, Philly took the division only to make an early exit from the playoffs.  Offensively little was done except to move Bartolo Manuel (45, 106, .321) back behind the plate to make room for the bit bat of youngster Chili Romero.  The dynamic bat of Wladimar Bocochica (38, 98, .296) will fill the void in CF that the departure of Edwin Starr.

The pitching staff put up a 4.66 ERA yet was a disappointment as the bullpen was shuffled around up until seasons end.  Damian Chang (15/16, 3.25) finally took over the closer role so it’s hoped last season’s 19 blown saves will be reduced.  A dip into the FA pool saw Mo Park and Luis Guerrero added to this year’s mix.  Management saw last year’s team as only a few minor tweaks away from being able to go deep in the playoffs so little was changed.  Now it will be seen if they were right or if they’ve allowed control of the division to slip out of their grasp.

Prediction:  88-74, 1st place

Former Dover franchise (81-81, 2nd place)

After two .500 finishes new ownership has taken over even though this team was fighting for a playoff   berth up until the last few games.  Last years team was pretty average.  Al Lincoln (37, 116, .294) will continue to lead the offense and Willie Martin (24, 97, .271) showed last season that he’s capable of helping out.  The problem will be finding other support.  Edwin Starr was signed away from Philadelphia with the hope that he could be part of the solution. (28, 69, .255)

For the hurlers, closer Billy Richardson (38/43, 2.61) is the leader and the reigning FOY.  The top three starters did a good job, the 4th & 5th spots were shaky and with no complete games the relievers got a workout.  Unfortunately this exposed the depth of the pitching staff and allowed pitchers struggling badly to continue to be sent out to the mound continuously.  Of the changes to the staff Victor Hackman (31/34, 3.16) seems to be the most capable of making a difference however he’ll be asked to setup Richardson.  While a few additions have been made it may be another see-saw battle with the .500 mark in Dover this season.

Prediction:  84-78, 2nd place

New York Yankees (78-84, 3rd place)

The Yankees hovered around .500 all season before finishing a few games below.  The bats aren’t bad but they lack a couple of big bats that can carry the team on their backs.  Bennie Castro lead the team in hitting and OBP, .299 & .359.  Luis Navarro paced the club with 39 HRs, while Willard Jefferies put up 93 RBI’s.  Scoring and driving in runs was the product of a team effort instead of stars driving the train.

Wascar Guzman led the team with 13 wins and with Hackman now in Dover that may be a stretch this season.  Ron Krause was brought in from St Louis to replace the very effective Hackman, however with 12 blown saves in 28 opportunities and an ERA dangerous close to 7.00 it may be asking too much of him to come close to his predecessor.  Of the 25 players on the ML roster 13 are now 30 or older so this team needs to win quickly, unfortunately it doesn’t look like enough has been added to make a playoff run possible so it may be time to move the players of value now while it’s possible.

Prediction:  68-94, 4th place

Trenton Trash Haulers (61-101, 4th place)

After losing 100 games management had a big decision to make on the direction of this team.  Few would have anticipated them going heavily into the FA market to change this team’s fortunes.  Juan Vallarta (33, 96, .277) was the major addition to the offense which needed another long ball threat.

The pitching staff added several vets but none bigger than 22 game winner Nash Hogg.   Sal Leonard did a nice job in his short time with the big league club so the question is can a youngster and grizzled vet turn this franchise back around.  Ownership has gone all in this season in an attempt to climb to the top of a weak division.  The big question is have they done enough and can this roster littered with more players past their prime than at the beginning of their careers hold up for one more run.

Prediction:  80-82, 3rd place

AL SOUTH

Nashville Saltine Warriors (93-69, 1st place)

It’s hard to knock a team that won 93 games and took the division title however this team has some concerns.  A 37 yr old 3B & 35 yr old RF that didn’t contribute a lot last season are being asked to hold down those positions until someone better is found.  The offense does have three contributors, Lenny Belinda (47, 128, .303), Shawn Caufield (34, 118, .298) & Wiki Romero (45, 133, .278), that should provide plenty of fireworks
.
The pitching staff put up a 4.07 ERA last season but lost 18 game winner Landon Sweeney which will be tough to replace.  Lance Venable (35/42, 3.69) will still be around to anchor the bullpen.  The question is who takes over as the ace of the staff and do they have enough in their pen to get the ball to Venable.  With no major acquisitions this team looks ready to take a step back instead of a step forward in its defense of its division title.

Prediction:  85-77, 2nd place

New Orleans Voodoo Masters (92-70, 2nd place)

New Orleans extended their playoff streak to 12 seasons but saw their reign a top the division after a 7 year run.  The offensive attack is a little light on power where Jhonny Diaz led the team with 29.  However the team did have three players, Desi Mieses (.316), Yadier Navarro (.315), Yuniesky Hernandez (.302), hitting over .300 and nearly 200 SB.  So this team didn’t wait around for that one big hit while scoring just under 900 runs last season.

Any team with a stopper like Ricardo Zapata (19-6, 3.19) and closer Russell Magnusson (30/36, 2.79) is dangerous.  Having starter Les Parker & reliever Garland Cooper for a full season will be a big boost for a team hoping to regain control of the division.  While nothing major was added to this team during the off season they look well-armed to retake the division.

Prediction:  95-67, 1st place

Monterray Mettle (81-81, 3rd place)

This team took a step back last season and will need to make a big jump to get into the hunt to win this division.  Johnny Webber (44, 133, .280) wields the most dangerous bat on this roster but gets some help from the likes of Max Valdes (24, 98, .270), Clyde Thompson (15, 65, .324) & J.P. Padilla (12, 47, .317).  Bringing in Daryn Dorsey’s (33, 108, .281) was a great addition that should help increase production quite a bit.

Trot Leach (20-7, 3.60) has put back to back solid season to prove he’s the #1 of this staff.  F.P. Putnam had 37 saves but your closer cannot post a 6.31 ERA and think he’ll keep his job if that doesn’t improve.  The addition of Jocko Farquhar (30/36, 4.88), Putnam may be on a short leash this season.  Giomar Flores is another FA addition to the pitching staff however this team will need more out of him than he showed last season.  So changes have been made to both the offense and defense, the question to be answered is how much of an effect will they produce.

Prediction:  82-80, 3rd place

Mexico City mariachi (75-87, 4th place)

After consecutive seasons with 100 loses the mariachi improved by 13 games that gave them a shot at a .500 season.  While falling a bit short the offense struggled a bit as the assault of Edinson Estrada (37, 92, .303) and Hiram Nishioka (30, 89, .273) wasn’t enough to carry this team out of the basement.  Not adding any more offensive firepower will come back to haunt this team so it will be necessary to find more playing time for Thumper Austin’s (18, 67, .343) dangerous bat if management is serious about bringing a winning team to Mexico City.

The hurlers posted a 5.12 ERA last season, however no starter threw 200 innings, the Esteban Diaz led the staff with 14 wins in spite of a 6.53 ERA, and Kurt Mailman’s had a team leading 9 saves as well as a team leading 9 blown saves.  Upgrading the rotation with at least two better arms and bringing in a true closer would be a start in the right direction. This team seems determined to build from within as they ignored the FA and trade markets to play the same hand that they had last season.  It looks like another long season for the mariachi and replicating last season’s 75 wins would be a major accomplishment.

Prediction:  68-94, 4th place

AL WEST

Salem Athletic Legion (94-68, 1st place)

After a ten year absence from the postseason, Salem was able to record its largest win total since season set a team record for wins while taking the division.  The bats of Don Koh (46, 109, .296), Julian Lopez (37, 95, .316) and Gene Jodie (43, 96, .251) power this team’s offensive engine.  Dee Egan showed in 91 games that he may be ready to become another leader at the plate to help take some of the pressure off of the big three.

On the mound four players had ten wins or more with Richard White taking top honors with 20.  The biggest concerns on the hill are the back end of the rotation and the fact that there were 22 blown saves.  Closer Alejandro Melendez converted 23 of his 26 save chances but his 5.02 ERA is less than inspiring.  Ownership has shown a lot of faith in this roster as displayed by the lack of any moves during the offseason.  It seems like a gamble but believe they can get more out of this team than they showed last season.

Prediction:  90-72, 1st place

Honolulu Hammerheads (94-68, 2nd place)

Losing the division by the tie breaker was a hard pill to swallow for this team and now they’ll need to adjust to a new ballpark.  Last year’s team was built to slug and they had the guys to do it.  Seven players finished with at least 26 HRs, with Eliezer Lecuona (41, 91, .258), Enos Henry (30, 94, .261), Willis McMillan (30, 88, .302) setting the pace.  The big question is how the new park will affect the power numbers.

John Dali (11-4, 2.68), Kazuo Woo (18-10, 3.18), & Fernando Villano (13-4, 3.27) should like the fact the ball doesn’t care out in LF.  They won’t be happy that they will be again counting on a leaky bullpen, 26 blown saves, to close out their games.  The move to Hawaii will certainly help the pitching staff but won’t do much to for the bashers in their lineup.  No matter where they play the bullpen problems need to be addressed for this team to improve and was the major reason this team didn’t win the division last season.

Prediction:  85-77, 2nd place

Scotsdale Splashlogs (65-97, 3rd place)

It’s been six seasons since this team has finished higher than 3rd with four last place finishes during that run showing why fan interest has deteriorated.  Albert Doster (42, 117, .260), Fausto Lee (32, 88, .278) and Wilkin Osoria (38, 85, .250) are solid run producers that could use more runners on base to drive in.  Unfortunately with no changes amongst the position players it will need to come from improved production from the same cast as last season.

Ivan Rodriguez (17-11, 3.78) and Del Taylor (32/39, 3.72) are talented pitchers that would be welcome additions to any staff; however that would not be true for several of their teammates.  This was an area that desperately needed to be addressed in the offseason.  The combination of the age of several  players and management’s decision not to change the roster does not bode well for the upcoming season so it’s hard to imagine them doing better than last season’s record.

Prediction:  63-99, 3rd place

Colorado Springs Snow Goats (59-103, 4th place)

It’s been 2 seasons since this teams nine year playoff run ended, this included eight division titles.  So to see this once proud franchise fall to the depths of a 100 loss season was tough to watch.  New ownership decided a new location was the best way to get a fresh start.  Fernando Montanez (28, 101, .285) was packed carefully for the trip to the teams new home but someone forgot to lock the door before Daryn Dorsey was able to escape for greener pastures.

Cesar Moreno (10-14, 3.76) much like his offensive counterpart, Montanez, could use some help and an influx of better talent to surround him.  The team used a closer by committee method last season that produced 24 blown saves.  Add that to some suspect starting pitching, middle relievers and setup men and it adds up to a 5.51 team ERA.  Without any changes to improve the talent and the loss of one of their few offensive weapons this team is destined to again occupy the cellar and most likely another 100 loss season.

Prediction:  55-107, 4th place


Sunday, June 5, 2011

New World rule starting season 13

New Rule for season 13 and beyond

Starting in season 13, There will be a 120 win requirement for any 2 consecutive seasons. If a team fails to win 120 games at the ML level in consecutive seasons, then they risk being kicked out of the World. If a team fails to win the 120 games I will pick a panel of 4 veteran Warning Track Owners to judge weather or not they should be kicked out or given a second chance.In case of a tie, I will have the tie breaking vote. If a team comes up for vote twice, then the second time they will be automatically kicked out. This rule applies to me as well as everyone else.

Monday, February 28, 2011


                              Colorado Springs Sky Sox World Champs!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Season 11 League Championship Series

The Warning Track World league championship series are set.

In the American League The Chicago Badasses (101-61) will take on The Honolulu Beach Bums (97-65)

In the National League The Fargo Woodchippers (85-77) will face The Colorado Springs Sky Sox (90-72)

World Series appearances by remaining playoff teams...

Colorado Springs-3
Chicago-2
Louisville-1
Fargo-0

The AL leads the NL 6-4 in World Series wins

Sunday, January 23, 2011

All-Stars Season 11

In an 11-inning pitchers duel, Warning Track's 11th annual All-star game was won by a walk-off homer by Gustavo Servet to give the AL the win 2-1.

The teams' were stacked with mostly usual suspects, as well as a handful of first-timers that we will be seeing on the list for many seasons to come. The Louisville Sluggers brought the most players to the game of any team with 6, while the Atlanta Bravos led the NL with 5 participants.

Season 11 ML - AL All-Stars

Player Franchise Owner
P Nash Hogg Badasses beatinu2 (4th appearance)
P Jocko Farquhar Trash Haulers tmfran (2nd appearance)
P Moises Gongora RoughRiders Fantasy Frea (2nd appearance)
P Cookie Cameron Sluggers farren83 (2nd appearance)
P Kennie Millwood Sluggers farren83 (2nd appearance)
P Alex Olivares Hosers nesman (5th appearance)
P Esteban Coronado Badasses beatinu2 (2nd appearance)
P Cesar Vallarta G-Men danholg (5th appearance)
P Sid Brower Trash Haulers tmfran (2nd appearance)
P Orber Santos Hosers nesman (5th appearance)
P Bart Jeffcoat Yankees lbrooks2 (1st appearance)
P T.J. Westmoreland Athletic Legion ARomano (1st appearance)
P Miguel Mendoza Black Birds mickpb (1st appearance)
C Wes Newhan RoughRiders Fantasy Frea (8th appearance)
C Tony Kim Sluggers farren83 (2nd appearance)
1B Vic Graffanino Saltine Warriors bjc30 (1st appearance)
1B Lloyd Helms Badasses beatinu2 (1st appearance of MANY)
2B Joe Jameson Grizzlies friars_baby (1st appearance)
2B Ugueth Mesa Saltine Warriors bjc30 (2nd appearance)
3B Nolan Brock Sluggers farren83 (5th appearance)
3B Esteban Lopez Hosers nesman (4th appearance)
SS Glenn Mills Saltine Warriors bjc30 (1st appearance)
SS Nick Barfield G-Men danholg (6th appearance)
LF Jose Montanez Voodoo Masters themojoking (1st appearance / Rookie)
LF Cyrus Howard Sluggers farren83 (7th appearance)
CF Todd Barkett Sluggers farren83 (7th appearance)
CF Doug Fleming Yankees lbrooks2 (5th appearance)
RF Dan Cora Beach Bums AZNJ70 (2nd appearance)
RF Gustavo Servet Scabs bodean (3rd appearance)
DH Julio Cedeno Hosers nesman (9th appearance)

Season 11 ML - NL All-Stars

Player Franchise Owner
P Clay Wells Fightin' Phils whiskychaser (1st appearance)
P Hugh May Vikings pic27 (9th appearance)
P Ty Stottlemyre Sky Sox njohnson78 (2nd appearance)
P Dustin Taft Lagers dilo (1st appearance)
P Kazuo Woo Packers Sved (1st appearance)
P Clarence Jameson Vikings pic27 (1st appearance)
P Herman Wood Bravos ryguyrb (3rd appearance)
P Jumbo Duran Tedders rockindock (1st appearance)
P Pedro Barrios Skeltons gratepool (2nd appearance)
P Larry Roberts Bulls & Bears gbbreeden2 (3rd appearance)
P Vin Martin Woodchippers genghisxcon (1st appearance)
P Miguel Rosales Bravos ryguyrb (1st appearance of MANY/ Rookie)
P Albert Crosby Bravos ryguyrb (1st appearance)
P Ramon Takada Dutchmen kennedrj (3rd appearance)
C Roberto Soto Vikings pic27 (2nd appearance)
C Rabbit Ross Woodchippers genghisxcon (2nd appearance)
1B Andrew Morgan Sky Sox njohnson78 (4th appearance)
1B Phil Sparks Packers Sved (1st appearance, despite MVP last season)
2B Dave Fonville Yellowfins offshorebron (2nd appearance)
2B Dmitri Gil Packers Sved (1st appearance)
3B Olmedo Santana Bravos ryguyrb (4th appearance)
3B Ryan Clancy Lagers dilo (1st appearance)
SS Robert Forest Dutchmen kennedrj (1st appearance of MANY/ Rookie)
SS Al Cueto Tedders rockindock (1st appearance)
LF Esmerling Cervantes Bulls & Bears gbbreeden2 (1st appearance / Rookie)
LF Aaron Black Mutts firesign34 (1st appearance)
CF George Hewitt Vikings pic27 (1st appearance)
CF Fritz Wood Sky Sox njohnson78 (4th appearance)
RF B.C. Matos Sky Sox njohnson78 (5th appearance)
RF P.T. Torres Bravos ryguyrb (2nd appearance)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Free agent market in Warning Track world.

                 The Baseball Tonight crew discuss the upcoming free agent market in Warning Track world.

Here’s a list of possible free agents in Warning Track broken down by position. There’s still a chance some of these players may sign with their current teams. Theses players will consult with there agents and decide to sign with there current team, bolt to a franchise with a better chance of winning, or sign with any team chasing the big bucks regardless of their chance to win.

C-Kris Pedersen (STL) Career.279 ba and 226 home runs.
C-Tony Kim (LOU) Former Sliver Slugger and All Star
1B-Felipe Nieves (OTT) Won MVP and Sliver Slugger awards. 479 career home runs.
1B-Merv Carter (SLC) MVP, Gold Glove, Sliver Slugger winner and All Star.
1B-Gerald Nakamura (LAA) All Star
2B-Wayne Rivera (LOU) 340 Career home runs, multiple All Star appearances.
2B-Kevin Meng (MIL) Gold Glove
SS-Ivan Saez (DOV) 248 home runs, Silver Slugger and All Star
SS-Rafael Park (OAK) All Star Silver Slugger
3B-Sherry Young (OAK) 325 home runs, Silver Slugger
3B-Olmendo Santana (IA) All Star
LF-Aaron Black (LAA) ROY, Silver Slugger
CF-Fritz Wood (CSP) All Star, All Star MVP, 268 home runs, .294 ba.
CF-Vin Santos (SLC) All Star, Gold Glove
RF-B.C Matos (CSP) 274 home runs, All Star, Silver Slugger
RF-Cecil Flanagan (TEX) 337 home runs, Gold Glove

SP-Solly Wood (OTT) 100 Wins, All Star
SP-Stan Forrest (SLC) 120 Wins, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger
RP-Tim Corino (NAS) ROY, All Star, 507k
RP-Walter Wilkins (NY1) 328sv, All Star