Thursday, February 4, 2010

AL NORTH Season 15 Preview

AL NORTH Season 15 Projected Standings



S14 W-L


Toledo Holy



Added 4 great hitters in the off-season, This is the real life Yankees right now. Except they seem to be fiscally responsibly, Even scarier!

Madison Massa's



Lost a lot of Offense in Albert Frazier and even more critical they lost their utility man In Vinny Hernandez. Expect the team to roll into the playoffs in spite of their issues.

New York Bombers



Already looking like a rebuilding year. The last time New York was rebuilding they went 82-80. New York has never had a losing season. This will not be their first

Minnesota Wobegon's



Improvements are in place, but the team still lacks the offensive punch to roll in the AL this season.

Minnesota Wobegon's
62.7M Estimated Opening Day Payroll

Offense: an outfield of Merrick, Stewart and Black isn't going to scare too many pitchers. The offense will specialize in a more small ball approach using their 2 established power bats, Oquist, and Gil to hopefully come to the plate when the light weights are on the bags
Defense: Defensively Minnesota is better than they were a year ago. Dan Boone will be an upgrade at 2nd base or as a defensive addition off the bench, but will not offer much in the way of offense. Beltre and Howard will struggle to throw anyone out that tries to steal. AAA Prospect Tex Ashley might get a chance to showcase his defense this season.
Rotation: a solid rotation, but far from sparkling. Benito Lee at 35 might not be able to give Minnesota 7 innings every turn, but should give them a consistent 5 innings. Whiteside could be the staff ace, but on a strong pitching team he's no better than a #3 or 4. Minnesota will miss Marty Hooper.
Bullpen: Minnesota's biggest strength is the pen. David Brennaman, Artie Luebbers, and Wade Hammonds are a great late inning combo and all are solid inning eaters who should close out the close games

New York Bombers
86.9M Estimated Opening Day Payroll

Offense: New York will live and die by what they do at the plate, They have great young hitters in Max Mills and Sergio Cuddyer, but they also have a few guys who will struggle to put the ball in play.
Defense: Catcher Castillo is best used as a DH, but the Bombers really don't have a great #1 catching option, Defense is also downgraded at CF and 2B with the losses of Tankersley and Feliz. The Bombers are not built to field
Rotation: The Starting Pitching should be hurting with the loss of Angel Mateo, but they still have the strongest rotation in the AL North, Bob Mann, Everett Roosevelt, and Virgil Diaz lead a crowded rotation, they might be able to deal one of them to get the help they need in other areas.
Bullpen: Closer Laker is now gone leaving the job up to Rafael Otanez who sports 100 career saves. Jefferries and Oliver are solid setup guys, but will not be able to pitch a lot of innings. If Starting pitching fails to go deep the bullpen will be in trouble in long stretches.

Madison Massa's
81.1M Estimated Opening Day Payroll

Offense: Lost the Massa's cleanup Hitter Albert Frazier which will hurt the offense, but this is an offense built around good hitting and they should be able to still put up the runs with 2 time MVP Brett Sanders. Jason Tankersley is also an offensive upgrade over incumbent CF Fritz Lowe. Defense: Defensively the starting unit improves with Dan Young at SS, Gold Glover Bo Nitkowski returns to 2nd base and Tankersley heads a solid outfield unit.
Rotation: Madison doesn't ask their starters to do a whole lot they need to keep games close and that's what they do, All the starters have flaws, but they also should perform well enough as a unit to not cost Madison to many games. Bullpen: a new season and a new closer. Madison brings in their 4th closer in as many seasons to slam the door shut, this time the honor goes to 2nd All-time career save leader Jose Chavez. Chavez as a solid core around him with Tarrik Mcgee and a bunch of young prospects.

Toledo Holy
84.7M Estimated Opening Day Payroll

Offense: Only added the 2 biggest Free Agent Hitters available in Albert Sanchez, and Carlos Hernandez. The Hispanic Bash brothers should cleanup in the AL and will rival with the best 1-2 punches in the league. The Holy surround the pair with real deal trade acquisitions Shultz and Sutton. This team could rival Murders row.
Defense: The Offense seems to be the key to Toledo's Season 15, but the defense is pretty solid as well, the only weakness might be Hernandez's defense at 2B, but with his Offense I think they will survive.
Rotation: A lot like Madison the pitching will be asked not to win games as much as they will be asked not to lose them. Starters are solid yet unspectacular Kiki Arroyo, Hal Buchanan and Tino Chang will all be asked to repeat what they did last season.
Bullpen: Byrne and Cruz are all-star relievers but beyond them they cupboards are bare right now.

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