Thursday, January 27, 2011

S19 Ice Storm Preview

Burlington Ice Storm (AL)

S18 record: 66-96
Finish: Fourth place, AL North
2010 final payroll: $76.4 million
Estimated 2011 opening day payroll: $ 72 million

Offseason action:

Really need to shore up the rotation and add to the bullpen. Free Agency looms with 6 key guys potentially moving on. SS Gene Ward is a defensive god, but struggles at the plate 4M might be a good price to get him back at. 3B Jerry Robinson might never lead the league in anything, but he has a knack of getting key hits. I'm not sure he's worth his 6M price tag. SP Jarrod Everett(37), Daryle Davis (37), Del James (34) could be had for a discount, but still they might be better short term solutions than what The Ice Storm needs. RP Kevin Burke seems to have recovered his form that made him a top closer 5 seasons ago, but he's not 6.6M better. Burke should be gone, The Storm also has 6 Arbitration hearings to dig through. Of the 6 only 2, Cf Frank Yamamoto and RF Jung-Lee Suzuki really stand out as must resign.

Reality check

Offensively this team is better than they performed last season. 1B Sergio Cuddyer knocked in only 29 HR and under 100 RBI for the first time since S15. His potential is closer to 40Hr and should be able to contribute more than 100 RBI a season. At 6.5M he is a good deal. 2B Nipsey Diaz and his 5 year 93M deal signed in season 16 was questioned as a huge mistake on a guy who has always underachieved now going into the 3rd year of his deal, Diaz has continued his underachievement. He needs to step up the production this season. 2B Bartolo Ozuna is back as the lead off guy and should be expected to steal his usual 30 bags. Rookie 3B Earl Boswell should get a full season to show what he can do, but in his brief season last year batting .265 with a solid walk/strikeout split. LF Chris Dwyer should be able to recover back to his full strength in s19. AAA CF Skip McEnerney might get the call up this season and make a run at being the utility guy or maybe even steal some starts.

The rotation is long gone from the days when this team dominated the division. The Free agency departure of Everett, Davis and James puts huge holes in the Storm rotation. The rotation is left with up and comers Cory Smith, Billy Gipson, Patrick Foster and Jody Olsen. All are solid AAAA guys, but not a one of them are Aces in waiting. The rotation needs a go to guy which is lacking right now. With all the holes Burlington might consider calling up HiA star Alfredo Andujar for a look. He's close to being ML ready and could be an upgrade over what they currently feature.

The Pen is in better shape. LR Curtis Nichting should be a solid long reliever for the Storm, He might end up in the rotation, but for now he's slated here. Closer CL Miguel Mondesi is a solid late inning guy and is coming off a good year, but he needs a better supporting cast. Farm hands Tex Nelson(AA), Kelvin Shaw(HiA), Milton Lanier(AAA) could all be ready for the start of S19.

A lot of decisions to make and direction to set.

Summing it up with a Quote:

Nipsey Diaz
Ice Storm
Age: 30B/T: R/R
Born: Teachey, NC
Position(s): 2B/CIF/OF/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile
"Dog, my ride is pimped. Those are solid gold 24's with custom diamond spinners" - 2B Nipsey Diaz

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